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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Startup Niche has officially joined the Twitter family.

    Twitter announced Wednesday that it acquired Niche for a reported $30 million. It's a platform for digital stars to monetize their social presence, primarily through Twitter and Vine postings.

    "As more users and creators use different products as a way to share what’s happening in their world, brands are also looking to partner with those individuals in hopes of generating moments that resonate with the people they are trying to reach," Twitter wrote in a blog post "The talent and creativity across the entire media landscape is incredible, and we hope this acquisition continues to inspire people to create great content."

    Niche serves as a matchmaker between brands and creators, similar to a multichannel network would in the YouTube space. There are many players in that game, but Niche has worked closely over the past year with Twitter, especially in developing cross-platform analytics, and brokering deals that have led to all-Vine television commercials, for example.


    Acquisition of social digital talent by major corporations is nothing new. Last year Disney acquired Maker Studios and the ability to leverage its mostly YouTube talent for projects, as well as the vast audience of subscribers.  Since Niche's business was flourishing primarily on Vine deals, folding it into the Twitter ecosystem seems a win-win for all parties involved. However, it could have a limiting factor on outside deals, if Twitter and Vine are prioritizing Niche's contributions. For Niche's part, its team promises more innovation: "As a part of Twitter, our pledge is to continue our commitment to creators: more tools, more platforms, and even more opportunities to team up with the best advertisers in the world."

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    Steven Yeun and Conan O’Brien took some time to get to know each other better outside of Conan's studio.

    In this clip from Conan, the two friends headed out to a spa in Koreatown for a relaxing day. The spa quickly became the sort of environment that showed Conan at his best. What should have, in most cases, been a quiet day quickly took a turn toward pure insanity.

    This video gets weird from the get-go; stripping down is the easy part. What follows is eight minutes of creepiness, awkwardness, and pain at the expense of both of them—but mostly Conan. Yeun’s general calmness tends to balance out Conan's freak-outs, which are at an even higher level of absurdity than usual.

    Conan might not have gotten the results he wanted at the end of the day, but we did: plenty of laughter.

    Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube


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    The first time I talked to Brett Gelman, he explained he was driving to see his parents in San Francisco and stressed that they’re both wonderful people and he had a very happy childhood. The next time we spoke, I asked if his parents had seen his new special.

    “No, they haven’t seen it yet," he said. "They will see it, but because of its disturbing and violent nature, I have to make sure that they’re in a good mental space to watch it.”

    You might know Gelman’s face before his name. The comedian and actor can be seen in FX’s Married, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and Amazon’s new pilot The New Yorker Presents. And then there are his Adult Swim specials.

    Last year, the channel aired Dinner With Friends With Brett Gelman and Friends, in which Gelman helms a dinner party attended by Alison Pill (The Newsroom), Lance Reddick (The Wire), Gilbert Gottfried, Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Dale Dickey (True Blood), and Fred Melamed (The Good Wife, House of Lies). The party quickly takes a sharp turn south, as Gelman puts his guests through psychological and physical torture approaching a Lars Von Trier level of uncomfortable.

    That special was co-written with Jason Woliner, and the two also collaborated on one-man show One Thousand Cats. It seems they prefer a theatrical approach. His new special, Dinner With Family With Brett Gelman and Brett Gelman’s Family, finds him surprising a couple— introduced as his mom and dad—for their 40th wedding anniversary. They sit down for dinner and a show: More specifically, they watch a theatrical performance of “the story of you,” Gelman explains, with Patti LuPone playing Gelman’s mother and Tony Roberts playing his father.

    This is Adult Swim, so things quicklyget weird. Gelman takes some “liberties” with the remembrance of his childhood, and the tension between the on- and offstage action drives the tragedy and comedy here. Suicide, incest, and drug addiction all enter and exit stage left, and Roberts and LuPone’s performances are surreal once you start thinking about their past theater work.   

    How did Tony Roberts and Patti LuPone react to the script?

    Tony told me that at first he was like, “What the fuck is this?” He asked his agent why they sent it to him. But then his agent sent him the last special, and he watched that and then he saw what we were going for, and Jason and I also explained in a cover letter to Tony and Patti that we weren’t going for shock humor. We were trying to say something about family dysfunction, in a really hyperbolic way. And they both loved it. They’re both of the theater, and this is essentially a play.… When you’re educated in the theater, there are many playwrights who have gone this far and even farther.

    Anyone in particular come to mind?

    Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, Harold Pinter. They can all do some really disturbing stuff. But [Roberts and LuPone] know every play. Patti did Sondheim; she was in Sweeney Todd. I mean, Sweeney Todd is super disturbing, if you really think about it. She’s playing a woman who, because she’s in love with a man, is helping him kill people and cooking them into pies.

    Were your parents funny, and did they encourage comedy?

    My parents are very funny. They 100 percent encouraged my comedy, never told me to have a backup plan, and also made it very clear that I wouldn't. My father, he had a command of his humor, and my mother is more a naturally funny person by accident. So there was a lot of laughter in our household.

    You mention in the special liking the Marx Brothers as a kid. What else made you laugh?

    I was so obsessed with everything comedy. The other huge, gigantic influence was Mel Brooks, at an early age, and all the actors in his movies: Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Marty Feldman, and especially Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. Those performances in The Producers with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, those are my two favorite acting performances of all time. I grew up in the ’80s, so to not be influenced by Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and John Candy, I don't know who you were influenced by.… Peter Sellers at an early age, just watching all the Pink Panther movies. But I even watched shit. I thought Disorderlies was funny. I think I’ve seen that movie, like, 20 times.

    Why did you decide to focus on family with this special?

    I don’t know. You’re looking for ideas, and I think Jason and I are really into the big themes of life and family is one of those themes, and we wanted to tackle that. And even though our families aren’t fucked up like this, nobody has a family that doesn’t have issues. And even though the actual issues we may have with our families aren’t in any way this extreme, they do shape you. So how [do] you take that and magnify that in order to make something funny and interesting? And we’re both totally fucked up guys. We both have a lot of darkness in us. So it’s good to get it out.

    What shows or films do you think capture the fucked-upedness of family well?

    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? really shows a marital dysfunction and way of behaving that is not the healthiest.… The two things we really watched for this were Interiors and Autumn Sonata. So the special isn’t directly drawing from them; it’s its own thing. I wouldn’t compare the special to masterworks like that, just because I’m a humble guy. But the energy and pain that fueled both of those movies helped us tap into the pain that fueled this special.

    I guess the fucked-upedness of a show like The Sopranos is a little more institutionalized.

    Yeah, no. That’s a good point. The Sopranos is one of my favorite shows of all time. Breaking Bad is very funny at times, and The Sopranos is very funny. Those shows deal with family in an equally humorous and totally disturbing way.

    Do you think TV is able to be a little edgier than film right now?

    It’s allowed to be, yeah. And I don’t know why independent film is playing it as safe as it’s playing it.… I just think there’s a lot of fear right now. There’s this trend in film that’s very flaccid. It’s a lot of white people complaining about feeling bad. It’s a bunch of white dudes complaining about feeling bad. I get it, you know? But what else?

    That’s pretty much the Internet too.

    “White guys feeling bad” is pretty much the entertainment industry. But I just think cable television, they saw… A lot of these executives are very visionary, and HBO kind of paved the way for a lot of these cable and streaming networks to take the risk. There’s smart executives at the top of a lot of these networks who learn from successes. Not only just failures, but successes. Oh wow, The Sopranos. A balls-out, uncompromising piece of work. Well, why don’t we try to do that? As opposed to film and network television: Not only do they not learn from their mistakes, they don’t learn from their successes. Why have we not seen another Seinfeld? Why aren’t there more filmmakers being allowed to do things like David Lynch and Jane Campion? I just think a lot of people are thinking it has to be played safe.

    But I think that that’s going to change, because more and more we’re witnessing that people want to watch their cable shows than go see any movie. And they blame it on people not wanting to go see movies, but I don’t think that’s true. If you give people a movie that they feel they should go see, they’re going to see it.

    So are you going to go see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend?

    No. Absolutely not. But I also think that it’s amazing, how that whole thing grew and came to be. That’s an example of what’s wrong with the system. People are making these giant budgetary decisions and putting all of this energy into something that was ironically liked, in a lot of ways. So in that way, it’s kind of cool that decisions are being made from irony.

    Dinner With Family With Brett Gelman and Brett Gelman’s Family debuts Feb. 13 at 12:30am ET, on Adult Swim. 

    Photo via Adult Swim 


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    A Hot Tub Time Machine 2 cameo just added a new dimension to the debate over who will host The Daily Show once Jon Stewart leaves.

    Jessica Williams, a fan-favorite Daily Show correspondent, quickly rose toward the top of everyone’s wishlists as soon as word of Stewart's decision hit the Internet. Now, in addition to our support, Williams can also count on America's habit of taking everything that Hollywood predicts about the future at face value.

    Mike Ryan at Uproxx, who has seen Hot Tub Time Machine 2, was the first to tell the Internet about Williams’ role in the film—and how lucky the movie was with its characterization. In fact, the timing was so perfect that people weren't so quick to believe him.

    Soon enough, Ryan got his hands on the footage, which you can watch over at Uproxx. In the 48-second clip, we learn plenty about the year 2025, which is where Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke’s characters travel to in their hot tub time machine. They arrive on Mar. 26, 2025, if you want to be precise—so mark your calendars.

    The Daily Show with Jessica Williams has a nice ring to it, for sure. She plays herself sitting behind Stewart’s desk. She’s cool, she’s collected, and she’s totally got this.

    It’s a future where Neil Patrick Harris is president (something else we can get behind), Dame Jennifer Lawrence is playing Meryl Streep in a biopic, and there’s still racial tension in the country—though it's not just a human issue anymore. Sure, Lawrence can't actually become a Dame (only an honorary one), since she’s not a British citizen right now, but that's only a minor detail in this far-off future we’re already picturing.

    We don’t have any additional information about Williams' cameo. At some point in the film, the characters end up on Choozy Doozy, a game show set in the future (and briefly seen advertised in the Daily Show clip), but we’re guessing that this might be Williams’ only appearance.

    The cameo was filmed months—perhaps even more than a year—in advance, and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 producer Paramount Pictures likely had to get permission to use The Daily Show name and logo in the film. Even if Stewart knew he was leaving that far back, the scene’s timeliness today is likely just a huge coincidence.

    In the event that Williams doesn't get the job—perhaps being passed over for another white guy—fear not about this potential future going up in flames. There are more than 10 years until the date in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and a lot can happen in a decade. The next host could leave by then, potentially allowing Williams a second chance at taking over the show.

    Williams is only 25—the youngest correspondent in The Daily Show’s history—which her critics consider a strike against her. By Mar. 26, 2025, however, she’ll be 35—only two years younger than Stewart was when he took over The Daily Show. Williams will continue to shine no matter who gets the job, but we're sure she'd succeed in the host's chair whether in late 2015 now or 10 years from now.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via Hot Tub Time Machine 2


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    Daniel Craig has once again donned his glasses and his Walther PPK. For the foreseeable future, on sets across the world, Craig is Bond, James Bond. Recognizing that the world is hungering for a glimpse, the producers of Spectre, the next film in the series, released a behind-the-scenes clip on Thursday that shows us a little bit of what Bond (and Craig) are dealing with this time around.

    The clip begins with the iconic Bond music and shows beautiful, snowy landscapes. Spectre stars Craig, Léa Seydoux, and Dave Bautista, along with director Sam Mendes and other crew members, discuss this ambitious shoot on an Austrian mountaintop.

    The clip, which is less than two minutes long, nonetheless has us wondering what challenges Bond will be facing at this high-altitude encampment.

    Spectre hits theaters Nov. 6, 2015.

    H/T The Verge | Screengrab via jamesbond007/YouTube


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    Jon Stewart may not know yet what he'll be doing after he leaves The Daily Show, but the job offers are already pouring in—including one from his longtime adversary.

    Casual viewers who saw Arby’s tweet to Jon Stewart Tuesday night offering him a job may have thought nothing of it. The more cynical among you might shake your heads and sigh, muttering “brands” before moving on with your lives.

    Stewart’s beef with Arby’s, however, goes even deeper than one brand’s attempt to jump on the trending bandwagon. He’s been sparring with the fast-food chain for years, and he tends to roast it on a semi-regular basis. Arby’s, for its part, has taken it all in good fun, so when someone at Arby’s sent the job offer to Stewart, it was probably just to continue their “rivalry.”

    But on last night's Daily Show, after wondering aloud whether people thought he had died following his announcement, Stewart got took the Arby's offer a step further. To say that he didn't accept Arby’s “peace offering” would be underselling his anger toward what Arby’s and its food represent.

    “To work there, would I have to handle, serve, touch, eat, or even look at what you so generously describe as food?” he asked. “That’s right Arby’s. This motherfucking thing ain’t over.”

    The job search continues.

    Screengrab via The Daily Show/Comedy Central


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    The Internet barely recovered after Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose attempted to break it, but Azealia Banks is giving it her best shot next.

    The rapper has been in the news more for what she’s said on Twitter than her music lately, but now she’s the latest to bare all on the cover of Playboy.

    Banks debuted a preview photo on Instagram, and a larger one on Playboy’s website shows that she’ll be donning the cover of the April 2015 issue in stilettos and a cat mask/ears hybrid on her head… and likely not much else. The issue goes on sale March 20, but more of the photoshoot will probably go online before then.

    According to Playboy editors, the photoshoot is a “frisky pictorial that’s sure to break the Internet.” From the previews alone, she’s already got part of that nailed down.

    For Banks, it was a no-brainer, and she even revealed one of her inspirations to fans.

    But will she actually break the Internet? By bringing in cats and nudity—two of the Internet's favorite things—she probably has a good shot.

    H/T Flavorwire | Photo via The 405 (Music & Art)/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    If an out-and-proud french fry and a still-in-the-closet hot dog can find love, there's hope for us all.

    At least, that's part of the message behind McTucky Fried High, a new webseries that brings an LGBTQ focus to the world of animation.

    Robert Carnilius, the filmmaker and graphic designer behind the series, said the inspiration for the show came from a class assignment to create a collection of drawings.

    "I sat down and sketched out all these characters who were bursting with personality," he told The Daily Dot over email.  "A year later, when I found out about the Chicago Digital Media production fund, I returned to them and thought to myself, there really aren't any LGBTQ characters in mainstream animation and I have all these characters waiting to come alive who are LGBTQ, we can really do something here."

    The characters are an assortment of food products, from a politically ambitious baby carrot to pimply pizza slice. While LGBTQ visibility has risen in animation recently, especially with the much-touted end of Legend of Korra, McTucky Fried High is a pioneer in an overwhelmingly LGBTQ cast. Of course, it's not all peace and rainbows, with some haughty organic products wreaking havoc and destructive twerk-offs abounding.

    Two episode have aired so far, with the third coming soon.

    "Episode 3 is perhaps one of my favorite episodes," said Carnilius. "It tackles gender identity and gender expression as Peanut, who identifies as genderqueer, gears up for school photos. Peanut can be seen in the first episode chasing the 'homophobe' down the hallway with a pitchfork. They have a take no prisoners and aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in."

    This webseries definitely makes us excited for the future of animation, and perhaps a little hungry too.

    H/T KitschMix | Screengrab via McTucky Fried High/YouTube.


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    Valentine's Day is only two days away, and couples all over America are busy searching for the perfect present with which to surprise their loved one. While many buy cheap boxes of chocolates and overpriced bouquets of roses to express their affections, Maia Leppo realized that she needed something more unique than a drugstore greeting card to express her feeling to her boyfriend, Alex Kobzik.

    That's because the two have been in a committed relationship for eight years but have never uttered those three all-important words: "I love you."

    Although the New York Times noted that the two "shared a car, bank accounts and an apartment" and "talked openly about the future," they had yet to breach the subject of love

    Seeking the best outlet to voice her true feelings to her boyfriend, Leppo got in touch with This American Life. The radio show had partnered with filmmaker Bianca Giaever on a special project called "Video 4 U" and was searching for an individual who needed help saying something to someone in their lives. Maia felt she fit the bill, so she quickly penned an email.

    “I need to tell my boyfriend that I love him,” she wrote.  

    The result can be seen below.

    This American Life put Leppo in touch with Giaever, who created a video based off of an interview she conducted with the young woman. Instead of asking her to utter the first "I love you" with a bunch of crew around, she sent the art student away with a recorder so she could express her feelings in private.

    But how would these amazing words finally be conveyed to Kobzik? Through a private screening of the video, which was recorded for artistic and generally heartwarming purposes.

    Though Kobzik is rather stiff and unflinching throughout most of the video, the kicker comes at the end when he finally returns those three precious words to his girlfriend, who manages to turn five stages of red.


    It's unclear how Kobzik plans to follow up such a grand romantic gesture, but one thing is for certain: he has his work cut out for him. 

    H/T Cosmopolitan | Photo via This American Life/YouTube


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    Kanye West debuted "Wolves" Thursday during his Adidas fashion show. It's almost surely the first track from West's new album if the Adidas livestream or his label's aggressive work in taking down YouTube bootlegs is any indication.

    The track features an assist from pop provocateur Sia, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, and production from Cashmere Cat and Sinjin Hawke. West's enduring ear for cobbling mini-lineups of interesting contemporaries may be the most impressive thing here.

    "Wolves" is out there now, listened to and processed by thousands, so we might as well talk about it. It's minimalist and aims for a feral, dialed in mood—like when you walk outside after last call in a coat and your breath is visible. There's unearthly, sparse percussion, and West singing in Auto-Tuned yelps about condescending romance. There are arresting wolf samples, and the orchestration provides a top-notch framework.

    He's ventured here before, but with less of a cinematic swell (the 808s album was cold machines scratching against desperate vocal performances). It sounds like pre-game music to a Roman orgy or the fifty shades of 'Ye outlined on "I'm In It"—but now there's an unsavory dash of moralist nagging. 

    "If you're mama knew how you turned out, you're too wild," he sings early and often. But West can't resist, singing "I need you know... you're much too good to be true."

    The muse isn't the wolf, however, West is the wolf let's be clear: "Don't fly so high your wings might melt, I'm just bad for you." He is an empathetic emperor baring his soul to a shell. The Weeknd's "Often" is just as grossly sensual, but it's a better track.

    The move is a nice gesture following a throwback rant at the useless Grammys this week. He attacked an artist's creative merits, then put money to mouth with an intricate place-setting (the runway, $350 shoes that'll eventually go for $9,500 a pair on eBay, livestreams, 50 live theater broadcasts). "Wolves" whets whistles for the whole record, while being moving and cool. Go ahead and beam it into our iTunes, Yeezus.

    Photo via rodrigoferrari/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 


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    You may not be familiar with Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott—recently named the most incompetent leader of any industrialized economy—but whatever your politics he certainly makes for fascinating viewing. 

    Picture this: You're copping a battering in the approval polls, reeling from yet another misjudged statement, so to get the cause back on track you pick out something safe from your playbook, right? Wrong. That's not Tony's style. What you do is inform the public, unsure as to the future relationship of the monarchy to its nation, that you are knighting the similarly gaffe-prone, completely non-Australian Prince Philip

    Some saw the funny side:

    While other, former Australians were incensed:

    An odd choice perhaps but at least he couldn't be accused of vacillation—unlike the famously rational Caligula, who was unable to follow through on his conviction to make Incitatus a consul.  

    So in what may well be the final days of his prime ministership, it shouldn't come as a surprise that such comically fertile material is finally getting its own webseries, At Home With Tone; an attempt to satirize what some may say already appeared to be some sort of parody of leadership.

    All the hits are covered: the entirely unnecessary scholarship that was arranged for his daughter (he's the prime minister, did he really think no-one would notice?), the "Canadia thing," as well as this moment of creepy, winking weirdness when he appeared, for some unexplained reason, on Big Brother

    Though, the mocked "speed dealer sunnies" look pretty flash to me. Especially when compared to what he normally wears.

    Now it would be nice to paint Abbott as a mere Rhodes Scholar who post-election succumbed to some Kurzian power-meltdown. But luckily for At Home With Tone there is a whole lifetime of material ready for use in future episodes. Indecent assault at university? Check. Dropping out of a seminary. Check. Fathering a child when you were 19 who was then adopted and then finally reuniting after 27 years with great fanfare and love—with the bizarre coincidence that many times, unbeknownst, son had been in the same room as father in his role as a boom operator—but then realizing that perhaps after all the hullabaloo and hugs and press conferences that maybe you should arrange a DNA test... Check.

    It really is all quite strange. And while many of the 24 million Australians that he leads may struggle to find the humor in At Home With Tone, if you aren't from Down Under don't feel obliged to follow suit. Feel free to laugh. Or like Tony, say nothing at all:

    Screengrab via At Home With Tone/YouTube


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    Upon hearing the miserable news that brilliant New York Times journalist David Carr passed away Thursday, Drake shed a single tear, looked at at the reflection in his Josephine Floor Mirror, and muttered softly, "let the healing begin."

    And so his camp, October's Very Own, dropped Drake's new album If You're Reading This It's Too Late unexpectedly Thursday via SoundCloud, and for purchase on iTunes. This on the eve of the six-year anniversary of Drake's breakthrough free mixtape, So Far Gone. Drake also released a 14-minute documentary earlier in the day.

    A quick point of clarification: Drake has a new album in the works titled Views From the 6, but Too Late is still new and original music bundled into 17 tracks. It's a separate Drake album, in other words, and one fans have been expecting since Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan let the news slip in November.

    But just as quickly as hip-hop fans cancelled all imminent appointments, the free stream disappeared and prompted outrage.

    At the moment you can still buy it on iTunes and mixtape websites have uploads that may or may not get picked off by legal threats. Here's one from the reliable professionals at Livemixtapes.com

    Good news is that it's an exceptional bundle of files. The new Drake is anchored by the exact team you want molding his work: fellow Canadian aesthetic mastermind producers Boi-1da and Noah "40" Shebib, plus Daily Dot favorite PARTYNEXTDOOR. Guest flows from Lil Wayne and Travi$ Scott dash pepper on a warmly stewed platter of Drake takes.

    The Daily Dot will be up all night bathing in its holy waters. But a few cuts in, the record is a popping lifetime achievement full of weirdly specific but highly relatable lifestyle problems like "I got bitches asking 'bout the code for the Wi-Fi." Opener "Legend" features a beautifully warped sample of Ginuwine's "So Anxious" that'll make you want to text someone special.

    In other words, despite the fumbled delivery, the album is here and all is forgiven.

    Photo via NRK P3/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Cookie Monster is a creature of many trades. He’s a newsmonster, a wizard, a Jedi Knight, and even a parody master. But when it comes to writing jokes, he sticks to what he knows, leaving a very limited selection.

    Jimmy Kimmel originally brought Cookie Monster onto his joke-writing staff because he was such a fan of the monster's work. All Kimmel wanted was some topical jokes about Facebook, but in hiring the monster, the late-night host bit off a lot more than he could chew.

    It wasn't easy for Cookie Monster either. He faced restrictions on his joke writing, and no sensible monster can work in those conditions. It’s blasphemy!

    Cookie Monster's next job at Jimmy Kimmel Live, however, is a lot more suitable for him.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    Over the past seven seasons, Parks and Recreation has bestowed upon us some of the most indelible pop culture touchstones. From Ron Swanson’s moustache to a little lesson in treating yo self, there have been far too many priceless Pawnee takeaways to count. But perhaps the most precious of all the gifts the show has given us comes in the form of a humble little holiday known as Galentine’s Day.

    This sacred celebration, which occurs every Feb. 13, gives women the chance to leave the men at home and revel in the special female friendships in their lives. While Leslie Knope might choose to go over the top with her gift-giving, the true meaning of this day is all about ladies bonding with ladies over brunch.

    This Galentine’s Day, the Daily Dot has decided to gift you with a roundup of the best Parks and Recreation episodes available to stream on Netflix. So gather your closest girlfriends, get a stack of waffles from JJ’s Diner, and get ready to enjoy some hilarious comedy with the women in your life who matter most.

    1) “Galentine’s Day” (season 2, episode 16)

    In the Parks and Recreation universe, things often have to go horribly wrong before they can be set joyously right, and “Galentine’s Day” is a classic example of the former. While many fans remember the episode for its glorious Galentine’s Day opening, what they forget are the multiple relationships that crumble as Valentine’s Day approaches. Luckily, John Larroquette’s guest appearance as Marlene’s long-lost love Frank Beckerson and an amazing senior dance provide some much-needed comic relief to this rather glib episode.

    2) “Pawnee Rangers” (season 4, episode 4)

    When it comes to summarizing this season 4 gem, the only three words you need to know are: treat yo self. While Donna and Tom come together to celebrate “the best day of the year,” we find Leslie and Ron at odds in the wilderness on how to best empower young children with a sense of independence and adventure. But don’t let the decadence of clothes, fragrances, mimosas, and fine leather goods distract you, the episode’s best moment comes when Ben Wyatt dons an highly intricate Batman suit and begins to cry. Also: puppy parties!

    3) “Ron & Tammy: Part 2” (season 3, episode 4)

    Ron Swanson is as strong and unflinching as a mighty oak tree, but bring around his ex-wife, and suddenly that majestic oak has been felled by a crazy axe-wielding librarian who goes by the name Tammy 2. This third season stroke of brilliance gives us Swanson in his rarest form, as he becomes totally intoxicated by Tammy’s temptations and ends up in jail sporting a mighty fine set of corn rows. Ron and Tammy 2’s chemistry is made all the more palatable thanks to the very real offscreen romance between Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.

    4) “The Fight” (season 3, episode 13)

    If there’s anything that can test the bonds of friendship, it’s Tom Haverford’s highly potent 140-proof alcohol known as “Snake Juice.” This episode puts Leslie and Ann’s relationship through the paces after the two have a drunken falling out during a trip to the infamous Snake Hole Lounge. But thankfully for fans, “The Fight” isn’t all Sturm und Drang. In addition to seeing all of our favorite characters blackout drunk, we also get a chance to spend some time with April and Andy’s alter egos, the enigmatic Janet Snakehole and notorious FBI agent Burt Macklin.  

    5) “Andy and April's Fancy Party” (season 3, episode 9)

    There truly is someone out there for everyone, and if ever there were an episode to prove that, it’s “Andy and April’s Fancy Party.” Those these two highly unconventional lovebirds seem to flounder on their own, but when united by the bonds of love and matrimony, they make an unstoppable force. After this episode aired, there were certainly a lot of men jealous of the fact that Andy got to wear a Colts jersey on his wedding day.

    6) “Pawnee Zoo” (season 2, episode 1)

    The only thing better than a penguin wedding is a gay penguin wedding, because a gay penguin wedding transforms Leslie Knope into the “queen of the gays.” You might be surprised to learn that the plot from this episode was pulled from straight from the news after the San Francisco Zoo found itself dealing with two male penguins who had become romantically involved. Gay penguin controversy aside, “Pawnee Zoo” gives us a glimpse inside the amazingly named gay club the Bulge and finds a drunken Leslie giving a stellar performance of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”

    7) “Leslie and Ben” (season 5, episode 14)

    Given that fans of other sitcoms have to watch their characters struggle haplessly through multiple relationships, it almost feels unfair that Parks and Recreation has given its devotees so many genuinely happy romances. But once again, fans of the show are treated to an episode that celebrates the love and happiness like no other as everyone scrambles to make an impromptu wedding happen. This is the only episode that stands a chance of topping “Andy and April’s Fancy Party.”

    8) “Li’l Sebastian” (season 3, episode 16)

    Only the death of Pawnee’s beloved celebrity miniature horse, Li’l Sebastian, could garner an episode of this magnitude. From a massive fireball that singes off Ron’s eyebrows to Andy’s touching tribute song “5,000 Candles in the Wind,” there has never been a bigger send-off for a horse so small. But despite all the pomp and circumstance, the best moment of this third season finale comes when Tom finally joins Jean-Ralphio’s production company, Entertainment 720, and we get a tour of their ludicrous office space.

    9) “Doppelgängers” (season 6, episode 4)

    Besides sharing a geographical border, Pawnee doesn’t have much in common with the neighboring city of Eagleton, which is exactly why this episode is so delightful. As each member of the parks department meets his or her Eagleton equivalent, we’re introduced to some of the best guest stars the show has ever seen. Sadly, June Diane Raphel’s obtuse Tynnyfer didn’t get a chance to stick around, but Billy Eichner’s constantly outraged Craig is luckily here to stay.

    10) “Ann and Chris” (season 6, episode 13)

    From nursing an injured Andy to supporting a flustered Leslie, Ann Perkins has been training to be a mom for six seasons now. Yet, this mid-season send-off finds this “beautiful tropical fish” taking on the role in earnest as the expectant mother moves out of Pawnee to settle down with Chris. This episode is considered by many to be literally one of the saddest episodes of the show’s entire run as the parks department is forced to say a tearful goodbye to a beloved couple.

    11) “Halloween Surprise” (season 5, episode 5)

    Forget Jerry’s hilarious “Fart Attack”; the most frightening thing about this Halloween episode is the prospect that Leslie and Ben’s relationship could be falling apart because of the strain of long distance. Though it looks like Pawnee’s most tenacious government employee might be living alone in her newly leased home, the last two minutes will take you by surprise every time.

    12) “Rock Show” (season 1, episode 6)

    Parks and Recreation has come so far since its first season that it’s almost hard to imagine the entire show began because of an abandoned lot and a gaping pit. Yet, that singular plot line drove the majority of the first season’s story and brought us this standout season 1 finale. Though many dismiss the show’s first season as a learning curve, Leslie’s blind date with a much older man and a show-stopping performance by Mouse Rat might cause you to reconsider that position.

    13) “Bailout” (season 5, episode 16)

    From perfumer Dennis Feinstein to Councilman Jeremy Jamm, the show’s writers have quite the knack for crafting some truly awful characters. But when it came to creating Jean-Ralphio’s sister Mona-Lisa Saperstein, the
    Parks and Recreation team truly outdid itself. This Rent-A-Swag employee is as hilarious as she is horrible, which is saying a lot. Though Jenny Slate was only set for a brief guest appearance, the amazing abomination she created with Mona-Lisa has brought her back to the show season after season.

    Screengrab via Parks and Recreation/YouTube


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    Do you remember Missy Elliott's "Work It" and "Gossip Folks" videos? Unless you're one of the poor souls who'd apparently never heard of Elliott before the Super Bowl, of course you do. And there's probably one little girl who stands out. 

    That little girl is Alyson Stoner, and she's still a dancer. In an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed, Stoner says she showed up to the audition wearing a "Limited Too sweat outfit and rhinestone bandana." She also recalls another "ridiculous" story from set: 

    To this day, I remember vividly Missy Elliott, Ludacris, and my grandma riding in a golf cart to set. My grandma went back to Ohio and told her bowling friends, “Guess what? I was riding to set with Missy and Ridiculous!”
    Stoner just made a tribute video to Elliott, featuring the same moves and some of the same dancers from the original videos, and it's pretty great.  

    Now we just need some new Missy jams and the circle will be compete. 

    H/T BuzzFeed | Screengrab via TheRealAlysonStoner/YouTube 


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    As promised, Taylor Swift on Friday morning debuted the music video for “Style,” her third single off of the album 1989, which is brought to you by Instagram.

    Okay, it's not really brought to you by Instagram, but it’s hard not to think of the photo-sharing app's iconic filters while watching scenes of Swift and her stand-in James Dean-esque boyfriend shown through pieces of glass and mirrors. It’s foggy, jilted, and has a bit of J.J. Abrams’ trademark lens flare spread throughout, but it shouldn't come as a huge surprise; we knew we were in for a somewhat smoky affair when Swift previewed a clip from it on Tuesday.

    Compared to “Blank Space,” which brought the media’s perception of Swift to life in a terrifying yet entrancing form, “Style” has a lot less action. It feels like an opening credits sequence that eventually turns into a perfume ad, but you'll still going to listen to the song on repeat for the rest of the day.

    And sure, we might already have the new cast of True Detective, but “Style” serves as a great argument for why Swift should be included in the mix.


    Screengrab via TaylorSwiftVEVO/YouTube


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    BY BREE BROUWER

    Ray William Johnson is back and ready to entertain on YouTube. After handing over hosting responsibilities of his popular =3 video commentary show to newcomer Robby Motz nearly eight months ago, Johnson uploaded a scripted short titled How to Get a Date to his YouTube channel.

    How to Get a Date (also titled Booze Lightyear, according to the video description) is a well-paced sketch stuffed with some of the most cringe-worthy pick-up lines you have and haven’t heard. Viewers are introduced to a group of three women interested in a new male co-worker, and a group of three men (one of them being Johnson) eyeing a new female colleague. Members of each group believe they can get a date with the respective male or female co-worker before the other members do, and comical awkwardness ensues.

    Johnson is certainly no new face to the realm of scripted entertainment. The ex-Maker Studios creator released a five-part webseries called Riley Rewind in December 2013 through his new Runaway Machine studio. Riley Rewind stars Johnson’s then-girlfriend, collaborative partner, and fellow YouTuber Anna Akana, who plays a teenage time traveler who must go back in time to stop a bomb from destroying her school. The series did immensely well for itself. Johnson reported it got about 10 million views on Facebook alone.

    While Johnson no longer has the most-subscribed YouTube channel (that honor now lies indefinitely with PewDiePie), he still has plenty of followers to enjoy his How to Get a Date short. The 33-year-old creator currently has 10.8 million subscribers on his channel.

    Screengrab via RayWilliamJohnson/YouTube 


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    We could keep the Kanye-inspired beef between Beyoncé and Beck going, or we could rock out to this terrific mashup by SoundCloud user Beckyoncé.

    Inspired by the upset at the 2015 Grammys, the mashup genius decided to turn all the quibbling into a brilliant new song. Beckyoncé's "Single Loser (Put a Beck on It)" slices and dices Beyoncé's iconic "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" with Beck's quintessentially self-deprecating "Loser."

    The result is shockingly pleasing to the ears. 


    Now one question remains: What will Kanye say?

    H/T NME News | Image via Ana y María Quintana y González/Flickr



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    Aside from Taylor Swift’s “Style” music video, the next thing dancing around your head around this weekend might be the question of why you’re single. It could be because of your social media habits, those around you, or maybe it’s actually you.

    No matter what the reason is, everybody’s got one. Taking a cue from a segment he did back in 2013, Jimmy Fallon brought back #WhyImSingle for his weekly hashtag game to see why everyone thought they were single. Like last time, they’re brutally honest, and if nothing else they might make you feel better about your love life.

    But we have a bone to pick with some of these. Zach Braff’s reasoning, for instance, is something all of us—no matter our relationship status—can relate to. In some instances, it might even be an improvement on actual Valentine’s Day plans, or even more preferable for the lazy.

    And waving your hands to open a door like you’re a Jedi? Already making a mental note to do that from now until forever.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    This article contains sexually explicit content.

    Has anyone out there not seen Chelsea Handler’s boobs yet?

    The comedian and TV host isn’t trying to “break the Internet,” though—just Instagram’s prudish NSFW policy. Each of her pastthreeattempts to post topless photos on the platform—part of a coordinated #FreeTheNipple campaign with Miley Cyrus and other Hollywood celebrities—have been pulled faster than you say “double standard.”

    There’s no need to rush this time. Handler posted her latest photo to Twitter, where pretty much anything goes, in a less-than-subtle jab at Instagram.

    Regardless of how you feel about Handler or the now-weekly release of a new celebrity nude photo, post Celebgate it’s encouraging to see such prominent women taking some of the power back.

    H/T Gawker | Photo via Chelsea Handler/Twitter 


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