Articles on this Page
- 03/07/15--17:25: _John Stamos visited...
- 03/08/15--06:00: _You should be watch...
- 03/08/15--09:35: _This crazy Avengers...
- 03/08/15--10:23: _Aziz Ansari talks l...
- 03/08/15--15:16: _This 'Bohemian Rhap...
- 03/09/15--03:41: _YouTubers want Jimm...
- 03/09/15--05:14: _'Last Week Tonight'...
- 03/09/15--07:00: _How #FilmDis is tra...
- 03/09/15--09:01: _Spoon's new video o...
- 03/09/15--09:34: _Weird Al and a 13-y...
- 03/09/15--11:11: _12-year-old Ryan Go...
- 03/09/15--11:27: _Bill Cosby wears si...
- 03/09/15--13:21: _New 'Tomorrowland' ...
- 03/09/15--14:02: _'Empire' actor Juss...
- 03/09/15--14:50: _'Simpsons' co-creat...
- 03/09/15--16:47: _Channing Tatum, Dan...
- 03/10/15--06:00: _14 must-watch 'Comm...
- 03/10/15--06:39: _This trailer is why...
- 03/10/15--06:41: _Watch Jimmy Kimmel ...
- 03/10/15--08:00: _SXSW inks deal with...
- 03/07/15--17:25: John Stamos visited the 'Full House' house and no one recognized him
- 03/08/15--06:00: You should be watching these 5 disabled vloggers on YouTube
- 03/09/15--03:41: YouTubers want Jimmy Fallon and other TV stars to work with them
- 03/09/15--05:14: 'Last Week Tonight' asks why Daylight Saving Time is still a thing
- 03/09/15--09:01: Spoon's new video on La Blogothèque is a single-take masterpiece
- 03/09/15--09:34: Weird Al and a 13-year-old girl duet on a moving cover of 'Yoda'
- 03/09/15--11:11: 12-year-old Ryan Gosling's dance moves are simply unbeatable
- 03/09/15--11:27: Bill Cosby wears silk pajamas in exclusive video message to fans
- 03/09/15--14:02: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett comes out on 'Ellen'
- 03/09/15--14:50: 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon passes away at age 59
- 03/10/15--06:00: 14 must-watch 'Community' episodes
- 03/10/15--08:00: SXSW inks deal with Roku for new streaming network
The kids these days, they love nostalgia. They love the '90s. And they might not know who John Stamos is.
The former Full House actor recently visited the house from the beloved '90s show on a trip to San Francisco. On Friday, he posted a photo to Instagram, which shows some "youngsters" visiting the house. They are completely oblivious to the presence of Stamos and missed out on the greatest meta 'gram ever. Stamos is even doing his Blue Steel. What a sad Full House!Whatever happened to predictability?
For many disabled people, the Internet offers a unique opportunity to communicate with others. If going out is too tiring or painful, or if meetup venues are inaccessible, people who are disabled or who have chronic illnesses can quickly find others in a similar situation on social media.
Recently, in addition to blogging, tweeting, pinning, etc., there has been a growing number of disabled vloggers putting themselves out into the world. They share details of their lives, answer viewers’ questions, and demonstrate their specialist knowledge and interests through their YouTube channels.
And thousands of people are watching along.
1) Kelly Patricia
Kelly Patricia is a vlogger who talks about her life with chronic illness. Her complex health issues provide her with a range of topics to discuss, from raising awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease to discussing the best kind of clothing to wear when you are bloated. Her YouTube playlist also includes humor, including a suitably sarcastic video on things doctors say when they don’t know what’s wrong.The frustrations Patricia feels at her treatment by some medical professionals and the difficulty in finding the correct diagnoses to address her health problems come through in several of her videos, reflecting the reality that many disabled and chronically ill people face when trying to be taken seriously. She has an amiable manner and relaxed presentation style, and the comments left on her videos demonstrate the supportive community she has created in her online world.
2) Mindy Tucker
Mindy Tucker, a university student from Winnipeg, Canada, vlogs on the channel Living My CP Life. In her videos, she talks about life with cerebral palsy (CP) and vision issues, covering everything from botox as a treatment for CP to dating, bowling, and bagels.
When talking about why she started her YouTube channel, Tucker says, "I want to become a voice for people with CP who have questions," and, throughout her body of work, she combines her own personal experience with helpful advice for others, presented in an upbeat, engaging way.
In“Advocating for Yourself With a Disability,” for example, Mindy offers suggestions on how to get the best out of medical appointments and tips for making sure you stand up for yourself in these potentially stressful situations.She discusses situations familiar to many disabled people, such as being “talked over” by doctors, and she reinforces the fact that “You know your body better than anybody,” empowering viewers to take control of their own conversations with medical professionals.
3) Marty Ferguson
Marty Ferguson is also a Canadian with cerebral palsy, and he vlogs on his YouTube channel Misterwheelz86. In an explanatory video,“My Story,” Ferguson explains his situation, insisting that "This video is not a sob story. I am not here to make people feel sorry for me."Ferguson hopes to inspire his viewers, talking of carrying the Olympic torch and raising money for charity. However, the vast majority of his videos are not about disability; they are about sport.
An avid sports fan, Ferguson has an archive of dozens of sports commentaries on his YouTube channel, interspersed with food and drink reviews. One of his most recent offerings covered the Super Bowl, focusing on the final quarter of the game.
4) Emily Davison
Like Ferguson, Emily Davison is a disabled blogger whose videos focus on other topics. Known on YouTube as fashioneyesta, Davison aims “to bridge the gap between fashion and accessibility making fashion and cosmetics a more inclusive place for anyone and everyone!”
Immediately challenging the idea that somebody with a visual impairment couldn’t possibly understand beauty, clothes, and makeup, the video introducing Emily’s channel presents a world where fashion is a multi-sensory experience.The London-based vlogger’s passion for clothes, trends, beauty, and cosmetics is infectious as she reviews fashion shows, excitedly shares her own purchases and, more and more, links her hobbies to her eye condition—septo-optic dysplasia—with videos about how to apply makeup with sight loss and personal insights into living with a pituitary condition.
Davison’s videos are energetic and funny, and the comments often show that her viewers find her, and her video content, highly relatable. When she shared a list of “things you should never say to a visually impaired person,” commenters enthusiastically agreed.
5) Tommy Edison
Tommy Edison’s YouTube channel, The Tommy Edison Experience, showcases a hilarious vlogger with an irreverent take on being blind in a sighted world.Whether he’s trying to guess the color of scented markers or explain the intangibility of a horizon, Edison is entertaining, and it’s easy to get sucked into watching him semi-patiently answering relentless viewer questions that range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
But Tommy doesn’t only talk about blindness and his experiences; he also runs a channel called the Blind Film Critic. When reviewing movies, he uses his characteristic humor to critique the films he’s seen, giving sighted viewers an insight into the experience of consuming films without the visual element.
His review of Fight Club is enthusiastic and witty—“strong story, fantastic performances; this movie’s great all the way round”—describing not just the actors’ performances and the soundtrack but also praising it for not making the visuals “terribly critical to the story.”(He was less enamored withMan on a Ledge: “By the time what’s supposed to happen happens, you just don’t care.”)
So, while some disabled and ill vloggers, such as Mindy Tucker and Kelly Patricia, create videos about their impairments or personal lives, for others, like Marty Ferguson, disability is incidental to the majority of their shows. Emily Davison and Tommy Edison sit somewhere in the middle; both reference their loss of sight where it’s relevant and, in doing so, they open up non-disabled viewers’ understanding and provide witty, relatable material for their visually impaired fans.
Whether talking directly about disability or not, these and other disabled and ill vloggers demonstrate that online tools to manage video recording, editing, and streaming are becoming more accessible. Their participation in the YouTube community increases the online visibility of disabled people, hopefully encouraging others to find a way to express themselves and share their lives on the Web using a new, emerging medium.
Photo via DAVID BURILLO/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed
There's no way Chris Hemsworth could host SNL without a Thor sketch, so the Australian actor donned his wig and armor for a no-doubt realistic scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The sketch sees Hemsworth play Thor as a drunk party bro taking selfies with New Yorkers after defeating Ultron. Considering that final shawarma scene in The Avengers, the idea of a post-Ultron party doesn't sound too far off the mark.We're hoping this sketch isn't too accurate, though, since Black Widow and Hawkeye are both missing, and Thor mentions that he's broken up with his girlfriend Jane. Say it isn't so!
Photo via Marvel
Aziz Ansari’s second Netflix-exclusive release, Live at Madison Square Garden, finds the comedian on stage at a sold-out show in the same venue where the Rolling Stones and Marilyn Monroe bookmarked history. Not many comedians make it to that stage, and Ansari hardly seems to believe it himself.
Ansari eases us in with a bit of perspective: He speaks of being a first-generation American whose parents moved to South Carolina from India, and relates that when his mom spoke of their struggle to transition, he responded, “My life is super easy because you did all the struggling!” Ansari also seamlessly connects a bit about Ja Rule and the meat industry.
He succeeds when he plays sociologist, as his bit about male vs. female street harassment attests. But the joke’s pretty obvious there: Of course men don’t experience harassment like women do. He goes deeper on our collective narcissism (“If you're alive right now and you have a phone, you’re a rude, shitty person”), dating in the age of the text (you're a "secretary for a really shoddy organization, scheduling the dumbest shit for the flakiest people ever”), and laments that, in terms of dating, we always want the best but pretend to be “busy forever" to avoid meaningful connections.
Some of his relationship bits are a little too but whyyyy, and perhaps Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford is more like Ansari than we know. His swag obsession certainly informed his earlier specials. This might all be bits of observation culled from writing a book about romance.
His elastic personality and trademark vocal stretches sustain the energy needed for a comic to command MSG. They’re part of his persona and part of the dynaaaamiiiics of an Ansari show.
In the last year, Netflix released a handful of standup specials exclusive to the site, including Chelsea Handler, Chelsea Peretti, and Bill Burr. May sees a Netflix standup release from Jen Kirkman. This focus on standup specials is interesting, and points to a desire to make standup as accessible as their original series. Ansari is the perfect match for them.
His dynamics carry the last segment about marriage and the encore includes another bit about relationships, but his delivery never feels too heavy-handed. To bring this chapter back full circle, Ansari asks his parents to come on stage at the end. The three hug and gaze out at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. Perhaps it was another way of saying thanks.
Screengrab via Netflix
Of course, this version is called "Bohemian Carsody," and the song's been sped up, because, well, it's really long. Just watching this clip is a workout, and it gives Wayne and Garth a run for their money.
As they warn in the description, there is quite a bit of boob-grabbing.Screengrab via SketchShe/YouTube
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Jimmy Fallon has a successful YouTube channel, but that doesn't make him a YouTuber, at least according to the latest YouTubers React video from TheFineBros.
Fallon's channel has more than 6 million subscribers and 2 billion views, and many sites (including this one) feature his content on a regular basis. TheFineBros' reaction series turned its attention to Fallon by having YouTube's top stars react to and comment on the Tonight Show host's success.While many YouTubers are turning to TV themselves, they still see a clear divide between content that originates on YouTube and content that is coming from mainstream media and finding a home on YouTube. While they realize that shows like The Tonight Show or Ellen or Jimmy Kimmel Live have a place in the digital landscape, they don't feel like they're the same as YouTubers who build a true community on the platform.
Tellingly, all the YouTubers say they don't watch traditional TV unless it's on the web, and they don't feel like the YouTube successes of traditional TV clips are driving young viewers back to that old platform. On the flip side, they see the TV clips driving TV viewers to web content in general, which could help the native YouTubers.
In the end, the YouTubers make a plea directly to Fallon and his fellow TV folks, asking them to collaborate with the YouTubers instead of just creating content in a TV vacuum.
Your move, Fallon.
Screengrab via TheFineBros/YouTube
If you woke up feeling extra groggy this Monday morning, you probably have Daylight Saving Time to blame. Losing an hour of sleep seems extra cruel when winter still hasn't loosened its icy grip. This led John Oliver (and many others) to ask: Why is this still a thing?
Last Week Tonight's "Why is this still a thing?" segment is always on point, and Daylight Saving Time was an obvious choice for this episode. When asked why the time change exists in the first place, most of us tend to mutter something about farmers and harvest time before surreptitiously looking it up on Wikipedia. But as Last Week Tonight explains, there is really no good reason to stick with Daylight Saving in the 21st century. Oh, and it has nothing to do with farmers.It's great to know that, in addition to making us feel slightly more tired for a couple of days, Daylight Saving Time actually leads to an uptick in car accidents. So, why is this still a thing, again?
Photo via Matteo Ianeselli/Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)
Film and disability don't have to be mutually exclusive, but you wouldn’t know it from what Hollywood has to show you. While exploring gender, sexuality, race, and gender identity in film school, I felt compelled to look into how disability factored into film as well. That’s when I first decided to explore the complex issues surrounding both portrayals of disability in film and lack of representation for people with disabilities working in the film industry.
It led to a lively weekly Twitter conversation called #FilmDis, asking participants to discuss proposed topics such as whether nondisabled people should be given the opportunity to play characters with disabilities, which films or television shows get disability portrayals right, and how to work with allies in the film industry to encourage better casting of actors with disabilities.
As the lone student with a physical disability in my BFA program, I experienced resistance from my peers at every step of the way. Since we were constantly competing for spots, I was seen as the “weak link” and no one would work with me on any of my film projects. I realized early on that I was pretty much on my own. If I wanted to make it in film, I would have to find my own crew and show my professors I was just as capable. I decided to take an independent study on disability and film, to better understand the issues plaguing my community.
The way we portray disability in film, on television, and in the media has direct implications for the disability community. If we are portrayed as helpless or pity-inducing, for example, people tend to treat us like we deserve pity. It becomes even more complex when you realize this can have direct implications concerning policy, which affects those of us with disabilities.
Second, why, when the world is filled with more than 1 billion people with disabilities, are we not hearing about more people with disabilities in the industry? This isn't just a struggle for recognition. It's a struggle for equality. SAG research found that though more than 1,200 people with disabilities were eligible for SAG status in 2005 (around one percent of the number of actors represented by SAG), men with disabilities only seemed to work five days a year, and women worked even less—two days per year—for a total average of 4.1 days per year.
Actors with disabilities are often just as qualified as their able-bodied counterparts. Most are highly educated, many with college degrees and a high level of participation in workshops, classes, and other industry-based union activities, but barriers exist between inclusion and their employment in the industry. This contributes to the dismal realization of how little actors with actual disabilities truly work. Many still struggle to even be seen by casting directors.
As the number of characters with disabilities in film and television has risen, disabled parts have often gone to nondisabled actors pretending to be someone with a disability. While many of us feel the answer is to allow actors with disabilities to play any role that we physically can play, if we are not even able to play ourselves as people with disabilities, then who are we allowed to play?
As I delved deeper into the problem of disability in media, I also developed connections within the disability rights movement and realized I was not alone in my concerns about the treatment of disability in media. I started speaking out on social media, drawing upon my research and observations as a film school student. Going to film school helped me hone my analytical skills when it came to watching films. I was beginning to look at films in a completely different way. I wasn’t just watching films because I found them enjoyable. I was also looking at the social context of every piece of media I came across.
It is from there that the idea behind #FilmDis emerged. I was particularly inspired by Sarah Evans and #JournChat—something I had witnessed grow into a very large weekly discussion—and knew that her model could be replicable for discussions about disability in media. An audience who would be willing to discuss film and disability was clearly present on Twitter, and I had seen what Twitter evolved into as celebrities and many of those working in Hollywood began regularly engaging on social media. It was finally possible to reach the industry directly and get responses.
In the months since I started #FilmDis, the number of participators has fluctuated, but the discussions remain vibrant and diverse. We are exploring essential issues, such as how intersectionality plays a role in disability representation, especially when it comes to race, gender, sexuality, and gender identity. We’ve had special guests that have included actors and crew members with disabilities working in the industry, such as actress Eileen Grubba and award-winning sound guru Jim LeBrecht. We are beginning to see the fruits of our labor pay off, as filmmakers working in independent film and those who have worked in mainstream Hollywood are starting to participate in the discussion.
My dream is for #FilmDis to open up the conversation in the mainstream industry, with the hope that we can see real change for people with disabilities in film. I want to see people with disabilities working in all aspects of Hollywood. I want to see characters with disabilities that have authentic experiences in relation to their disabilities. I want to see these characters be more than just plot devices. We have our own stories to tell, and they need to have the opportunity to be told. If the discussion keeps going in the direction it has been, it's only a matter of time.
At the intersection of music videos and short-form documentaries, you’ll find the Parisian blog collective La Blogothèque.
Derrick Belcham is a filmmaker and video producer who has been making soft, gorgeous, single-take music videos in collaboration with La Blogothèque for the past five years. His 75th video for the collective premiered today, featuring Spoon performing at the Knockdown Center.
This is the latest in a series called the “Take Away shows,” which take their name from the fact that each performance is uncut and unedited, often filmed one-on-one with a single director, everywhere from Times Square to Maspeth, Versailles to Lake Ontario.Blogothèque founder Christophe Abric, known as Chryde, told me in an email that he’s excited for the future of the form. “I think that 2015 might be an exciting time for music video, as many artists begin to understand that a beautiful live video can have as much impact as a traditional music video, be a better way to show their art, and be as inventive and crazy.”
Since he began the Take Away shows nearly 10 years ago, technology has changed as much as the place of music videos in popular culture. “Music videos were poor creatively,” he said, “they had no relation to the music, no artistic vision, and I wanted to make videos that were showing the music again, that were true and spontaneous. I wanted to create a sort of small bubble, a special moment with the artist, break everyone's routine, and have the most sincere video about it.”
Sincerity bleeds from these videos, even embedded as they are in the ironic tundra of the Internet, and this has as much to do with the truth of the artists’ work as it does with the ethos of their videographers. I sat down with Belcham to talk about about music, filmmaking, and the “perfect angel whales” that inspire him.
How did you get into making music videos?
I worked in a corporation in my early 20s, in their video department, and then left when I was 25 and moved to Montreal—I’m Canadian.
You don’t have to come out to me.
[Laughs] I was a musician before I got into any corporate stuff, so I moved to Montreal and just spent a year working with artists there. My friend Ruby was in a band called Yamantaka // Sonic Titan … I started to make videos there, and I made a series called Four in the Wild. For Ruby’s we recorded a piano first in an apartment, then we took that bedrock on an iPod and went to the stairway of this huge building and recorded the vocals there and then bounced that track down and went elsewhere. It was like -32 degrees Celsius, and we did a synth track in this really beautiful courtyard … It was kind of this roving session video, everywhere.
The first Blogothèque video I saw was Vincent Moon’s at Music Now. The video starts in the basement and then travels the building—Sufjan Stevens was on the roof, eventually, and Clogs was there, and this one guy was just playing the bathroom. … And I had had this idea before about making a record like that, where all the transitions between tracks were just the microphones moving rooms, and to see it like that was like, “Oh my god, this is a better idea.”
Vimeo picked one of my videos as a staff pick, a video of this woman … in a graveyard playing an autoharp, so there was mutual admiration. A Blogothèque producer named Nora had just moved to Montreal, and we’d been talking online and we met at a party, sort of randomly, and then I guess that was the beginning. …
That’s always been interesting to me, meeting someone midstream and seeing what floats around them. Each artist is so completely different. The most refreshing ones are the ones that have this kind of ramshackle society around them, [rather than] the ones with a glistening barricade…
It must be more fun to be with those kind of ramshackle people, or people who are just starting out and don’t have a lot of ego about it.
It’s so surprising and refreshing when you think people will be like that and they aren’t. Especially ones with such legitimate art.
So did Spoon have a glistening barricade?
No, that was weird actually. They were in the middle of this media tour, so the phone calls that would come in were, like, deciding which late night show to go on. That video was one of the ones where I knew it would be nice, but there would be concessions. I don’t really think of aspects of artifice on their end, a lot of the time; I just get to a point where I think it’s beautiful and pass it on. A lot of time I leave in all these little remarks people make, and Britt wrote back and was like, “Cut, cut, cut.”
The whole thing is just handshakes; nobody signs anything. That’s why I’m able to do so much because we just say, “Do you want to go do this? Now?” We keep the immediacy, and then deal with what happens later. …
I like the idea that you can take a band out into the world and record discrete tracks of each instrument, so the mix becomes something totally hyperreal; it’s not something you can experience in the world. It’s a bit of a weird experience to watch one of the ones that’s out in public, where the sound sounds like it’s in a vacuum, but there’s this din of city around and there’s no trace of it. The Paris team loves the sound of everything around.
One of the videos I really liked was the one you did with Basia Bulat, like, by the water.
Her voice is so powerful. And she’s kind of a favorite of musicians in Canada, she’s sung with Leonard Cohen, and Rufus Wainwright, and Daniel Lanois—he’s like a Canadian megaproducer.
There’s so much happening up there. [laughs]
We filmed the video at the Scarborough Bluffs in East Toronto, on the shore of lake Ontario. Basia lives in East Toronto—nobody lives in East Toronto who’s an artist, because it’s all happening in the west. Parkdale is the neighborhood, it’s like… Bushwick, or like the Mile End in Montreal. So she kinda lives in Greek grannyland. Scarborough Bluffs is where people growing up kinda had Venice Beach good times, teenage drinking and making out. It’s really beautiful, and it just goes on forever.
Some of these things are like, half an hour. Basia and I spent 16 hours together that day. We just kind of fell in love. I always write something to go with each video, and with Basia the whole thing amounted to “I’m in love.” [laughs] …Julianna Barwick is pretty much my ideal artist. We spent like a month and a half in Iceland together. We’d met in Toronto when she was there for North by Northeast, and I just introduced myself afterward, and we hung out at all night and just on such a nice note. I saw her at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and the plans were all made for her to go to Iceland, and I was just like, “I’m coming with you. I have to be there for part of this.” So we just made it happen. I went with her and just rolled around. She had to go home in the middle of it, and I just stayed and roamed, and all that footage became a film that she played in the background of her set when she was on tour with Sigur Rós.
Julianna and I’s relationship has been such an incredible thing. She has the ideal music to put to visuals; it’s just, like, perfect angel whales singing in heaven [laughs].
One of the biggest differences between your music videos and more traditional, commercial videos is the way those function as a vehicle for the song, whereas I think the Take Away shows add a new layer, and that makes it an entirely other artistic thing.
There’s a weird little line now, when people call them “session films.” At their worst, when it goes horribly, they’re session films. Just people sitting in a room, nothing happened before, nothing happened after, and you just have them for a minute. It’s really depressing to walk away from one of those, even though the video itself can be… I wouldn’t say “compelling,” but “pretty”? That has a place, and they’re nice, but the Take Away shows are more a documentary of something—a touched documentary, but they inform ideas that I pull into other stuff.
The first video I did with Emily [Terndrup] was a video for Marissa Nadler of her song“Wedding.” It just involved, in dance, what you would do with a Take Away show. I did long takes with Emily, Marissa was in the room and Emily was improvising on the song, and what changes is that the camera is in a different position in each take, and you can make choices afterward. It’s a very simple idea, but it developed immediately from everything I learned in Take Away show–land. That opened up doors to making these what I call “narrative music videos,” but they’re not narrating anything. They’re improvs. There’s all of this experimentation, and it just kind of happens.
Which is why they feel so much more alive than a little session in a recording studio.
Some people don’t get it walking in to those that you get one chance, it’s not gonna stop, you can’t cut anything. Some people know, and they’re jazzed, and some people are like ‘Oh, it’s just a session, right?’ Some people are so sad when they see the end result, and I’m like, “This is gorgeous.” You learn so much about how people see themselves. And the language that goes back and forth sometimes—what you’re saying is that it looks like you have a lot of pimples, but what you’re saying is “I just don’t like the feel, is there another take?” Like, one where you wore makeup? No! [laughs]
That must be freeing—maybe not to the artists, but maybe to you—to say, we’re here doing this, and this is what it looks like.
The thing that makes the good ones good is the day. If we can get along, and we can get to a place of trust, it doesn’t become a concert for them; they’re just alone. Because I disappear—to a point. When they go into their own zone, it’s perfect.
Screengrab via La Blogothèque/YouTube
Last night, Jon Stewart hosted Night of Too Many Stars, an autism charity and awareness event. It had everything: Maya Rudolph dry-humping a man who appeared to be in his 90s, Paul Rudd being fed like a baby bird, and Chris Rock shilling for Tommy Hilfiger. But the "Weird Al" Yankovic performance might have been the most touching of the night.
His song "Yoda," a parody of the Kinks' "Lola," was originally released in 1985. Thirteen-year-old Jodi DiPiazza, a musician with autism, wasn't even alive then, but that didn't stop her from nailing a duet with Yankovic.
DiPiazza is a musical prodigy, and she performed "Firework" with Katy Perry at 2012's Night of Too Many Stars. She returned last night to accompany Yankovic—who was dressed as a Jedi, of course—on piano.The Actionplay Chorus, a group of kids with autism, joined them for the big finale. In a night filled with comedians' bits and schticks, it was a moving reminder of who should really be in the spotlight.
Screengrab via Comedy Central
Daylight Saving Time got your head drooping a little more than usual this Monday? Never fear, because here at the Daily Dot, we've got just the thing to recharge your sleepless soul: 12-year-old Ryan Gosling dancing in Hammer pants.
That's right, long before he was a meme, a heartthrob, and everyone's favorite feminist, Ryan Gosling was a merely a boy from Canada with big dreams and even bigger pants, practicing his choreography moves at Elite dance studio.
By the grace of the Internet gods, Gosling's 1992 performances were captured on video and uploaded for all to enjoy over the weekend. Better yet, Baby Goose confirmed their authenticity on Twitter:The first gem that surfaced finds Ryan giving us his jukebox best as he strolls onstage in a boss leather jacket to belt out Elvis' "Hound Dog." The oldies continue as the Gos serves up his best mashed potato dancing to the Contours’ "Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)." But let's not stop there. What you've all been waiting for is Gosling to bust out his running man in the most lustrous Hammer pants you've ever seen. Still not enough for you? Let's lose the backup dancers so we can just focus on the swagger of this young man and the shine of his pants.
We're feeling better already.
In the short clip, Cosby, dressed in what appears to be maroon silk pajamas, addresses his fans via something called a rotary phone. He promotes his upcoming standup dates, many of which have been fraught with protest. He claims he's "far from finished," a line that's been added to press releases about canceled dates as well, an attempt at reputation repair.However, he never mentions the 20-plus women who have accused him of sexual assault over the years, the accusations that have piled up in the last six months, or his alleged efforts to discredit the women who have accused him. He seems to be holding on to the "laughter cures all" train for dear life. Amy Schumer highlighted the ridiculousness of the number of allegations versus Cosby's silence on the matter during last night's Night of Too Many Stars: If the list of accusers gets up to 50 women, she asked, "can't they just give him community service?" Something tells us the answer is no.
H/T Hollywood Reporter | Illustration by Max Fleishman
After months of mystery, the newest Tomorrowland trailer is finally showing fans what the highly anticipated Disney film is about.
A new trailer out on Disney's U.K. channel goes beyond previous teasers that revealed simply a magical pin that transports the protagonist to a futuristic field. Now we can actually see more of the characters and designs of Tomorrowland, as well as get some clues as to the structure of the film.Now we know George Clooney lives in a house guarded by a dog hologram, and has some sort of bathtub ejector seat in case of emergencies. We also learn a little more of the plot, which revolves around a chosen girl and the limited vision she saw in previous trailers was, "a place where the best and brightest people in the world came together to actually change it."
We don't know how, or why, or what they're changing it from, however. Fans will only have to wait until May 22 to get the full picture, when the film hits theaters.
Screengrab via Disney UK/YouTube
Since the premiere of Fox’sEmpire, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation about the sexuality of actor Jussie Smollett. Despite Grindr profiles, leaked nudes, and his fellow costar confirming that he's gay to reporters, the 31-year-old has refused to address the issue. “I am not willing to confirm or deny anything,” he told the hosts of Sway In the Morning last week.
Yet, it appears as if Smollett's feelings have changed. On Monday, the actor appeared on Ellen to talk about landing the lead role and the response he's felt from fans since his character came out, but chose not to address his own sexuality during the interview.
Instead, after the show wrapped, Smollett sought out the host in her dressing room and asked if she'd be willing to film one last segment backstage to address all the rumors.In coming out, the actor refuted that he's ever hidden his sexuality away, claiming that he's merely wanted to keep it part of his private life. “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in," he shared. "I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.”
He chose to end their intimate sit down with a joke, feeling relived after getting the subject off his chest. "My mama knows, my mama likes me a lot," he told Degeneres before turning to the camera and shooting a sly grin. "And yes, I take her to The Sound of Music sing-along every single year."
It was announced today that Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 59.
His passing was announced on Facebook this morning via the Sam Simon Foundation, which pairs veterans and people with hearing impairments with service dogs. Simon was a vocal animal rights activist and philanthropist, and that passion, as well as his battle with cancer, is the subject of a yet-to-be-released documentary.
Simon created The Simpsons in 1989 with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, and helped it shape the show's characters and look. He exited the show in 1993, but his influence on comedy and TV in the last decade-plus is undeniable. Merrill Markoe's fantastic 2014 Vanity Fairpiece on Simon is required reading: He describes coming up with the look of iconic characters like Mr. Burns and Chief Wiggum. He also spoke about his cancer battle on Marc Maron's WTF podcast in 2013.
Groening and Brooks both offered statements; Groening remarked Simon is "gone from our industry too soon."
On Twitter, friends and colleagues expressed their grief and cataloged their remembrances.No doubt we'll see Simon somewhere in next week's Simpsons. H/T The Wrap | Illustration by Jason Reed
If the idea of a Ghostbusters reboot pumped blood into your childhood whims by existing, but simultaneously made you uncomfortable because its protagonists weren't men, you can relax. Sony Pictures is planning to pair the Paul Feig-directed, Kristen Wiig-starring reboot set to go into production this summer with a bro-heavy counterpart.
On board for this follow-up exercise is original director Ivan Reitman. Reitman and original Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd are both principals at new Sony production company Ghostcorps. The crack team of dudes trusted with the keys to the mancave includes the dudes that wrote the last pointless Captain America movie, Joe and Anthony Russo, who will direct and produce the thing; the dude that wrote Iron Man 3, Drew Pearce; and Channing Tatum who is on as a producer and will be expected to don a proton pack.
“We want to expand the Ghostbusters universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment... This is a branded entertainment, a scary supernatural premise mixed with comedy. Paul Feig’s film will be the first version of that, shooting in June to come out in July 2016. He’s got four of the funniest women in the world, and there will be other surprises to come. The second film has a wonderful idea that builds on that. Drew will start writing and the hope is to be ready for the Russo Brothers’ next window next summer to shoot, with the movie coming out the following year. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies.”
And so the Wiig and Melissa McCarthy movie is but a space monkey expected to set the table for an onslaught of branded content starring dudes. The whole mess makes you appreciate the one-off elegance of Kindergarten Cop.
Photo via poppet with a camera/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Community made it to super senior status before getting expelled from the TV schedule, but it’s finally about to get its second chance on the air.
By now, the tale of Community, the cult comedy from Dan Harmon, is a familiar one. What started off as your regular old sitcom—with the basic character archetypes filled by Jeff Winger, Britta Perry, Annie Edison, Troy Barnes, Abed Nadir, Shirley Bennett, and Pierce Hawthorne—turned into something a lot funnier and more heartfelt than people ever expected, earning the praise of both fans and critics and the rallying cry of “six seasons and a movie.”
Yet for all of its parodies, character depth, and humor, it never really did catch on with your average audience, and after barely floating through tough ratings competition for years, Harmon’s firing and rehire, and the fourth season “gas leak,” NBC finally canceled it after five seasons.
All 97 episodes are currently available to stream on Hulu Plus, but with queues building up quickly (and the release of the newest House of Cards season and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt high on our list of priorities), time is precious. Instead of reading through the textbook, just take a cue from the study group and read the SparkNotes version instead.
Missed it the first time around? Curious about this thing Yahoo’s doing called TV? Your other shows disappointing you this season? We’ve picked out some of the best Community has to offer, so get comfy, because class is in session.
1) ‘Contemporary American Poultry’ (season 1, episode 21)
No matter the situation, Abed needs to use pop culture to make real life more relatable to him. So when the study group placed him inside the cafeteria kitchens to get them more chicken fingers, he quickly turned it into a Mafia-esque operation not unlike that seen in The Godfather and Goodfellas. Instead of drugs, it was fried poultry, and the study group was at the top of the food chain. And when Abed felt everyone taking him for granted, he taught them a lesson about respect with a montage—complete with “Layla (Piano Exit)” playing in the background.2) ‘Modern Warfare’ (season 1, episode 23)
A friendly game of Paintball Assassin quickly turns nasty when priority registration is on the line in a parody of action films. It has everything: slow-motion explosions, sexual tension, friends turning against friends, teamwork, and plenty of kill shots and death scenes as Jeff accepts the utter silliness of the situation. We have no idea how Dean Craig Pelton thought this wouldn’t turn into a disaster, but we’re all the better for it. There’s a reason it’s the highest-rated episode on IMDb. It’s just plain fun.3) ‘Cooperative Calligraphy’ (season 2, episode 8)
While “Modern Warfare” expanded its story to the entire campus, “Cooperative Calligraphy” does the complete opposite. As one of TV’s “bottle episodes,” made for as little money as possible during a season, it locks the characters in a room as they argue and hash things out; Abed even acknowledges that it’s a bottle episode early on. As the study group is literally locked in the study room they frequent until they find Annie’s missing pen, it easily brings out the best and worst in them.4) ‘Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ (season 2, episode 14)
Their mission was just: After Jeff became worried that Neil, a fellow classmate, was contemplating suicide when he gave Jeff his Dungeons & Dragons books, he rallied the study group to play a game of D&D with him. It’s an episode that NBC famously didn’t want to make (and wouldn’t be the last of Harmon’s struggles with the network), but with most of the characters being unfamiliar with the game, it allowed even the non-D&D fans to jump right in and get just as creative.Bonus: Season 5’s “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” in which the study group tries to bring an estranged father and son back together through the game, is a fitting sequel.
5) ‘Critical Film Studies’ (season 2, episode 19)
The study group rented out a restaurant for Abed’s birthday and dressed up as characters from Pulp Fiction, so on the surface it looks just like another episode with plenty of pop-culture references. But it’s the heart of the episode, in the form of a private dinner between Abed and Jeff, that takes precedence and ends up homaging something else entirely. They’re two characters who often butt heads, but they’ve never been more real, even if they are reenacting My Dinner With Andre.6) and 7) ‘A Fistful of Paintballs’ and ‘For a Few Paintballs More’ (season 2, episodes 23 and 24)
Another paintball episode? Really? Yes. The two-parter at the end of Community’s second season risked treading on familiar ground, but with the prize set at $100,000, the stakes are even higher. It also lets Annie, Britta, and Shirley, who lost early in last year’s match, call the shots over some of the usual heroes. But something about it doesn’t feel right, even after the school gets trashed again, and what starts as a take on spaghetti Westerns turns into a full-on Star Wars homage as Greendale unites to fight City College. It’s their hellhole, and only they get to trash it.8) ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’ (season 3, episode 3)
An episode with a simple concept—playing parcheesi and debating who gets the pizza at Troy and Abed’s apartment—turns into one of Community’s most complex episodes as soon as Abed utters the words, “Just so you know, Jeff, you are now creating six different timelines.” We’re essentially watching the same scene play out over and over, but with someone different going to grab pizza each time; it shakes up the dynamic and tells a new story each time. It also brings the “darkest timeline” into our vernacular and earned writer Chris McKenna a writing Emmy nomination.9) ‘Documentary Filmmaking: Redux’ (season 3, episode 8)
Is it art or madness? In reality, it’s probably both as Dean Pelton is charged with filming a new Greendale commercial. He manages to get proud alumnus Luis Guzman to do a part, but what should be a two-day shoot turns into a disaster zone rife with problems while amateur documentarian Abed films the whole thing and struggles to stay objective while pretty much everyone around him loses it.10) ‘Pillows and Blankets’ (season 3, episode 14)
The previous episode, “Digital Exploration of Interior Design,” is good to watch beforehand, but it’s not required viewing. Presented in the style of the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War, this episode chronicles the impending war between Troy and Abed over whether they should build a blanket fort or a pillow fort. Like any war, nobody really comes out of this unscathed, whether they’re on the sidelines, right in the middle, or in charge of controlling the fluffy version of a doomsday device.11) ‘Digital Estate Planning’ (season 3, episode 20)
One of Community’s most ambitious episodes to date turns the study group into 16-bit video game characters as they team up and fight Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito for Pierce’s inheritance. It brings out the best and worst of videos games as well as some growth in 2D form. Fans have made Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne a reality by building an open-source game that you can download and play and even made a scene Harmon wanted to film (but Chevy Chase refused to do) possible.12) ‘Basic Human Anatomy’ (season 4, episode 11)
Many fans don’t like Community’s fourth season because it only feels like a shell of Harmon’s vision, but this episode, penned by the show’s own Jim Rash, comes close to what the show used to be. The impersonations of Troy and Abed (and Jeff via Dean Pelton) run rampant as they attempt to “switch bodies.” Even on Community’s turf, that’s fairly impossible to believe, but they stick to their act until it boils down in an emotional revelation.13) ‘Cooperative Polygraphy’ (season 5, episode 4)
After Chevy Chase left the show during Community’s fourth season (and was banned from the Sony lot), a newly reinstated Harmon did practically the only thing he could with Pierce’s story: he killed him. Yet Pierce’s presence is palpable as the executor of his will surprises them with a polygraph test to prove that none of them killed him. Quickly put at odds with one another, they’re forced to reveal secrets they’ve kept for years—and one of the show’s main antagonists gets into their heads one last time.14) ‘G.I. Jeff’ (season 5, episode 11)
Like “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” a classic children’s animation style is used both as a coping mechanism and as a means of escape, but things get dark quickly in this tribute to G.I. Joe. With cartoon character deaths, depictions of violence, the cheesy commercials, and the study group (as various soldiers) questioning the entire logistics of the ’80s children’s show, the audience is left to ponder some of same things Jeff is forced to deal with now that he’s turning 40. A comedy Community may be, but it just as easily steps into more melancholy territory.Screengrab via Community/Sony Pictures Television
According to Hollywood movies, most women seem to vanish off the face of the Earth once they hit 50. A few exceptions are left behind (Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton) but for the most part, movies tend to keep casting young actresses opposite aging leading men.
This parody trailer makes fun of Hollywood's habit of casting May/December romances, as a young woman and an elderly man fall in love—all while refusing to admit that he's any older than she is.
When she introduces him to her mother and grandmother, both women appear to be in their early thirties. Considering the many films where actresses play mother to actors just a few years their junior, this isn't so far off. Remember when Winona Ryder played Zachary Quinto's mom in Star Trek, when she was 38 and he was 32? Seriously.A while ago, Vulture published a series of graphs comparing the ages of leading men to the ages of their love interests. As stars like Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington and Johnny Depp aged into their 50s and beyond, their female co-stars remained consistently young. And that's without even getting into the many action franchises like Die Hard and The Expendables, which exist purely to create comeback material for their aging stars. Meanwhile those actors' female counterparts are consigned to grandmother roles and the occasional indie drama.
Hollywood, please stop doing this. You're not fooling anyone.
Screengrab via UCBComedy/YouTube
There’s a lot of kissing on The Bachelor, as well as the sound effects you don’t always notice when you’re in the midst of the act itself. Since the mics might not always pick up those sounds, there’s someone to help that along.
Jimmy Kimmel is a fan, but he also helps behind the scenes as a sound foley for the show, which basically involves putting the right sound effects in to match the screen. After seeing how he recreates the smooch sounds behind the scenes, you won't be able to watch the upcoming season of The Bachelorette the same way again.Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
As the crowds prepare to descend on Austin for SXSW, the festival organizers hope to keep the annual event’s spirit going all year long with its new, on-demand streaming network, SXSW On.
The new service, which will debut with its own channel on Roku’s streaming platform, will be free and include live, original content from the festival. In addition to Roku, the new effort will be available on its own SXSW site as well as on YouTube. Live coverage of this year’s events will be included in the new service.
“Having a dedicated network of original programming through the lens of SXSW is a leap forward for our organization and promises a bright future as a provider in the media landscape," SXSW Director of Technology Scott Wilcox said.
SXSW On initially will include original shows The Road, a behind-the-scenes look at touring musicians, and Nom Nom, a culinary show that focused on up-and-coming restaurants in the U.S.
Those behind SXSW’s new streaming efforts hope its new programming will evolve the festival/conference from being a fixed event to a year-round media presence, putting it on par with such programming as ted.com. While the site is free to users, it likely will have advertisers, giving SXSW an additional sustainable revenue stream, as well as give it the ability to reach a large, global audience. It is certainly less expensive than adding more conference dates to the calendar.
Remix by Max Fleishman