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‘SNL’s notorious ‘cue card man’ Wally Feresten launches facet hustle



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He’s taking part in his playing cards proper.

For the previous 30 years, Wally Feresten has been writing and holding the off-camera script playing cards for America’s prime performers on “Saturday Evening Stay” — and now, common people are partaking his providers too.

With the vastly common sketch present on hiatus as a consequence of COVID-19, the enterprising, quickly unemployed Feresten has launched a facet hustle, Cue Playing cards by Wally, producing personalized, autographed playing cards with distinctive messages.

And die-hard “SNL” followers are scooping them up at $55 a pop.

“I considered the thought final summer season, however launching the enterprise through the coronavirus lockdown made good sense,” the 54-year-old, of Livingston, NJ, instructed The Publish. “I needed to carry a bit mild reduction and pleasure into individuals’s lives.”

Wally Feresten
Wally FerestenTamara Beckwith/NYPost

Essentially the most-asked-for message is the “SNL” opening catchphrase, “Stay from New York!,” with the consumer’s hometown usually substituted for the Large Apple. Feresten has had greater than 200 orders to date, often to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, commencement — and, within the case of 1 purchaser, to efficiently suggest marriage.

Feresten’s clients embody Todd Dubois, at present dwelling in Cleveland, who ordered the usual 14-by-22-inch cardboard cue card to mark Mom’s Day for his spouse, Jennifer Walsh.

The message in Wally’s distinctive capital-letter handwriting reads: “Stay from Rock Backside. It’s the night time we met. Todd and Jennifer. March 5, 2003.” Rock Backside is the brewery and restaurant chain in Arlington, Va., the place the couple first set eyes on one another.

Todd Dubois with his wife, Jennifer Walsh, and their Cue Card by Wally.
Todd Dubois along with his spouse, Jennifer Walsh, and their Cue Card by Wally.Courtesy of Todd Dubois and Jennifer Walsh

“That night time, we bonded over our love of ‘SNL,’ so I believed it’d be cool to offer Jennifer one thing linked to the present,” stated Dubois, 42. Sadly, the couple was pressured to desert plans to see John Krasinski host the present in March when reside tapings had been canceled because of the pandemic.

“Wally’s personalized cue card made up for the frustration,” stated mother of two Walsh, 42, with fun.

The cue-card impresario, who’s so profitable he now owns his personal firm and may delegate work to some 20 workers, landed the “SNL” gig within the fall of 1990. It got here after his well-connected older brother, Spike, who wrote the famed Soup Nazi episode for “Seinfeld,” heard of a gap there.

“I requested if he’d put me ahead, however he stated he hadn’t due to my horrible penmanship,” joked Feresten, who had initially deliberate to provide comedy for TV himself. “I stated, ‘Properly, at the least allow them to be the decide.’ ”

He was employed on a trial foundation. His first project was holding playing cards for a Mike Myers and Kyle MacLachlan “Sprockets” sketch — a take a look at he handed.

Whereas his handwriting has develop into neater, he maintains that the timing, flipping and positioning of the playing cards are an important abilities. “You need to maintain them at eye degree and transfer across the digital camera effortlessly,” stated Feresten, who juggles wherever from 30 to 75 playing cards for every sketch. “It’s virtually like performing a ballet.”

Wally Feresten
Wally FerestenNBCU Photograph Financial institution/NBCUniversal through

Throughout his three a long time on “SNL,” he has develop into pleasant with everybody from John Goodman to Charles Barkley, Alec Baldwin to Betty White.

He even helped put together actress Lara Flynn Boyle for her internet hosting stint. “She instructed me she was dyslexic, colorblind and nearsighted,” he recalled. “It meant rehearsing the traces within the dressing room earlier than every sketch. And, as an alternative of sporting my traditional black like everybody else within the crew, I placed on a purple T-shirt so I’d stand out and she or he might spot me extra simply.”

Forged members who additionally gave Wally a run for his cash included the late Chris Farley, who refused to put on glasses or contact lenses and required “actually huge lettering” on his playing cards.

Regardless of such challenges, “I’ve loved each second,” Feresten says. “I’d by no means have lived the life I’ve with out doing cue playing cards.”

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This needed mobster ‘killed sufficient folks to fill a small cemetery’




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Few would acknowledge Matteo Messina Denaro on the road, however the Cosa Nostra chief is likely one of the most sought-after fugitives on the planet.

His reign of terror amped up in 1993, after authorities tracked down and arrested Sicilian mafia boss Salvatore “Toto” Riina, who had spent 23 years on the lam, in Palermo, Italy. Quickly after, his protégé Denaro allegedly performed a key function in ensuring there can be hell to pay for the pinch.

The revenge run was “an assault on Italy [and] Denaro’s craziest crime,” Cyprien d’Haese, co-director of a brand new episode of Netflix’s “World’s Most Needed” that dropped Wednesday, informed The Publish. Denaro and his blood-thirsty crew “put bombs in Milan, Rome and Florence. They blew up nationwide monuments and a museum,” d’Haese added. “It was their method of claiming, ‘We’re so highly effective. We are able to get anybody anyplace.’ ”

A precociously violent “baby-killer who realized to make use of a gun on the age of 14,” in keeping with ­d’Haese, Denaro allegedly assumed the godfather mantle in 2007, following the arrest of earlier chief Bernardo Provenzano.

Matteo Messina Denaro
Matteo Messina DenaroCourtesy of Netflix

Denaro is a good-looking girls man, whose tinted shades cover barely crossed “feline eyes.” He’s mentioned to be value billions, favors fancy wristwatches, owns a pack of Porsches and strictly avoids the digital camera lens.

He’s been working because the ’93 bombings and, as an Italian regulation enforcer mentioned on the present, “Matteo Messina Denaro is essentially the most needed fugitive within the Cosa Nostra.” His specialties? Murder, arson and terrorism. He’s even earned the nickname Diabolik, ripped from an unscrupulous Italian comic-book legal.

It’s a task that Denaro, 58, was born to play. His father, a high-ranking mafioso, handed him over to Riina for a bloody apprenticeship that started round his 18th birthday. Denaro rapidly established himself as a dependable foot soldier with a penchant for homicide. “Riina liked him,” mentioned d’Haese. “Denaro was informed to kill and he killed.”

The documentary claims that Denaro brags about having “killed sufficient folks to fill a small cemetery.” Amongst his victims: the younger boy of a turncoat who appeared poised to testify towards the mob, and a lodge supervisor with a watch for a girl whom Denaro fancied. He even had a hand in murdering a pair of anti-Mafia judges. As one in all them drove dwelling from an airport in Sicily, a stretch of freeway was blown up beneath him. The job was mentioned to have taken 1,100 to 2,000 kilos of explosives.

With a scary fame that retains folks in line — when authorities arrested Denaro’s girlfriend and sister, they each did their time and stayed mum about Diabolik — he’s mentioned to masterfully handle a core mob enterprise. The UK Day by day Mirror describes Denaro because the mastermind of heroin and cocaine importation into Europe from South America.

A computer rendition (right) of what Italian mafia fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro may look like in recent years, as compared to an old photo taken of him, July 4, 2011.
A pc rendition (proper) of what Italian mafia fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro might appear to be lately, as in comparison with an outdated picture taken of him, July 4, 2011.REUTERS

He’s additionally muscled his method into legit industries resembling inexperienced ­vitality and on-line playing, each of which he’s used to earn income and launder soiled cash.

Just a few years in the past, in keeping with d’Haese, a choose tried to show that Denaro owns a Sicilian chain of supermarkets. “Some folks say he creates jobs by working legit companies,” mentioned the documentary director. “However Denaro has an excessive amount of blood on his fingers to be legit.”

For all of Denaro’s cash and energy and fearsomeness, is he residing just like the wealthy and well-known? Is it good to be a kingpin? “Folks say he doesn’t have a great life,” d’Haese informed The Publish. “They suppose he’s on a small farm, hiding and frightened. He can not have a great life as a result of so many individuals are after him.”

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American model of ‘Eurovision’ contest coming to US in 2021




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Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams is probably not competing, however an American model of the wildly-popular “Eurovision” singing competitors is coming to the USA in 2021.

One of many world’s most-watched singing contest — and topic of the brand new Netflix comedy, “Eurovision” — has introduced that “The American Music Contest” will happen throughout 2021’s vacation season reviews CNN.

And though Eurovision itself was canceled this 12 months as a result of coronavirus pandemic, officers mentioned they can even convey again the competitors subsequent 12 months.

“The Eurovision Music Contest’s distinctive legacy dates again 65 years and its worldwide recognition remains to be rising,” mentioned Government Supervisor, Martin Österdahl.

“It’s time for America to expertise this spectacle, by way of its sister competitors, the American Music Contest,” Österdahl mentioned.

“Love of music is common and celebration of music in several genres and types can transcend boundaries and unite folks,” he mentioned.

“We’re excited to have discovered the correct companions to supply one other collection that our followers throughout the globe can fall in love with and to share this distinctive competitors with the American folks.”

Within the American contest, state winners will compete in a collection of qualifier competitions, “resulting in Semi-Finals and the last word primetime Grand Finale,” the Eurovision web site mentioned.

Competing acts will vary from solo artists to bands with not more than six members, officers mentioned. Judges shall be US-based artists from a variety of musical genres.

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Lorenzo Soria, president of Hollywood International Press Affiliation, lifeless at 68




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Lorenzo Soria, the president of the Hollywood International Press Affiliation — which runs the Golden Globe Awards — died Friday at his Los Angeles house, a member of the family informed Selection.

A reason for dying was not disclosed, the outlet reported.

The Argentina-born Soria was half-way by way of his newest three-year time period as president; he had served two earlier phrases as president.

“In his position working the HFPA, Soria would usually seem on the Globes broadcast, welcoming friends, and was a fixture on the early-morning nomination bulletins,” Selection famous.

Colleagues admired him for his humility, grace and kindness.

“Lorenzo was a beloved member of the leisure business and the Hollywood group and shall be sorely missed,” the HFPA stated in an announcement.

His household stated in an announcement, “His passing is a deep loss for us and for all who knew him and who have been blessed by his generosity, ardour and humorousness.”

“He was deeply dedicated to the film business’s energy to heal the world and shine a highlight on injustice. His contributions and friendship have been immense; he was a fighter whom we cherished deeply.”

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