Friday, October 30, 2015

Hollywood Underdog Hiatus

It was four years ago that I started Hollywood Underdog. 

I have decided it's time to take a break, or a hiatus, as we call it in the entertainment biz.

During this time I'll be updating and redesigning the site, and will start posting again after this is complete.

Until then I hope you will enjoy some of my previous articles and reviews.

Thank you for subscribing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comedians in cars getting more coffee

To conclude my summer re-runs of previous popular posts, here is one of my favorites. This show is still going strong, and it should be. Each twenty minute episode is packed with humor, hot rods and one of the funniest in the biz having coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, including Jim Carrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Harvey, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Maher, Tina Fey, and more.

Classic cars, comedians, and coffee. Where can you go wrong? Actually, I should call this article...."Comedians in cars making me skinny"...because this show has helped me pass many hours on the treadmill. I discovered it while looking for something to watch on my iPad while propping it up on one of the various sweat machines at the gym.

Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld,

Jerry Seinfeld picks up one of his famous funny friends in one of his many classics cars from his collection, and takes him or her out to coffee for simple conversations over hot java. Comedians are most enjoyable to me this way because they are unrehearsed and just observing life, living, saying whatever comes to mind at the moment. Although I'm sure some editing has been done the format just feels real. Whether he's picking up David Letterman in a souped up station wagon, Ricky Gervais in an Austin Healey, Carl Reiner in a Rolls Royce, or Sarah Silverman in a Jaguar, it's the best of the best 11 to 17 minutes I watch online. They hang out, chat, and stuff their faces at coffee shops in New York and L.A. and diners such as Nate & Al's, Jerry's Deli, the local donut shop, and even a convenience store.

Seinfeld is one of the few people in the business who can call a legendary comedian and get a "yes" without even asking the question first! He hasn't done an episode yet in Vegas as far as I know but I hope he does...we have plenty of great comedians here.
This golden nugget airs on and is one of 19 of their original series. I have found Crackle to be a great site for watching free instant episodes of TV shows, movies and other media. 

 David Letterman..."Being an older parent, I know when it comes to the heavy stuff I'll be dead by then."
Jerry ......"You don't know that." 
David....."I don't know that, but sometimes it's useful."

Sneak Peek...

This is not a sponsored article. Photos by

Saturday, August 1, 2015

TEN Tips to Look Good in Every Photo

Because summer is a time for parties, pools and picnics, it's also a big time for picture taking. So I am sharing one of my top five most popular blog articles again, easy tips to look good in every photo!

These days any photo taken anywhere can end up online in just a few seconds, and live forever, whether you want that or not!  That's why it's so important to take a great picture the first, and every time. (All shots below are amateur photos used with permission).

Here are my TEN tips learned from years of posing:
  • FIRST and foremost...With phones and digital cameras many people hold the camera low when taking a photo. They think they have to do this to look at the screen. They don't. This is the WORST angle possible and can make anyone look bad. It creates a double chin and adds weight to the subjects. Don't let the picture taker hold the camera below chin level. It's best to hold the camera at the height of the subject's heads and then tilt the camera down from the top at an angle. This is the most flattering to all.

Karen Wendt, natural light, pleasant background, waist up
  • Whenever possible have pictures taken with NO flash. Flash, even with today's camera flash delays can still make eyes red, faces pale, and hair off color. Natural sunlight especially with a partly cloudy cover is the best light for pictures. If the sun is bright make sure the sun is behind you, and not the subjects of the photo.

  • Have photos taken of you from the waist up. Full body shots are best left to the pros. If you are going to be in a full body shot, twist your whole body 1/4 to camera at the shoulder and stick one foot out in front of you. This breaks up the line giving your body dimension and thinning you out. For guys, make sure your shoulders are straight and put your weight on one foot more than the other, this will give you a casual line so you don't look like you're in a police line up.
Good casual guy shot, Bob!
  • If you are not wearing make up or just tired grab a pair of sunglasses then apply lipstick or lip gloss. Quick fix!
Anna Wendt after make up has worn off on the set of
"Now You See Me"
  • Open your mouth slightly in the photo and don't press your teeth together. Leaving a tiny space between your upper and lower teeth enhances your cheekbones and pulls up your chin in the process! Do not say "cheese"....say "eeeease" instead, this will help you remember this tip.
Julie Lumpkins...casual nature shot
  • Make your background pleasant and keep it simple; a tree, blue sky, even a brick wall or old barn can be nice if its all that's behind you. Don't stand closely in front of your background. Stand at least 2 feet away to give the photo depth and to avoid the "mug shot" effect.
  • If you are in a picture where the flash has to be used don't look directly at the camera but slightly above it. This will reduce red eye.
  • Never ever sit down on a sofa or soft chair in a photo if possible! It will make you look heavy and dumpy. If you sit in a chair make it a dining chair, a stool, a side chair, and sit at a slightly different angle rather than head on, giving the shot personality. If you must sit on a sofa sit on the edge!
Anna Wendt seated pose
  • If you are in a picture with two or more people do not lean on the other people and try to keep your hands OFF their shoulders. This way, if someone wants to crop the photo for your use or someone else to highlight just one person, this can be done without a strange hand stuck to a shoulder!
Kelly Osbourne, Celebrity Host, Karen Wendt and Anna Wendt Host Stand Ins
Miss USA Pageant 2012...(example of 4th person cropped out)
  • Remember there are some FREE basic photo edit programs that offer quick and easy color correct, crop, exposure, even minor airbrushing. Some you can download and some come with your camera and smart phone software. Taking the few extra minutes to do some quick edits makes all the difference!

Make a deal with your friends like I have. If you look outright "bad" in a photo (or they do), delete it or at least edit it as best you can! That's what friends are for.

Say "eeeease"!

Copyright 2015, 2012  Anna Wendt

Monday, July 20, 2015

First ever NBA Players Association Awards to air July 21 on BET

Taking a play from the National Hockey League who has had their own televised awards show for a few years now, the National Basketball Association, (NBA) decided to do the same.

The Players Awards, otherwise known as the NBA Players Association Awards, were taped here in Las Vegas on July 19 at the Rio Hotel & Casino in the Penn & Teller Theater.

The Players Awards air on BET Tuesday July 21 at  8P/7C

Look for some highlights from this past NBA season as well as awards for Best Defender, Player You Secretly Wish Were on Your Team, Hardest to Guard, Best Clutch Performer, and more which are given to some of the top NBA players as voted for by other NBA players. With appearances by LeBron James, Ray Allen, DeAndre Jordan, Allen Iverson and many others, you'll see guys in the same room that you never otherwise would unless they're fighting over a ball on the basketball court.

The Players Awards are hosted by comedian and SNL cast member Jay Pharoah. An impersonator of Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Barack Obama and others, Jay is a man of many talents with his fast paced and sometimes biting, but good-natured humor. Comedian Hannibal Burres also makes an appearance.

Host Jay Pharoah...Photo, BET

The show opens with a musical performance of Glory by Lil' Wayne, and also features Monica, Kid Ink, Fifth Harmony, and 2Chainz and crew, who use some amazing new IOHawks, (personal mobility devices) as part of their choreographed dance number. These may look like electric skateboards but there is much more to them which is why they go for around $1,800 a piece.

I stood in for Fox Sports' Kaileigh Brandt, and my friend Kevon, for former NBA player and commentator Jalen Rose. We had the chance to work on our improv and commentating skills during least until they took over for the show.

If you're a basketball fan or even a sports fan be sure to check out The Players Awards July 21 on BET!

Anna Wendt Copyright 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Set List...Slippery When Wet

Last week everyone at Hard Rock's Vinyl lounge was taken on a musical journey back to the 80's with some popular performers from the Las Vegas Strip who generously donated their time for this concert special.

Second in The Set List series, the album Slippery When Wet was featured and played in sequence from beginning to end with proceeds going to the Rudy Foundation.

Slippery When Wet  was a huge success when released back in 1986 at the height of what has been referred to as the "big hair band" era of rock and roll. Although written and released some thirty years ago the songs of this album are timeless and identifiable to most. This collection catapulted Bon Jovi into a multi-decade career as one of the top selling bands of all time.

The Set List, Paul Johnson, Lily Arce and Brandon Nix with musicians performing songs from "Slippery When Wet"

Presented by House Seats, The Set List was headed up by the trio of Brandon Nix, Paul Johnson and Lily Arce. Paul and Brandon are currently starring in Rock of Ages and Lily is an occasional performer with Cirque Du Soleil. The three kicked it off with the performance of the first song from the Slippery When Wet album which was Let It Rock, followed by a fervent rendition of the #1 hit You Give Love a Bad Name, by Brandon Nix. Paul Johnson gave his solo interpretation of Livin' On A Prayer, (another #1 single from the album), then all three segued into Social Disease, a song which one could say has an even broader meaning these days due to social media, non existent back when this single was written. Lily Arce introduced her acoustic version of Wanted with a personal story about her father sending her this song from where he was stationed in the military during the time of its release.  

Becca Kotte and Brandon Nix

Raise Your Hands was another group collaboration with special guest Anne Martinez who performed in the last Set List concert and is a resident artist at Hard Rock. Without Love was belted out by Lily Arce then followed by a heartfelt edgy duet of  I'd Die For You, by Paul Johnson and Lisa Marie Smith. Lisa, whose act I recently caught in the show Pin Up, is one of the leads of that production.

Brandon Nix was joined by special guest Becca Kotte, (Rock of Ages) for Never Say Goodbye. Brandon is a passionate entertainer and a true stand out in every production I've seen him in....The album was brought home with a finale of all performers on stage for Wild in the Streets.

A special encore of bonus songs from Slippery When Wet and other Bon Jovi hits was performed to close out the night with a surprise appearance and performance of Runaway from Mark Shunock (Rock of Ages), then Lay Your Hands On Me by Lily Arce, I'll Be There For You with Brandon Nix, then the mega hit It's My Life and lastly, Bad Medicine from the three headliners, Paul, Brandon and Lily.

Proceeds from the show went to The Rudy Foundation, whose mission led by Executive Director Cheryl Ruettiger is to make a positive impact in the lives of children and adults by sponsoring programs in the community for education, sports and the performing arts.

Next up for The Set List is Michael Jackson's Thriller on Oct. 8 followed by Frank Sinatra's The Main Event on Dec. 10 to wrap up the series for the year. Tickets can be purchased through

Anna Wendt Copyright 2015