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Friday, December 31, 2010


As we come to the close of 2010 and the celebration of DT's 4th birthday, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate this past year with my top 21 posts (yes, another year I managed to arrive at 21 posts and couldn't seem to get it down to 20).

If I were to sum up this year, I would say there is now a legitimate Hollywood Penn alumni force to be reckoned with.  Further, in 2010, I saw that more and more alumni are taking their careers into their own hands, making career changes and taking chances becoming authors, filmmakers, actors, Producers, and overall entrepreneurs.   I hope these stories have been as inspiring for you as they have been for me.

As we go into year 4, be sure keep up with DT by liking our Facebook fan page or getting our newsletter because in 2011, I have all sorts of new surprises including new columnists, contests and job opportunities to name a few.

Enjoy these 2010 "top 21" DT favorites of mine:

21) Celebrity spawn attend Penn

20) A tour through Penn that will wow you and this super cool interactive Penn tour here

19) Been a busy, successful year for this perpetually single Penn comic

18) This Penn alum directed a groundbreaking episode of TV

17) Spring Flinging - when you gotta go, you gotta go!

16) Our Hollywood Dr. Teaches Dr. Oz and us how to save a life (video)

15) You've never seen any building built at Penn quite as fast as this one (time-lapse video)

14) Remember our Penn in Cannes early coverage of a film that is currently a 2011 Golden Globes contender?

13) Penn alum's new book has you looking into the future

12) How Saving Her Childhood Book Reports Helped THIS Film Producer Get a Movie Greenlit

11) This Penn alum team keep cranking out great NSFW Viral hits (Video)

10) This Penn alum musician's got Hollywood's attention and reminds me of the cartoon JEM

9) Talented Penn alum wins reality competition

8) Who knew?!: Penn alum invented my favorite snackfood (and probably yours too!)

7) Ten years ago Elizabeth Banks appeared in THIS commercial

6) Penn alum writes hot new Spiderman Broadway show and it looks awesome!

5) See what accomplishments a year makes (in our exclusive DT series) for our Penn young alum Austin musicians and LA actor pursuing their respective careers

4) 7 Things You Should Know about Walking on Locust Walk

3) Penn alum wrote this 2010 comedy hit and another Penn alum helped produce it (and it's awesome)

2) The best Penn promotional video I've ever seen

After the jump find out my #1 post!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 12:44 PM | , | 0 comments »

Saturday, December 25, 2010

UPenn and Malik Smith and Christmas and I'll be home for Christmas

Over the past few days we've had the "Swing Dolls" and Penn's "Glee Club" do some holiday serenading to DT readers.

Today, we have a sweet rendition of "I'll be home for Christmas" from Penn alum Malik Smith (C'10)

I've covered Malik on this site before and he seems to be producing some really great music.

After the jump, get in the holiday spirit with Malik! (and be sure to take note of his digital fireplace!)

Happy holidays everyone!

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Posted by Matt | 8:10 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UPenn and Glee Club and Jingle Bells and Merry Christmas

Penn's Glee Club has had quite a newsworthy year here on DT.

As we go into the holidays, after the jump, watch these exclusive favorites the Glee Club performed just for DT's Penn alumni readers!

Happy holidays everyone!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:47 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(Andrea is the blonde haired Swing Doll on the left)

When Andrea Davis (C'92) was an undergrad at Penn, she was Music Director of the Penny Loafers.  In continuing with her musical passion, over the past 10 years, she and her friends Robin and Christina have created a 1940s/1950s Andrew Sisters-esque harmonizing girl trio called the "The Swing Dolls" that tours the US.  (they were even featured on the "Gilmore Girls" a few years back!).

After the jump, listen to the Swing Dolls perform an exclusive holiday clip just for Penn alumni readers of DT!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 11:23 AM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, December 20, 2010

This weekend Vanessa Bayer (C'04, Bloomers) reprised her role on SNL as Courtney Kardashian and everytime I see this "Christmas Message from the Kardashians", it "letterally" cracks me up.

Watch the video after the jump!

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Posted by Matt | 2:22 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

UPenn and Gabriel Mann
After years of listening to Gabriel Mann, I can honestly say that my ear has been GabrielMannified.

I had a recent episode ("Dance, Dance, Revelation") of "Modern Family" playing in another room when I heard what sounded like Gabriel Mann singing "The Search is Over" during Luke and Manny's first school dance scene. I emailed Gabe to confirm, and sure enough it was him.

After the jump, check out the clip and listen to Gabe during minute 0:58 - 2:00.

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Posted by Matt | 12:03 PM | , , , , , | 0 comments »

Friday, December 17, 2010

UPenn and The Fighter and The Muppets and Todd Lieberman
It's not often that DT wins out exclusive interviews over Oprah, The View and Entertainment Tonight, but we did this time while we visited film producer Todd Lieberman (C'95, Mask and Wig, AEPi) on his Hollywood Muppets movie set.

While the Muppets movie isn't due out until Thanksgiving 2011, the real news is about Todd's 6 Golden Globe nominated film The Fighter which comes out today.

After the jump, watch the video Todd shot for DT and the Penn community and learn more about why people gasp when they hear how long The Fighter took to make.


Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:01 AM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Josh Kopelman and UPenn

Do you want to see a great holiday video?

Picture a video from a Penn alum entrepreneur that spoofs a popular commercial we've all seen this year.

Now look down at the video.

Now back up to me.

Now back down to the video.

Now back up to the me...

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 9:30 AM | , , , , | 0 comments »

John Doman and UPenn and The Wire and Damages

So since I posted about THIS Penn alum's commercial, I keep on getting more and more commercial submissions.

I showed you THIS comical Penn alum's toilet paper commercial, and today, I've got a commercial from another Penn alum actor who is new to DT, but probably familiar to many of you.

More about this actor and his touching commercial after the jump!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 8:36 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

UPenn and chocolates

Out of the hundereds of entries we received over this past week for our moutwatering DT Chocolate contest, the winner of John and Kira's "Bee Hive Tower" (15 pc every flavor box plus 6-pc Caramel Bees - $50 value) is...

Find out after the jump!

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Posted by Matt | 9:12 AM | | 0 comments »

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've covered Roy Bank (C'94) here in the past, and as head of Merv Griffin Entertainment, he's got a whole bag of tv goodies coming up.

More about his gameshow and reality show after the jump!

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Posted by Matt | 9:35 AM | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, December 13, 2010

With a fullbright scholarship and an American Academy in Rome fellowship under his belt, it's no wonder why Penn alum Darius A. Arya (C'93, DKE, Water Polo, Classics) is once again featured in a National Geographic show airing all this week called "Rome Unwrapped".

More from Darius and a video clip from the show after the jump!

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Posted by Matt | 1:39 PM | , , , | 0 comments »


Here's your final chance to win a "Bee Hive Tower" from this Penn alum (15 pc every flavor box plus 6-pc Caramel Bees - $50 value):

Enter HERE

Contest ends today, Monday, 12/13 at 12 pm PST (3 pm EST).


Read More......
Posted by Matt | 1:32 AM | 0 comments »

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

upenn and Jordan zucker and girls guide to fantasy football
(Jordan on right)

You can't keep a good Penn winning woman down.

Jordan Zucker (C'97, Theta) appeared on "Scrubs", cooked with Bobby Flay, interviewed NY Jets players, got featured on the morning news for her Girls Guide to Fantasy Football league, tried out for Oprah ...and now has a new web series that combines 2 of her passions: sports and cooking.

Her latest episode after the jump!

2 more days to win our contest to win THESE delicious chocolates from Penn alum entrepreneur! Enter HERE!

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Posted by Matt | 2:59 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kyle Schroeder and Cremo Cream and UPenn

Over the past couple of years I've done stories on shaving cream business entrepreneur and model Kyle Schroeder (W'01).

After the jump check out the new well produced marketing video featuring Kyle explaining more about his shaving creams, as well as his personal background and how he got into the business.

Martha Stewart and Oprah love this Penn alum's chocolates: Win them HERE (contest ends Friday, 11:59 pm!)

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:21 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Thursday, December 2, 2010

UPenn and chocolates and contest

Upenn and chocolates and contest
Kira and John
Over the past 4 years, DT has run a bunch of contests (from winning revolutionary water bottles to winning fantastic shaving cream).

Today, we launch a new contest to win some holiday chocolate goodness from a Penn entrepreneur doing all sorts of good in the world.

Co founders Kira Baker-Doyle (C’97, MSD’99, PHD’08) and her husband John created John & Kira’s, a socially innovative chocolate company dedicated to both making and selling world class confections and promoting positive social change.

More about her delicious chocolates and how you can enter to win a Chocolate Bee Tower after the jump!

...Or go right to the contest entry page HERE

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 11:18 AM | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

UPenn and Debbie Frank and commercial

Shortly after I posted about THIS Penn alum's national commercial, I got an email from Debbie Frank (C'93), another Penn alum who happens to also now be in a national commercial.

After the jump, check out her chuckle-worthy commercial and find out why "it's time to get real about what happens in the bathroom." ; )

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Posted by Matt | 10:57 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

UPenn and Robert Gant and Zicam

While Robert Gant (C'90, Penn Six) will always be the "Good Humor Ice-Cream man" in my mind in THIS commercial, looks like Robert has a new gig you've probably already seen.

Check out his new commercial after the jump!

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Posted by Matt | 11:10 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spiderman and Broadway and UPenn

Back in September, I reported that Glen Berger (C'89, Mask and Wig) co-wrote the book to the upcoming "Spiderman, Turn off the Dark" Broadway show, with Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor (The Tempest, Across the Universe, The Lion King) ...with music and lyrics by Bono and the Edge!

Spiderman and Broadway and UPenn

Because of some onset injuries, the show's opening is now being pushed back and last night on "60 Minutes" Lesley Stahl got the first look at the rehearsal and production of this most ambitious and expensive musical ever brought to a Broadway stage.

Check out the "60 Minutes" segment after the jump!  Looks and sounds amazing!  Can't wait to see this show!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 12:47 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Sunday, November 28, 2010

upenn and weddings and botox and plastic surgeryWe've see such hits as "The Surreal Life" and "Rock of Love" from mega reality TV Penn producer Mark Cronin (ENG'86, Mask and Wig), but Mark's new show debuting tonight (11/28/10) takes the (reality wedding) cake.

More matrimonial madness after the jump!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:44 AM | , , , , , , , | 1 comments »

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UPenn and Glee Club and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Here's a little Thanksgiving gem for all of you Penn folks.

As if participating in THIS surprise wedding proposal wasn't big enough, turns out the Glee Club has done something even bigger!

After the jump, watch Penn's Glee Club performing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" in the 1990 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 11:31 AM | , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, November 22, 2010

UPenn and actor and Jess Garvey

Last month we introduced you to Jess Garvey (C'09), DT's "Starter Reality Star" and watched her go on an actual audition for a Special K commercial.

Today, Jess brings us her next installment and you're going to see her be quite the busy actress filled with a week of auditions and meetings..

After the jump, watch Jess' video and find out about:
  • the notable Hollywood table reads she was a part of and what caused her to almost "pee in her pants"
  • the new play she'll be starring in
  • her upcoming Sundance films
  • the golfcart she tried to hijack on the Universal Lot

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:21 AM | , , , , , | 0 comments »

Friday, November 19, 2010

UPenn and Aaron Karo and Comedy Central
DT Favorite Aaron Karo's (W'01, Pennfest 2006 performer, Penn in Pictures 2010 panelist) hates when bridesmaids conclude their speeches about how the bride and groom met with the tired phrase "and the rest is history".

Tonight, Aaron's first one-hour Comedy Central special kicks off with this complaint and then runs the gamut from drunken friends who always start fights, to couples who take pictures of their feet while on vacation, to the singles table at weddings being filled with people in relationships.

After the jump, watch the video clip of the first 4 very funny minutes of his special, airing tonight (November 19) at 11 pm on Comedy Central.

Update: Get the UNCUT album from the show HERE– a full TWENTY MINUTES longer, including Aaron's favorite joke, “Disconnected During Phone Sex” that got cut from the special!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 8:39 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Schatar Sapphira and VH1 and UPenn and Flavor of Love and Charm School
Here's another one for our "Who Knew" series, as well as our "Pennalicious Profiles" series...

Not only had Penn alum Schatar Sapphira (Arts House Resident, Inspiration, Penn Black Arts League, Penn Gospel Choir, Penn basketball manager) made it to the final six of Penn alum Mark Cronin's (ENG'86) "Flavor of Love" and soonafter appeared on "Charm School", but she has created quite the career for herself and certainly knows how to market herself!

As another Penn actor put it, you have to "own it" and be the CEO of yourself.

Schatar is the living, breathing embodiment of this!  And she knows it : )

(A lot) More from Schatar, how much she "loves balls" (you gotta hear this), and her achievements after the jump!


Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:53 AM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, November 15, 2010

If you missed this weekend's Scarlett Johansson hosted SNL, you would have missed a sketch that appeared later in the show starring Vanessa Bayer (C'04, Bloomers) as a "child star of tomorrow".

If you know child actors who deliver all lines in that "sing-songy" manner, you'll LOVE this sketch!

...Especially her interpretation of Brokeback Mountain!

Watch it after the jump!


Alumni Weekend

May 13-16, 2011
Available hotels here


May 16, 2011
Available hotels here


Nov. 5-6, 2011
Available hotels here

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 11:26 AM | , , | 0 comments »

mister rogers and pbs and upenn and academy of television arts and sciences
"Won't you be my neighbor" and possibly get paid to move out to LA? (or move to NY)

As noted in my recent post, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) really is a hidden gem to help you get your foot into the entertainment door here in LA.   Attention undergrads, ATAS really offers the best entertainment internship you can get.

Now ATAS is offering some more great opportunities: four scholarships in honor of Fred Rogers, the creator and long-time host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood".   The scholarships are intended to support and encourage aspiring undergraduate or graduate students to pursue careers in children's media and further the values and principles of Fred Rogers' work.

You can be a real "special person" just by "you being you" and entering this contest.  : )

Get details and applications HERE

More entetainment related contests HERE


Alumni Weekend

May 13-16, 2011
Available hotels here


May 16, 2011
Available hotels here


Nov. 5-6, 2011
Available hotels here

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:43 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Friday, November 12, 2010

UPenn and Amy Gutmann and LGBTQIn the video clip above, Penn President Amy Gutmann addresses recent bullying and discrimination against the LGBTQ community by participating in the "It Gets Better" project (

And this is in line with Penn's outreach to the gay community this year.  Per the DP,
"The LGBT Center is working with Penn Admissions to help identify LGBT applicants and strong allies for the first time this year. Although this system does not give such applicants a “leg up,” Schoenberg said, it does provide students who have been accepted from this pool with information about Penn’s LGBT life."
Thank you for your support Dr. Gutmann!


Alumni Weekend

May 13-16, 2011
Available hotels here


May 16, 2011
Available hotels here


Nov. 5-6, 2011
Available hotels here

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 9:56 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Todd Lieberman and People's Choice Awards and Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and The Proposal
Last year, Todd Lieberman graced the Nokia stage to accept the 36th annual People's Choice Award for "Best Comedy" for his film The Proposal.  (remember how Ryan Reynolds mentioned his name in THIS video clip?)

Well, award season has just begun and now Todd needs your vote for "Favorite New TV Drama" for his new show "Detroit 1-8-7".

Click the "Detroit 1-8-7" logo below to enter your vote!

Get to know more about Todd Lieberman HERE

More Penn alumni TV producer stories HERE


Alumni Weekend

May 13-16, 2011
Available hotels here


May 16, 2011
Available hotels here


Nov. 5-6, 2011
Available hotels here

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 8:29 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

UPenn and Mike Karz and Robert DeNiro and Lea Michele and Glee
Just a bit of fun casting news regarding Mike Karz (C'89, W'89) follow-up film to his last year's Valentine's Day.

In his upcoming "New Year's Eve" film, the following stars are reported to be attached: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele and Abigail Breslin.

Per the Hollywood Reporter,
"De Niro will play a bitter dying man in a hospital, while Pfeiffer will be a frustrated executive secretary who decides to tackle her unfulfilled resolutions. Swank would play a producer of the famed Times Square New Year's Eve show. Kutcher would play a guy who hates New Year's Eve." (source)
So many stars in one film! As noted HERE, Mike figured out the formula to making this all happen.

More Mike Karz stories HERE

More Penn alumni film producer stories HERE


Alumni Weekend

May 13-16, 2011
Available hotels here


May 16, 2011
Available hotels here


Nov. 5-6, 2011
Available hotels here

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 9:22 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last night Penn undergrad Siddharth Chandrasekhar (Eng, W'11) qualified for the semifinals on Jeopardy! College Championship.

And like the story we reported about HERE, this wasn't the only time Penn represented and advanced on the show.

After the jump, find out why Alex Trebeck told Siddharth that if he missed the question, he "couldn't go home again" (to Penn)!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 2:32 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Whether it's dedicating a song to DT readers for my "Love Week" or dedicating a song to the Phillies, the Glee club definitely knows how to serenade.

Recently, both the Glee Club and the Penn Singers Light Opera Company helped pull off the mother of all serenades on a Philadelphia SEPTA train during a popular Philadelphia attraction tour.

After the jump watch these groups partake in a surprise wedding proposal!

I think you'll agree that this video is quite moving. ;)

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 8:17 AM | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, November 8, 2010

UPenn and Austin music
Find out why Ben is crossing his fingers!
It's been over a year now since we started documenting our DT exclusive music and actor career journeys with 3 recent alumni. The key to these series has been capturing that immediate time right after college filled with hope and attainable aspirations when the world is your oyster.  I hope it has been as refreshing and inspiring for you DT readers to watch the achievements of these young alumni as it has been for me to report it.

On that note, last week we covered these 5 important lessons any actor should take to heart before getting into the business.

Now, today, Austin musicians Ben Naecker (C'09, Water Polo) and Blake West (W'09, Jazz Combos):

  • sum up their year
  • discuss what exciting endeavor is on the horizon 
  • and share with us the production process from start to finish of one great (!) song they worked on. This should definitely be enlightening to anyone who has wondered how songs get produced.  

And find out after a year whether despite initial intentions a real job is manifesting itself for one of them...  hmmm....

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 8:01 AM | , , , , , | 0 comments »

Friday, November 5, 2010

UPenn and Elizabeth Banks and pregnancy
Before Liz Banks (C'96) became the big star that she now is (appearing every other week on "30 Rock" and in the upcoming Russell Crowe film, The Next Three Days), she did commercials.

Check out this commercial the then-brunette did for the "Fact Plus Pregnancy Test" in the year 2000.


Perhaps this was foreboding for THIS role she starred in almost 7 years later...

Check out the commercial after the jump!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 12:36 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Emmys and Upenn

In years past, I've talked about the best entertainment internship you can get while you're an undergrad.

From the same people who bring you this awesome internship (the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences), there is a contest that all talented undergrad filmmakers should enter: the 32nd College Television Awards.

Categories include: Animation, Children, Comedy, Commercial, Documentary, Drama, Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship, Magazine, Music - Best Composition, Music - Best Use, Newscast, Reality, Series - Narrative

More about the competition after the jump!

More entetainment related contests HERE


Read More......
Posted by Matt | 11:33 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

UPenn and Las Vegas and Facebook games and Seth Gerson and Gregory Milken
(l to r): Greg Milken (C'95) and Seth Gerson (C'95)
Time to add another tale to the 60+ DT stories about Penn alumni working together...

Years after being Penn freshmen roommates in the Quad and then later as housemates on Chancellor Street, Seth Gerson (C'95, ZBT) and Gregory Milken (C'95) formed a technology gaming company with a hot facebook game you'll want to check out done in conjuntion with a popular Las Vegas hotel!

More about their game and very Penn-centric company after the jump!

Read More......
Posted by Matt | 10:39 AM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »
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