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The Rock Sweeps, Ellen’s Final Win & More 2021 People’s Choice Awards Highlights

Jacob Scott

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Celebrating this year’s best in entertainment, the People’s Choice Awards returned with an in-person audience to present awards voted on by the fans, for the fans. Hosted by SNL funnyman Kenan Thompson, this year’s ceremony was jam-packed with memorable moments, from major wins to amazing performances, to honoring legendary celebs for their career achievements.

Honored in this year’s prestigious nominees were reality TV and pop culture icon Kim Kardashian West with the Fashion Icon Award, Christina Aguilera with the Music Icon Award, and legendary actress Halle Berry with the night’s top honor, the 2021 People’s Icon Award.

Check out some of the night’s best laughs, speeches, and performances below!

Kenan’s Musical Roast Monologue

Kenan Thompson hosting the 2021 People’s Choice Awards! pic.twitter.com/RgW5JPdoeE

— The SNL Network (@thesnlnetwork) December 8, 2021

“Y’all ready for a show tonight?” Host Kenan Thompson started the show with a musical roast monologue, poking fun at several of the night’s top nominees. Comparing the show to the Oscars but with movies people have actually seen, no one was safe from his hilarious comments. Perhaps his funniest dig was at Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson, who would become a “White Widow” if husband Colin Jost wouldn’t stop using his SNL bathroom.

The Rock Dominated the Night

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” – @TheRock, The Champion of our Hearts. #PCAs pic.twitter.com/ZaOFH0Kd0T

— Hulu (@hulu) December 8, 2021

Winning the night’s first award for Male Movie Star, Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson took home several awards throughout the night, including Comedy Movie Star, and most notably the 2021 People’s Champion Award for his impactful journey from WWE star to Hollywood legend. Honored for using his fame to help and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, he recalled his history with the first “people’s champion,” Muhammad Ali. Having known him over the years, Ali permitted him to use the title during wrestling days before working together with the Make a Wish Foundation later on. “What it means to be the people’s champion is so much bigger than me,” he added, before inviting up his Make a Wish guest up on stage, giving the award to her for inspiring him and the world. As the ceremony wrapped up, he ended his time with one of his favorite quotes, telling fans, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

The People Love Loki

This is the official shoutout to everyone who helps @twhiddleston wake up in the mornings! #PCAs pic.twitter.com/lNcqwc19RE

— People’s Choice (@peopleschoice) December 8, 2021

The PCAs bowed down to Loki, as the Marvel Disney+ hit series took home the title of Show of 2021, along with Male TV Star for its star Tom Hiddleston. “Wow, I didn’t expect that,” he stated before thanking the show’s cast and crew, stating he will share the award with them. He ended his heartfelt speech by thanking the fans for making his years-long portrayal of the god of mischief the role of a lifetime. “It is a joy and an honor, and it continues to be.”

Simu Liu & Shang Chi‘s First PCAs Wins

Started in stock photos, now he’s here winning at the #PCAs. @SimuLiu is The Action Movie Star. https://t.co/nd73Pnoxfm pic.twitter.com/OynREDUoc6

— E! News (@enews) December 8, 2021

The star of this summer’s biggest blockbuster movie, Simu Liu took home his first-ever People’s Choice Award for Action Movie Star his role as the titular Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Thanking the fans for voting, he went on to state that though he is the face of the film, all the credit belongs to everyone who worked on it, including director Destin Daniel Cretton. Recalling his time as a finance student, he encouraged fans to chase their dreams not to wait for permission to do what they want. Later on in the night, the film took home the award for Action Movie of the year, to Liu’s surprise and highly improvised acceptance speech.

Ellen DeGeneres’s Historic 25th PCAs Win

Hey @TheEllenShow – add your #PCAs acceptance speech to your weekly tweetly roundup. pic.twitter.com/0L32neKW2w

— People’s Choice (@peopleschoice) December 8, 2021

In a bittersweet win, Ellen DeGeneres took home the award for Daytime Talk Show Host of the year for the final season of her legendary talk show. “The show has been the greatest experience of my life. I have enjoyed every bit of it,” she stated. She recalled the joy of making people smile and shining a light on deserving people throughout the show’s 19-year run. Ending her speech on a positive note, she encouraged fans to not let popularity be their goal in life, but rather to be “exactly who you are.” “This has been an amazing experience.”

Kim Kardashian West’s Fashion Icon Award

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆ ︎ Dreaming about @kimkardashian‘s wardrobe like ⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆ ︎ #PCAs #TheFashionIcon pic.twitter.com/TT07Em3qeo

— People’s Choice (@peopleschoice) December 8, 2021

Honored with this year’s Fashion Icon Award, last year’s winner Tracee Ellis Ross presented the award to Kim Kardashian West, who strutted down the runway stage in an all-black outfit reminiscent of her 2022 Met Gala look. Humbled, she thanked all the designers who believed in her and worked with her over the years, calling the award a “pinch me” moment. She even thanked her ex-husband Kanye West for introducing her to the world of fashion in a new way. “This is like a dream that I get to wake up and wear these amazing clothes and try new things,” she stated before thanking fans once more.

Black Widow Kicks Butt

Scarlett Johansson’s speech as she wins The Female Movie Star of the Year with Black Widow at the #PCAs pic.twitter.com/4bWTSfdIKq

— mcu comfort (@mcucomfort) December 8, 2021

Continuing the streak of Marvel wins, Black Widow and its star Scarlet Johansson took home major awards for Movie of 2021 and Female Action Star. Like Tom Hiddleston, she thanked the fans for accepting and enjoying her portrayal of the Marvel heroine for the past decade. “This is very exciting because it’s the People’s Choice Award, and that’s who we make movies for,” she stated. Thanking the women who helped make her final appearance as the titular character a memorable one, she stated, “I will really treasure this. It means so much to me.”

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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