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Cardinals Could Meet Soon To Choose Benedict's Successor; Truck Bomb Kills At Least 79 In Central Pakistan; Idaho Man Faces Federal Charge For Smacking Toddler On Delta Flight

Aired February 16, 2013 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. The stories you're talking about in just a moment. But first let's get you up to speed on the day's headlines.

A truck bomb killed at least 79 people in central Pakistan. At least 180 others were wounded. Police say the explosives were packed inside a water tanker and detonated by remote control. The attack was the latest in an ongoing campaign of violence against Shiites and Muslims in the region which is overwhelmingly Sunni.

At the Vatican, Cardinals could meet sooner than expected to begin choosing a new Pope. Vatican spokesman says the conflate can start as soon as all 117 cardinals are in Rome. Benedict XVI steps down at the end of the month.

An Idaho man could get a year in federal prison for smacking a toddler on a recent Delta flight. According to court papers, Joe Bricky Handlay (ph) used the "n" word and then slapped the 2-year-old when the boy started crying as the play descended into Atlanta. He faces a federal assault charge.

From 130 miles an hour to zero in the blink of an eye. It happened Friday night in Iowa during a high-speed chase. The police officer was already out of his cruiser so he was OK. But the driver of the speeding car was killed. After the wreck, police discovered the man's 5-year-old son was also in the car. The boy survived and is being treated for his injuries. The child was at the center of a custody dispute in Georgia between the man and his wife.

We got a lot more is planned for you this Saturday night. Here's where else we're working on.


LEMON: Why does Hollywood keep hiring the same black actor again and again and again? He's here live. He says he gets hired because he's not a scary black man to white people.

An asteroid flyby. The closest in modern history and a once in a 100-year meteorite in Russia, on the same day? Fire up the conspiracy theories.

Also, I sit down with one of the hottest bands in the world, Fun.

A government prepares for the apocalypse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Canada will never become a state haven for zombies, ever!

LEMON: And the dance that's everywhere, even here at CNN, "the Harlem Shake."


LEMON: Just when you think we've got it all worked out, cutting- edge technology, scientific breakthroughs, miracle medicine, lately there's been talk about colonizing mars and many of you carry around a supercomputer right in your pocket. Again, just when you think you have it all worked out, the universe reminds us, we really don't.


LEMON: That's our case in point, Friday, a chunk of space rock gets sucked in by the earth's gravitational pull. Then streaks across the sky above Russia. As it rockets through the atmosphere, friction heats the front of the rock a lot more than the back of it. The huge temperature difference is too much and essentially turns a meteor into a bomb.

It explodes into a bunch of pieces. And what you're hearing here, that boom, boom, boom, is this. Take a look. Those pieces are moving so fast they set up a series of sonic booms and it's just a scary sound.

The sheer force is destructive, blowing out windows, knocking down huge doors and even taking down walls. There are reports that a huge chunk of it landed in a Russian lake. Many would like to see what's under that ice. Conspiracy theorists have come up with 1,000 wild theories. And our Phil Black went to find out for himself.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are walking on a frozen lake. It's about a 90-minute drive west of Chelyabinsk. And we are here because locals say a big fragment from the meteor punched through the ice and is now sitting at the bottom of the lake.


BLACK: Well, that was a very firm no. These police officers said it is prohibited for us to be here, to shoot video here, to try and walk any further. If part of that meteorite came down, down there where those vehicles are, as locals say it did, authorities don't want anyone else to say it.


LEMON: All right. That was Phil Black.

So, the meteor thing was scary enough by itself. But remember, we have been talking about an asteroid near-miss for several days, not the Russia asteroid but another one that also got uncomfortably close to the earth yesterday. A little while ago, I asked an astronomer if the two events are somehow connected. He said definitely not.


DAVID DUNDEE, ASTRONOMER: No. And we know that for sure. A lot of people have asked, but you have to know that the two events were separated by about 14 hours. Now, the earth is hurtling around the sun at 19 miles per second. So, in 14 hours, we have covered a lot of real estate going around the sun. And so, we are in a different place. So, these two items were not connected in any way, just cosmic connection.


LEMON: So when the next monster asteroid comes, who will save us? Bruce Willis? Not likely. It might be Ed Lou. He is a former NASA astronaut and these days he's working on a space telescope. With it he hopes to protect the earth from asteroids. He spoke with Sanjay Gupta about it.


ED LOU, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: This is the space telescope.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's it? That's basically the size of it there?

LOU: Yes. The real one is about the size of, say, a delivery truck. So, it's about 23, 24 feet tall and it is about 2,600 pounds. And over a 6 1/2-year period, it is going to scan earth's orbit, multiple times and map all the asteroids across earth's orbit because those are the asteroids that could hit. She is going to track on a half a million asteroids so, each month it's going to discover about 10,000 asteroids.

GUPTA: Each month, 10,000?

LOU: Each month, yes. So, which is more than all other telescopes throughout history combined the discover. So, it will do that every month.


LEMON: Sanjay Gupta is hosting the "Next List" and has more with Ed Lou and his space telescope. He wants to protect the planet from asteroids, all order. Check out their conversation, Sunday, 2:30 eastern.

And next, one black actor shows up again and again and again on TV commercials. Why is that? He thinks it's because he's safe for white people. I'm going to talk to that actor next.


LEMON: OK, being black in Hollywood is fantastic for the one black guy in every single commercial. You know him. The quirky non- threatening black guy. "Saturday Night Live" hit a nerve with a skit based on a real actor. Roll it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Seth, high-five! All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, Corey?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome, man, just awesome. My life is great. This year, I was in 14 commercials and I was also the one black guy in a college brochure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's great. That's really cool. What have you been up to lately?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So much. Just came back from Venice beach where I was playing some drums on the top of a Pringles can with some friends, just messing around. Then I went to this awesome party where I was the deejay. Yes, I put a Dr. Pepper can on the middle of turntable and I was just like --. Everybody loved --



LEMON: Look familiar?

JAMISON REEVES, ACTOR: I just left Venice beach.

LEMON: That was inspiring. Now, that guy right there who is talking is actor Jameson Reeves who joins us from Los Angeles. His casting director Mimi Webb Miller joins us from Phoenix and director Anthony Hemingway joins us from L.A. His film "Red Tails" depicts and African-American Squadrons fighting to defend the U.S. during World War II..

Thank you all for joining us.

This is going to be an interesting conversation I see now.

Jamison, you describe yourself as the one acceptable black friend in commercials. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made a great choice. The Honda Accord holds its value batter than any other sedan in America. Coffee? Please.

Like I was saying, the new Accord is --


(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So, listen, the commercials are good. But, Jamison, why do you think casting directors choose you and not other black actors? That "SNL" skit, there was a lot of truth to it.

REEVES: Well, I think it's because -- well, first, I'm talented. I think I'm a talented actor. I think my look has caught on because I've remained this look since the beginning and other people have started to kind of take on the look to, I guess, they thought that it was making them a better actor by having this kind of hair and these kind of glasses.

LEMON: What are you hiding? Describe that look. What's your look?

REEVES: My look is, I really don't care about how I look. Like I like to feel comfortable. I grow my beard because I don't want to save. I grow my hair out because I don't want to do too much work on it. And I wear the glasses because I got sick and tired of wearing contact lenses.

REEVES: Are you usually the only black guy on the set? I mean, what about the clients, the producers or the crew?

REEVES: For the most part, yes. I'm usually one of two or three black people on a set. Clients, agency -- most of the people on that end are white and most of the crew is white. So you do come across black talent every once in a while and black crew members. It's very seldom. It's getting better, but, yes, it's an interesting phenomenon.

LEMON: Mimi Webb Miller, you worked with Michael Jackson. You worked with Ray Charles. Do you think it's difficult to get black actors cast in major roles for TV or movies or even in television commercials? How are black actors viewed in Hollywood today?

MIMI WEBB MILLER, DIRECTOR, MIMI WEBB MILLER CASTING: Well, it's better than it used to be. And Jamison really isn't blowing his own horn. He's very talented. It isn't -- we can bring him to the picture, but he has to be chosen by the director or the client. And he has been very lucky and worked very hard.

LEMON: Other than that, I mean, obviously, he's very talented, but why do you think he is -- there are a lot of black actors, starving black actors and talented black actors who are out there and they don't get picked. Do you think he's the acceptable black friend, as he says?

MILLER: Yes, I do believe that that's true. But, you know, in the old days, we couldn't even put a couple together if they didn't match colors. Nowadays, that's different. It's changed quite a bit. I would think Jamison would think so, too.

LEMON: Let's talk to Anthony, though.

Anthony, how difficult was it to get "Red Tails" off the ground? I mean, what are the biggest barriers of Hollywood for black actors and black filmmakers?

ANTHONY HEMINGWAY, FILM DIRECTOR, RED TAILS: Well, George Lucas had "Red Tails" on his lap for over 18 years. And as he said many times, it took him many efforts to get studios to listen. So that's why he went and did it independently. We're very thankful for that.

But you know, I think part of the problem a lot of times is these stories -- before we even get to casting, it starts on the page. So we are constantly trying to think out of the box from script to screen and just to get producers on board to be a part of social change. And to try to make steps ahead. "Red Tails" for me was definitely one more page that we can turn toward the future.

LEMON: Actor Denzel Washington is mega successful. We know about that. Two academy awards, dozens of big-name roles. Is Denzel's Hollywood -- is he the go-to black actor now? I mean, why no other actors? There are very few other actors.

HEMINGWAY: Well, I think the actors like Denzel, they bring a certain, I think -- I would say a gravitas to the picture. So when you see that actor, you know what to expect and you can go and watch the film and kind of relax. But I think in having -- there are so many more talented actors out there. I've had such great experiences on why it should may.

My whole career has been working in trying to present platforms and presenting so many more great talented actors, both men and women. And it's definitely a challenge. But we're all a part of, I think, a coalition of really trying to break down the wall and continue to forge ahead because we're out there.

LEMON: Jamison, Anthony, Mimi, stick around. Don't go anywhere. We are just getting started here. A lot more next.


LEMON: Does Hollywood prefer white skin? Now, we are talking about typecasting in Hollywood. Non-white actors face subtle and not- so-subtle stereotypes. For example, an actor born in Iran is getting lots of jobs playing terrorists. You might not -- you might recognize, I should say, Navid Negahban from Showtime's "Homeland." Take a look --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You pervert the teachings of the prophet and call it a cause.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Generations after generations must suffer and die. We are prepared for that. Are you?


LEMON: In "Homeland," his character seeks revenge for a drone strike that killed his phone. He's played terrorists in CSI, Law & Order. Some say his terrorist roles reinforce stereotypes about the Middle East. Here is his response.


NAVID NEGAHBAN, ACTOR: First of all, I'm an actor. I'm not playing an Iranian. Just because I know the culture better, I think I can do a much better to bring that character to life. The show doesn't give you an answer. It raises questions. So you sit down and ask yourself the question, how would I behave if I were in that situation? They see that there is no hero. Everybody has flaws.


LEMON: OK. So joining our panel now is psychologist Wendy Walsh, activist and anti-racism writer, Tim Wise and political comedian Dean Obeidallah.

Look at it. It's like "The Brady Bunch." You guys have to look at each other.


WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST: And you're the dad, "the Brady Bunch" dad.

LEMON: Yes. It's interesting because whenever I look on television, whether it be the news, or whatever it is, I go, that's not America. It is not the world -- nothing in America. I haven't seen anything that looks like that or movies where there is like everything is all white.

So Dean, what's going on? Dean, I'm going to start with you. Should this actor feel guilty about playing a terrorist or should a black guy to feel guilty about playing a stereotypical role?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: That is a really ongoing discussion. I'm Arab-American. That is something we hear about that all the time. Should Arab-American actors play the Arab terrorists?

Frankly, if we don't play it, a Latino or any guy is going to be cast to play it. So, maybe, he can bring some humanity. But the bottom line is, those parts should be going to be done. We have to make our own projects to tell our own story accurately and honestly. So, it is up to is to get our projects, ultimately.

LEMON: OK. The voice of reason in the red shirt, Tim Wise. What's going on in Hollywood?

TIM WISE, AUTHOR, COLORBLIND, DEAR WHITE AMERICA: What's going on in Hollywood is what goes on all around the country. Hollywood reflects back and advertising commercial ads reflect back the culture. We live in a society where we have 40 years of research which finds that, sadly, white consumers, whether it's moviegoers or people who buy consumer products will often times not purchase products or not to go to films that they perceive as somehow not about them.

That's not Hollywood's problem. That's our problem. If he want Hollywood to reflect America, we have to demonstrate. When I say, we, I mean, those of us in the dominant group, those of us who are white, have to demonstrate that we are open to connecting with black and brown folks in the ways that are not stereotypical. That's on us. It's not Hollywood's fault so much it is the larger culture.

LEMON: Go ahead, Wendy?

WALSH: Yes, but, I agree what you are saying, it is advertisers and the media hope -- just reflect back what people are feeling. But they can also have the power to raise the ante, to up the bar, it raise the bar up the ante, if you will. Therefore, like a few years ago when IKEA was the first one to do this amazing commercial with a gay couple shopping for furniture. Now, I'm sure they didn't think that their primary demographic were all gay couples. But that brought in a very progressive, liberal, wonderful group of people, I'm sure, to their stores. And I think advertisers can do that. Yes, they do the research and the research says that some of these awful stereotypes still work. They still sell. But can't they also have the power to change us a bit?

LEMON: OK. So then, Mimi, you heard what Tim Wise said. It's reflecting back in our culture. So, if white people won't buy a product and they are the predominant in the culture, then is there something wrong with not putting people of color on commercials or in positions of power, in media because white people won't find it acceptable and may not purchase a certain product or watch the particular channel?

MILLER: Well, I don't know that it gets that strong although there are a lot of people that are really polar nowadays. But, I do think that with commercials you're dealing with a whole different ball game than you are with a film. You're dealing with, you know, an advertiser and a client and an advertising agency and a director trying to create the art and make a change. I have seen it where -- when they've switched the roles where the dominant position would now be a black family versus one sole black person.

LEMON: Here's what I find interesting. I was watching one of our shows here the other night. And Jane Fonda was talking about women in Hollywood and empowerment. And everyone is like, yes, it's great. It's great. We should talk about it. We should talk about it. But the moment you talk about minorities in films or in television commercials or even on television in positions of power in the news, people say, why are you bringing that up? You're racist for talking about that. What is that, Tim Wise?

WISE: Well, you know, we live in a culture that tells us if we talk about racism, that causes racism and we should talk less, which is absurd. If you think about any other social problem, no one would say that. Like if you talk about world hunger, no one would say, oh, my God, don't talk about that and then food will miraculously appear on the plate of starving children. Like we understand other problems, you have to address these by talking about them.

But white America, frankly, and you know, I'm white. I have been around white folks all my life. White folks do not like to be confronted with the truth of our history and our ongoing reality. That's why we say we're post-racial because we have a black president, because you know, millions of white folks turned Barack Obama into their own personal Cliff Huxtable. That that doesn't mean that we are past racism and that's what we have to deal with.

LEMON: Anthony, do you agree with that?

HEMINGWAY: Absolutely. I think especially we're talking about the whole big picture of Hollywood and where we all work. It's on the surface, it's liberal. But when you look deeper than that, it's completely face value. And it's always an issue. And I think it's the consciousness that we need to continue to bring up and to discuss. That will only help us move forward.

LEMON: Jamison, you made a point, we were talking about news. And I said if it's the black guy on the news on the weekend and I said, how many brown-skinned brothers do you see anchoring the news? And you said, what?

REEVES: One. One. Just one. Just you. Just you. I mean, turn the channel. Turn the channel, come back. You'll be right here.

OBEIDALLAH: Where's the Arab guy? Don, where is the Arab guy?

LEMON: Where's the Arab guy? The Arab anchor? No seriously, Dean, where's the Arab anchor, where is the Asian anchor, where is the Hispanic anchor? Where are the brown-skinned African-American news anchors?

WALSH: Why does it matter on CNN? We've got Sanjay, we've got you. It matters.

LEMON: We're talking more than CNN, though. We're talking the entire United States. Go ahead.

OBEIDALLAH: We're all fighting for that. The one point, like Jamison, there's one black guy in these commercials. I wish, frankly, there were one Middle Eastern guy in every commercial. I wish we got that point where people go, that is inclusiveness. You need that Middle Eastern voice or that Middle Eastern person. We don't have that yet. We're just demonized. And you know, the movies where there there's one good Arab guy who works with the authorities is later killed by a bad Arab guy.

So, I mean, we are a different points in our progression, frankly, African-Americans I think, you have created your own project so you can showcase yourselves in a positive light. We are not there yet. We're getting there little by little, raising the money, make your own projects. It is the only way. Hollywood's never going to give us that. It is just going to happen.

LEMON: Well, that's one good thing for that one Arab guy, though. He's got job security.

Jamison, you have job security. I mean, you are the one black guy. (LAUGHTER)

REEVES: Yes, job security is great. There are a bunch of black actors. I'm the one guy that looks like this. You're starting to see more and more black actors in commercials. But it's just because this look that I have seems to be very non-threatening, seems to be very familiar. People can look at that guy and go, oh, he might be able to date my daughter, oh, he's cool. So it's a look that's for now --

LEMON: I wouldn't go that far, Jamison.

REEVES: Oh, come on! I'm trying to get some love here.

LEMON: Real quick, Wendy.

WALSH: Don, you know the answer to the future -- the future is going to solve this problem. And I've always said that the answer to black and white is brown. As you know, my daughters are multiracial and they have a huge peer group in America now, up-and-coming mixed race children. One in seven American marriages are mixed race. Not all black/white, but you know, Asian, Latino. They're all mixing in now. They'll look back at this tape in 20, 30 years and go, I can't believe they were talking about that. So brown will be the thing that brings us all together.

LEMON: All right Tim, Wendy, Dean, Jamison, Mimi, Anthony, "the Brady Bunch" -- look how diverse we are. This is how it should be.

Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Wish we could talk more.


LEMON: It was a busy week in politics from the president's state of the union to Marco Rubio's water bottle. We tackle it all. That's next.


LEMON: President Obama's state of the union speech, Marco Rubio's thirsty response and the showdown over cabinet nominee Chuck Hagel. I talked about all of it with democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman starting with the man who wants to be in charge at the Pentagon.

So, Robert, the showdown over secretary of defense Chuck Hagel's nomination, blocked by Republicans until of presidents day break, very rare to filibuster a cabinet pick. It is not unheard off but it is very rare. I want to show you what Hagel's main antagonist John McCain said on FOX.

He said, there's a lot of ill will towards senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly, at one point, he said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam war which is nonsense. He was very anti his own party and people don't forget that. Robert, is this Hagel fight about policy or is it about a political payback?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This is all about politics. And you know, when you listen to that quote from John McCain and you watch the way he and his colleagues conducted himself, they look like an infomercial for anger management therapy. It was truly nothing more than a grudge match. And when you think about what is at stake, e have almost 70,000 soldiers in combat in Afghanistan representing us, fighting for our country and also protecting each other. We need to have a strong figure coordinating the Pentagon.

And the tactics that you see McCain and the Republicans engaging in clearly undermine the next secretary of defense who they all acknowledge is going to be Chuck Hagel.

The other issue, Don, is politics in the context of political preservation. Lindsey Graham is posturing himself because he's afraid of a tea party challenge for re-nomination to the Senate. John Cornyn is afraid of being out-conservative by his junior senator, Ted Cruz in Texas. So, it is really about political pasture.

LEMON: Let's move on and talk about the state of the union now, Robert. The president covered a lot of ground from minimum wage to pre-kindergarten. Was there any angle that you think he overlooked?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I will tell you, every state of the union, and this one is no exception, comes across like a laundry list or an extended campaign speech. I thought what made this state of the union particularly significant though, and made it stand out in my mind, was I think it was the strongest explanation of why family value -- why the government can help with family values and help with them -- them the values rebuild our economy.

For example, the president's talk about preschool education, which is only available for only now three out of every ten children, pre-kindergarten education, that is such a great investment in our future. Our nation used to lead the world on secondary education, on college education. But we've fallen behind the world on preschool education. And we've seen in study after study, the rate of return is fantastic in terms of helping young people become more responsible, seek careers and jobs.

But I thought what was missing from the speech, quite frankly, Don, was the president's failure to challenge his party, my party, to engage in entitlement reform, for example. I think that is certainly a role that he has to play to move the debate to the center and to really bring about a consensus about an economic recovery.

LEMON: Moving on, Mr. Zimmerman, and this was a moment that went viral. Marco Rubio's response. He's a rising star in the GOP. Gets his moment in prime time. But his lunge for the water bottle steals the spotlight. Look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Nothing's frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. The choice isn't just between big government and big business. What we need is --


LEMON: I know you are a Democrat. But do you think that too much was made of that now infamous gulp?

ZIMMERMAN: I have to tell you, this is a great moment for political pundits and for many members of the media. But then there are people with real lives, Don, and they want to hear about the serious issues that impact their lives like you said, putting America back to work, providing education opportunities for their children, giving a sense of future and hope for our country. And clearly that moment, while it captivated the blogosphere and the media had to relevance to people with real lives and real agendas.

LEMON: My thanks to Robert Zimmerman.

A government takes on a terrifying future head-on. Seriously or not so seriously, but if you haven't heard, the Canadian parliament talk about the zombie apocalypse, you don't want to miss this.


LEMON: When you want someone who can handle it all, someone who can tackle -- come on, prompter, stay with me. We are on television. Here you go.

Someone who cans tackle pop culture, media and entertainment, someone who defines a hip, the happening and the now, you want the best and only the best.

Until then, we've got Dean Obeidallah. He's a comedian and available most Saturday nights for stand-up comedy appearances and children's parties.

OBEIDALLAH: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: First Dean, how are you?

OBEIDALLAH: I'm great after that intro. I feel really good about myself. I'm going too therapy for a year now. Thanks.

LEMON: I haven't spoken to you in a little bit because you have been gone and I have been gone. Let's talk about this. This has been dominating the media outlets. Web TV, everything. This Russian meteor is amazing. But I hear it weird you out. Why.

OBEIDALLAH: It's not a meteor, Don. It's -- I think it is a promo for the new superman movie. It crashed into the lake. That's where superman will be born or it is missile. Come on. Wake up, Americans! This is nuts. It does not seem like a meteor to me. It went out of the sky on a trajectory. I hate to agree with the guy in the Russian parliament, it's some kind of missile. He blamed us. I don't think it's us. Something's going on there. Wake up.

LEMON: I didn't realize that it was coming like -- people in the newsroom like, what's happening? And they're like, oh, there's a meteor. And I was like, oh, OK. That's cool.

OBEIDALLAH: That's a huge meteor. I mean, the one good thing is it just going to make glow -- I'm not kidding, there is global talk of a global response to protect us from meteors. How do you do that? I mean, I guess you shoot them down? But, look at that. Come on.

LEMON: Yes. When it's your time, it's your time, Dean. That's how I live.

So, let's talk about this Canadian parliament thing. Listen.



PAT MARTIN, WINNIPEG CENTER: The zombie invasion in the United States could easily turn into a continent pandemic if it's not contained. So, on behalf of concerned Canadians everywhere, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister of foreign affairs, is he working with his American counterparts to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion does not turn into a zombie apocalypse?

JOHN BAIRD, CANADIAN POLITICIAN: I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dedicated to ensuring that this never happens. I want to say categorically to this member and through him to all Canadians, that under the leadership of this prime minister, Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies ever.



LEMON: Why can't our lawmakers do something like that?

OBEIDALLAH: Hear, hear. That's great. (INAUDIBLE) is waking up to the threat of zombies. We are sleeping. We're talking about meteors and cruise ships. Guess what, there are zombies coming from the north, crossing the border. And guess with these zombies, they won't self-deport, no. You know why, they have no sense of direction. So, you can't really get them to go back over. Easily distracted. There are going to be anchor zombies taking our jobs and then come here, and you know what, we're fatter than the Canadians. They're going to love eating us. They are not going to leave us. Wake up, American government. The zombies are coming.

LEMON: I wish I have, along with this, can get along and then, had enough sense of humor to do something like that.

OBEIDALLAH: Well, it's great that they did it tongue in cheek. Obviously, I'm obviously kidding, too. But you know, imagine our Congress joking around. They yell at each other. They call each other's name. Don't ever speak like this.

LEMON: Did you watch the ship come in? Did your ship come in this week?

OBEIDALLAH: My ship didn't. But that cruise ship did and I actually was sucked in by it. And I can't believe I'm admitting that. I was actually sucked in by the coverage.

LEMON: So you watched the whole thing? Were you glued to the television like the people -- there were some people in one of my friend's beauty parlor, whatever, hairdresser and said they just couldn't stop watching it.

OBEIDALLAH: Well, I have no career, Don. Obviously, I'm here on Saturday nights. So, I have nothing else going on so, I watched cruise ships. I usually watch cruise ships no matter what, slowly go crash the ocean. This one was leading to something. A cruise to Alabama. I mean, I want to get booked on --

LEMON: There's a joke in there. Many jokes in there, somewhere.

Thank you, Dean. Bye-bye.

OBEIDALLAH: All right. Take care, Don.

LEMON: And next --



LEMON: I sit down with one of the hottest bands in the world, Fun.



LEMON: You know you know them. That's the band, Fun. The song that propelled them into mainstream music. It's been almost a week since they walked away with two of music's most coveted awards, winning song of the year and best new artist at the Grammys. They sat down with me in their first interview, their first TV interview since then to talk about their big wins, their climb to the top and what's next for them.


LEMON: Congratulations, best new artist, song of the year. You were really surprised? You were really surprised.

NATE RUESS, LEAD VOCALIST, FUN: Yes, we were surprised to be nominated in the first place. I think even just surprised by what the last year has brought. What makes all of this stuff so special is that it was from an album where we expected nothing because we've been doing this for, you know, 11, 12 years. We thought signing to a major label, maybe it would get a little more people to like recognize us. But suddenly a whirlwind happened behind it. And everybody got behind the album. But, we are not out to cater to anyone other than yourselves as artists and to the fans that come to our concerts.

LEMON: You sound very unique. In a way, it reminds me, I don't know why, of queen, a little bit. But did you have a tough time convincing people to buy what you were selling?

RUESS: You know, I think for us, modernizing the record being influenced by hip-hop, unintentionally put that kind of mainstream type of appeal over it. And I think the label probably feel like they got a surprise. Because they thought they were going to get something that maybe a little more routine or a little more bandish, like a little more queenish or something like that. And what they got was some nights were just a whole different beast.

LEMON: What inspired that particular verse?

RUESS: I think it's just kind of -- it's funny looking back now. But it just felt kind of like just a lack of acknowledgment from doing it for as long -- we always felt like the bridesmaids, I think. It's just about actually questioning of like how much longer -- not, how much longer you can do it but it can get a little hard. And it's hard to start and over again. Sometimes you kind of start to question whether or not it's worth it.

LEMON: But everything is, you know, hills and valleys.


LEMON: But sometimes the valleys, it's nice, though, because you're like, I remember this is the way it was and I did it because I loved it, not because I wanted to be successful.

RUESS: Well, I think there's just a lot that comes with this commitment that we've made to tour for so long. We all adore each other. We have the best times together. We are each other's family. But now it's like I don't have a home. I don't know where to go when I'm off tour. It's all just very weird.

LEMON: You know it's going to happen, I know it's like the question that everyone asks. So, you don't know where your journey is going to go as far as success if this is it, right, or you hope it's going to higher, right? And I would venture to guess that it is. So, someone is looking that you are looking back, what do you think you're going to be talking about yourselves, about what you're proud of?

RUESS: It's a very fascinating question, Don Lemon.

JACK ANTONOFF, GUITARIST, FUN: I think any moment that we've had together and separately, we look back and say, we had no idea, in a good way. I think that's what it means to still be inspired.

ANDREW DOST, PIANIST, FUN: I want to not be wistful, I guess. I want to try to live right now in a way that makes me just happy, look back fondly instead of like trying to claim, oh, man, you don't even know what I had, man. You don't even know what it was like, a million chicks, 100 parties, several friends. I don't want to be like that. I want to feel like -- that was nice. This is nice, too. Like I want to think like, I'm happy, I knew a little bit less than I know now and that's OK.

LEMON: You guys were awesome. Thank you very much.

RUESS: Thanks, Don Lemon.


LEMON: Thanks, guys. That's the beautiful and talented Janel Monoet (ph) in the video with them contributing to that as well.

Ahead, our moment of the week and the dance craze that's infected the nation.



DALE BEATTY, CNN HERO: I'm a combat wounded Iraq veteran. As I was recovering at Walter reed, my community approached me and said they wanted to help build a home for my return.

People would come and work on my project just because they respected the sacrifice that I had gone through. All veterans have been taught to be responsible for the guy to your left and the guy to your right. Other veterans had it as easy as I have so I sat down with my buddy John and we set out to level the playing field.

I'm Dale Beatty and it's my mission to help other veterans get the support and support they deserve from their communities. There's thousands of veterans right here in our midst, people don't realize the need that's out there. We can help any service connected disabled veteran regardless of their age or war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the young man why we're all here today.

BEATTY: It's just getting the community engaged to get a foreclosed home remodeled or an entire house built from the ground up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Narrow doorways that I couldn't get through. I had to crawl in on my hands and knees. To have them build a whole new bathroom was unbelievable.

BEATTY: We want to make their life easier, safer, just better. And their emotions are being rehabbed, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did three towers in Vietnam. For 35 years, no one cared. Purple Heart homes said welcome home. It's great to be home after 40 years.

BEATTY: Regardless of when you serve, we are all the same. They just need to know that somebody does care about them. (END VIDEO CLIP)


LEMON: Ready to dance? You are sure? OK.

Our moment of the week, the Harlem shake. It's a viral video craze that has people prancing across the nation, from sports team to gray-haired grandmas possessed by the sudden urge to dance spastically and post it online. Here's one of our favorites moments, our favorite on starting with the university Georgia swim team.


LEMON: All right. I have a quick explainer for you for the battle of the unhip or the dedicated George Harlem. The videos start with one person dancing alone, then when the bass drop, everyone bursts into spastic dance moves, flailing and bouncing around. Some CNNers decided to have a little fun of their own today in front of CNN's iconic red letters. Watch it.


LEMON: YouTube says Harlem shake videos have been viewed 44 million times worldwide. I've lived in Harlem. Never seen anybody dance like that.

From the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching. Good night.