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J.B. Smoove on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ spinoffs, his bond with Larry David and the issue with winning an Emmy

J.B. Smoove will step back into the role of Leon Black on Sunday when “Curb Your Enthusiasm” returns to HBO for its 11th season.
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15 Best Gifts Under $50 for 2021
Yes, you can get great gifts on a budget. Here are the 15 Best Gifts Under $50 that are sure to put smiles on some faces this season!
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One Good Thing: How fashion became a part of The Nanny’s legacy
Fran Fine’s fashion-forward flair is the perfect gateway to a greater appreciation of the iconic ‘90s comedy television series. | CBS via Getty Images Fran Fine has remained a style icon for a generation of kids born during (and after) the years that the series aired. The often-used meme, “I watched it for the plot,” is an irony-laden acknowledgment that we, as viewers, often gravitate toward eye candy. Most people prefer to watch flashy productions and beautiful celebrities over “highbrow” content; they have a knack for avoiding convoluted plot lines that force the viewer to think. This is not an incrimination but a very real aspect of our media consumption. Even Netflix’s official social media accounts have leaned into the joke to promote shows like Squid Game. “The plot,” then, becomes a teasing reference to its attractive cast instead of to the show’s unsubtle statement on social class in South Korea. Similarly, my interest in The Nanny, a CBS sitcom that aired from 1993 to 1999, stemmed from its superficial, plotless elements — or so I thought. I began streaming the show not for its comedic charm but the extravagant and colorful designer costumes worn by its main character, Fran Fine, the titular nanny (played by Fran Drescher). That isn’t to say The Nanny is all style with no substance. Instead, Fran’s fashion-forward flair was the gateway to my greater appreciation of the series and its tendency for excess through its comedy and aesthetics. The Nanny, both the show and the character, excelled at endearingly doing the most: Yiddish references pepper Fran’s vocabulary; she manages to be brash and self-deprecatingly honest, sweet but not cloying; and her clothes are ridiculously ostentatious for nanny-ing around the house. Fran’s costumes, engineered by stylist Brenda Cooper (who won an Emmy for her work), were the stylistic vehicle to distinguish her vivacious character from the rest of the well-rounded cast. The Nanny’s catchy, show-tune-like theme song even sets the audience up for this distinction. Fran is described as “the lady in red while everybody else is wearing tan.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Fran Fine Fashion (@whatfranwore) To recap, The Nanny follows Fran Fine, a Jewish lady from Flushing, Queens, who, after losing her job at a bridal shop, accidentally lands a job as the nanny for the high-society, WASP-y Sheffield family. Her over-the-top persona (and nasally intonation) was initially bewildering to Maxwell, the widowed single dad of the family, but became endearing as he realized how smoothly his three children had taken to Fran’s antics. She moves in with the Sheffields and their snarky live-in butler Niles, and she playfully contends with Maxwell’s clingy and haughty business partner, C.C. Babcock. From the start of the show’s run to its sixth season finale, Fran remains its centrifugal force; her bubbly charm blew fresh air into the stuffy lives of the Sheffields, who viewers grow to individually adore. But Drescher, the series’ creator, and Cooper weren’t so sure The Nanny would’ve established such a beloved and lasting legacy if not for Fran’s clothes. “Could you imagine if I dressed that show and dressed Fran like an average, everyday nanny?” Cooper told the HuffPost in 2018. “We wouldn’t be having a conversation right now.” Cooper, until her departure after season four, was famously given free rein by Drescher to dress Fran Fine however she wished. She crafted Fran’s costumes to be an extension of her personality while also serving as memorable timestamps for the show’s progression and class commentary. Fran famously carried a red Moschino heart-shaped purse on a (failed) date with a mobster in season one and wore a Moschino piano dress in a season four episode that featured an aspiring concert pianist who later lost any desire to play the instrument. Still, her character is a “shopaholic striver with a mountain of credit card debt,” observed Rachel Syme in the New Yorker, “a profligate clotheshorse who, the viewer assumes, cares more about materialist trends than timeless art.” Even after Fran’s induction into the Sheffield clan, her style remains singular, unswayed by the social expectations of the Upper East Side. In a 2020 interview with Vogue, Drescher described Fran’s style as “sexy, but definitely not trashy” and shared some of Cooper’s costuming decisions. The character wore a lot of Moschino, since the clothes had pizzazz and humor, according to Drescher. And in the scenes Fran shared with C.C., the goal was to depict the two women as “contrasting in every way, as people and in the way they dressed.” By today’s ’90s-obsessed standards, Fran’s looks are distinctly modern and timeless. CBS via Getty Images In the scenes Fran shared with C.C., Maxwell’s clingy and haughty business partner, the goal was to depict the two women as “contrasting in every way, as people and in the way they dressed.” Yet, The Nanny never achieved the level of widespread popularity and cultural cachet afforded to other ’90s shows, like Friends or Sex and the City. Female leads like Rachel Green and Carrie Bradshaw have remained style flashpoints for a generation of ’90s and 2000s kids born during the years their shows aired. The Nanny, on the other hand, became lauded and referenced by a much smaller audience (including Cardi B) in the decades after it went off the air. Various women’s and fashion publications have dedicated coverage to Fran’s unique fashion sensibilities in recent years, nearly two decades after the show ended (and before The Nanny was revived via streaming service). This interest was, in part, driven by the @whatfranwore Instagram account, which identifies Fran’s iconic wardrobe to over 350,000 followers. The series’s arrival on HBO Max in April 2021, however, has likely introduced the show to more viewers. It is also a step toward memorializing its cultural status as a ’90s sitcom. To viewers in 2021, the show’s set-up — its punchlines and the way it was filmed — might feel a bit dated. Not so much that the humor was corny, but that it was simply of a different time. Some seasons of The Nanny were taped before a live audience, which has become “a class signifier of comedy itself,” according to NPR’s Linda Holmes on Pop Culture Happy Hour, “that somehow [a live audience laughing is] a less sophisticated or old-fashioned or more broad kind of comedy.” Still, the show boasted a list of enviable celebrity cameos during its run, featuring Elton John, Celine Dion, Elizabeth Taylor, Patti LaBelle, and of course, Donald Trump. The Nanny “finds jokes everywhere, sometimes three or four to a line, and links them across episodes and plotlines,” wrote Hilarie Ashton for the New York Times. Its self-aware, slapstick humor is refreshing and explicit for a decades-old show, and it generally holds up as a breezy ’90s sitcom to stream. The Nanny’s embrace of excess, however, had the potential to be wholly liberating and ahead of its time, but the show’s writers (and likely Drescher herself) drew the line at fatness. Instead, oversized bodies are to be feared or laughed at, and at one point in the series, Drescher dons a fat suit. In spite of this, Drescher’s charisma and comedic talent cement Fran Fine’s place in the television canon, as a lead who manages to subvert and reinforce stereotypes — about women, Jewishness, and class. The Nanny is a worthwhile watch for the cast’s physical humor, charm, and laugh-out-loud antics. But if you don’t find yourself convinced by these plot asides, do consider watching it solely for the clothes. The Nanny is streaming on HBO Max. For more recommendations from the world of culture, check out the One Good Thing archives.
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Slick and windy conditions could pose trouble for weekend travelers
Rain, snow, or wind could hamper travel plans across the country this weekend. Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin details the trouble spots.
New coronavirus variant could be more dangerous than Delta variant
The world is racing to contain and understand a fast-spreading and potentially more dangerous variant of the coronavirus. On Friday, a World Health Organization panel named the variant Omicron, after it was first detected in South Africa. It has already been found in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong. The news prompted a wave of new international travel restrictions, including in the United States. Debora Patta reports.
Stray bullet kills man eating Thanksgiving dinner inside home
The 25-year-old man had nothing to do with the shooting, according to authorities.
No. 4 Cincinnati stays unbeaten, beats East Carolina 35-13
No. 4 Cincinnati looked comfortable playing its first game in playoff position.
Craft beer might get even more expensive
Your next can of craft beer might be a lot more expensive.
Growing rift emerges between Jamaal Bowman and Democratic Socialists
The Democratic Socialists of America have accused their party member of betrayal for daring to visit Israel.
Hand sanitizer recalled because packaging looks like water bottles, company says
A hand sanitizer recall, with the FDA's knowledge, was issued for product in 8-ounce bottles, which bear a striking similarity to water bottles.
Smerconish: The virus knows no boundaries
The Omicron variant is a reminder that no matter what the vaccination rate in the developed world, the pandemic is a global issue that won't be behind us until immunity by vaccination or natural means is world-wide.
Hall is catalyst for Iowa State's 48-14 romp over TCU
Breece Hall rushed for 242 yards and scored four touchdowns Friday night in what maybe his final game at Jack Trice Stadium, propelling Iowa State to 48-14 win over Texas Christian and setting an NCAA FBS record for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown.
Jailed mobster, 91, who put hit on Gotti denied release
Louis "Bobby" Manna, a former consigliere of the Genovese crime family, has been imprisoned for more than three decades.
Before Ahmaud Arbery became a symbol, he was a teammate and a friend
According to a longtime buddy, Arbery embodied a quality we credit sports with providing us for life: Friendship.
Wake Forest signs Clawson to long-term contract extension
Wake Forest has signed football coach Dave Clawson to what it calls a long-term contract extension as Clawson guides the No. 21 Demon Deacons through a historically successful season.
New book highlights story of resilience after Tree of Life shooting
Over the last three years, the Jewish community in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh has come to rely on hope. In October of 2018, 11 Jews were murdered while worshipping in a local synagogue. The horrific attack is the subject of a new book, “Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood.” Author Mark Oppenheimer spoke to Dana Jacobson about how the entire community rallied, illuminating the idea of hope, to overcome the darkness of hate.
Made in America: Small Business Saturday
Today is " Small Business Saturday” — a day when consumers are encouraged to do holiday shopping at small, locally-owned stores and businesses. In a shopping season when so many items are stuck at sea, holiday gifts that were manufactured in the United States can still be found. Michelle Miller has the details.
South Africa Laments Travel Bans; Dutch Airport Tests for New Variant
South Africans said the new bans felt like punishment. Sixty-one Covid cases on two planes at a Dutch airport were being scrutinized. Here’s the latest.
Movie goers aren’t gaga for ‘House of Gucci’ but ‘Encanto’ enchants
The Ridley Scott-helmed high-fashion murder saga starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, widely panned by critics, pulled in $3.39 million at the box office on the lightly attended holiday.
Which prospects could most influence the Nationals’ rebuild?
Pitchers Cade Cavalli, Jackson Rutledge and Cole Henry headlined a short list provided by general manager Mike Rizzo.
President Biden bans travel from South Africa and seven other nations
President Biden announced Friday that he is restricting travel from eight countries in southern Africa over concerns about Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant circulating in the region. The restrictions start on Monday and apply to non-U.S. residents. Weijia Jiang reports.
Which prospects could most influence the Nationals’ rebuild?
Pitchers Cade Cavalli, Jackson Rutledge and Cole Henry headlined a short list provided by general manager Mike Rizzo.
Who Had the Best—and Worst—Italian Accent in House of Gucci? A Dialect Coach Dishes About Lady Gaga, Jared Leto, and More. 
There’s one thing just about everyone did wrong.
Kaprizov has goal, three assists as Wild rout Jets 7-1
Kirill Kaprizov scored and tied a career-high with three assists to help the Minnesota Wild rout the Winnipeg Jets 7-1 on Friday.
Eye Opener: New COVID variant discovered in South Africa 
The World Health Organization raises concern over Omicron, a new coronavirus strain. Also, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russia and a group of Ukrainians of planning a coup. All that and all that matters in today’s Eye Opener.
Mariah Carey proves she's the undisputed queen of Christmas
Every year, we can pretty much count on Mariah Carey to remind us that the holiday season actually kicks off the day after Halloween. Let's hear it for the queen of Christmas.
Air Passenger Pleads Guilty to Claiming Over $500k for Lost Baggage He Never Had
Pernell Anthony Jones and his co-conspirators were paid more than $300,000 by a number of U.S. airlines.
What if an All-Knowing Algorithm Ran Traffic and Transit?
What happens when algorithms give us exactly what we need—to our dismay?
Protection offered by booster shot beats 'natural immunity,' study suggests
In people who got a booster shot, levels of neutralizing antibodies exceeded the peak that followed two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Michigan vs. Ohio State Live Stream: Time, Channel, How To Watch The Michigan-Ohio State Game Live Online
Two 10-1 teams collide in this must-see Big Ten showdown!
National Adoption Month – Here's how to connect children in need with forever families
Yes, these barriers to adoption can easily be perceived as insurmountable. But there is hope and help, and well, something must be done.
What's on TV Saturday: 'Christmas at Castle Hart' on Hallmark; 'Robbie the Reindeer' on CBS
What to watch Saturday, November 27: 'Christmas at Castle Hart,' Hallmark; 'Robbie the Reindeer,' CBS; 'Home Town Takeover: Where Are They Now?' HGTV
The Difference Between Playboy’s ‘Rabbitars’ and Warhol’s Soup Cans
Campbell’s was perfectly happy to have an artist immortalize its brand.
How to celebrate the holidays in Williamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg might be more noted for its historical significance, but it also plays host to some wonderful yuletide festivities.
Column: Mexicans have fought for a better California for 171 years. These books show how
A rise in COVID-19 cases. A drought that just won't quit. Record-breaking gas prices.
Crash kills Redondo Beach couple who helped Darfur refugees gain independence through soccer
A Redondo Beach couple who offered Darfur refugees hope and a way out via soccer are killed in a four-car traffic accident in Manhattan Beach.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate? All the Snacks and Foods Your Kitten Can (and Can't) Eat
Can cats eat chocolate? Feline owners should be careful what they feed their kitty as some foods can prove deadly to their pets.
Four-Legged Snake Fossil a Fake, Scientists Say
"Missing link" fossil is just a common 100 million-year-old marine lizard, study reveals.
Would You Let a Self-Driving Ride-Share Car Decide Where You’re Going?
Read a new short story by Linda Nagata, the author of Pacific Storm and The Last Good Man.
Prices for food and gas are rising sharply. Is health care next?
iStock/Getty Images Health insurance premiums could spike in 2022, experts warn. Inflation is on the rise, driving up the price of gas and food. One sector of the US economy is behaving particularly strangely: For once, medical prices have been increasing at a significantly lower rate than prices in the overall economy. In October 2021, according to the nonprofit health care analysis group Altarum, prices for health care services rose at a 2 percent rate year-over-year, compared to a 6.2 percent rate for all consumer products. But a sharp rise in medical prices could still be around the corner, experts say, delayed only because of unique features of the health care industry. Over the last 30 years, consumer prices have almost never risen faster than medical inflation, which measures the change in the prices paid for medical services, everything from doctor’s visits to surgeries to prescription drugs. If anything, the opposite has been true, particularly during economic downturns; after the 2008 financial crisis, for example, overall inflation slowed down to almost nothing but medical prices continued to grow at a 2 to 3 percent rate. In fact, since 2010, prices in the overall economy and in health care have moved more or less in tandem — until the spring of 2020. Altarum But while that may make it sound as though the health care sector is enjoying a welcome respite from the general inflation creating so much nervousness among businesses and political leaders, the reality appears less reassuring. This comparatively slow growth in medical prices could be a mirage. And if health care inflation does eventually catch up with the broader economy, patients would largely be the ones paying for it. Why medical inflation could accelerate soon The same problems driving up prices in the rest of the economy — rising costs within the supply chain, difficulty finding workers for open jobs — are issues in the health care sector too. The workforce crisis in particular is acute and not likely to go away any time soon, given how many nurses and doctors have left their jobs during the pandemic. A recent survey from the Chartis Group found that 99 percent of rural hospitals said they were experiencing a staffing shortage; 96 percent of them said they were having the most difficulty finding nurses. That has forced hospitals to increase their pay and benefits or hire temporary help from travel nursing companies that are more expensive — sometimes much more expensive — than regular full-time staff. The costs for purchasing personal protective equipment and other supplies have also been elevated because of Covid. Hospitals are going to want to make up for those higher costs by bringing in more money. While the numbers of patients they served fell sharply in March and April of 2020, patient numbers are already back near their pre-pandemic levels. There are only so many ways to increase how many services they provide, especially amid a staffing crisis. The other option is trying to charge health insurers more money for procedures and treatment, particularly the private insurers that directly negotiate prices with health care providers. So while it might be a while before higher prices hit patients, they likely will — just on a time delay. For medical services in particular, there is a lag between when the inflationary pressures like rising supply costs or labor shortages first appear and when they are actually felt in health care prices. In the rest of the economy, inflation and increased costs ripple through the market pretty quickly. If the cost of beef goes up today, the restaurant can raise the price of hamburgers tomorrow. If they can’t find fry cooks and need to increase wages to attract new workers, the restaurant can immediately charge more money for fries. But the prices for health care services are set in advance, written into binding contracts after negotiations between insurers and providers or after the government issues new regulations for public programs like Medicare. And those prices are generally set for an entire year, until another round of negotiations establishes new prices for the next year. Altarum’s inflation experts told me the negotiations for 2022 plans will determine how much the current inflation crisis ends up affecting medical prices. These inflation-driving trends, like the rising workforce costs, have only accelerated throughout 2021. For the last decade, health care prices have consistently grown at roughly a rate of 1 percent to 2 percent. Already, in the last 18 months, prices for hospital and physician prices have exceeded a 3 percent inflation rate. Altarum’s experts say they are watching whether health care prices eventually increase at the same 5 percent to 7 percent rate currently being seen in the rest of the economy — which would be the fastest rate since 1993. Such historic medical inflation would ultimately end up raising costs to patients in two distinct ways. First, if providers negotiate higher payments from insurers to make up for their increasing costs, the insurer will turn around and increase premiums for its customers. But patients also feel the rising costs more directly because they are being asked to pay more money out of pocket for their health care. Deductibles and other cost-sharing have been steadily rising for the 180 million Americans enrolled in commercial health plans. At the same time, the number of Americans considered underinsured — meaning they do carry insurance but the insurance would not necessarily provide them adequate financial protection if they had a medical emergency — has been growing. So if medical prices end up increasing at a historic rate, consumers are going to feel it both when they pay their premium and when they pick up their prescription: They’ll end up getting squeezed from both sides.
LSU vs. Texas A&M prediction: Ed Orgeron has shot to go out with win
LSU, who are 6.5-point underdogs, has a good shot to send departing coach Ed Orgeron out with win, but will at least cover, according to VSiN's Matt Youmans.
White House Christmas tree lighting will cost $139,000: report
The National Park Service is paying the steep price to an Ohio company that located, transported and transplanted this year’s tree.
Stephen Sondheim's death: Stars pay tribute to legendary Broadway composer
Tributes poured in following the death of Stephen Sondheim as performers and writers alike saluted a giant of the theater.
Walmart, Target and other big chains will rake in cash this holiday. Small stores may not be so lucky
Many Americans are shopping small Saturday to support mom-and-pop clothing, toy, furniture, sporting goods, hardware and electronics' stores.
D.C. police officer shoots at armed man with rifle in Southeast Washington, authorities say
Police are investigating after authorities said an officer shot at an armed man on a street in Southeast Washington. Police said the man was later arrested and was not inured.
Kayden Phoenix champions Latina superheroes
Kayden Phoenix, an award-winning Chicana writer and director from Boyle Heights, discusses her A La Brava universe of Latina comic book characters.
lululemon is having a rare Black Friday sale on its iconic leggings, yoga gear and more—and it's selling out fast
Get huge savings during this rare lululemon sale. Shop markdowns on yoga mats, leggings and clothing during lululemon Black Friday 2021.
Arch Manning, Isidore Newman lose, fail to reach state championship game
5-star QB Arch Manning, Isidore Newman get beaten by Lafayette Christian and sophomore quarterback Ju'Juan Johnson in LHSAA playoff semifinal matchup.
Show-Me-a-saurus! Skeleton of a new type of dinosaur unearthed in Missouri
Scientists have discovered a new type of dinosaur in Missouri, the Parrosaurus missouriensis, a duck-billed dinosaur, which can be 30 feet long.