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HBO’s ‘Veep’ SkewersCraziness of U.S. PoliticsWith Touch of Brit Wit

At the New York premiere of
Veep, the acerbically funny new HBO series
starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the boldfaced
names were out in
force: New York City Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly,
satirist Fran Lebowitz,
New York Times columnist
Bill Keller, and CBS Newsers
Morley Safer and Lesley

In Veep, an expletive-laced
sendup of the ridiculous antics
of our nation’s highest
elected leaders and the ways
of Washington, Louis-Dreyfus
(Seinfeld, New Adventures
of Old Christine
) plays former Sen. Selina Meyer,
who discovers the awkward agony of being
No. 2 to POTUS.

She is surrounded by an ensemble cast that
captures the nutty nuances of Beltway life that
make most normal Americans cringe, including
Anna Chlumsky (My Girl grew up!) as chief
of staff and Tony Hale (Arrested Development)
as a shadow-like obsequious assistant.

The show, written by Armando Iannucci
and based on the BBC sitcom The Thick of
, takes all that rage-inducing gridlock, deception
and incompetence, and turns it on its
head, satirically speaking.

HBO co-president Richard Plepler got one
of the biggest laughs of the night as he introduced
the show to a packed
audience. “It took someone
of Italian charm, Scottish discipline
and British wit to explain
just how screwed up
American politics really is,”
he said. “And as you’ll see in a
moment, he does so with his
typical grace and intelligence.
How lucky we are to have Armando
Iannuci at the helm of
the show.”

Veep premieres Sunday,
April 22, at 10 p.m.

Comcast’s Roberts
And the Wearin’
Of the Green

Was that Comcast/NBCUniversal chairman
Brian Roberts on the front row at the Green
Jacket presentation at The Masters? Not the
made-for-TV ceremony on CBS, but the one
featuring club members and fans.

Why, yes, it was. Comcast owns the cable
system in Augusta, Ga., the MSO pointed out,
and the company two years ago helped usher
in the first 3D coverage of the tournament.
Comcast also owns Golf Channel, now in the
NBCU camp.

A big hint was that Roberts was seen sporting
one of those emerald-green jackets. In any
other setting,
that might
suggest a
love for St.
Patrick or
’70s dress
codes. In April
at Augusta
National, it
suggests you
are a member of the golf club that hosts one
of the four acknowledged Majors in the sport.

Augusta National does not identify members,
and Comcast had no official comment,
but Roberts was cited by Golfweek magazine
in a story two weeks ago about the debate
over whether or not to allow women to join the
all-male club. The video from the ceremony,
from which the photo at left was taken,
appears to confirm that fact.

Roberts’ handicap? Comcast did not have
that info at press time.

Lord Stanley Never
Envisioned a Cup
Quite This Big

All hockey players aspire to lift the Stanley
in triumph. In a time-honored tradition,
more than a few have also been known to
imbibe a beverage or few from the sport’s
cherished chalice.

To mark the start of the 2012 Stanley Cup
Playoffs, the National Hockey League is giving
fans several chances to “Drink From the
Cup,” so to speak.

With NHL commissioner Gary Bettman,
NBC Sports Group
chairman Mark
and New
York City Department
of Environmental
Carter Strickland
and past Stanley
Cup winners on
hand, a 21-foothigh,
replica of Lord Stanley’s Cup was erected/
unveiled in Times Square.

Flanking the real hardware, the Stanley Cup
fountain featured 12 industrial pop jets in the
upper bowl that shot water six feet above the
Cup and served up Big Apple water via spouts
at its base of with reusable souvenir cups
from linemates in the promotion, NBC Sports,
the NHL and NYC Water.

NHL official beer partner MillerCoors/Molson
, which is running ads on NBC, NBC
Sports Network, CNBC, NHLNetwork, CBC,
TSN and RDS, is offering Coors Light, Molson
Canadian and Molson Export Ale in Cupcentric
cans and packaging at retail outlets
around North America.

Here’s to hoisting a few Cups!