The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories


1. Exciting news for fans of opening musical medleys and movie spoofs: Billy Crystal is returning to host the Oscars for what will now be his ninth time. Not exactly the most interesting choice that the Academy could have made, but given the recent PR roller coaster they’ve been on, perhaps that’s for the best. [via EW]

2. Damon Albarn’s supergroup The Good, The Bad, & The Queen — which also features Paul Simonon of The Clash, as well as Simon Tong and Tony Allen of The Verve — reunited for the first time in three years last night to play two gigs, the first on board a new Greenpeace boat in the middle of the River Thames. [via NME]

3. Starz is developing a new six-hour series about the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire called Harem that’s based on an idea by Gina Gershon; the story, written by Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe), will reportedly revolve around Roxelana, “a beautiful young slave girl whose ambitions knew no bounds and whose marriage to Suleyman kicked off what became known as the ‘Reign of Women.'” [via THR]

4. Brian Eno was the musical guest on last night’s Colbert Report; watch a clip of his entertaining interview with Colbert, as well as a performance of “Lean On Me” that included a cameo by Michael Stipe, here.

5. For the first time in 80 years, five murals that Diego Rivera created for the Museum of Modern Art back in 1931 will be displayed together as part of a new exhibition at the museum that opens on Sunday. [via NYT]

Bonus Buzz: 86-Year-Old’s Rage Comic