Friday May 26
Written by Ben Pogany
1) Will Ferrell (1995 - 2002) 
Signature sketches: Celebrity Jeopardy, More Cowbell, W. Bush, James Lipton, Harry Carry, Robert Goulet, The Lovers.      SNL Rating: 10
Extracurriculars: Anchorman, Old School, Funny or Die.      Post SNL Rating: 9.5
Total Score: 19.5


2) Eddie Murphy (1980 - 1984)
Signature sketches: Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, White Like Me, Buckwheat, Gumby, Prose and Cons, Stevie Wonder, John David Stutts, James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party.        SNL Rating: 9.6
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America.      Post SNL Rating: 9.3
Total Score: 18.9

3) John Belushi (1975 - 1979)
Signature sketches: Samurai Futaba, Blues Brothers, Olympia Restaurant, Joe Cocker, The Singing Bee.      SNL Rating: 9.2
Extracurriculars: Animal House, Blues Brothers.   Post SNL Rating:  7.2
Total Score: 16.4

4) Phil Hartman (1986 - 1994) 
Signature sketches: Bill Clinton, The Anal Retentive Chef, The Sinatra Group, Ronald Reagan, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. SNL Rating: 9.7
Extracurriculars: NewsRadio, The Simpsons.     Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 16.3

5) Bill Murray (1977 - 1980) 
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Nick the Lounge Singer.        SNL Rating: 7.4
Extracurriculars: Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation.       Post SNL Rating:  8.5
Total Score: 15.9

6) Chris Farley (1990 - 1995) 
Signature sketches: The Chris Farley Show, Matt Foley Motivational Speaker, The Chippendales Audition, Bill Swerkski's Super Fans, Bennett Brauer, El Niño, Schmitts Gay Beer.         SNL Rating: 9.6
Extracurriculars: Tommy Boy, Black Sheep.       Post SNL Rating: 6.2
Total Score: 15.8


7) Dan Aykroyd (1975 - 1979) 
Signature sketches: Blues Brothers,  Irwin Mainway, Beldar Conehead, Fred Garvin, Bass-O-Matic, Julia Child, and One Wild and Crazy Guy.        SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: Ghostbusters, Coneheads, Blues Brothers. Post SNL Rating:  7.3
Total Score: 15.6

8) Adam Sandler (1991 - 1995)  
Signature sketches: Opera ManThe Hanukkah SongCanteen BoySchmitts Gay Beer.      SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Happy Madison Films.       Post SNL Rating: 8.4
Total Score: 15.4

9) Chevy Chase (1975 - 1976)  Also a 9-time host, the most of any former cast member.
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Gerald Ford, Land Shark.       SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: National Lampoon, Caddyshack, Fletch, Community.        Post SNL Rating: 8
Total Score: 15

10) Tina Fey
(2000 - 2006) 
Signature sketches: Head Writer, Sarah Palin, Weekend Update.        SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Mean Girls. Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 14.7

11) Dana Carvey (1986 - 1993) 
Signature sketches: Church Lady, Garth Alger, Hanz, The Grumpy Old Man, Chopping Broccili, Bush I.     SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: The Dana Carvey Show, Wayne's World.       Post SNL Rating:  5.8
Total Score: 14.1

12) Seth Meyers (2001 - 2014)  
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Head Writer.   SNL Rating: 7.8
Extracurriculars: Late Night With Seth Myers, The Awesomes.     Post SNL Rating: 6
Total Score: 13.8

13) Mike Myers (1989 - 1995) 
Signature sketches: Wayne Campbell, Sprockets, Coffee Talk.        SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: Austin Powers Trilogy, Shrek Quadrilogy, Wayne's World.       Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 13.7

14) Kristen Wiig (2005-2012) 
Signature sketches: The Target Lady, Kat, Penelope, Michele Bachmann.      SNL Rating: 8
Extracurriculars: Bridesmaids, MacGruber.       Post SNL Rating: 5.6
Total Score: 13.6

15) Chris Rock (1990 - 1993)  
Signature sketches: The Dark Side With Nat X, I'm Chillin'.      SNL Rating: 4.4
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Everybody Hates Chris, The Chris Rock Show.   Post SNL Rating:  9.1
Total Score: 13.5

16) Jane Curtin (1975 - 1980) 
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Pymaat Conehead.       SNL Rating: 6.7
Extracurriculars: Kate & Alley, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Coneheads.     Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 13.3

17) Amy Poehler (2001 - 2008) 
Signature sketches: Weekend Update.       SNL Rating: 6.8
Extracurriculars: Parks and Rec, Baby Mama.     Post SNL Rating: 6.4
Total Score: 13.2

18) Al Franken (1977 - 1980, 1985 – 1986, 1988 – 1995) 
Signature sketches: Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley, Prolific writer.      SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: US Senator, Author, Radio commentator.     Post SNL Rating: 7
Total Score: 13

19) Jimmy Fallon (1998 - 2004)  
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Barry GibbSully and Denise.       SNL Rating: 4.6
Extracurriculars: The Tonight Show, The Jimmy Fallon Show. Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 12.8

20) Andy Samberg (2005 -2012)  
Signature sketches: Lazy SundayDick in a BoxMother Lover, I'm On a Boat, Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals.      SNL Rating: 7.5
Extracurriculars: Brooklyn Nine-Nine.     Post SNL Rating: 5
Total Score: 12.5

21) Tracy Morgan (1996 - 2003) 
Signature sketches: Brian Fellow's Safari Planet, Uncle Jemima, Star Jones, Woodrow the Homeless Man.     SNL Rating: 6.6
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Stand-up, The Tracy Morgan Show. Post SNL Rating: 5.5
Total Score: 12.1


22) Norm Macdonald (1993 - 1998) 
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Burt Reynolds, Bob Dole, Stan Hooper.    SNL Rating:  6.7
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Dirty Work, The Norm Show.    Post SNL Rating: 5
Total Score: 11.7

23) Darrell Hammond (1995 - 2009)  His fourteen seasons is by far the longest running tenure in the history of the show. 
Signature sketches: Sean Connery, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Al Gore, John McCain, Dick Cheney.       SNL Rating: 9
Extracurriculars: Assorted bit roles       Post SNL Rating: 1
Total Score: 10

24) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982 - 1985)
Signature sketches: Televangelist April May June, Consuela, Weather Woman.      SNL Rating: 1.5
Extracurriculars: Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine.      Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 9.7

25) Molly Shannon
(1995 - 2001) 
Signature sketches: Mary Katherine Gallagher, Schweddy Balls, Sally O'Malley.       SNL Rating: 6.9
Extracurriculars: Superstar!, Assorted bit roles.          Post SNL Rating: 2.2
Total Score: 9.1

26) Gilda Radner (1975 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Roseanne RosannadannaEmily LitellaBaba Wawa.      SNL Rating: 7.5
Extracurriculars: Gilda Radner - Live From New York.                Post SNL Rating: 1.5
Total Score: 9.0

27) Kevin Nealon (1986 - 1995) 
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Franz, Mr. Subliminal.       SNL Rating: 6.2
Extracurriculars: Weeds, Adam Sandler movies.      Post SNL Rating: 2.3
Total Score: 8.5

28) Jon Lovitz
(1985 - 1990) 
Signature sketches: Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar, Harvey Fierstein, Master Thespian, Hanukkah Harry.     SNL Rating: 4.7
Extracurriculars: The Client, Newsradio, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club.     Post SNL Rating: 3.7
Total Score: 8.4

29) David Spade
(1990 - 1996) 
Signature sketches: Hollywood Minute, Buh-bye guy.      SNL Rating: 4
Extracurriculars: Just Shoot Me!, Tommy Boy, Rules of Engagement.    Post SNL Rating: 4.3
Total Score: 8.3

30) Garrett Morris
(1975 - 1980) 
Signature sketches: Chico Escuela, News For the Hard of Hearing Translator.         SNL Rating:  4.5
Extracurriculars: The Jamie Foxx Show, 2 Broke Girls, The Downtown Comedy Club. Post SNL Rating:  2.8
Total Score: 7.3


Honorable Mentions:   Tim Meadows (1991 - 2000), Ana Gasteyer (1996 - 2002), Jim Breuer (1995 - 1998), Chris Kattan (1996 - 2003), Joe Piscopo (1980 - 1984), Jason Sudeikis (2005 - 2013), Martin Short (1984 - 1985), Fred Armisen (2002 - 2013), Harry Shearer (1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985), Chris Parnell (1998 - 2006), Rachel Dratch (1999 - 2006), Cheri Oteri (1995 - 2000), Dennis Miller (1985 - 1991), Horatio Sanz (1998 - 2006), Will Forte (2002 - 2010), Bill Hader (2005 - 2013), Jan Hooks (1986 - 1991), and Kenan Thompson (2003 - present).

Host Hall of Fame: Steve Martin (15 appearances), Alec Baldwin (16), John Goodman (12), Buck Henry (10), Tom Hanks (8), Christopher Walken (7) and Justin Timberlake (5).

Flashes in the Pan Who Went On To Bigger Things: Conan O'Brien (writer, 1987-1991), Robert Downey Jr (1985–1986), Billy Crystal (1984-1985), Steven Colbert (writer, voice in Ace in the Ambiguously Gay Duo), Steve Carell (voice of Gary in The Ambiguously Gay Duo), Christopher Guest (1984-1985), Michael McKean (1994-1995), Sarah Silverman (1993-1994), Chris Elliott (1994-1995), Joan Cusack (1985-1986), Gilbert Gottfried (1980-1981), Randy Quaid (1985-1986).

Written by Ben Pogany
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1) The Notorious BIG- Ready to Die -(1994) Around the years '87-'88, a young crack dealer named Christopher Wallace began entertaining local passersby by rapping into a beat-up amp on the street corners around Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  Six years later, he was the biggest rapper in the world.  Three years after that, he was dead.   During the short flash that was his career, only one album was to be released, a top-to-bottom classic with the eerily prophetic title 'Ready to Die'.  This album has it all.  Sick beats, brilliant lyrics, crazy flows, and that intoxicating voice of Biggie Smalls.  Key Tracks: Warning, Juicy, Ready to Die.

2)  Nas- Illmatic --(1994) Five months prior to Ready to Die, this 20-year-old Queensbridge native paired with producers Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip and burst onto the scene with what would be his masterpiece. Calling the album Illmatic after his incarcerated friend Illmatic Ice, Nas originally wanted the cover to feature himself with Jesus in a headlock. Key Tracks: N.Y. State of Mind, Life's a Bitch, One Love.

3) Dr. Dre- The Chronic --(1992) Fresh off of his split with supergroup NWA, Dre took it solo and ended up creating perhaps the best produced rap album of all time. The Chronic would introduce Parliament-laced G-funk to the mainstream and made Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg stars before they'd ever even released albums of their own. Key Tracks: Nuthin' but a "G" Thang, F*ck wit Dre Day, Let Me Ride.

4)  Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt --(1996) In 1996, Jay-Z blew audiences away with his debut effort and first release on label Roc-A-Fella records.  Sean Carter had been known as "Jazzy", a nickname that developed into his stage name Jay-Z as an homage to his musical mentor Jaz-O and to the J-Z subway lines that stop by Marcy Avenue.  Jaz-O had given Jay-Z his first break by recruiting him on the 1989 song "Hawaiian Sophie."  Two decades later, Jigga is a true hip hop tycoon.  Key Tracks: Dead Presidents, Brooklyn's Finest, Can't Knock the Hustle.

5)  Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back --(1988) Channeling the black anger and urban tension so in need of an outlet, Nation of Millions was one of the first truly socially conscious hip hop albums. Key Tracks: Bring the Noise, Don't Believe the Hype, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos.

6)  The Wu-Tang Clan- Enter The Wu-Tang Clan - 36 Chambers --(1993)  In 1993, Ghostface Killah and RZA decided to create a hip hop group whose ethos would be a blend of "Eastern philosophy picked up from kung-fu movies, watered-down Nation of Islam preaching picked up on the New York streets, and comic books."  Recruiting the best rappers they could find, RZA set out to produce an album layered with eerie beats, martial-arts movie clips and soul music samples.  To decide who appeared on each song, he forced the Wu-Tang rappers to battle with each other.  The album's title originates from the 1978 martial arts film 'The 36th Chamber of Shaolin'.  Key Tracks: C.R.E.A.M, Protect Ya Neck, Bring Da Ruckus.

7) NWA- Straight Outta Compton --(1988) This debut studio album pioneered gangsta rap and scared a whole lotta white people in the process. Instrumental in shifting power to the West Coast, Straight Outta Compton became the first album to reach platinum status without any airplay support or major tours. Key Tracks: Straight Outta Compton, Express Yourself, F*ck The Police.

8)  A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory --(1991) Fusing hip hop and jazz, childhood friends Q-Tip and Phife Dawg and high school mate Ali Shaheed Muhammad created an unique brand of intelligent, socially conscious music.  Low End features contributions from jazz great Ron Carter on upright bass. Key Tracks: Excursions, Jazz (We've Got), Scenario.

9)  Snoop Doggy Dogg- Doggystyle --(1993) Following the success of The Chronic, Doggystyle debuted at number one and sold over 800,000 copies in its first week, the record for a new artist. Key Tracks: Gin and Juice, Who Am I (Whats My Name)?, Lodi Dodi.

10)  Raekwon- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx --(1995) Raekwon brought producer RZA and Ghostface Killah along for his solo debut, an album widely regarded as the pioneer of Mafioso rap, a genre later perfected by Biggie and Jay-Z (It was also the first hip hop album to name drop Cristal). It's title suggests that the music was as tough as Cuban link chain jewelry.  Key Tracks: Criminology, Glaciers of Ice, Rainy Dayz.

11) Outkast- Aquemini --
(1998) Outcast's third studio album took its name from a combination of the duo's astrological signs (Aquarius for Big Boi and Gemini for André 3000). The synthesizer-laden, distinctively Atlanta sounding record took only 2 months to go platinum. Key Tracks: SpottieOttieDopaliscious, Rosa Parks, Return of the "G".

12)  The Fugees-The Score --(1996) The second and final album of super-group Wycelf Jean, Lauren Hill and Pras. 18 million sold. Key Tracks: Killing Me Softy, Fu-Gee-La, Ready or Not.

13)  2Pac- All Eyez On Me --(1996) All Eyez was released after Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records and baddest mofo on planet earth, bailed 2Pac out of jail in exchange for signing to his label.  Arriving in studio to begin work hours after being released, Pac would lay down what would become his crowning achievement.  Key Tracks: 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted, California Love, Ambitionz Az a Ridah.

14)  Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force- Planet Rock: The Album--(1986)  Respectfully known as the "Grandfather" for his monumental impact on the early development of hip hop, Bambaataa recently became one of the first hop hop artists to be nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Representing Zulu Nation, he released the seminal Planet Rock over two decades ago as a collection of previous singles that had up until then never appeared on an album.  Key Tracks: Planet Rock, Looking For the Perfect Beat, Renegades of Funk. 

15)  Boogie Down Productions
-Criminal Minded --(1987) With Criminal Minded, KRS-One and BDP laid the groundwork for gangsta rap, as it was the first album to feature gun-toting MCs on its cover and crime narratives within its tracks. Their hardcore lyrics would become all too real after DJ Scott La Rock was shot and killed a mere five months after this seminal release.  Key Tracks: The Bridge is Over, Criminal Minded, South Bronx.

16)  Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five-
The Message --(1982) Releasing their debut album on upstart Sugarhill Records, DJ Grandmaster Flash and MCs Melle Mel, Kidd Creole, Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio, and Rahiem essentially wrote the rule book on turntablism, break-beat deejaying, and rapping.  The title track was the first hip hop song to integrate socially and politically conscious lyrics. Key Tracks: The Message, Scorpio, She's Nasty.

17)  Eric B. & Rakim-Paid In Full ---(1987) After Rakim responded to Eric B.'s search for "New York's top MC," the duo got to work after Rakim's friend and roommate Marley Marl permitted them use of his home studio.  They would end up creating one of the most influential rap albums ever for its use of samples, internal rhyme, complex lyricism, and laid back flow.  Key Tracks: Eric B. Is President, I Know You Got Soul, Paid in Full.

18) Dr. Dre-Chronic 2001
--(2001) Almost a decade after releasing his landmark album The Chronic, Dre took back to the studio to begin work on his long-anticipated follow up.  Dre did not mince words about his motivations: "For the last couple of years, there's been a lot of talk out on the streets about whether or not I can still hold my own, whether or not I'm still good at producing. That was the ultimate motivation for me. Magazines, word of mouth and rap tabloids were saying I didn't have it any more. What more do I need to do? How many platinum records have I made? O.K., here's the album -- now what do you have to say?"  Point made...    Key Tracks: Forgot About Dre, The Next Episode, What's The Difference. 

19)  The Notorious BIG-Life After Death
--(1997)-This double album released posthumously featured guest artists 112, Jay-Z, Lil Kim, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, R. Kelly, The LOX, Kelly Price, and Puff Daddy.  Considered a seminal mafioso rap album, it is one of three hip hop albums to ever be certified diamond (10 million US sold). Key Tracks: Notorious Thugs, Hypnotize, Ten Crack Commandments.

20) Run D.M.C.- Run DMC--(1984) Run DMC's debut effort was the first hip-hop album to ever receive a 5-mic rating from The Source. Key Tracks: Rock Box, It's Like That, Sucker M.C.'s

21)  Beastie Boys-
Licensed To Ill ---(1986)-Some fast facts: It is the first rap LP to top the Billboard 200 chart.  It is Columbia Records' fastest selling debut record to date.  Kerry King of Slayer made an appearance on the album playing lead guitar on "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn".  The '3MTA3' on the cover image of the plane spells 'EATME' when viewed in a mirror.  The original title for the album was Don't Be a Faggot but Columbia Records refused to release the album and pressured Russell Simmons into having the Beastie Boys to come up with another name.  Key Tracks: Fight for Your Right, No Sleep Til Brooklyn, She's Crafty.

22) 2Pac- Me Against The World --(1995) Recorded in a matter of weeks before Pac was to go to prison on sexual assault charges, MATW would make the embattled rapper the first and only artist to ever have a number one album while serving a prison sentence. Key Tracks: Dear Mama, Me Against the World, Outlaw.

23)
Eminem- The Marshall Mathers LP --(2000) Em's third studio album was gritty, angry, and brutally honest, lashing out against critics and illustrating the troubles that his new found fame had induced. The album sold more than 1.79 million copies in its first week in the US alone, making it the fastest selling solo album ever. Key Tracks: Stan, The Way I Am, The Real Slim Shady?

24)  Ice Cube-
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted --(1990) Primarily produced by The Bomb Squad, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted made use of several tracks Cube had originally written for NWA before their acrimonious split. Taking on the American justice system, race relations, poverty, and drug addiction in South Central, L.A., Cube produced an instant classic that is as powerful today as it was two decades ago. Key Tracks: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Endangered Species, Who's the Mack?.

25)  Jay-Z- The Blueprint--Despite the bad fortune of being released on September 11, 2001, The Blueprint sold over 426,000 copies in its opening week, becoming Jay-Z's fourth consecutive album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 chart.  Produced by Kanye West and Just Blaze, it was reportedly cut in two weeks, with Jay-Z allegedly writing the lyrics in two days.  Key Tracks: Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Renegade, Girls, Girls, Girls.

26)  Big L- Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous --(1995) Like Biggie's Ready to Die, Lifestylez was the only studio album to be dropped prior to it's author's murder.  The tremendously underrated LP introduced up-and-comers Jay-Z and Cam'ron.  Key Tracks: Put It On, M.V.P., Street Struck.

27)  Mobb Deep- The Infamous...--(1995) This rap duo is the third act on this list to hail from Queensbridge. Key Tracks: Shook Ones Pt. II, Temperature's Rising, Survival of the Fittest.

28)  LL Cool J-
Radio --(1985) This first full length album release on Def Jam Records was primarily produced by co-founder Rick Rubin.  Key Tracks: I Can't Live Without My Radio, Rock the Bells, I Need a Beat.

29)  Outkast- ATLiens
--(1996) "It's deep. So deep that listening to 'ATLiens' you might feel like drowning, but the smooth vocals of Big Boi and the earthy flows of Andre always push you back up to the surface. They are players in the truest sense of the word; not just playing for ends but playing to win in the ultimate battle of life over death, good over bad, and righteousness over evil." --Steve Juon, RapReviews. Key Tracks: ATLiens, Wheelz of Steel, Two Dope Boyz (In a Cadillac).

30) Run DMC- Raising Hell --(1986) One of the most important rap albums ever for its success in taking the infant the genre mainstream, Raising Hell silenced critics who had deemed hip hop a passing fad.  It made its biggest mark with Walk This Way, a collaboration with Aerosmith that became the first hip hop video in heavy rotation on MTV.  Key Tracks: Its Tricky, Walk This Way, My Adidas.

31)  Bone Thugs N Harmony- E. Eternal 1999 --(1995) Released four months after executive producer Eazy-E's death, Eternal spawned the landmark single "Tha Crossroads", which won a Grammy, went double-platinum, and tied The Beatles' 32-year-old record (1964's "Can't Buy Me Love") for the fastest rising single on the pop charts. Key Tracks: The Crossroads, 1st of tha Month, East 1999.

32) Black Star- Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star- (1998) The sole album from this power duo, the hyper-intelligent Black Star moniker is a nod to the Black Star Line, an early 20th-century African-American shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey. Key Tracks: Definition, Brown Skin Lady, Respiration.

33)  Nas- Stillmatic --(2001) Nas harkened back to his Illmatic days with his fifth release, 2001's Stillmatic, which instantly earned the ever sought 5 mic rating from The Source.  Highlighting the achievement was Nas' bitter rebuke of Jay-Z with the "Ether", a scathing counterattack that portrayed his rival as both a plagiarist and sell-out.  Key Tracks: Got Ur Self A..., One Mic, Ether.

34)  GZA- Liquid Swords --(1995) GZA's second solo album is up alongside Cuban Linx as the best of the Wu-Tang solo efforts. Key Tracks: Duel of the Iron Mic, Liquid Swords, Shadowboxin'.

35)  Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill --(1998) After breaking out with The Fugees, Hill released her solo debut in 1998, a fusion of hip hop, soul, reggae, R&B, and gospel.  The album garnered ten nominations at the 41st Grammy Awards, winning five, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year.  Key Tracks: Doo Wop (That Thing), To Zion, Everything Is Everything.

36) Mos Def- Black On Both Sides --(1999) Mos Def's debut solo album post-Blackstar featured live instrumentation and socially-conscious lyrics. Key Tracks: Ms. Fat Booty, Brooklyn, Mathematics.

37)  Wu-Tang Clan- Wu-Tang Forever --(1997) The long-awaited follow-up to 36 Chambers, Forever showcased their trademark stream-of-consciousness style of rap.  Key Tracks: Triumph, Visionz, As High As Wu-Tang Get.

38)  Jay-Z- The Black Album --(2003) J's 8th studio album was promoted as his last, though he would obviously renege on that pronouncement not long after.  This epic has been mixed with everything from the Beatles and Grateful Dead to Linkin Park and Prince.  Key Tracks: What More Can I Say, Dirt off Your Shoulder, 99 Problems.

39)  Cypress Hill- Black Sunday --(1993) This stoner opus marked the first time a Latino group would go platinum.  They would later be banned from Saturday Night Live after Muggs smoked a joint on-air and the band trashed their instruments while playing their second single "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That".  Key Tracks: Insane In The Brain, Hits From The Bong, I Ain't Goin' Out Like That.

40)  Gang Starr- Moment of Truth
--(1998) The fifth studio album from DJ Premier and the late great Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), Moment of Truth was the high water mark within a brilliant, nearly two decade-long career.  Key Tracks: You Know My Steez, Brooklyn Trooper, Moment of Truth.

41)  De La Soul- 3 Feet High and Rising--(1989) Produced by Prince Paul, the album takes its title from a Johnny Cash song called "Five Feet High and Rising". Key Tracks: Me Myself and I, Buddy, Eye Know.

42)  Eminem- The Slim Shady LP --(1999)-For a kid in 6th grade, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard Eminem introduce himself to the world.  This was something unlike anybody I'd ever heard; raw, revealing, humorous, and at the same time brutally violent.  The album erupted a firestorm of opposition, as parental groups balked at lyrics that discussed everything from drugging a fifteen-year-old girl to disposing of Em's dead wife's corpse.  Key Tracks: Guilty Conscience, My Name Is, '97 Bonnie & Clyde.

43) Beastie Boys- Paul's Boutique --(1989) Incorporating production by the Dust Brothers, the album makes use of samples from 105 different songs.  The sampling was uncleared, which was one of the last albums to do so before the landmark Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc. case against Biz Markie that forced artists to obtain the rights to any song from which they sampled.  Key Tracks: Hey Ladies, Shake Your Rump, The Sounds of Science.

44) Big Pun-Capital Punishment--(1998) As The Source put it, "Capital Punishment is all about execution."  To be sure, Pun positively killed it in this debut effort, his spitfire rhyming skills asserting him as one of the most promising figures in hip hop before a heart attack killed him just two short years later. Key Tracks: Still Not a Player, Twinz (Deep Cover 98), You Came Up.

45)  EPMD- Strictly Business --(1988) This landmark effort from Eric Sermon and Parish Smith unearthed samples from within a genre to which few other rappers of the era were paying much attention.  Contained within its tracks are cuts from ZZ Top, Steve Miller Band, and Eric Clapton.   Key Tracks: It's My Thing, Strictly Business, You Gots to Chill.

46)  The Roots-
Things Fall Apart --(1999) The Roots' fourth studio offering turned out to be their commercial breakthrough.  During recording, the group laid down an astonishing 145 songs, which they later whittled down to the 14 that appear on the album.  Key Tracks: Adrenaline!, The Next Movement, Act Too (The Love of My Life).

47) Wyclef Jean- The Carnival --(1997) Wyclef kicked off his solo debut with an electric record that combined hip hop, reggae, folk, disco, soul, Son Cubano and Haitian music.  As a tribute to his homeland, the final three songs are sung in Haitian Creole.  Key Tracks: Gone Till November, We Trying to Stay Alive, Guantanamera

48)  Jurassic 5- Quality Control-- (2000) The major label debut of Chali 2na and company played a central role in the development of the alternative rap scene that was burgeoning around the turn of the century. Key Tracks: Quality Control, The Influence, World of Entertainment (W.O.E. is Me)

49)
Puff Daddy & the Family- No Way Out --(1997) Originally titled 'Hell Up In Harlem' until the The Notorious B.I.G.'s death, the album topped the album charts in the US with 561,000 units sold in its first week of release. It would go on to win the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Key Tracks: Victory, Been Around the World, It's All about the Benjamins.

50)  Busta Rhymes- When Disaster Strikes... --(1997) Busta's second solo effort reached #3 on the Billboard 200.  Key Tracks: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See, Dangerous, Turn It Up.


Honorable Mentions:

Pete Rock and CL Smooth- Mecca and the Soul Brother, Method Man-Tical, Outcast-Stankonia, Nas-I Am..., LL Cool J-Mama Said Knock You Out, Beastie Boys-Check Your Head, Notorious BIG-Born Again, Run DMC-King Of Rock, Ice T-O.G. Original Gangster, Missy Eliot-Supa Dupa Fly, A Tribe Called Quest-Midnight Marauders, Salt N Pepa- Blacks Magic, Kurtis Blow-Kurtis Blow, Big Daddy Kane-Its a Big Daddy Thing, Eric B. & Rakim-Follow the Leader, Gang Starr-Daily Operation, Common-Like Water for Chocolate, KRS One-KRS One, Kanye West-The College Dropout, 50 Cent-Get Rich or Die Tryin', Eminem- The Eminem Show, Nas-It Was Written, Public Enemy-Fear of A Black Planet, DMX- Its Dark and Hell is Hot.

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Written by Ben Pogany
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1) Stephen Colbert (1997-2005)
Even Stephven, This Week In God, The Jobbing of America
Extracurriculars: The Colbert Report, The Late Show

2) Steve Carell (1999-2005)
Even Stephven, Produce Pete, Dollars and "Cents, We Love Showbiz, Slimmin' Down With Steve, Ad Nauseam
Extracurriculars: The Office, Anchorman, Foxcatcher, The 40 Year Old Virgin

3) Jon Oliver (2006-2013)
Senior British Person; Wilmore-Oliver Investigates, Interim host
Extracurriculars: Last Week Tonight

4) Samantha Bee (2003-2015)
Extracurriculars: Full Frontal

5) Larry Wilmore (2006-2014)
Senior Black Correspondent, Wilmore-Oliver Investigates
Extracurriculars: The Nightly Show

6) Ed Helms (2002-2006)
Digital Watch, Ad Nauseam, Mark Your Calendar, We Love Showbiz
Extracurriculars: The Hangover, The Office

7) Jason Jones (2005-2015)

8) Jessica Williams (2012-2016)

9) Lewis Black (1996-2015)
Back in Black
Extracurriculars: Standup, Root of all Evil, Inside Out

10) John Hodgeman (2006-2015)
Resident Expert, Deranged Millionaire, You're Welcome, Exper-teasers ; Money Talks
Extracurriculars: Author, Mac Commercials, The Knick

11) Aasif Mandvi (2006-2015)
Senior Middle East Correspondent

12) Wyatt Cenac (2008-2012)
Extracurriculars: Standup

13) Rob Riggle (2006-2008)
Senior Military Affairs Correspondent
Extracurriculars: Step Brothers, 21 Jump Street

14) Rob Corddry (2002-2006)
Extracurriculars: Anchorman, Hot Tub Time Machine

15) Mo Rocca (1998-2003)
Dollars and "Cents, Mark Your Calendar, Mopinion.
Extracurriculars: CBS Sunday Morning, I Love the 70's/80's, My Grandmother's Ravioli

16) Demetri Martin (2005-2008)
Trendspotting
Extracurriculars: Standup, Important Things with Demetri Martin

17) Al Madrigal (2011-2015)
Senior Latino Correspondent

18) Jordan Klepper (2014-Present)

19) Kristen Schaal (2008-2015)
Women's Issues Correspondent
Extracurriculars: Flight of the Conchords

20) Beth Littleford (1996-2000)
The Beth Littleford Interview
To be sure, ESPN doesn't always go about things perfectly (see Tilt).  With 30 for 30, they nailed it.  The brainchild of "Sportsguy" Bill Simmons, the 30 for 30 series embarked on the tremendously ambitious undertaking of compiling 30 diverse directors to tell 30 diverse stories spanning the ESPN era.  Whether presenting often overlooked stories like the saga of Marcus Dupree in 'The Best that Never Was' or offering up fresh perspectives on widely known events like the OJ chase in ' July 17, 1994', 30 for 30 was a virtual crash course in a generation of sports history.  With a fresh round of docs under way, here is how they stack up so far from 'must see' to 'meh.'
  1. The Two Escobars by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist: The lives of soccer player Andrés Escobar and drug lord Pablo Escobar; the intertwining of crime and soccer in their native Colombia; and the connections between the murders of both men.
  2. The U by Billy Corben: The racial and cultural evolution of Miami during the 1980s as represented within the University of Miami football team.
  3. Once Brothers by NBA Entertainment: The story of Croatian Dražen Petrović and Serbian Vlade Divac, NBA players and Yugoslavian national teammates, and how upheaval in their homeland adversely and irretrievably affected their friendship.
  4. June 17, 1994 by Brett Morgen: Quick-cut archival montages capture the various sporting events on the day in question and the emotions they generated, with O. J. Simpson's run from the police overshadowing an NBA Finals game between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, the opening of the U.S.-hosted 1994 World Cup, the last-ever U.S. Open PGA tournament round for Arnold Palmer, Ken Griffey Jr. hitting another home run to add to his record-setting pace, and a parade in New York after the Rangers finally won the Stanley Cup.
  5. Bad Boys by Zak Levitt: A look back at the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
  6. Brothers in Exile by Mario Diaz and MLB Productions: The story of Liván and Orlando Hernández, half-brothers who fled Cuba separately and became successful major-league pitchers.
  7. The Best That Never Was by Jonathan Hock: The 1981 recruiting of high school football player Marcus Dupree by multiple big-time college programs, his resulting career, and how his recruitment changed the recruiting process.
  8. Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks by Dan Klores: The impact of Reggie Miller on the New York Knicks in the 1990s, specifically focusing on the 1995 NBA Playoffs and Miller's interaction with Knicks fan Spike Lee.
  9. You Don't Know Bo by Michael Bonfiglio: A profile of Bo Jackson and how his feats in two sports (baseball and football) captured the public's imagination and made Jackson a cultural and marketing icon.
  10. Survive and Advance by Jonathan Hock: A look at the 1982-83 NC State Wolfpack men's basketball team's successful and improbable championship runs through the ACC and the NCAA tournaments.
  11. Unguarded by Johnathan Hock: The story of Chris Herren, a high school basketball star who played in the NBA, struggled with drug abuse his entire career and ultimately, found redemption and personal fulfillment through the game.
  12. The Fab Five by Jason Hehir: The story of the 1991 Michigan men's basketball recruiting class, called the Fab Five, one of whom (Chris Webber) was later involved in a notorious pay-for-play scandal.
  13. Catching Hell by Alex Gibney: The relationship between Chicago Cubs fans and Steve Bartman following Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series
  14. The 16th Man by Clifford Bestall, Lori McCreary, and Morgan Freeman: How hosting (and winning) the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Nelson Mandela's support of the Springboks national team affected post-apartheid South Africa.
  15. The Band that Wouldn't Die by Barry Levinson: A profile of Baltimore's love affair with football and the Colts, focusing on the Colts Marching Band. After the Colts decamped for Indianapolis in 1984, the band remained in Baltimore and helped promote the eventual return of the NFL to the city.
  16. Fantastic Lies by Marina Zenovich: A 10-year retrospective of the Duke lacrosse case, in which a party thrown by members of the school's men's lacrosse team led to an accusation of rape — a claim that, though later proven to be false, ignited both a firestorm that damaged the school's prestige and an investigation that ruined careers.
  17. The Price of Gold by Nanette Burstein: A profile of a January 6, 1994 incident at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where an unknown attacker strikes entrant Nancy Kerrigan – an assailant that is later revealed to be a hit man hired by the ex-husband of Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, as part of a plan to prevent Kerrigan from competing in the 1994 Winter Olympics. The Price of Gold originally went by the title Tonya and Nancy during production.
  18. I Hate Christian Laettner by Rory Karpf: A look at the life and basketball career of Christian Laettner and the intense dislikesome fans still harbor for the former Duke University and NBA star.
  19. This Magic Moment by Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby: Examining the Orlando Magic teams of the mid-1990s with Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, who not only ruled the NBA, but pop culture as well.
  20. Chasing Tyson by Steven Cantor: A look at how Evander Holyfield spent years (1989-91 & 1995-96) trying to arrange his first fight with Mike Tyson in an effort to gain the respect he knew he could only gain by defeating Tyson in the ring.
  21. 9.79* by Daniel Gordon: The 100-meter men's final at the 1988 Seoul Games was the first to feature four runners under 10 seconds. Within 48 hours, gold medalist Ben Johnson had tested positive for anabolic steroids and scandal trumped thrilling as the way to describe the race. More than two decades later, others from that race have been proven as performance drug abusers, and "the dirtiest race in history" still haunts the eight men who took part. The film looks at whatbrought the men to the starting line and what happened to them since.
  22. Elway to Marino by Ken Rodgers and NFL Films: A look at the six quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft.
  23. Youngstown Boys by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist: The stories of two Ohio State football figures connected with Youngstown, Ohio—running back Maurice Clarett, a native, and coach Jim Tressel, former head coach at Youngstown State University—exploring their football exploits at Ohio State, including a national championship in 2002, and their scandalous exits from the school.
  24. Sole Man by Jon Weinbach and Dan Marks: A profile of Sonny Vaccaro, who rose from steel town roots in Pennsylvania to become an influential force in both basketball and the athletic shoe industry.
  25. Four Falls of Buffalo by Ken Rodgers: A profile of the Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990s, when the franchise became the first team to play in — and lose — four consecutive Super Bowls.
  26. King's Ransom by Peter Berg: The 1988 trade of Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings and the effect it had on Gretzky, the fans in Edmonton, and the popularity of hockey in Southern California.
  27. Pony Express by Thaddeus D. Matula: The rise, fall, and rebirth of the SMU Mustangs football program, which received a 2-year "death penalty" for major infractions.
  28. Without Bias by Kirk Fraser: The death of Len Bias from a cocaine-induced heart attack, two days after Boston selected him in the 1986 NBA Draft, and its impact on casual drug use, especially by the sports community.
  29. Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? by Mike Tollin: Fresh interviews and archival footage track the life and demise of the United States Football League in the mid 1980s.
  30. The U Part 2 by Billy Corben:  A sequel to The U profiles the Miami Hurricanes football program and its rise from scandal (and calls for the school to drop the sport) to a national championship, only to see new controversy after booster Nevin Shapiro is revealed to have given improper benefits to the program.
  31. Of Miracles and Men by Jonathan Hock: An exploration of the Miracle on Ice from the point of view of the defeated Soviet Union team.
  32. Believeland by Andy Billman: The film explores the Cleveland sports curse since the Cleveland Browns last brought a major pro sports world championship to Cleveland, beating the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game.
  33. Muhammad and Larry by Albert Maysles: A look at the October 1980 Muhammad Ali-Larry Holmes fight and its impact on both fighters, featuring fresh interviews with participants and previously unseen lead-up footage from both fighters' camps.
  34. Playing for the Mob by Joe Lavine and Cayman Grant: How Mafia associate Henry Hill orchestrated a point-shaving scheme involving Boston College basketball. Narrated by Ray Liotta, who portrayed Hill in Goodfellas.
  35. No Mas by Eric Drath: An inside look at the two boxing matches between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran in the 1980s, with the help of boxing experts, family members and the two fighters themselves.
  36. When The Garden Was Eden by Michael Rapaport: A look back at the New York Knicks' championship teams of the 1970s.
  37. The Prince of Pennsylvania by Jesse Vile: An exploration of the turbulent relationship between Olympic wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz and their eccentric benefactor, John du Pont, culminating in the murder of Dave by du Pont.
  38. The Announcement by Nelson George: The events and aftermath of former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson announcing he tested positive for HIV to the world.
  39. Big Shot by Kevin Connolly: The story of how young businessman John Spano struck a deal to purchase the New York Islanders in 1996, only to be later revealed as a fraud and being near financial insolvency.
  40. The Legend of Jimmy the Greek by Fritz Mitchell: The life of Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, from his career as a Las Vegas bookmaker to his tenure on The NFL Today, from which he was fired in 1988.
  41. Requiem for the Big East by Ezra Edelman: A recollection of the original Big East Conference, from its simple beginnings and regional rivalries to its national prominence as one of the most successful college basketball leagues, and how it ended up fighting for its survival in the 2010s during conference realignment.
  42. The '85 Bears by Jason Hehir: A 30-year retrospective on the 1985 Chicago Bears, from how they were assembled to their swaggering, dominant run to Super Bowl victory.
  43. Broke by Billy Corben: Exploring the road to fortune in sports and the eventual detours to bankruptcy, as experienced by top athletes including Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison, Keith McCants, and Cliff Floyd.
  44. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau by Sam George: Chronicling the life of big wave surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau, whose tragic death served as inspiration to an entire spiritual movement.
  45. Free Spirits by Daniel H. Forer: The story of the colorful figures who made up the American Basketball Association's Spirits of St. Louis, and how Spirits owners Daniel and Ozzie Silna, with their team about to be left out in the ABA's merger with the NBA, managed to negotiate a deal that has allowed the brothers' involvement in pro basketball to continue to exist in a most unusual fashion.
  46. The Dotted Line by Morgan Spurlock: Sports agents Peter Greenberg and Eugene Lee are profiled with their clients Johan Santana, Jacquian Williams and Robert Hughes.
  47. The Real Rocky by Jeff Feuerzeig: A profile of Chuck Wepner, the original inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa. Wepner was left out of the “Rocky” glory, and his career took turn after strange turn as he worked to stay in the spotlight: he went on to fight Andre the Giant as “The Assassin” and twice boxed a 900 pound bear.
  48. Run Ricky Run by Sean Pamphilon and Royce Toni: A profile of Ricky Williams focuses on his brief 2004 departure from the NFL, when he sought self-redemption amidst media criticism and fresh rumors of marijuana use.
  49. Into the Wind by Steve Nash and Ezra Holland: Terry Fox's attempt to run across Canada in support of fundraising for cancer research captures the attention of his fellow Canadians and the world.
  50. Fernando Nation by Cruz Angeles: The euphoria created by Fernando Valenzuela's 1981 arrival with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  51. Trojan War by Aaron Rahsaan Thomas: A profile of the rise and fall of USC Trojans football during Pete Carroll's coaching tenure in the 2000s.
  52. Brian and The Boz by Thaddeus D. Matula: The rise, fall, and post-football life of Brian Bosworth.
  53. The Day The Series Stopped by Ryan Fleck: A 25-year retrospective of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck just before the scheduled start of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.
  54. Benji by Coodie and Chike: In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a beloved, sweet-natured youngster from the city's fabled South Side, and America's most talented basketball prospect. His senseless murder the day before his senior season sent ripples through Chicago and the nation.
  55. Roll Tide/War Eagle by Martin Khodabakhshian: The continuing rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Alabama. This is the story of the history between the two programs, the bad blood between its fans and how this intense rivalry came to a pinnacle, just when they ended up needing each other most.
  56. Tim Richmond: To the Limit by NASCAR Media Group and Rory Karpf: The career of NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, his flamboyant lifestyle, and his 1989 death from AIDS.
  57. Jordan Rides the Bus by Ron Shelton: Motivated by the dream his late father had for him, Michael Jordan retires from basketball and has a brief career in minor league baseball.
  58. Rand University by Marquis Daisy: An exploration of former NFL receiver Randy Moss and his humble (and humbling) origins in Rand, West Virginia.
  59. This Is What They Want by Brian Koppelman and David Levien:  The story of a 39-year-old Jimmy Connors and his unexpected and extraordinary underdog run at the 1991 U.S. Open, where he played as a wildcard entrant and reached the semifinals of the men's singles draw.
  60. Ghosts of Ole Miss by Fritz Mitchell: In 1962, the University of Mississippi campus erupted in violence over integration and swelled with pride over an unbeaten football team. Mississippi native Wright Thompson explores the tumultuous events that continue to shape the state 50 years later.
  61. Straight Outta L.A. by Ice Cube: The relationship between the Raiders and the minority fan base in Los Angeles during the team's 13 seasons in L.A. (1982-1994).
  62. Bernie and Ernie by Jason Hehir: A profile of Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld, their decades-long friendship, and their on-court partnership on the University of Tennessee basketball team, better known as the "Ernie and Bernie Show".
  63. Slaying the Badger by John Dower: Examining the competitive nature that Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault exhibited in the 1986 Tour de France; a film based on the book with the same name, written by Richard Moore.
  64. Goose by Kevin Shaw: The life of Reece “Goose” Tatum who played in Negro League baseball and was an original member of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters.
  65. Renée by Eric Drath: The life of transsexual athlete Renée Richards, who shocked the world with her entry into the 1977 U.S. Open.
  66. Angry Sky by Jeff Tremaine: The story of Nick Piantanida, a New Jersey pet store owner and truck driver whose love of parachuting and skydiving puts him on a quest to break the record for the highest recorded parachute jump.
  67. The Gospel According to Mac by Jim Podhoretz: A look at how Bill McCartney mixed two religions — college football and evangelical Christianity — while serving as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes in the 1990s, a tenure that included a national championship.
  68. 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story by Jose Morales: The life of Dewey Bozella in his 26 years behind bars, where he found strength and purpose through boxing, becoming the light heavyweight champion of Sing Sing Prison. He made it a goal to be proven innocent and box professionally once he was released.
  69. Little Big Men by Al Szymanski: The Kirkland National Little League team's success at the 1982 Little League World Series (where they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the event's history in the title game) and its after-effects.
  70. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson by Steve James: The 1993 trial of Hampton, Virginia, high-school athlete Allen Iverson, convicted for his role in a racially-tinged melee, and its impact on both the community and on Iverson's life.
  71. The Marinovich Project by Andrew Stephan and John Dorsey: The rise and fall of former USC and NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich is chronicled. The film focuses primarily on the complex relationship between Marinovich and his father.
  72. Silly Little Game by Adam Kurland and Lucas Jansen: Meeting at New York City's La Rotisserie Francaise, a group of writers and academics develop Rotisserie Fantasy baseball, only to see it take off in popularity and leave them behind.
  73. Right To Play by Frank Marshall: The story of Norwegian speed-skating gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, who founded the non-profit organization, Right to Play, which brings sports to children in third-world and war-torn countries.
  74. Guru of Go by Bill Couturié: Paul Westhead's coaching tenure at Loyola Marymount University (1985-1990) features his high-scoring run-and-gun offense and players such as Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers.
  75. There's No Place Like Home by Maura Mandt and Josh Swade: The story of one fan's obsessive quest to purchase James Naismith's original rules of basketball, perhaps the most important historical document in sports history, and to bring it "home" to Lawrence, Kansas, where Naismith taught and coached at the University of Kansas for more than 40 years.
  76. Four Days In October by Major League Baseball Productions: The remarkable comeback of the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
  77. The Birth of Big Air by Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, and Spike Jonze: The life of Mat Hoffman and his 25 year career of advancing BMX riding, both creatively and promotionally.
  78. Charismatic By Steven Michaels, Joel Surnow, and Jonathan Koch: The run of Charismatic and its jockey, Chris Antley, at the 1999 Triple Crown.
  79. One Night in Vegas by Reggie Rock Bythewood: The friendship of boxer Mike Tyson and rapper Tupac Shakur and the night of September 7, 1996, when Shakur was murdered after attending the Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight in Las Vegas.
  80. The House of Steinbrenner by Barbara Kopple: The legacy of George Steinbrenner's ownership of the New York Yankees.
  81. Unmatched by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern, with Hannah Storm: A look at the rivalry and friendship between tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
  82. Marion Jones: Just Press Pause by John Singleton: The successful track and field career of Marion Jones, her 2007 admission of performance-enhancing drug use, and subsequent prison sentence.

*Summaries used courtesy of Wikipedia

Written by Ben Pogany
Because if these scenes haven't already forever seared themselves into your memory, maybe its just time for a little refresher...

Warning: consider this your spoiler alert to end all spoiler alerts.  Read on at your own peril.  (But seriously, if you haven't seen any one of these movies, just shame on you.  Honestly now...)

  1. The shower scene.  Done aaaaaand done. -Psycho
  2. Fredo breaks Michael's heart; pays dearly -The Godfather II
  3. Tony Montana introduces Sosa's men to his little friend; meets a few dozen of their own -Scarface (1983)
  4. The wood chipper.... -Fargo
  5. Daniel Plainview drinks Eli's milkshake; bludgeons him to death with a bowling pin -There Will Be Blood
  6. Vader conquers his dark side; gives Palpatine the shaft (or vice versa) -Return of the Jedi
  7. Serial bank robbers discover that karma is a bitch -Bonnie and Clyde
  8. David Mills "becomes wrath" -Se7en
  9. After futile attempts to hang, rack, and dismember the Scottish warrior, William Wallace finally finds freeeeedooommm!!!! -Braveheart
  10. Hannibal Lector escapes his cell; borrows a face for the ride -Silence of the Lambs
  11. And you will know my name is the LORD when I lay my vengeance upon thee" -Pulp Fiction
  12. Travis Bickle reaches his breaking point; murders Sport and his two bodyguards in the bloodbath of a finale -Taxi Driver
  13. Willard terminates Kurtz with extreme prejudice (ie. a machete); gives him a true taste of "the horror..." -Apocalypse Now
  14. Bambi's mother gets capped by "man" -Bambi
  15. Scorpio asks himself one question; finds his luck to be lacking -Dirty Harry
  16. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid finally reach the end of the line; go out guns a blazing -Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  17. Smiegol strangles Diegol; gives himself the worst birthday present ever -Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  18. Tommy and Jimmy go to town on Billy Batts; load him into Henry's trunk for eventual disposal -Goodfellas
  19. "...Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings" -Network
  20. Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes -The Godfather
  21. A raincoat-donning Patrick Bateman axe-murders his colleague to the "clear, crisp sound" of Huey Lewis and The News -American Psycho
  22. Drago breaks Apollo-Rocky IV
  23. Holly Martins shoots his old mate Lime; puts an end to a truly epic sewer chase -The Third Man
  24. Mola Ram rips out his sacrificial victim's beating heart; lowers the poor bastard into lava pit.  Kali maaaaa..... -Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  25. Kaizer Soze cleans house.  And like that, he's gone... -The Usual Suspects
  26. "Put your mouth on the curb..." -American History X
  27. Bill killed... -Kill Bill 2
  28. Raymond shakes his mother's spell; commits matri, step-patricide -The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  29. The Joker makes a pencil "disappear" -The Dark Knight
  30. Charlie gets hung out to dry -On The Waterfront
  31. McClane wishes Hans happy trails.  Yippie-ki-yay indeed... -Die Hard
  32. Leonard gets sniped; plunges off Mount Rushmore -North By Northwest
  33. Carla Jean Moss (presumably) finds out just how much one can lose on a coin toss -No Country For Old Men
  34. Death by paint... -Goldfinger
  35. The Moe Greene special -The Godfather
  36. Hal opts not to open the pod bay doors after all -2001: A Space Odyssey
  37. The McManus brothers dispose of nine Russian crime bosses in Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti -The Boondock Saints
  38. Leonard Shelby murders in reverse -Memento
  39. Vizzini pulls the old switcheroo, dies anyway -The Princess Bride
  40. William Munny goes postal on Little Bill, henchmen; respectfully declines his offer for a rendezvous in hell -Unforgiven
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Written by Ben Pogany

Baseball is a game of legends, larger-than-life stars ever ingrained in our public psyche. However, all too often, the off-the-field personalities get lost in the shuffle, dwarfed in the eyes of history by the Babe Ruths and Jackie Robinsons of the world.  Here then is the Mount Rushmore of those other legends, the pioneers and innovators that built baseball into the game it is today.  

1)  Alexander Cartwright, Jr.--
In truth, there is no big bang of baseball, no moment when the inspiration for what would become the American Pastime was beamed down from the heavens. For centuries, men had played cricket, rounders, and other various contests featuring bat and ball. However, if you're going to point to one man who truly set the wheels of baseball in motion, that man is Alexander Cartwright. Cartwright was a bank teller and volunteer firefighter who for many years had played various ball games around the parks of New York City. Though many of these games roughly resembled what we now know as modern baseball, Cartwright showed up one day with some new found inspiration. As his friend Duncan Curry recalls of that Spring afternoon in 1845, "Cartwright came to the field...with his plans drawn up on a paper.... He had laid out a diamond shaped field with canvas bags filled with sand or sawdust for bases at three of the points and an iron plate for home base. He had arranged for a catcher, a pitcher, three basemen, a short fielder and three outfielders. His plan met with much good-natured derision, but he was so persistent in having us try his new game that we finally consented more to humor him than with any thought of it becoming a reality." Cartwright would proceed to codify a set of accepted rules and engineer what is widely accepted today as the first organized baseball game between his Knickerbockers and the New York Club at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, June 19th, 1846. Three years later, lured by the California gold craze, Cartwright began trekking westward, along which he would spread the gospel of baseball. Barely twenty years following that day in Hoboken, there were thought to be over a thousand organized baseball clubs scattered across the country.

Note: Though many think of Abner Doubleday as the creator of baseball, history has all but proven this to be myth. In 1907, The Mills Commission, appointed to determine the origin of baseball, concluded that "the first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence obtainable to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, New York, in 1839." However, Doubleday never claimed this distinction in any of his writings, and it was even determined that at the date of the alleged invention, Doubleday was a cadet at West Point, his family having moved away from Cooperstown a year prior. Adding further doubt is the fact that the primary testimony on behalf of Doubleday lay with a man named Abner Graves, who after shooting his wife two years later wound up spending the rest of his life in an insane asylum. So yea, not the most credible of witnesses.  On June 3, 1953, Alexander Cartwright was officially declared by Congress to be the inventor of modern baseball.

2)  Henry Chadwick--
Often the best way of conferring legitimacy upon something is simply by committing it to paper. A British-born journalist in the mid-nineteenth century, Chadwick was one of the first to cover the infant game in print, writing up game summaries for the New York Clipper.  In it, Chadwick originated the box score, giving birth to a national obsession with baseball statistics and records that persists to this day. He also penned the "Base Ball Manual" and "Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player," guide books in which he described rules, techniques, and star players of the game.  The American Pastime was on its way.

3)  Harry Frazee-- History has not been kind to Mr. Frazee. The infamous former owner of the fledgling Boston Red Sox will forever be linked to the disastrous transaction that sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees, damning the Sox to nearly a century of futility.  However, that may not be the only raw deal Frazee got. In truth, and this is coming from a die-hard Red Sox fan, Frazee had his hands tied, making a move that almost any other owner in his position would have made. For starters, Ruth was the ultimate diva of his day, a drunk, a womanizer, a hothead (at one point throwing a punch at an umpire), an egomaniac, and the farthest thing from a team player. During the 1919 season, Ruth refused to continue pitching, continually undermined his manager, and even went 'Manny being Manny' on his teammates by pulling himself out of the last few games of the season. That year, the Sox would finish sixth (in the two years following his departure, they would actually climb a spot to fifth). After that season, Ruth demanded that his salary be doubled, an unheard-of figure that Frazee simply could not pay. Ruth then proclaimed that he wouldn't play until his demands were met, all but forcing Frazee to negotiate a trade. Due to an ongoing dispute with American League president Ban Johnson, Frazee was effectively banned from dealing with any team but the White Sox and Yankees, two teams that also defied Johnson's corrupt reign. (Johnson's hatred of Frazee in part stemmed from his belief that Frazee was Jewish, violating an unwritten rule within the game to keep Jews out of the ranks of ownership. Frazee was in fact Presbyterian.)  It's hard to fathom that the only other offer on the table would actually have been more catastrophic than the one that ultimately transpired, but that's exactly the case. The White Sox offered up superstar "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and cash, an intriguing offer were it not for the fact that just months later, Jackson would be suspended for life for his role in the Black Sox scandal. At the time, the Ruth transaction was actually seen by many as being favorable for the Red Sox. In subsequent years, numerous inaccuracies were perpetuated about the Sox owner, many of which were motivated by the ongoing belief in his Jewishness and the notion that a cash-strapped Frazee selfishly sold Ruth to finance his landmark play No, No, Nanette. (which actually didn't come out until six years later) As we all know, Ruth would go on to transform the Yankees into a dynasty while the Red Sox would go titleless for 86 years. Whatever blame Frazee deserves, the impact of his decision upon the future course of the game is impossible to deny. For more on Frazee's misplaced maligning, check out the illuminating Glenn Stout piece 'A Curse Born of Hate.'

4)  Kennesaw Mountain Landis-- When in 1921, baseball decided that it was finally necessary to bring in a commissioner, the game was reeling from the revelations of a fixed World Series.  That commissioner was Kennesaw Mountain Landis.  Upon the appointment, The Sporting News summarized Kennesaw's stated mission: "to clean out the crookedness and the gambling responsible for it and keep the sport above reproach...he would have no mercy on any man in baseball, be he magnate or player, whose conduct was not strictly honest...The Judge will be the absolute ruler of the game."  During his time in office, Landis did indeed rule with an iron fist, at once banishing the eight guilty players who had conspired to throw the World Series in the infamous Black Sox scandal. The ruling that was ultimately established-- 'Any player, umpire, club or league official or employee who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor had a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible'-- would go on to be the damning assertion used against Pete Rose several decades later.
Under his reign, Landis also helped usher in the live ball era.  From 1903-1921, small ball had been the order of the day, as a series of factors contributed to an unprecedented decline in offense.  Among them was the common practice of leaving baseballs in play for much of the game until they were brown with dirt, making it harder for batters to pick up while in flight.  Balls also became softer with repeated usage, resulting in a greater difficulty to drive with power over the course of the game.  Upon assuming power, Landis immediately legislated that balls be removed from play at the first sign of wear, causing an immediate uptick in offense as batters could not only see pitches better, but when they did, it would travel further on contact.   Landis also outlawed the spitball, further shifting advantage away from the pitcher.  From 1903-1919, the league-wide ERA had been 2.80.  In the decade that followed, it had jumped to 4.00.   Upon his death in 1944, Landis had transformed the game, restoring both its excitement and integrity.

5)
Mel Allen and Red Barber- Baseball on the radio would make its debut in the summer of 1921, as a man named Harold Arlin called the Pirates-Phillies match to an almost non-existent audience. However, it would be over a decade more before baseball received its true airwave ambassadors in Allen and Barber.  Known and beloved primarily as the voices of the Yankees and Dodgers respectively, Melvin Israel and William Barber were the first truly iconic broadcasters in American sports history. Initially concerned that radio would discourage people from actually showing up to the park, owners soon found the medium to be an unparalleled promotional tool for their sport (not to mention a great way to generate additional income).  By the 1940's, Barber's presence was so ubiquitous in Brooklyn, The Daily News mused "A person could cover the length of the beach of Coney Island and never lose his voice."  Perfectly suited to the pace and nature of the game, radio was instrumental in broadening the game's reach and appeal, expanding fan bases and turning local stars into national heroes.

6)  Branch Rickey-- There is perhaps no man more responsible for changing the complexion, both literally and figuratively, of the modern game more than that of Branch Rickey.  When Rickey was named the general manager of the St Louis Cardinals in 1925, minor league teams operated independently of big league clubs, auctioning off their top prospects to the highest bidder.  Rickey decided to buck the system, buying his own minor league clubs through which he could develop talent and directly funnel players to his major league franchise.   It took only a single year as GM before the Cards captured their first World Series, and in time the homegrown talent of Pepper Martin, Stan Musial, and Dizzy Dean would take three more pennants for the Gashouse Gang between 1928-1932. By 1940, Rickey's farm had steadily expanded into an empire, claiming ownership of an astounding 32 teams while maintaining working agreements with 8 others.  Rickey moved on to the Dodgers in 1942, where he would continue his prowess in developing young talent, producing such stars as Duke Snider and Gil Hodges from within the organization.  However, his most important achievement was the signing of Jackie Robinson from the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs in 1945.  Upon his major league debut two years later, Robinson would bring a pennant to Brooklyn, opening up the doors to full-fledged racial integration in the years to come.  Dickey soon left for Pittsburgh, where he would once again shake the baseball establishment with the drafting and promotion of baseball's first Hispanic player in Roberto Clemente.  When he ultimately retired in 1955, Rickey had introduced the modern farm system, racially integrated the game, popularized the use of the batting helmet and batting cage, and created the first spring training facility.  Moreover, he was perhaps the earliest proponent of what we now call sabermetrics, valuing such indicators as on-base percentage over average to further his advantage over the competition.  A maverick in the truest sense, Branch Rickey remains the most influential figure in the history of baseball, if not the entire sports world.

7) Walter O'Malley--You're in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley and have a gun with only two bullets.  What do you do?  Shoot O'Malley twice.  To many 1950's Booklynites, the Dodgers were everything.  In one fell swoop, O'Malley ripped it all away, unapologetically moving the team to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.  The vitriol knew no bounds as the Dodgers' owner become public enemy #1 to a city reeling in grief.  Harsh as it was, O'Malley's infamous decision would mark a pivotal moment in the course of baseball history, as professional baseball was finally introduced to the West Coast.  America's pastime had for half a century been concentrated predominantly in the Northeast, with the westernmost team being St. Louis at the time of O'Malley's ascendancy.  The first domino to fall had been the Boston Braves, who in 1953 relocated to Milwaukee.  However, it was not until the Dodgers split town that the game truly underwent a tidal shift.  O'Malley knew that to make baseball a reality in the West he would have to recruit a partner, and so inserted himself as key player in facilitating the Giants move to San Francisco as well.  The entire complexion of American baseball had changed, as O'Malley's Dodgers helped make baseball a truly national game.

8)  Marvin Miller--Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association is the most powerful union in all of sports, and no man deserves more thanks for that fact than Marvin Miller. Elected head of the MLBPA in 1966, Miller soon made his impact felt, negotiating the first collective bargaining agreement with owners, increasing minimum salaries, introducing the all-important independent arbitration practice, and eventually ushering in the age of free agency with the invalidation of the reserve clause.  Under the reserve clause, players had been effectively married to their initial club, with that club retaining their rights from year to year not so unlike a piece of property. To make matters worse, those players unhappy with their compensation were forced to settle their disputes with the commissioner, who, as having been hired by the owners, was naturally biased in his rulings.  In 1974, after Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood brought the issue of the reserve clause's inherent unfairness to the forefront, Miller encouraged pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to refrain from signing a contract for the following year and instead enter arbitration.  Peter Seitz, the arbiter, ruled that the players had no legal ties to remain with their clubs and were free to pursue other offers.  The reserve clause had effectively been abolished and the era of free agency had begun. During Marvin's tenure, which stretched from 1966-1982, the average player's salary rose from $19,000 to $241,000.  His work signified a colossal shift in the balance of power between athlete and owner, an impact enjoyed every time a player signs on the dotted line to this day.

9)  George Steinbrenner-- Before there was Jerry Jones, before there was Mark Cuban, there was George Steinbrenner. Loud, irreverent, controversial, and hyper-controlling (changing managers 20 times in his first 23 years as Yankees owner), George Steinbrenner was the archetype for the larger-than-life sports owner. Buying the Yankees for a measly $8.7 million in 1973, he turned them into a $1.6 billion franchise, the gold standard for sporting excellence the world over. Today, ballplayers earn more than the GDP of small countries, and perhaps no man is more responsible than the Boss. With it came unprecedented market inequality, as the Yankees payroll grew to such exorbitant levels that it literally sextupled that of the smallest market teams. Contracts are now bloated to the point of absurdity (see: Werth, Jason and Rodriguez, Alex) as owners from around the league struggle to keep up with the Evil Empire. 

10)  Bud Selig-- Sadly, when all is said and done, Bud Selig will go down first and foremost as the man that presided over the Steroid Era, baseball's black eye.  However, to pin him solely as "The Steroid Commissioner" is to overlook the vast amount of good Selig was actually able to accomplish for the sport.  Assuming the role of acting commissioner in 1992, the former Milwaukee Brewers owner's first act was to realign the divisions and institute a wild card, expanding the postseason roster to eight teams.  Achieving permanent status in 1998, Selig would go on to make a series of other important changes, including the introduction of revenue sharing and interleague play, the expansion of instant replay, and the creation of the World Baseball Classic.  He also presided over a 400% explosion in league revenue and brought baseball to both Arizona and Tampa Bay.  Time will tell just how favorably future generations look upon his legacy, but one thing is for certain: Uncle Bud left baseball in a vastly different place from how he found it.

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FILM:

The Devil in the White City (2017)  Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Dicaprio.  An architect works to build up the 1893 Worlds Fair,while a serial killer uses the fair to attract and kill women.

Dunkirk (2017) Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Mark Rylance. Tells the story of the Dunkirk evacuation, which took place at the beginning of World War II.

Suburbicon (2017)  Directed by George Clooney, written by the Coen Brothers, and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin.  A crime mystery set in the 1950's.

Going Places (2017)  Directed by John Turturro.  Starring John Turturro, Susan Sarandon, and Bobby Cannavale.  A spin-off of The Big Lebowski centered on notable bowler Jesus Quintana.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Directed by Denis Villenueve and starring Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto.

The Irishman (2018) Directed by Martin Scorsese.  Screenplay by Steven Zaillian.  Starring Robert Deniro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale. A mob hit man recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

Untitled Fashion Project (???)  Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day Lewis.  Drama about the New York fashion industry in the 1950's.

Mute (2017)  Directed by Duncan Jones.  Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Sam Rockwell and Justin Theroux.  A mute bartender goes up against the city's gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.

Mother! (2017)  Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky.  Starring Jennifer Lawrence Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, and Domhall Gleeson.  Centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Widows (2018)  Directed by Steve McQueen.  Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez.  When a crew of crooks are killed during a robbery, their widowed spouses pick up where they left off.

First Man (???)  Directed by Damien Chazelle.  Starring Ryan Gosling.  A look at the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the moon.

Soldado (2017)  Directed by Stefano Sollima.  Starring Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.  A follow up to the 2015 film Sicario.

Darkest Hour (2017)  Directed by Joe Wright.  Starring Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelssohn, Lily James, and John Hurt.  Winston Churchill leads a charge against Adolf Hitler's army in the early days of World War I.

Strangers (???) Directed by David Fincher, screenplay by Ben Affleck and Gillian Flynn, starring Ben Affleck. (Remake of Hitchcock film Strangers on a Train)  A murder plot hatched by two men who meet on a train is considered to be a joke by one of them, and a dangerously real plan by the other.

Downsizing (2017) Directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matt Damon, Kristin Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris, Alec Baldwin, and Jason Sudeikis.  A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.

War Machine (2017 on Netflix) Directed by David Michod and starring Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, and Topher Grace.  A satire of America's war with Afghanistan with a focus on the people running the campaign.

Logan Lucky (2017)  Directed by Steven Soderbergh.  Starring Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Seth McFarlane, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Adam Driver.  Two Brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Untitled Dick Cheney Project (2017)  Directed by Adam McKay.  The story of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney who avoided military service during the 1960s Vietnam War, but became a stout advocate to invade Iraq in 2003 over false claims that is was developing nuclear weapons.

Isle of Dogs (2018)  Written and directed by Wes Anderson. Voiced by Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, and Jeff Goldblum.  A stop-motion film about dogs.

Roma (???)  Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron.  A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

The Studio (???)  Directed by Bennett Miller.  Written by Peter Tolan.  Starring George Clooney.  A look at the inner-workings of a Hollywood studio during the 1990s.

Legacy of Secrecy (???) Written and directed by David O. Russell.  Carlos Marcello and his possible involvement in the murder of JFK.

The Wizard of Lies (2017 on HBO) Directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert De Nero and Michelle Pfeifer.  The story of Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme.

Hostiles (2017) Directed by Scott Cooper.  Starring Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Rosalind Pike, and Jesse Plemons.  In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.

The Trap (2017)  Directed by Harmony Korine.  Starring Al Pacino, Benicio del Toro, Robert Pattinson, and Gucci Mane.  An ex-con is out for revenge against a gangster rapper and former friend who let him take the fall for a robbery they committed 14 years earlier.

Cortes (???) Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Benicio de Toro.  Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés leads an expedition to bring down the Aztec Empire during the 15th Century.

Border Guards (???)  Directed by Adam McKay.  Starring Will Ferrell and John C Reily.  A pair of Americans try to prevent Mexican immigrants from entering the country, accidentally find the tables have turned on themselves when they try to return to the US without an identification.

The Trade (???) Directed by Jay Roach and written by Ben and Casey Affleck.  A chronicle of the 1970s scandal caused by New York Yankees Fritz Petterson and Mike Kekich, who admitted to swapping wives with one another.

Untitled Mike Tyson Biopic (???) Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Terrence Winter and starring Jamie Foxx.  A chronicle of champion boxer Mike Tyson's life.

Cicero (???) Directed by David Yates and starring Tom Hardy.  Focuses on Al Capone's rise to power moving from the slums of Brooklyn to the top of the food chain in prohibition-era Chicago.

Ballad of Richard Jewell (???)  Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill.  American security guard, Richard Jewell, heroically saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is unjustly vilified by journalists and the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist.

The True American (2018)  Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Tom Hardy.  A Bangladeshi Air Force officer looking to make his way in the United States is shot by an American terrorist out to kill Muslims in the aftermath of September 11th.

Far Bright Star (2018)  Directed by Casey Affleck and starring Joaquin Phoenix. Set in 1916, an aging cavalryman leads a team of men to hunt down the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. However, after an ambush in which most of the men are killed, the cavalryman must struggle to survive in the desert.

Stronger (2017)  Directed by David Gordon Green and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  A victim of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 helps the police track down the killers while struggling to recover from devastating trauma.

Okja (2017)  Directed by Joon-ho Bong (Snowpiercer).  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Giancarlo Esposito, and Paul Dano.  A young girl named Mija risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend - a massive animal named Okja.

Wind River (2017)  Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (Hell and High Water, Sicario).  Starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, and Martin Sensmeier.  An FBI agent teams with the town's veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.

Holmes and Watson (2018)  Directed by Etan Cohen.  Starring Will Ferrell, John C Reily, Ralph Fiennes, and Kelly Macdonald.  A humorous take on Sherlock Holmes.

Enzo Ferrari (2018)  Directed by Michael Mann. The life story of Italian sports car entrepreneur, Enzo Ferrari.

The Snowman (2017)  Directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One in) and starring Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer and JK Simmons.  Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

The Current War (2017) Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.  Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, and Nicholas Hoult.  Electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse compete to create a sustainable system and market it to the American people.

Free Fire (2107) Directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cilian Murphy.  Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Mosaic (2017)  Directed by Steven Soderbergh.  Starring Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, and Paul Reubens.  Plot kept under wraps.

Light of My Life (2018)  Written, directed and starring Casey Affleck.  A father and his young daughter find themselves trapped in the woods.

The Man Who Made it Snow (???) Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  The true story of Max Mermelstein, a Jewish hotel engineer, who transforms a small mom and pop drug organization into a billion-dollar enterprise.

Ready Player One (2018)  Directed by Steven Spielberg.  Starring Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, TJ Miller, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.  When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the find his fortune.

The Old Man and the Gun (2017)  Directed by David Lowery.  Starring Casey Affleck, Robert Redford, and Sissy Spacek.  An elderly bank robber, who had managed to escape from prison over a dozen times in his life before moving to a retirement community, looks to spice things up with another heist.

The Son (2018)  Directed by Denis Villeneuve.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  A son questions his father's suicide, and seeks out those who killed him.

A Season in the Congo (???)  Directed by Joe Wright.  A look at the events surrounding the Congo rebellion in 1960.

High Wire Act (2017)  Directed by Brad Anderson.  Written by Tony Gilroy.  Starring Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm, and Dean Norris.  A former US diplomat returns to service in order to save a former colleague in Beirut.

Wildlife (2017)  Written and directed by Paul Dano.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan.  A boy witnesses his parent's marriage falling apart after his mom finds another man.

Raven (???)  Directed by Michelle MacLaren.  Written by Vince Gilligan, based on the book by Tim Reiterman.  Cult leader Jim Jones lures his followers to a mass murder-suicide in Jonestown Guyana.

Inner City (???)  Written and directed by Dan Gilroy.  Starring Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, and Ashton Sanders.  An attorney for a big LA law firm discovers some unfavorable things about his late partner and decides to right his wrongs.

The Black Hand (2018)  Starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Police office Joe Petrofina seeks justice against a ruthless Italian-American gang in New York.  Based on the Stephan Talty book of the same name.

Blonde (2018) Directed by Andrew Dominic (Assassination of Jesse James).  A chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.

Sinatra (???) Directed by Martin Scorsese. The life story of legendary singer and actor Frank Sinatra.

Untitled Panama Papers Project (???)  Directed by Steven Soderbergh.  Based on the book Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein.  Follows a group of journalists who take part in unearthing 11.5 million files linking the world's most powerful political figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes.

Smash and Grab (???)  Directed by Danny Boyle.  Based on the documentary Smash and Grab, which followed the most successful diamond thieves in the world.

Thrilla in Manilla (2108) Directed by Ang Lee.

Hold the Dark (2018)  Directed by Jeremy Saulnier.  Written by Macon Blair.  Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale, and Jeffrey Wright.  A wolf hunter tracks down a young child in the Alaskan wilderness.

Untitled Josh Hamilton Project (???) Directed by Casey Affleck.  Baseball player Josh Hamilton, who was a top draft pick in 1999, hits rock bottom after suffering from a drug addiction that ruins his family life and career, only to clean-up his act and redeem himself with an unexpected comeback.

The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara (2017)  Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac.  Recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents' struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.


TELEVISION:

Twin Peaks (2017)  Written and directed by David Lynch.

Mindhunter (2017)  Partially directed by David Fincher.  An agent in the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit tracks down serial killers and rapists.

Lewis and Clark (2018)  HBO Miniseries.  Starring Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts.  The story of American explorers Lewis and Clarke as they lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean in 1803.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2017) Written and directed by the Coen Brothers.  An anthology western series.

The Deuce (2017)  Written by David Simon and George Pelecanos.  Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.  A look at life in New York City during the 70s and 80s when porn and prostitution were rampant in Manhattan.

Guerrilla (2017)  Starring Idris Elba.  A pair of activists in 1970s London set out to free a political prisoner and wage a resistance movement.

Untitled David O Russell Project (2017) Crime series written and directed by David O Russell.  Starring Robert DeNiro and Juliane Moore.

The Romanoffs (???)  Created and written by Matthew Weiner (Mad Men).

American Lion (2017)  Starring Sean Penn.  The story of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.

Godless (2017) Executive Produced and partially created by Steven Sodergergh.  Written and directed by Scott Frank (Logan, Minority Report)  Frank Griffin, an outlaw terrorizing the 1880s American West, hunts down Roy Goode, his partner turned enemy.  Roy hides out at a ranch as Frank's chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico- a town made up entirely of women.

Napoleon (???)  Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, based on the original screenplay by Stanley Kubrick.  6 part miniseries covering the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Maniac (2017)  Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.  An institutionalized man dreams of a new life in a fantasy world.

Succession (???)  Executive produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell.  A drama about a dysfunctional media family dynasty in the 21st century.

Snowfall (2017)  From John Singleton.  A look at the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic in LA during the early 1980s.

Trust (2017)  Directed by Danny Boyle

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