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FROM THIS EPISODE

Zack O’Malley Greenburg tells Kim Masters that even though Michael Jackson had fame and money and worldwide recognition for his music, he felt that in order to achieve true immortality, he needed to also be a Hollywood leading man. Greenburg explores Jackson’s business empire in his new book Michael Jackson, Inc. Then, meet some graduates from one of LA’s most well-known improv and sketch comedy school, the Groundlings. Michaela Watkins and Jim Rash say that to succeed in improv, you’ve first got to have some on-stage fails.

Michael Jackson, Inc.

Zack O'Malley Greenburg

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN

Kim Masters is joined by Michael Schneider, Executive Editor of TV Guide Magazine to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

- Emmy nominations announced.
- Campaigning for Emmys starting to look more like the Oscars
- Christopher Nolan’s thoughts on the future of film

Guests:
Michael Schneider, TV Guide magazine (@Franklinavenue)

More:
Emmys 2014: Complete list of nominees
Emmy Watch: Are Award Campaigns Getting Out of Hand?
Christopher Nolan: Films of the Future Will Still Draw People to Theaters

‘Michael Jackson, Inc.’ 12 MIN, 15 SEC

Michael Jackson is best known as a music icon, but he also built a business empire that included merchandise, video games, a record label, and famously, his purchase of the entire Beatles’ catalogue of music. But there was still one other major area he longed to conquer: the movies.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg, author of Michael Jackson, Inc., tells Kim Masters that Jackson longed to be a Hollywood leading man, someone who would be remembered not just for his music, but live forever through his movies.

His best shot at film immortality came with the 1986 movie Captain EO, a 17-minute, 4-D movie packed with special effects that he made with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola as an attraction for the Disney theme parks.

Guests:
Zack O'Malley Greenburg, author, 'Michael Jackson, Inc.' (@zogblog)

More:
Zack O'Malley Greenburg's Website
Michael Jackson, Inc. Website

The Groundlings 9 MIN, 30 SEC

There’s a good chance you’ve encountered the work of Jim Rash and Michaela Watkins. Maybe at the movies or maybe on TV or maybe in a web series.

Rash won an Oscar for co-writing the George Clooney movie The Descendants with Nat Faxon and Alexander Payne. He also co-wrote and appeared in last summer’s The Way, Way Back. And Rash plays Dean Pelton on the TV show Community.

Watkins has appeared on TV shows like Trophy Wife, Enlightened and Saturday Night Live. She’s also the co-creator of a new comedy, Benched, coming to the USA Network.

Something they have in common? They’re both veterans of the Groundlings. The improv and sketch comedy troupe recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Rash and Watkins tell Kim Masters how the Groundlings opened the door for them to find work in LA, even after both occasionally bombing on stage.

The Groundlings and their school are a Los Angeles institution. Students have to auditions for the chance to work their way through classes, hoping to join the team that performs on Sunday nights. From there, you might be voted into the main company, or you could be cut.

The competition is fierce, but the potential payoff is big. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph and Will Ferrell are Groundlings alumni. The troupe often feeds talent to Saturday Night Live.

Montage of Jim Rash as Dean Pelton in Community

Michaela Watkins in Funny Or Die sketch

Guests:
Jim Rash, filmmaker (@RashisTVUgly)
Michaela Watkins, co-creator, USA Network's 'Benched' (@michaelaWat)

More:
Groundlings

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