Mon, Apr 13, 2009 - Page 13 News List




A day after Billy Bob Thornton said Canadian audiences were like mashed potatoes without gravy, the actor professed his love for the Great White North.

“I love Canada, absolutely,” said the 53-year-old actor.

Thornton talked quickly to reporters on Thursday night before a performance with his band, the Boxmasters, in Toronto, Ontario. The group was opening for Willie Nelson.

The proclamation was a sharp contrast to comments Thornton made on Wednesday of last week when he was an uncooperative guest on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Q radio program.

During that appearance, the Oscar-winning star of Sling Blade sparred back and forth with host Jian Ghomeshi and found time to insult Canadian crowds.

Thornton, who was interviewed alongside his Boxmasters bandmates, took issue with Ghomeshi’s introduction, which included references to the star’s career as a Hollywood actor, director and screenwriter.

For much of the interview, Thornton refused to answer any of Ghomeshi’s questions directly, instead mumbling “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” or some variation thereof in response to most questions.

Thornton said Ghomeshi’s producers had been instructed ahead of time not to talk about his film career at all.

Thornton mainly seemed sensitive to any comment that implied that his band which he described as “cosmic cowboy music” was not his full-time passion.

When pressed for details on his musical influences, Thornton elliptically provided a non sequitur about a magazine he subscribed to called Famous Monsters of Filmland and a model-building contest he once entered.

The actor’s belligerent appearance on the show has already become a veritable viral sensation. More than 1.2 million viewers have watched the clip on YouTube.

From cosmic music to exploring the cosmos, NASA’s sense of humor is being put to the test. The US space agency is facing a serious dilemma after a popular television comedian, Stephen Colbert, hijacked an online contest sponsored by NASA to pick a name for a new module on the International Space Station.

Colbert’s suggestion for a name? His own.

His victory may have had something to do with his repeated appeals to fans of his show, The Colbert Report, to vote for him.

With the help of his fans — called the “Colbert Nation” — the comedian’s name easily won the online poll at, rocketing past NASA suggestions “Earthrise,” “Legacy,” “Serenity” and “Venture.”

NASA announced on Friday that astronaut Sunita Williams will unveil the name tomorrow on Colbert’s television show.

The space agency declined to reveal the name until the show and is not obliged to bow to popular demand. The contest rules state that while NASA will take into consideration the results of the voting they are not binding.

Voting online is also a way for people to choose their favorite Simpsons character. The US post office wants folks to vote early and often among the five new stamps honoring the nation’s funniest dysfunctional cartoon family.

The Simpsons stamps will be issued May 7, portraying Homer, his wife, Marge, their son Bart, daughter Lisa and baby Maggie.

The characters, created by cartoonist Matt Groening, have become pop culture icons in 20 years on television.

The US$0.44 stamps are on display at and votes can be cast at that site until May 14.

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