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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Less than a day after he mentioned on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that Iron Man 4 was in the works, Robert Downey Jr. has swiftly U-turned on this announcement.

    The actor is promoting his new movie The Judge, and slipping in a couple of Marvel-related hints is a good way to keep people interested. In an interview with David Letterman Tuesday, he corrected his previous statement by saying that he hadn’t seen a script for Iron Man 4, although he was definitely going to “do other stuff” with Marvel Studios. “Other stuff” presumably meaning Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3, along with the possibility of cameos in other future movies.

    “I guess they have too much money or something,” Downey joked, as Letterman asked why Iron Man 4 wasn’t in the works yet. However, industry speculation suggests that Downey himself might actually be the financial roadblock here; he reportedly demanded a stunning $50 million for Avengers (more than a hundred times that of a couple of his fellow Avengers). Since the Iron Man franchise is still Marvel’s most successful ongoing series, he could probably ask for more next time around.

    Along with the blatantly ridiculous suggestion that Downey would only return for Iron Man 4if Mel Gibson was directing, these will-they-or-won’t-they sequel rumors have served their purpose. People are now paying more attention to Robert Downey Jr. while he promotes his latest movie, and now there’s even more buzz about the possibility of another Iron Man. As ever, Downey is a master of PR.

    Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    The music business can be tough. But if great music alone isn’t enough to set your band apart from the rest, having a dancing dude you found on Craigslist for $25 certainly will.

    That’s exactly what Austin indie band Comforter did when they played for KVRX Austin’s filmed studio session. The hilarious premise makes way for some even more hilarious dance moves from local comedianVictor Steele. Granted, dancing to indie rock isn’t the easiest to pop-and-lock to, but Steele makes it work. 

    Best of all, the music is pretty fantastic. Guitar riffs flutter miraculously against each other, as time signatures change and digital organs counter. Tonally, having a twangy Telecaster complement a smooth and mid-heavy semi-hollow-body guitar creates a rather harmonious effect. It’s very reminiscent of The Smiths or The Pillows of the early ’90s, with a tiny bit of the math rock band Toe mixed in.  

    As one commenter on Reddit put it: "Came for the dancing guy, stayed for the music."

    When you have Nicki Minaj pushing out utter garbage like "Anaconda" and prancing around with her ass in the air, it’s refreshing to see something creatively stimulating coupled with quirky dance moves.

    Comforter will release its debut EP late next month. 

    H/T Reddit | Photo by jdhancock/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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    Everyone knows how The Price Is Right is meant to work: weird, unemployed actors guess how much consumer products cost, and the closest without going over wins, thereby entertaining all the American schoolchildren who stayed home sick that day and have nothing better to watch. Well, those sniffly kids must have gotten a real kick out of poor Corey, who botched a bid as badly as one can.

    The item in question is a luxury hammock of some sort, and Corey looks very excited to make his guess—which happens to be off by a factor of 10 or so, and thousands of dollars more than the next-highest estimate. (Because the hammock is not lined with unicorn fur, its actual price as given by the show is just $880.) It’s hard to say who’s most in awe of the answer: host Drew Carey, the studio audience of would-be contestants, or the dude who filmed the whole thing off his TV set and had to turn the camera on himself to ask, “What the fuck?”

    Tough break there, Corey, but we can’t all be Aaron Paul. Besides, there’s another game show loser out there who definitely feels your pain.

    H/T Digg | Photo by Tax Credits/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    No haters are gonna hate on Postmodern Jukebox's most recent cover.

    The YouTube cover stars give Taylor Swift’s latest hit "Shake It Off" a vintage twist in their newest video. YouTuber and American Idol contestant Von Smith takes the lead on this number, turning Swift’s straight-up pop stylings into a vintage Motown track.

    While we do spy a tambourine player in the background of this cover video, we’re disappointed to report it’s not the Daily Dot’s favorite tambourine star, Tim Kubart. However you can see Smith and the rest of Postmodern Jukebox on tour this fall.

    Screengrab via ScottBradleeLovesYa/YouTube

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    27-year-old San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green is catching heat for an insensitive Instagram he posted from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin Wednesday. Posing in front of the memorial, Green flipped his phone, snapped a selfie, and uploaded the picture—along with the caption “You know I had to do it one time lol #Holocaust.”

    He’s since deleted the post.

    Screengrab via San Antonio Current

    The Spurs were in Berlin for a preseason game against German hoops club, Alba Berlin—billed as goodwill ambassadors for the NBA. The Spurs lost Wednesday night, 94-93. Green has since apologized for being “insensitive.”

    Thing is, the photo itself wasn’t bad. He was stoic and obviously excited to be there. Holocaust selfies might be tone deaf, but they're rarely intentionally disrespectful. As Angela Serratore wrote recently:

    Whether taken at work or school or in the vicinity of One Direction or at the funeral of a loved one, it’s nothing more than a new way to do what we’ve always been doing—asserting that we are here despite every effort of the universe to make it the opposite.

    Green was there, had to do it one time, and it was sincere and exuberant. And as one of his apologists pointed out, it’s not like he said Anne Frank would have probably been a fan of his.

    Photo via Mark Runyon / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    It’s been a rough couple of days for actor Stephen Collins. The actor best known for playing Christian pastor and father Reverend Camden on 7th Heaven—one of television’s most wholesome dads of the past two decades, whom TV Guide even named the 11th best TV dad of all time—is under investigation by police after he was secretly caught on tape admitting to molesting underage girls.

    Father figures are often some of the most memorable characters on television, especially for how they mentor and guide the younger characters. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome even held a lecture last year about “the image of fatherhood in television.” So it comes as little surprise that when a father figure from television is linked to a scandal, makes a mistake, or simply does something outside of their character’s “norm,” fans take notice. 

    Collins might be the most recent TV father to be mired in controversy, but he’s certainly not the first. Here are some other TV dads who weren’t the same person when the cameras were off. 

    1) Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty

    Screengrab via Duck Dynasty on A&E/YouTube

    The show about a family who turned the Duck Commander duck call into a multimillion-dollar reality sensation is no stranger to scandal. Last year, A&E announced that Robertson would be suspended from Duck Dynasty after remarks he made about homosexuality went viral. He ended up staying on the show and has defended the sermon in which he compared homosexuality to bestiality. 

    Robertson is still making headlines for his controversial sermons. Earlier this week, he was criticized for saying that sexually transmitted diseases are impossible to catch for people who have “Biblically correct sex,” and that immoral behavior is responsible for the spread of STD’s. 

    2) Robert Hughes from Hey Dad!

    Screengrab via Today Tonight/YouTube

    Hey Dad! is a well-known family comedy from Australia, but the show has recently become a hotbed of controversy for the man who played TV dad Martin Kelly. Earlier this year, Robert Hughes was sentenced to six to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing four girls over two decades, including the underage actress who played his daughter, Sarah Monahan. 

    3) Bob Saget from Full House

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

    Danny Tanner is still seen as one of TV’s nicest dads. The widowed father of three daughters was kind, dorky, and always had something wise to say at the end of each episode. So, it came as a shock to thousands of fans when it turned out the dorky ’90s dad was actually one of the filthiest comedians out there. He even touched on how his wholesome TV dad image plays into his raunchy stand-up with his recent book, Dirty Daddy

    4) Tim Allen from Home Improvement

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

    Tim “The Toolman” Taylor was everybody’s favorite quirky dad, with some of the cutest sons on early ’90s television. But long before he became The Toolman, the stand-up comedian spent 28 months in federal prison for trying to sneak a 1.4-pound bag of cocaine through the airport. Allen could’ve actually received up to life in prison, but he reportedly snitched on several drug dealers that he knew, which helped reduce his sentence. 

    5) Robert Reed from The Brady Bunch

    Screengrab via CBS/YouTube

    Mike Brady may have been the man who found love again after the tragic death of his first wife, but in real life his true love was kept secret. Reed died in 1992 at the age of 59. The death was originally attributed to colon cancer, but former The Brady Bunch co-star Florence Henderson later revealed that Reed was homosexual and his death was actually quickened by AIDS. Nightingale said in an interview that Reed struggled to hide his homosexuality in Hollywood, and that it affected him professionally and personally. 

    6) Ralph Waite from The Waltons

    Screengrab via INSP/YouTube

    The actor who played John Walton was more than the picture-perfect father who helped his family through the Great Depression. Behind the scenes, he was a recovering alcoholic and ex-preacher who lost his daughter to leukemia when she was 9 years old. 

    Waite was also known for pushing the envelope and trying more serious works, even during his time on The Waltons. In 1980, he wrote, produced, directed, and distributed the film On the Nickle, about a recovering alcoholic who’s looking for a friend on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Waite also tried to run for Congress in California twice, losing out the second time to Sonny Bono’s widow after he was killed in a skiing accident. 

    7) Will Hayden from Sons of Guns

    Screengrab via Discovery Channel Asia/YouTube

    Another reality TV father, Will Hayden was arrested in August for aggravated rape involving a child. The gun store owner from Discovery Channel’s show Sons of Guns, Hayden is accused of molesting his 12-year-old daughter. Another daughter and show co-star Stephanie Hayden has since come forward with accusations that she was also sexually abused, even though she originally said he was innocent. Discovery Channel cancelled Sons of Guns after Hayden was arrested, and the gun store Red Jacket Firearms cut ties with him.

    Correction: An early version of this article misstated the surname of Robert Reed's TV wife on The Brady Bunch. That actress's name is Florence Henderson.

    Photo via Ruocaled/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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    One family is hoping that Peter Jackson will help them fulfill a touching final wish: to watch the final Hobbit movie with their dying father.

    According to a YouTube video posted by Jessy Stouffer on Oct. 7, her father is suffering from terminal cancer. As a result, it doesn't appear that he will live through the Dec. 17 release date of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies—effectively ending a longstanding family tradition of watching the Hobbit movies together.

    "One wish we would like to fulfill is to have this family tradition continue … and see if my family would be able to see it together, before December," Stouffer pleads in the video, asking viewers to spread the request on social media using the hashtag #HobbitMovieLastRequest.

    While the video has yet to catch the eye of Jackson or any of the actors involved with the Hobbit franchise, it is making its rounds throughout several online outlets. It already has over 36,000 views and has attracted the attention of Reddit, where it was posted by Stouffer's second cousin "perd1."

    "This needs way more attention than it's getting, seriously. As a LotR fan, and as a fellow redditor, I sincerely hope you guys get the chance to do this," redditor BlazinFyre posted on a thread in r/movies about the video.

    In another comment, redditor skizl offered to help make the wish a reality, though she would not elaborate on exactly how it would work.

    Using the power of the Internet to appeal to the sensibilities of top Hollywood brass has worked in the past. In December 2012, J.J. Abrams allowed a terminally ill leukemia patient to watch an early cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness a good five months before it hit theaters. Hopefully, Jackson will take a page from Abrams's book and fulfill a close-knit family's final wish.

    Screengrab via Jessy Stouffer/YouTube

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    Robert Downey Jr.’s third eye is probably trying to tell us something.

    He and Jimmy Fallon ponder life, the universe, and everything on the top of a mountain with a longer mane than usual, but they might as well be talking to us about what happens when you knock three times and the five elements—and yes, that includes Domino's stuffed crust pepperoni pizza. And we’re listening.

    He’s already toyed with our emotions by confirming and then denying an Iron Man 4, and he showed he can do it even when Marvel isn’t even on the table. All it takes is a sneeze or trying to communicate in dolphin and we’re hooked into living that semi-charmed life.

    We’re still completely on-board the RDJ train, and it’s not even Avengers season.

    Photo via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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    Japanese pop and anime sensation Hatsune Miku hit mainstream Americana Wednesday, performing “Sharing the World” on The Late Show With David Letterman.

    Miku is an animated projection that performs with a four-piece rock ensemble made up of live musicians. The animation wears a Britney Spears mic, sprinkles magic dust, waves goodbye, and vanishes when the song ends.

    The song itself is nicely conceived. Sure, Letterman made a pot joke about Willie Nelson (and being on his bus), but beforehand, he appeared jarred by the act, saying “wow” immediately after the song. 

    It’s a massive moment for the pop project, developed by Crypton Future Media and voiced by Japanese actress Saki Fujita (the singing comes from synthesiser applications, but Fujita is the base sample). This spring, she opened for Lady Gaga on select dates of her ARTPOP Ball tour. In Japan, Miku is big enough to shuck for Domino’s Pizza.

    Photo via Wata 1219/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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    Just hours after In Touch Weekly released a particularly damning interview with Amanda Bynes, in which the troubled child star alleged, among other things, that a microchip had been implanted in her brain and that she wanted “a dollar a day from every person who [is] reading my mind,” Bynes used Twitter to announce that she’ll be suing In Touch—despite having allowed them to spend the day with her for the interview.

    Bynes has taken a troubled turn the past few weeks, after having lain low under conservatorship of her parents in Los Angeles for the last 15 months. Cracks had begun to show earlier this summer when TMZ reported that she was expelled from L.A.’s prestigious fashion college, FIDM. Late September, she was arrested and charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of Adderall, and a week later, she announced to In Touch that she was engaged to a 19-year-old Costa Mesa, Calif., bait shop employee named Caleb.

    In the last week, Bynes has been spotted around various locations in New York City, where she has been accused of shoplifting and harassed by patrons at a night club, all while she was trying to have a generally good time with friends. 

    Photo via condoungtolua/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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    Weezer’s ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, is out this week, and reviews are encouraged but ultimately disappointed. The selling point for this one is Rivers Cuomo—one of rock’s most enigmatic and disengaged front men—coming back to the acutely personal, plucky, rambling stuff his name was built on. Problem is we’ve heard that one before.

    Weezer has spent the last nine years satisfying its ironic whims—wearing fedoras, hanging out in the Playboy Mansion, rapping, writing a song called “She Got Hot.” The band has released seven records this century (eight if you count the Tupperware leftovers stuffed into 2010’s Death to False Metal). From 2005’s Make Believe through 2010’s Hurley, Cuomo seemed to actively despise his industry. He recalled Peter from Office Space when he checked out and spent the workweek playing computer games in sandals. But he continued to get promoted, and so he kept taking everyone’s money.

    I read Cuomo as a highly intelligent guy with defined tastes (he loves metal, moved to Los Angeles at 19 to rock, dreamed of being an arena god). Now that he’s an unhinged, established musician with a presumably cavernous estate, Cuomo sees pop culture as an opportunity for absurdist performance art. Because he’s a square 44-year-old who feels no responsibility toward his audience, he writes songs that half his band maybe thinks are funny. “Troublemaker” from 2008’s eponymous Red album contains the lyric, “movies are as bad as eating chocolate ice cream.” The cover art for 2009’s ghastly Raditude (actor Rainn Wilson suggested the title and Cuomo was sufficiently amused), was originally published in National Geographic and is a dog in a living room.

    The work has been equal parts ironic and incoherently sugary with respect to studio polish. But we half-pay attention because Cuomo found his voice on 1994’s eponymous Blue album and everyone loves it; because he was an openly creepy, damaging fetishist on ‘96’s sprawling, confessional, generationally influential emo masterpiece, Pinkerton. The mainstream didn’t bite on Pinkerton, you’ll remember, and Cuomo’s band was an afterthought until 2001. That summer, the band returned to the pop charts with its eponymous “Green” album—it was an emotionally detached pocketful of sunshine. Cuomo said that writing it was “a purely musical experience.”

    Problem is, what makes Cuomo matter is the personal stuff. His third record, then, is the poisonous blueprint for latter-day Weezer. Make Believe was a more muscular, glossier project with the same missing emotional core of the Green album. And so on.

    In the past 24 hours, I’ve listened to all of the 21st century Weezer corpus with the hope of finding value. For most of the journey, I felt like those star-crossed fools that don GoPro cameras and search for Bigfoot. But ultimately, some of it is downright terrific. 2002’s Maladroit was whole-milk hearty: “Keep Fishin’” is the best (and only) Weezer single I’ve included; “Burndt Jam” is dignified.

    “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” is sincere and ambitious: Think the final dance scene from Napoleon Dynamite. It is six minutes of declarative pomp, time changes, and bravely pointless sirens. “I’m the baddest of the bad,” Cuomo snarls behind arena clap drums, seconds before oscillating to acoustic “oohs.” Then there’s a military choir for about 20 seconds. Then Cuomo sings in falsetto. Then there’s a moment of “Surf Wax America”-esque pogo rock. Then there are synthesizers.

    Cuomo writes so many throwaways that some were bound to stick—16, to be exact.

    Photo via James Pawlish/ Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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    Jon Cozart, the University of Austin film student who amassed a 2.4 million subscriber following on YouTube with a few well-done Disney parodies, is branching out beyond his Paint channel to explore more short-form creation.

    Cozart’s new channel, PaintChips, will follow the video-a-week timeline (a solid increase from his current pace, which leaves months between videos) and deal with more personal and interactive content. Of course, Cozart isn’t completely abandoning stylized videos, and he’s adhering to a 99 seconds or less format to creatively answer fan questions and prompts, with the goal of connecting more with his fanbase.

    “In my mind I’ve diluted YouTube to a creator/consumer exchange,” Cozart said in his announcement video. “When I look at all the content I watch from other YouTubers, I invest time time because I love what they do, and I love what I do because I love them. I want to be more like the creators I admire, the ones that inspired seventh-grade Jon to make videos in the first place.”

    It’s a savvy move for Cozart, who may have the following, but thanks to his chosen format, has a limited ability to interact with his massive fandom like other creators who create a mixture of vlogs, challenges, and big production value videos on their channels. So far his first video on the new channel deals with a popular question Cozart receives, “Why are you so perfect?” Cozart reveals his perfect imperfection in a supercut of all the times he messed up while filming his new channel announcement video.

    We’re looking forward to more from Cozart, and it’s clear his fans are too. The new channel may not be as large as his original, but it’s already ballooned to 174,000 subscribers in only five days.

    Screengrab via PaintChips / YouTube.

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    With 3 million subscribers to his main channel, YouTuber Kingsley is branching out to his own talk show series with popular channel ClevverTV, dissecting the week’s biggest drama on Drama King every Thursday.

    Kingsley’s partnership with ClevverTV was a long time coming. His YouTube network is Defy, and he’s done a few episodes of other Clevver programs before taking the reins on his own project. 

    “I just really loved the atmosphere, and I loved all the Clevver hosts,” Kingsley told the Daily Dot. “I always wanted to be on a pop-culture-centric program. Clevver is one of the top places, and since they were with Defy and I was with Defy, I really wanted to do a show. At the beginning I wasn't even thinking of my own show—I was thinking of joining one of theirs—but we were able to come together and make it work.”

    The first episode sets up the premise, with Kingsley giving a monologue straight to camera on the episode’s chosen topic, before turning to his featured guests to discuss the matter further. Last week he was joined by YouTuber Grace Helbig and comedian Quinta B to discuss Ariana Grande’s possible diva behavior, as well as play games like guessing the diva-rific rider requests of other performers. 

    Kingsley cites comedian and former late show host Chelsea Handler as his “number one role model” and says her show served as inspiration for his own format.

    “I looked at Chelsea Lately as the blueprint,” he said. “I wanted a panel, I wanted different guests every week, and I wanted to open with a monologue. I think the monologue is a good combination of this program and the audience I built on my channel addressing the camera directly.”

    Kingsley is preternaturally adept at keeping up with the wide world of celebrity and and pop culture on his own channel, and he brings that expertise to his new Clevver show as well, browsing TMZ and paying attention to what his audience is talking about. 

    “It’s a combination of what’s big and what I’m actually passionate about and what I can hold a discussion about without being boring as hell,” Kingsley said.

    And as far as pop culture is concerned, Kingsley doesn’t pull his punches.

    “I tend to steer away from major news things, however," he says. "For instance, Mike Brown and Ferguson. I have an opinion on it, but I know things with political and racial undertones are a bit iffy. I like to make people laugh. It’ s not necessarily that I don’t like to make people think, but I don’t want to offend anyone talking about something super serious. I’d rather just comment on the fluff and things that we all just like and enjoy.”

    Drama King isn’t the only project on Kingsley’s plate at the moment. He's also got Unkut, a Drama King aftershow modeled after E’s After Lately that accompanied Chelsea Lately. He explains the show, a behind-the-scenes look at faux office drama surrounding his talk show, is “obviously super fabricated, but it’s so fun." In the first episode, Helbig and Kingsley get some awkward warm-up techniques from an improvisor.

    He’s also running two other series on his own channel, Inquisitive and Really B Really. Inquisitive has him interviewing other YouTubers, which Kingsley calls practice for when Drama King grows to where he can include an interview segment. For Really B Really, a sketch show that has Kingsley playing three female friends discussing the world of pop culture, Kingsley admits he can’t even bring himself to watch episodes after he films them, and calls the series something he does simply because his fans love it.

    “I wasn’t going to do it, but it’s the favorite thing that audience likes right now,” he explained. “I just felt bad, I’m like, ‘I can’t not do this.’ That requires me to wear these wigs and put on these kooky voices. I enjoy writing it, but as I said, when I upload it, I never watch it again.”

    Even with all that on his plate, Kingsley says it’s not difficult to balance his life.

    “I’ll work with Defy during the day, then I’ll come home and just edit and pay attention to my channel,” he said. “It keeps me busy. I’m good when I’m busy.”

    Drama King airs every Thursday at 3pm PT, and the newest episode will tackle Raven Symone’s recent Oprah interview.

    Screengrab via ClevverTV/YouTube

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    Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this the “Tale of How to Find Every Are You Afraid of the Dark? on YouTube.”

    Are You Afraid of the Dark? was, like all good teenage television fare, a Canadian production that ran on Nickelodeon from 1990 to 1996. The premise was simple: Teens gather around a bonfire to tell scary stories to gain access to the aforementioned Midnight Society. Thanks to R2Teep2 on Reddit, there’s now a master list of every episode from all five seasons of the series that are available on YouTube.

    It’s a genuinely spooky show, even if the acting features kids calling each other “lamewad.” From “The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float” that made you never want to go in a swimming pool again to “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” that made you shifty around any and every mirror, you can now relive your preteen nightmares, thanks to YouTube.

    Or, if you’re too scared to watch, there’s a YouTuber who reviewed several episodes of the series on his channel, although he gave up the enterprise five years ago. If you’re extremely brave, there’s a full playlist of the entire series loaded for peak pre-Halloween consumption.

    H/T Reddit | Photo by orsorama/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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    What if there is a secret place where nothing is impossible, a miraculous place where you could actually change the world. You wanna go?” a steely George Clooney asks in the first footage released for Disney’s Tomorrowland.

    The teaser trailer, for what is set to be next summer’s blockbuster, premiered at New York Comic Con on Thursday after Clooney surprised the crowd by crashing the movie's panel. The film, which has been shrouded with more security than the Disney vault, comes courtesy of director Brad Bird (Ratatouille) and screenwriter-producer Damon Lindelof (Lost).

    Fans have been clamoring for footage from the film, which centers on George Clooney as an inventor named Frank who enlists the help of a young girl named Casey to unlock the secrets of “an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as ‘Tomorrowland.’” According to a report from Deadline, Clooney introduced a second clip that involved his character fighting off a deluge of bad guys alongside Casey before escaping in a flying bathtub.

    With a premiere date set for next May, fans have time to visit the “Tomorrowland” section of Disney parks and gleam what inspiration the creators might have taken for the film.

    H/T Deadline | Screenshot via Disney Movie Trailer/YouTube

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    October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and two YouTube stars have teamed up with Futures Without Violence to help spread the message what the month is all about (as all year, every year should be, too, of course).

    Diamond White and Chris Collins, with the help of Macy’s, covered Aretha Franklin’s famous “Respect” in a video intermixed with the two singers telling viewers about how they learned respect in their lives (e.g., White’s mother).

    Two million dollars worth of donated online advertising will go to support the campaign. The Futures Without Violence campaign will begin in earnest on Oct. 14, running for six weeks, and will span digital platforms/companies like ESPN, BuzzFeed, Comcast, and Spotify. Fullscreen, Federated Media, and AKQA all contributed to the campaign.

    The “Respect!” video is already out, which you can watch right here.

    The video is also meant to spark a contest in which viewers can upload photos showing who taught them about respect. The winner will receive $10,000 to donate to a nonprofit or school (plus a free trip to New York and a bunch of clothes from Macy’s, so it’s not totally altruistic).

    Screengrab via Futures Without Violence/YouTube

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    Steve Carell joined Jimmy Fallon last night to discuss his new movie, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Carell indulged Fallon’s penchant for making celebs do stupid human tricks by catching grapes in his mouth. But he also revealed something far more substantial: He predicted Lorde’s ascension.

    Yes, Carell heard the New Zealand singer’s “Royals” early on, and told his One Direction–loving daughter it was going to be huge. She didn’t believe it and he got to have an “in your face” moment. Is there any other reason to have kids?

    Screengrab via the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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    It’s another strange day in Gravity Falls, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is a ham. Just about literally.

    In a recent episode of Gravity Falls, the astrophysicist voiced a pig who becomes intelligent after eating some brain-enhancing “goop” and building a machine that gives him the ability to talk. Younger audiences may not recognize the voice, but anyone can appreciate both the absurdity and simplistic honesty when he says, “Forgive me, my pig arms are cute and useless.”

    In the past, giving the house pet the ability to talk often ended in disaster or war (sometimes both). Gravity Falls’ take on it was much more innocent, and despite his newfound abilities, at the end of the day, he'd rather be a dumb pig with his owner/best friend than aid the world with his new scientific discoveries.

    At first glance to someone who hasn’t watched the channel in a few years aside from the odd Disney Renaissance film, it may sound like a typical episode of TV on Disney, the channel Gravity Falls calls home along with sister channel Disney XD. Take a deeper look, though, and it’s anything but. After all, these are the channels that gave us Kim Possible, Phineas and Ferb, and now Star Wars Rebels.

    Gravity Falls follows 12-year-old fraternal twins Dipper and Mabel Pines (Jason Ritter and Bob’s Burgers’ Kristen Schaal) as they’re sent off to the fictional town of Gravity Falls, Ore., to live with their Grunkle (a mashup of great-uncle) Stan (creator Alex Hirsch), the owner of a small-town tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. Naturally, shenanigans ensue, but with the show finding kindred spirits and influences in Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and The Simpsons, it delivers rich storytelling full of mystery and intrigue—and plenty of silliness, no matter how much you’re invested in solving each case. It’s not just the the characters solving the mysteries; the audience is right there with them.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here's what you need to know about Gravity Falls.

    1) The show is weird, and that’s a good thing

    It doesn’t take Dipper and Mabel long to discover just how weird Gravity Falls can be. In the first episode, they stumble upon one of the cryptic journals that catalogs the variety of paranormal and supernatural creatures that live in the town. The possibilities of what could happen next are endless, although Hirsch usually tries to limit himself to the mysteries that “feel like they’re primarily seen by the kids.”

    The show shies away from nothing and simultaneously tells stories about growing up, first crushes, and even that realization that people are starting to find your silly tendencies annoying. Also in the balance are ghosts, gnomes vomiting rainbows, “an enormous, evil, time-devouring baby from another dimension,” clones, time travel, and even a conspiracy theory about a forgotten U.S. president. Unlike In The Flesh, which often used genre to discuss harder topics, the ties to science fiction and the paranormal enhance the story, and sometimes it’s just plain fun. And unlike most Western animated shows, Gravity Falls doesn’t reset after the end of every episode. If something happens in one episode, it can still apply in the next.

    Could you show Gravity Falls without all of the weirdness? Sure, but it’d feel like almost any other show about getting shipped off to a relative’s for the summer, even if it has well-rounded characters. While twins Mabel and Dipper serve as the heart of the show, they're well supported by Grunkle Stan and Mystery Shack employees Soos, a lovable manchild, and Wendy Corduroy, a 15-year-old part-timer who is the subject of Dipper’s crush.

    And even in just a couple dozen episodes, the show has expanded the supporting cast beyond the five characters in the Mystery Shack, and Gravity Falls is already starting to have the feel of Springfield. In an early season 1 episode, one of the characters outlines a rough geography of the town, at least when it comes to where which creatures reside in it.

    The less-developed characters have more to them than meets the eye, and everyone’s important. What looks like background fodder in one episode can be explained by a later one, like Blendin Blandin appearing in the backdrop of several earlier episodes to fix the mistakes Dipper and Mabel made using time travel.

    2) Dipper and Mabel feel like they’re actually 12. And they like each other.

    Hirsch has said in many interviews that some aspects of the show are autobiographical. For one, the relationship between Dipper and Mabel is based on his with his own twin sister, and some of the show is inspired by their summers away from home.

    Like most sets of siblings, they have their share of quirks. Mabel is more outgoing and silly (a quality she fully embraces) while Dipper is more quiet and academically smarter of the two. They’ve both got insecurities, but Dipper's are almost always more prevalent. But there’s something very unique about this sibling dynamic, and for fans it’s most welcome.

    “The kids LIKE each other,” Hirsch said during an AMA on r/gravityfalls. “No matter how much they get on each other’s nerves, this never changes.”

    Compared with other TV sibling duos, the thought that the characters like each other is almost revolutionary. While the Pines twins tend to butt heads about as often as other siblings (on TV and in real life), their bickering and arguments never feel malicious, even when there’s blatant teasing. It feels like they're coming from a place of love.

    And the characters actually feel like they’re 12, not like they’re someone’s vague idea of what 12 looks like. Thanks to the writing staff—led by Hirsch, who always looks over dialogue between Dipper and Mabel to make sure they feel like his characters—and the voice acting, particularly from Schaal, who already memorably voices another youngster who defies the major character archetypes, we’re watching how someone that age may react to a situation. Nothing is dumbed down or made to be too intelligent. They’re just them.

    The same goes for Wendy and her fellow teenager friends. They’re mysterious to the twins because they’re older, but they’re not played off for laughs, even when they’re shown doing stereotypical tasks like being attached to their cell phones.

    3) When the writers write for themselves, everyone wins.

    When people see a show that manages to entice people of all ages, people tend to jump to the conclusion that the writers added another layer of humor for the adults stuck watching the show with their children. And while Gravity Falls does have some older pop culture references, it doesn’t always work like that.

    “That is not really how animation writers, at least the ones that I've encountered, think about what they make,” Hirsch told Vox back in August. “There's never this moment of, ‘Wait, it's too young. Throw in a winking joke about something for the parents.’ Literally, the whole thing is just us trying to make the funniest thing we can for ourselves.”

    So instead of trying to cater to one specific audience, Hirsch—who describes himself as a sort of “weird manchild”—he tries to make himself laugh. So in one scene you’ll get a character literally spilling the beans while another references another show based in the Pacific Northwest.

    4) The fans are creative as hell, and Alex Hirsch is great on social media.

    Gravity Falls is currently in its second season, but before its August premiere, fans were stuck in a seemingly neverending hiatus. Fanart appeared online, and cosplay started to pop up at conventions, some merging multiple fandoms into one. Like other fandoms, Gravity Falls has been mashed with Doctor Who and Supernatural, but the most common mashup has been with Paranorman (which came out about two months after the show premiered) in a fusion better known as Parapines.

    But many fans closely followed Hirsch’s social media accounts, where he would often put up Easter eggs on a new Tumblr or behind-the-scenes looks into the creation of the show.

    He often interacts with the fans or retweets their fanart, and sometimes he’ll insert some hidden messages to solve.

    5) Theories abound, and the Illuminati may be involved

    Gravity Falls is a show that should require multiple viewings—not only so that you’d get to see classic clips like a gnome vomiting a rainbow or Dipper’s “Lamby Lamby Dance” more than once, but because there’s a good chance you’re missing out on something the first time through.

    Take the opening sequence, for instance. It’s 40 seconds of music accompanied by flashes of creatures and the main characters. Sure, you saw that clip of Dipper pointing to a footprint inside an even bigger footprint, but did you also catch the one frame of something that looks remarkably like Bigfoot later on?

    LewToons, who reviews various cartoons on his channel, caught on, and in his first video on the mysteries of Gravity Falls, takes even more time to examine a page that looks like it popped out of Dipper’s journal. You catch the tiniest frame of it, but once you get a view of the whole thing, it leaves you with a lot more questions; for example, by using the Caesar Cipher, the jumbled letters on the right side translate into “STAN IS NOT WHAT HE SEEMS.” 

    Screengrab via LewToons/YouTube

    Each of the symbols in the circle could represent a character, and while some are easier to pinpoint than others—Mabel as the shooting star, Dipper the tree, and Stan the glasses—others aren’t quite as simple to nail down. It’s also the very first glimpse of the show’s biggest villain to date, Bill Cipher, a dream demon in the shape of the Eye of Providence, and while he doesn’t show up until the end of season 1, he’s been seen in almost every episode.

    With Bill Cipher being the most obvious, you may start to notice the surprising number of symbols around town: a goat with one and a half horns that some suspect to be a sort of satanic imagery; Grunkle Stan's fez, a hat worn by the Shriners (a smaller, more selective part of the Masons); all-seeing eyes; and almost too many triangles and Eyes of Providence to keep track of, leaving some to believe that the show’s connected to the Illuminati. And if it’s not, it’s a load of coincidence.

    But what may end up being one of the most detailed mysteries of the show involves the most mysterious character: Grunkle Stan. Not much is known about him, and as the older, distant relative to Dipper and Mabel, he already has an air of mystery. But fans have pieced together a well-documented theory that suggests that Stan had an identical twin brother (who may no longer be alive).

    But how could Stan have a twin when the show has never mentioned it? According to the people who have, the show has. Multiple times.

    Dipper and Mabel end up traveling through Stan’s memories at the end of season 1, where they watched a younger version of Stan at a boxing competition. Keen eyes may have noticed a brown-haired boy with a similar haircut and his face hiding behind a book, and it only grows from there as you look at various Stan flashback scenes. It even draws parallels to the current set of twins under his roof and explains why that brother’s possible death shows why Stan gets along with Mabel more than Dipper.

    But this is only just the surface, and people are discovering even more twists and turns and theories. The new season just got started, so hop on the train to this strange little town.

    Photo via Gravity Falls/YouTube

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    Before his suicide two months ago, actor/comedian Robin Williams had completed filming on two movies that are being released this holiday season. The first is A Merry Friggin' Christmas, the trailer for which has been released. Watch in the video below. 

    In the Christmas comedy, Joel McHale plays Boyd Mitchler, who is forced to spend the holidays with his quirky, dysfunctional family. When he realizes he left all of his son's presents at home, Boyd and his father (Williams) embark on an eight-hour road trip to try to get the presents and make it back before dawn. The movie co-stars Candice Bergen as Boyd's mother and Lauren Graham as his wife. 

    After Williams' death, McHale told Access Hollywood, "[Working with Robin Williams] was one of the greatest experiences of my life. … I can't believe, I still can't believe how it all went down. It's horrible." 

    A Merry Friggin' Christmas is due out in November and A Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, in which Williams reprises his role as Teddy Roosevelt, is due out in December. Those are his final on-screen appearances, though he did lend his voice to a movie called Absolutely Anything, due out in February 2015. 

    Photo via Sycamore Pictures

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    Speed-dating is awkward enough, but what if you had to adhere to whatever rules your friend placed upon you during the minutes-long encounter? Chris Demarais and Aaron Marquis of Rooster Teeth’s show Social Disorder did just that, giving each other increasingly strange guidelines during a matchmaking event.

    While the full episode doesn’t air until Saturday, we have a sneak peek at just how awkward their speed-dating event ended up being with their strange demands.

    The pair told the Daily Dot the seed for Social Disorderwas planted in early 2014, but they took time to make sure it would be unlike every other prank show on YouTube.

    ”One day we said, ‘why not make a social experiment show where we try and screw each other over? We'll set up some sort of weird social experiment and try and one up each other … for points,’ Demarais explained via email. “So Social Disorder is just our real life friendship put into show form. It's relentless chaos and sabotage.”

    While other prank shows have come under fire recently for promoting harassment, the Social Disorder duo says the key to their show is that they aim to make fun of themselves, not others.

    “In Social Disorder, and we work hard to create situations with a light tone,” said Demarais. “In the speed dating episode, the women were extremely nice and patient. For the most part, they responded like anyone else would while we acted like two complete weirdos.”

    "Weirdos" is a bit of an understatement. During the speed-dating event, Demarais had to speak completely in third person during a date, with his poor matched dater just barely holding back from rolling her eyes at his every sentence. Marquis had it harder, though, and was tasked with trying to convince a girl to let him smell her shoes—and to get her to sniff his in exchange.

    “Aaron wears these old, smelly boots all the time and I loved the idea of making him smell them,” joked Demarais. “And I figured that once a girl smelled his feet, there would be no way she'd be interested in him.”

    It was not all awkwardness for every couple involved. The event was a legitimate speed-dating evening, and according to Demarais, some real-life couples may have found love thanks to the show.

    “We can't tell you whether or not we got matches, but we will say that one of us did better than expected,” he said. “Also, this was a real speed dating event that we hosted, and 5 couples ended up matching at the end of the night. We might just give up the show and start hosting weekly speed dating events.”

    The full episode premieres Saturday on Rooster Teeth's website at 11am CT.

    Screengrab via Rooster Teeth/YouTube

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