Flick: Summertime NBC show to have ISU flavor

2013-05-03T06:00:00Z Flick: Summertime NBC show to have ISU flavor pantagraph.com
May 03, 2013 6:00 am

NBC says it’s game …: When at Illinois State University in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Sean Hayes was legendary for throwing great parties.

He even mentioned that in February when he returned to Normal to receive an honorary Ph.D.

Once in Hollywood and a star on TV’s long-running, “Will & Grace,” he apparently became known for the same thing.

A recent Hollywood Reporter piece suggests that Hayes-hosted “Game Nights” — “real-life cocktail-party-style game nights in Hayes’ living room” — have become such a hit in L.A. that actor Tom Hanks, a guest at one recent get-together, declared his evening there “the most fun of my life.”

And now we can all apparently attend one … or at least tune in.

NBC announced this week that a new game show — to be played by “A-list actors, along with everyday contestants” in a set made to look like Hayes’ living room — will premiere July 11, with Hayes as one of its executive producers.

Of special note to Bloomington-Normal folk as well is the just-named host of Hayes’ new show, to be called “Hollywood Game Nights.”

It will be Jane Lynch.

She, too, went to ISU but was gone six years before Hayes got there.

• Today’s deep thought

As mulled by Jim Stalions, of Lincoln:

“Now that our beloved Chief has been taken away and the Assembly Hall is going to be State Farm Center, don't be surprised to see them change Fighting Illini to the Fighting Claims Adjusters.”

• Uh, tornado ice?: Anyone who’s been in Bloomington-Normal long enough knows it actually is windier than the “Windy City” of Chicago, and if you don’t believe it, just drop by Ann and William White’s home in Normal.

One night last week — an especially windy one when temperatures quickly dropped into the 30s — the next morning they happened to notice that in their backyard bird bath, the wind had been so swirling overnight, an "ice tornado" had frozen in the middle of the birds’ bath water.

Move over, Chicago.

• Police beat: In Bloomington the other afternoon, officers were notified that a youth had called 911 because he did not want to go to his doctor appointment.

• Today’s other deep thought

As mulled by Jack Bolender, of Normal: “Was it a little strange that gas prices were around $3.28 … until the grass suddenly got so high from all the rain that everyone had to go fill up their gas cans to mow … and gas suddenly went up to $3.70. I went to fill up my can and it cost me $8 … to mow my lawn.”

• Lotta B-N in C-U, too: So, thanks to a $60 million pledge, for the next 30 years the Assembly Hall over in Champaign will now be called State Farm Center, after the Bloomington-based insurer.

If nothing else, Champaign-Urbana surely owes Bloomington-Normal a nice thank-you card.

The Assembly Hall itself opened 50 years ago this year, classified then as one of the new “wonders of the world.”

Its builder: The Felmley-Dickerson Co. of Bloomington.

Bill Flick is at flick@pantagraph.com

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