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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    We're all still holding our breath for that Beetlejuice sequel, but in the meantime, Winona Ryder went ahead and jumped on the Netflix train. 

    Ryder and David Harbour (The Newsroom) are set to star in a still-untitled supernatural drama set in Long Island in 1980, written and directed by Matt and Ross Duffer, the writer/producer duo behind another supernatural small-town thriller, Wayward Pines

    The eight-episode series, previously titled Montauk, focuses on the disappearance of a young boy and the supernatural forces and "top-secret government experiments" at work in the Long Island town of Montauk. Ryder plays the boy's mother, Joyce, and this series marks the first time she'll lead a TV show. (She guest-starred in two episodes of Drunk History, and we'll gladly take more of that, too.) 

    Get it, Winona. Take over. 

    H/T Deadline | Photo via annaustin/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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    PBS Digital is celebrating the diversity of online content with the return of its Online Film Festival this month.

    Now in its fourth year, the series, which has been nominated for Webby Awards, focuses on short-form storytelling. Last year it attracted more than 350,000 streams, and fans cast more than 50,000 votes for the winning film.

    The festival partnered with Roku to allow early access to the festival, which is now live on the PBS website, as well as partner stations and their YouTube channels.

    “PBS, and its member stations, prides itself as the home for independent film,” said Ira Rubenstein, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS Digital, in a press release. “With the Online Film Festival, and the early viewing access we’re providing to millions of Roku customers, PBS and its member stations have the opportunity to bring unique, high-quality independent film to a highly engaged, digitally savvy audience.” 

    The festival runs June 15 through July 17.

    Screengrab via PBS/YouTube

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    It was only a matter of time before former SNL cast members Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell's comedic talents collided onscreen, but we never thought it'd be a Lifetime movie. 

    The full trailer for their new movie, A Deadly Adoption, was released today, and it's not quite clear if this is a parody of histrionic Lifetime movies or a real one. There aren't any laughs, but all the hallmarks of a Lifetime movie are there: unhinged women, people uttering the words "I'm scared," love triangles, vague menace. 

    Back on April 1 (wink), it was revealed Wiig and Ferrell were making this "secret" movie. The next day, Ferrell issued a statement, saying, "We are deeply disappointed that our planned top-secret project was made public," adding that it'd been scrapped and that it was "in the best interest for everyone to forgo the project entirely." Is Lifetime just trolling everyone? Because I'm into it. 

    The film joins Lifetime's storied canon of films, including Sexting in Suburbia, Co-ed Call Girl, and Fifteen and Pregnant

    A Deadly Adoption debuts Saturday, June 20, on Lifetime. 

    H/T Yahoo | Screengrab via Yahoo

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    New Form Digital, the year-old digital studio founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard alongside with Discovery Networks, will release nine new original shorts on its channel June 16 as part of the Incubator Series, now in its second iteration.

    "Our goal is to discover and cultivate the most creative talent working in digital today and we have been inspired by their creativity, hard work and dedication to telling their stories for digital platforms,” said New Form Digital Chief Creative Officer Kathleen Grace, in a press release. “Since New Form Digital launched one year ago, we have produced twenty-five pilots and have 17 series in production. That means there is a hunger and desire for the type of scripted stories we are telling, and that is exciting for us and the creators.”

    Last year New Form Digital funded projects by YouTube luminaries like Meghan Camarena (Strawburry17), Joey Graceffa, Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan), and Craig Benzine (WheezyWaiter). This year it's already sold two shorts to series prior to production, with Maker Studios picking up Party Girl, about a woman who pays the rent playing princesses for kid parties around Los Angeles; and Refinery29 taking Shitty Boyfriends, executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky. 

    Newly announced projects include 10:31, a tale of rival YouTube pranksters; and perhaps most intriguingly, Occupy Alice, a story of a party girl reformed when her 13-year-old sister shows up to stay with her.

    "Working with New Form has been kind of a dream come true," said Ally Maynard, the creator of Occupy Alice. "As a young storyteller, being offered the resources and creative support of such an amazing team was incredibly empowering and, at the same time, deeply humbling."

    Maynard said she wanted to tell the story of Alice for personal reasons, but also because it was the kind of content she wanted to watch as a viewer.

    "Witnessing women in their raw, contemporary lives isn’t something we see enough of, and I felt the need to portray young, modern women without any apologizing for who they are," she said.

    The one tie between each short is the appearance of YouTuber Mitchell Davis, who also participated in the first round of the incubator. Davis will host promotional materials for each short on New Form Digital’s YouTube channel.

    Screengrab via New Form Digital/YouTube

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    Hamilton Leithauser fronted on-hiatus indie dynamos the Walkmen for just north of 14 years. In that span, he quietly wrote and sang some of the strongest rock songs of the 21st century—and ran pop culture through his growling, earnest vocal filter.

    The band’s breakthrough, 2004’s Bows + Arrows, landed a cut on The O.C.’s angst-laden soundtrack. The band’s final record, 2012’s Heaven, sent its titular song to diagram How I Met Your Mother’s meaningless and overextended seriesfinale. In between, the Walkmen lent music to Breaking Bad, Spider-Man 3, and Clint Eastwood’s gooey drama Trouble With the Curve.

    The Walkmen wrote crowd-pleasing albums that found transcendent appeal with the regularity of a Labrador playing fetch. It’s no wonder that Leithauser went comfortably numb with the routine of assembling five-part rock songs with his longtime buds.

    Last year’s solo debut Black Hours took inspiration from iconoclast lone gunmen composers like Bob Dylan and Cole Porter. It was an intricate venture that yielded mostly great results.

    Before honing the whispering tones needed to document a teen drama, Leithauser was a punk kid. Here, he expertly reworks two staples from D.C. punk pioneers the Nation of Ulysses. 

    The Daily Dot has partnered with Daytrotter to highlight one session a week, which will be available to stream here exclusively in its entirety. In this installment, Leithauser revisits his pre-gentrification Washington, D.C., days and wipes out.

    The thrills are fast-acting and vacuous, and you’ll want another pop. It’s basically going to an old watering hole near your parents’ house.

    For nearly a decade, Daytrotter has been recording some of the best talent around, and now you can stream half of this incredible (and growing) archive, featuring thousands of band sessions, for free—or join for full access and free downloads.

    Illustration by Johnnie Cluney/Daytrotter | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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    It’s always good to know how to work in teams in video game play because it makes it that much easier to team up against someone like Conan O’Brien.

    He got his hands on Halo 5: Guardians and invited Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Zach Woods to play against him, Andy Richter, and Aaron Bleyaert. It doesn’t take long for Team Coco to discover that they are really, really bad at this—even worse than usual for Clueless Gamer segments. 

    “We are awful at this, but awful in a way that’s almost intriguing,” O’Brien noted.

    But in between rounds of total annihilation, they manage to get a little philosophical before O’Brien calls in the big guns—aka the multiplayer designer for Halo—to play for him. It gets ugly.

    The outtakes are almost even better than the games.

    Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube

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    Sending that first text to a potential date can be tough, but it would be less cringe-worthy if you don’t make the same mistakes as these unfortunate texters.

    Aziz Ansari covered the topic of lazy first-date texts in his book on modern dating, so Jimmy Fallon asked him to analyze real first-date texts from Tonight Show viewers. It didn't take long for him to figure out what had gone wrong in each case—sometimes he didn't even need to read the text.

    How can we get better at sending these texts? First things first, become better conversationalists and proofread. It's not guaranteed to spark a romantic relationship, but at least you'll bringing the text-message conversation to a screeching halt.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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    Last night, rapper Lil B appeared on ESPN’s SportsNation in a sensible summer outfit to address the matter of curses—specifically, the curses he’s allegedly placed on NBA players. His hex on James Harden was well documented on social media, but his hashtag sorcery goes deeper than that. 

    Lil B does say that cursing people is a “last resort,” and he has pardoned some of his offenders. He is a merciful Based God. What this segment really reveals is that Lil B needs his own ESPN show. 

    LeBron James is one of the players he’s allegedly cursed. As Game 6 looms tonight, here’s the status of James’s curse, as well as those on Harden, Kevin Durant, and Marreese Speights. 

    Screengrab via SportsNationESPN/YouTube

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    Even when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is damaging other people's property, you can't help but love him.

    While driving to the set, The Rock, so distracted by his one-man singing and dancing party in his truck, sideswiped a car. Like a good person, he pulled over and managed to connect with the owner. Of course, the owner was more distracted by the fact that he was talking to the Rock than by the damage on his car. Johnson shared the entire exchange, and a picture of the damage, on his Instagram.

    The man in question, Audie Bridges, refused to accept any money for repairs, saying, “Wow, this is going to make an awesome story.” He’s definitely correct.

    Screengrab via The Rock/Instagram

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    If you need to escape the reality of things like Donald Trump’s presidential announcement today, Baltimore musician and artist Dan Deacon’s new interactive video for the song “Meme Generator” is a good place to start

    Deacon, who was also recently featured in Adult Swim’s infomercial about the dangers of allergy meds, has never been afraid to cleave open those darker parts of the brain. This video show dancers inhabiting different rooms of a house while twerking, backbending, and having some sort of ecstatic breakdown, and you can interact with them. 

    Directed by Monica Mirabile, “Meme Generator” is an exploration into how our bodies are programmed. She explained: “The players are downloaded into a digital world and asked to play the game of semiotic codes interacting with the ‘house.’” She explains she “gave no rules, just asked for a response derived from the choreographers own relationship to the ‘program’”: 

    The program being the familiar space of the house. I’m most directly inspired by the choreography of the people that surround me, as we are all affected by a similar marketed reality. We all play the game.
    You can indeed play the game right here. You just have to download a plugin first. 

    This and Björk's new virtual-reality video for “Stonemilker” make for a nice digital web to get lost in. 

    H/T Death and Taxes | Screengrab via Domino Recording Co./YouTube 

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    It finally happened—Kim Kardashian slipped into Stuart Smalley mode for Glamour and wrote an inspirational letter to herself 10 years from now. 

    In the heartwarming bit of absurdist theater, she offers advice to herself for dealing with a 12-year-old North, expresses her hope that she will continue to ignore the "haters," and prays for a green juice that will keep her "tan forever."

    She also looks into the gaping maw of the future and asks the hard questions: "Are selfies still a thing?" We're getting a little choked up here. 

    The most important takeaway from the video is that Kim uses Google Docs, just like us mortals. 

    H/T Glamour | Screengrab via Glamour 

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    The Chris Gethard Show is a talk show unlike any other.

    After its start as a live performance at the UCB Theatre in New York, TCGS has now existed in some iteration or another for six years. It lived at UCB for two years before making a jump to Manhattan public access television on the MNN network, which would house the show for four years or 180-plus episodes. (That’s over 200 hours of free content, which you can access on YouTube). Whatever the incarnation, though, no other show gets the audience this involved (they’re right on the floor with the hosts), and no other show or fan base takes such joy in watching madness unfold. 

    Gethard has been sometimes compared to David Letterman in his early years, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Gethard’s style. There’s a finesse to the unplanned moments, an art to the improvisation, that makes it impossible to really compare him with accuracy to any forerunner. Sometimes, the whole ordeal feels more like an experiment than a weekly television show, but, no matter what, the experiment is always a success—even when it isn’t (and the audience loves when it isn’t).

    The only two constants for the show, over those six years, were the chaos itself and the fact that nobody working on it got paid anything.

    That’s all changed now: Fusion TV has picked the show up, and TCGS has moved into an all-new studio, where the folks who had been doing the weekly show for nothing more than pure love are now fully paid, working-every-day staff members.

    But fans needn’t worry about the show losing the lo-fi charm they’ve grown accustomed to. Yes, the staff now works 14- to 15-hour days all week (as opposed to two hours every Wednesday), but Gethard has thought long and hard about how—with all this extra time, help, and money—to maintain the spontaneity and undercurrent of shittiness and mayhem in this transition to the Big Time.

    We talked with Gethard over the phone about the pressures of finally getting paid to do the show, the upsides to having a real office, the origins of Bananaman, and the power of an online army of cult fans having your back.

    What would you say has been the biggest difference working with Fusion, as opposed to working with MNN?

    Well, there’s obvious differences… It’s my job, now, which is very nice, for the lifetime of the show and the audience, as well as for my own personal self-esteem, so that’s a nice thing. But I think the most active differences that we’ve had are that, for every episode, I used to meet with a couple other guys every Saturday—we’d meet for like two hours before the episode, and then we would just do it on Wednesday night—and now we’re all here, like every day, five days a week… Some of us are working 14-hour days, 16-hour days, getting these episodes right, so… It’s nice to have everybody in the same facility; it’s amazing that we can be in the room brainstorming and can just walk three doors down and see if something’s possible, whereas that used to be… not even a thing. That wasn’t even close to feasible.

    So you can just easily ask, say, “Hey, can we get a piece of a spaceship to use for a bit?”

    Exactly. I think we’ve had a really strong crew of people. Almost every single person that works on the show is somebody that did work on the public access show, and that’s something that I’m intensely happy about. It’s just nice that we’re all together, all the time, and that we’re not just all showing up at 10:15pm, and have to go live with the show at 11pm, and just pray that it goes well. We actually get hang out all day, every day, strategizing this stuff.

    Is it difficult to keep the looseness of the show, with having more time to plan? How do you walk that fine line between making sure that the chaos is there and not over-planning it?

    It’s a great question, and I’m very happy that I kinda asked myself the same question pretty early. We did a bunch of rehearsals on stage, leading up to the show, and it felt very tight, and I started to realize, like, “Oh… just because we have more time to plan everything, doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to plan everything.” I started realizing that part of what people really enjoyed about the public access show—watching it, and part of what I enjoyed doing it—is that there were a lot times when things fell apart, and there’s something very fun about watching somebody have to deal with that while a camera’s pointed at them. We started to realize if we actually plan it all, then it’s gonna go well, and that might not be the best thing for our show. It’s a very strange paradox: Our show’s probably not actually at its best when it’s actually at its best. It’s at its best when it has to deal with some adversity along the way.

    I started intentionally planning into the episodes, like… there’s gotta be at least, like, 20 percent of this that we don’t know. There’s gotta be time unaccounted for, that we just don’t plan, and we have to see what happens. And maybe it turns out well, and maybe it doesn’t, but that’s really the only way to actually honor the show that we’ve been building all these years.

    I just watched the sleep deprivation episode, and that was almost like a case of, like, a thoroughly planned episode, but where you intentionally threw in this element that made it, like, 600 percent harder than it needed to be. Like, the sleep deprivation itself made it to where almost anything could happen—somebody could start having a breakdown at any moment, you know? It kept that sense of danger there.

    It’s an odd thing to say, but it’s like… I don’t have much interest in being successful. Like, I want to be happy, and I want to have this show, and I want the show to be my job, and I want people to watch the show, I want the show to spread… But as far as the actual ideas that we do on the show, I don’t care if they fail or not, as long as we’re honest about it. Like… we did that Human Duck Hunt idea, where me and Wyatt Cynac were dressed as ducks and swinging from the ceiling, and people were shooting at us, using the camera as a gun to shoot at us, and it’s like ‘Well, this could really fall on its face, but as long as we just really roll with the punches, and own it… if it falls on its face, I’m OK with that. The actual ideas that we come up with don’t need to work, as long we kinda let the audience see us process the failure.

    You’ve created a way that the audience is really in on the process. Like, they’re literally on the floor with you, and in the chatrooms with you, and they’re very much in on it, so if you fail, they’re very much laughing with you, rather than at you. People get very excited when things go wrong.

    They do, indeed! … It’s actually been really empowering, as a performer. In the public access days, we’d do things that wouldn’t work, or I’d talk about how I felt like a loser, personally, or sometimes I’d have these meltdowns on air where I’m like, “How did I wind up being a public access guy? Like, what’s going on?” But what I realized was that the crowd, they kinda liked when things went wrong. They kinda liked when I’d have those meltdowns… Which, when you think about it, it’s actually very liberating.

    That’s very much a win-win situation.

    I think so… except that so much of the ‘win-win’ revolves around me actually losing hard.

    You guys are still filming in New York, right? Are you still in the Manhattan area, or did you have to move very far to the new location?

    We used to be way out on the west side of town, and now we’re on the east side of town. … There’s not a single window, and we were here for a few weeks, and we came in one day and … there had been a rain storm, and a pipe burst, and it smelled like a toilet bowl. And that’s now happened twice, that the studio has flooded and smelled like human sewage. Which is, like, you can hear I’m laughing while I say it, because to me it’s like, “Great, perfect, that’s where we belong; it keeps us humble.” I know we had real fears, and the fans have real fears of, like, “Oh, you guys are selling out, you’re going Hollywood,” and it’s, like, “No, no—we are in a windowless basement that smells like shit. We’re maintaining the underground integrity, I promise you.”

    Have the fans followed you from the old show to the live tapings of the new show?


    Is the Bananaman guy, like, a permanent fixture in the audience?

    There’s an interesting story. … A lot of people who work on [the show] just started kinda as fans. Bananaman started just showing up dressed as a banana and dancing. And then a few of the people who worked on the show with me were like, “You know that kid went to NYU with us?” Like, he’s a film graduate; he works in TV. He’s a badass, actually. … And we found out “Oh, this guy’s, like, making film and making videos, and he does all this production work on TV shows”… And then, yeah, he started working on the show, and he’s actually one of our two central performers.

    Oh, I had no idea.

    He’s officially one of our main producers now. He’s very high up in our chain. It’s him, and this guy Jersey Dave, who also just started appearing on the show a bunch. He was another guy who just started showing up volunteering, and now it’s, like, oh yeah, it’s his job, too. A cool thing, that I’m pretty proud of, is that if you want to get involved in the show, we really let you get involved, and that might mean that we remember your name when you call, that might mean that we give you your own theme song if you participate enough, or it might mean that someday you get a job on the show itself. So that’s a pretty cool thing, [and] I’m really happy we went in that direction.

    Have you had more people wanting to be in the studio audience since making the jump to cable television?

    We’ve been getting lots and lots of ticket requests, and we actually have a little bit less space for people, so we’re trying to be fair and make sure we spread that out, and make sure everybody that wants to come has a chance to come at some point.

    It’s kinda like… these fans have supported us so passionately that I really need to make sure, on my end, that as we make this jump to a bigger spot that it’s clear we’re still in it for them. That’s still the reason I do the show… I don’t want people to feel like we’re walking away from the support that we’ve had in the past or taking it for granted in any way.

    Was the livestreaming of the Tuesday tapings something that you guys pushed for for the fans? To try and keep everybody in on the process and keep that spirit alive?

    Actually the opposite. In a way that I think speaks really well of them, that was actually Fusion’s idea. They actually pitched us on that. … There’s a lot of reasons I want it to be live, but, in the modern world, it’s hard. It’s expensive to have a live show. Legally, you’re putting yourself at more risk. [A lot of networks] drop their head around it, and Fusion actually said to us, like, “We agree 100 percent with all the elements that you like about it, so what if we let the taping become a public thing?”

    So when you watch on Tuesday nights, you’ll see us stop and start, you’ll see me speak and have to say things again. It’s just like if you got a ticket to go see a taping of the show, but we’re just not gonna hide it; we’re not gonna hide the process. We want people in on the process. And the hope is that the people who really are hardcore fans, who want to dive in deep, they can have this experience where they get to call in, and watch it live… kinda see how the sausage is made.

    That goes for, like, two hours on Tuesday nights, and then they have even more of a vested interest in watching on Thursday, to see the polished show, to see what made it, to see what other jokes we added in, in editing, and all that stuff… It really was Fusion’s idea, and it was kinda mind-blowing to everybody on our end that they would want to do that, because I think it’s such a progressive look at things. I think, as we move forward more and more, there’s gonna be more things like this, where networks are giving away more stuff on the Internet, and kinda using it to help build the TV platform. And [Fusion is], I think, really ahead of the curve in a way that I’m really excited to be a part of.

    That’s something that’s definitely changing a lot in late night, is the building of a community. … That was something the whole Team CoCo thing kinda started, with the whole idea of providing Internet-only access to material, instead of just having the show itself.

    It’s interesting that you bring up Team CoCo, because I also think a lot about Community and Arrested Development… All three of those shows went through situations where—you know, Community and Arrested Development [faced] cancellation threats; CoCo [had] everything happened with Conan and NBC and TBS—and you saw these, like, massive uprisings of online fans. They kinda solidified into these movements, and it was really inspiring to see, but it also made me realize that in most cases, crises have to happen to those shows for those fan bases to mobilize.

    But I feel like I’m putting in a very intentional effort to mobilize that fanbase to be huge outright, when we’re at the very beginning of our process. Like, let’s make the idea that you can have an online army that’s really dedicated to your show in a passionate, cult way … right from the start, versus “Let’s hope they come to our aid when disaster strikes and they need it.”

    The fear that a loved show will go away forever is lessening, because the fan bases are getting so big that it’s just, like, “Well, some network will want that.”

    It’s very cool to be somebody that creates content right now, because there’s so many platforms—so many cable networks [and] things like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Yahoo Streaming—that I think are kind of intentionally aiming to be a little smaller and more focused and boutique in who they’re going after, and the idea of having a very dedicated, cult fan base, I think, is more of a bargaining chip than it was a few years ago. It’s super empowering.

    I’d heard that it was mainly you and your wife that handpicked the musical guests on the MNN show. Do you still get to do that?

    Our music bookers for our current show are the same exact bookers that were on our public access show, and they’re people who legitimately are very, very much in touch with the whole Brooklyn DIY scene. And I think they really bring a lot to the table, and I’m psyched about it. Like, [on] the show itself, y’know, you’ll see about a minute of them performing while we all dance, and that’s what you see on the way out, but you go to Apple TV, and you’ll see, like, a 15-minute-long little mini-concert… I’m really, very happy that we get to support a lot of the artists we love, from the underground, as we maybe become less of an underground thing.

    Since switching to Fusion, has there been any specific gag that they’ve said was just too legally unsound and/or dangerous for you to do?

    It’s funny… They had us edit down 20 old episodes into half-hour formats, and they’ve been airing all those in an effort to try to, like, get the audience caught up on what we do. And we submitted 20 of those, and a lot of them were the best episodes we ever did on public access, and it’s, like, “Ah, nice, we kinda get to make these, like, 22-minute ‘best-of’ reels of our best episodes and get them out there.” And one of the ones we picked was this episode with Hannibal Buress, where we just had phone sex with the audience.

    We’d been submitting these episodes to Fusion lawyers, and with some of them they’d be like “Oh, you gotta bleep this part,” or “This character might be a little too hardcore, so let’s maybe edit that out, and edit another piece of the show in.” And then the phone sex episode, they just wrote back and they were just, like, “No. You can’t put this on the network, absolutely not.”

    And I kinda got my feathers ruffled, and I was, like “Man, they can’t censor us! If they want our show, they need to commit to wanting our show!” And then I went back and actually watched the episode, and I was, like ‘Oh, holy shit, this is just pornography.’ It is… it’s phone sex.

    And it would be an editing nightmare, because I think the word “fuck” comes up about every 12 seconds.

    In what world did I think that was going to go on a real cable network? Like, there’s a three-minute-long phone call where I talked in detail about eating a person’s asshole. Like, why did I think this was OK to even submit to these lawyers? But, the image of a lawyer watching that did make me laugh pretty hard.

    So you guys are signed on for 10 episodes with Fusion?


    Are you scared at all about those 10 episodes underperforming? Or are you just like “Let’s go balls out”? Are you kind of, like, “Let’s just make this show 100 percent what we want to do, and what happens happens, and we’re gonna be fine”? Because 10 episodes is, like, a drop in the bucket for what you guys have done.

    It kind of goes both ways, where it’s, like, I definitely feel this anxiety about it, for sure—it’s a real daunting thing—but at the same time, we were doing the show at UCB Theatre for two years, and then we did the show on public access for four years, and it’s just, like, “I didn’t fight this long and this hard to half-ass it now.” I’d rather go really big, do the show I want to do, and have that fail, then try to kind of strategize and hedge my bets and alter the show, just so it might have more long-term success, but do a show that I’m not as into.

    I kind of had to have a real soul-searching moment with myself, and realize, like, at the end of the day, I have to go real big in the directions I want to go, because that’s the only way that I’ll be able to really say, “I did it my way, and I’m happy.” It’s the only option, to go balls out. It’s the only option. I don’t really know what else to do, after fighting this long and this hard… if we’re going to do it our way, we may as well not do it, y’know?

    The Chris Gethard Show livestreams its fourth episode live tonight, June 16, at 8pm ET. The finished episode airs Thursday night on Fusion.

    Photo via Jason Eppink/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Long before the podcast explosion, writer, artist, and filmmaker Miranda July was putting together fascinating albums of audio art.

    July, well known her experimental and collaborative art like Learning to Love You More and the Somebody App, retweeted a link to a particularly memorable track, “WSNO” on Monday.

    The track features a fictional radio call-in show, The Secret Believers Walkie-Talkathon, where callers reveal secrets on the air. It sounds an awful lot like the premise of a This American Life episode, and it well could be. Except July cuts the track with distorted music, amplified noise, and a twisted sense of humor.

    The entire album, The Benet-Simon Test, can be found on Spotify, along with July’s 10 Million Hours a Mile.

    Or, if you’d rather listen to July’s podcast-like audio dreamscapes on YouTube, you can check out another captivating track below: “Medical Wonder.”

    The track is a psychologically thrilling piece, retracing the testimony of a participant in a mysterious medical experiment. But, unlike Serial, this mystery has a satisfying conclusion.

    Photo via Steve Rhodes/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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    Could you imagine Charlie Brown using the Internet? Online dating? Good grief, he’d be a stressed mess. Thankfully, a new trailer for the upcoming Peanuts Movie doesn’t try to update Charlie Brown and the gang for the now. Well, beyond making it 3D. And having DJ Khlaed’s “All I Do Is Win” in it. 

    The movie, out Nov. 6, is certainly family-friendly, but this trailer is given a bit of edge with the inclusion of Khlaed and the Who’s Baba O’Riley. We’re guessing they couldn't get “Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.” The crux of the story: the reinvention of Charlie Brown when a new crush moves to town. Here’s hoping Peppermint Patty gets a love interest too. 

    The absence of Vince Guaraldi’s classic piano theme is palpable, and it’s still hard to tell if this movie is aimed at adults or kids, but the Hollywood nostalgia factory is well-oiled.

    H/T Time | Screengrab via Apple 

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    The insanely popular motoring show Top Gear abruptly ended after a “fracas” between host Jeremy Clarkson and producer Oisin Tymon. The BBC fired Clarkson, and massive online petitions proved meaningless in the eyes of executives. But now fans have confirmation on who will be taking the helm as the new host of Top Gear.

    Yes, it’s Chris Evans. No, not the one who plays Captain America, but rather the BBC radio host and overall car fanatic. He’s signed a new three-year deal with the BBC.

    And as great a host as Evans is, it still leaves a sour taste for fans of one of the longest-running television shows. But there is a bit of good news for Clarkson supporters: The final two episodes of this season’s Top Gear will air after all, and Clarkson has gone into the studio to record the voiceover work.

    The good news is that Evans is a huge car nut. He’s been on Top Gear a few times and has been around the track as a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car—and his times were none too shabby either. Oh, also, he threw down£2.27 on a classic Ferrari.

    But what about the former Top Gear hosts? James May and Richard Hammond didn’t re-up their contracts with the BBC in solidarity with Clarkson. And it looks like the duo may be joining Clarkson for a new show on Netflix.

    Interestingly, the video game Forza 6 will still feature Top Gear and (most of) its former hosts. Forza 6 will still have the Top Gear test track as well as giving players the ability to race against the Stig. May and Hammond will contribute voiceover work, but Clarkson will be notably absent.

    Fan reaction to the announcement has been mixed to say the least. While some are willing to give Evans a shot, many are still upset about Clarkson having been sacked. 

    And on that bombshell…

    H/T Top Gear | Photo via Top Gear/Twitter

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    After an NBA Finals for the ages, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions. Tuesday's Game 6 was another dramatic victory for the Warriors, as they had an answer for every last push by the nasty, Stone Age basketball of the Cleveland Cavaliers and held on 105-97. 

    It was a brand that proved unsustainable over a best-of-seven series. Every time the Cavs looked like they might put together a run, Steph Curry would knock down a long jumper or series MVP Andre Iguodala would make a fabulous play. Golden State is an unlikely champion, perhaps not as unlikely as the 2011 Dallas Mavericks or the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but for a team that won 67 games and were more or less the best in the league from day one, very few people were picking the Warriors to hoist their first championship banner since 1975.

    The franchise spent much of the 1990s and 2000s in a desert of rebuilds and wasted talent that never coalesced into playoff victories. (Aside from the cult favorite “We Believe” Warriors of 2007.) Now that the Warriors are at the top of the NBA, how will this team be remembered in the coming years? 

    For starters, it was a dream season for Curry. He became one of only 14 players in league history to win the league MVP and championship in the same year. He’s entered the canon of unforgettable players and established himself as a maybe the greatest shooter of all time with that abbreviated form—as though he’s heaving the ball before finishing his absurdly fast release. During the fourth quarter of Game 6, it was all on display: the dagger threes, preternatural passing, perfect decisions. He’s a marvel.

    Curry took the leap this season by changing a few facets of his game. Most importantly, he refined his on-ball defense and took on the role of guarding the opposing team’s point guard with pride. He also improved his efficiency around the basket and finishing at the rim, and his point skills became diverse as he took reigns of Steve Kerr’s offense. Everyone who said that Matthew Dellavedova could shut him down in this series should send Curry a detailed apology.

    Kerr took over a 51-win team with the best defense in the league and one of its most electric players and transformed them into an all-time great. How absurd is it to think that people questioned Kerr for choosing the Warriors (who play in his hometown state) over the lowly New York Knicks? Kerr surrounded himself with one of the league’s best coaching staffs, too. Alvin Gentry will be coaching Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans next year. Defensive guru Ron Adams might be coaching a team next year as well. Luke Walton… is the guy the players on the team want to party with. 

    Draymond Green established himself as maybe the baddest dude in the league. He’s going to get paid big dollars this summer. As Green was putting up a triple-double in the Finals, Mark Jackson called Klay Thompson the Warriors’ second-best player. I disagree, but Thompson had a memorable season that saw him make the All-Star game and set the record for most points in a single quarter. It’s all the other players that will make this team especially memorable. After years of being a superstar on mediocre teams, Iguodala hounded LeBron James all series and won the MVP of the NBA Finals. (As Zach Lowe of Grantland has pointed out, has there ever been a Finals MVP who teams put their worst defender on? At times the Cavs dared Iguodala to shoot.) Their defensive anchor, Andrew Bogut, defended the rim and stayed healthy all year. There’s also now a climax on the Shaun Livingston redemption story. David Lee, the highest-paid player on the Warriors, accepted his demotion to the bench. Festus Ezili came back from a lost season. Leandro Barbosa reminded everyone he was still in the league. Harrison Barnes had huge playoff games.

    Let’s stop and recognize the best player in the NBA Finals and who I would argue deserved the MVP. It takes a thesaurus of superlatives to explain how great James has been. You could argue he’s been better in previous playoffs—at the very least, he’s been more statistically efficient—but he’s never shouldered as large of a burden for his time on such a huge stage for such a sustained period. Aside from a few token post-ups from Timofey Mozgov or Tristan Thompson or purposeless dribble drives from J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert, he was the Cleveland Cavaliers offense to such an absurd degree for an NBA team, much less one playing in the Finals. 

    Whenever a Cavs player pounds the ball for too long or passes to someone not named LeBron Raymone James it looks like wasted time. Well before the 2015 Finals, James cemented himself as one of the greatest players in basketball history. But this series, one that saw him nearly average a triple-double and carry the rotting carcass of a team missing two of its three best players (or three of its seven best), has me wondering how high he is on the greatest players of all time list right now. James can’t touch Jordan, Russell, or Kareem, not yet at least. After that you’re looking at Magic, Bird, Wilt, Duncan, Kobe. Right now, James makes a case to supplant that entire neighborhood of legends.

    The Warriors will also be remembered for the way they won the championship. They played like the future of basketball: with 3-point shooting, pace, space, small ball lineups. Every old-school hack can shut up and accept that there are many ways to win. But they were an old-school team in the sense that they were a collective. It wasn’t a superstar or two and some favors and some friendly vets. They were a group who played unselfish basketball and appeared to genuinely enjoy each other; and one that vindicated all of those Wild West Phoenix Suns teams of the mid-2000s, to boot.

    This post originally appeared on

    Photo via ESPN/Twitter

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    Welcome to the new normal of the 2016 presidential election: In addition to kissing babies and observing pigs at the state fair, candidates must also embarrass themselves in front of Jimmy Fallon.

    Jeb Bush, who announced he's running for president on Monday after months of unofficially campaigning, stopped by The Tonight Show on Tuesday to appeal to younger voters with a musical number.

    Like President Obama and Mitt Romney before him, Bush came to slow-jam the news and discuss his political platform with a soulful track playing behind him. Bush showed that he had a few tricks up his sleeve and even called back to an older segment.

    Master debater? That’s not the only thing he'll have to prove during this campaign.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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    The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCWon Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

    Long before BuzzFeed and Cut Video began even contemplating the idea of a food series—“American Kids Try Breakfasts From Around the World” and “Mexican People Try Taco Bell for the First Time,” to name a few—EmmyMade in Japan had already begun making a name for herself as the foodie of YouTube, sampling her way through snacks, drinks, and treats from all around the world.

    Emmy originally started her channel with the dual intention of combating the loneliness of moving away from home and documenting her adventures as a foreigner living in Japan. She began filming herself thoughts about Japanese snacks, and over time, she has built her channel into an empire of taste-testing and international recipes. Her videos are not “food challenges,” but rather a detailed account of the taste, packaging, and history of a country’s cuisine. Everything Emmy consumes is sent to her in hand-curated boxes by fans, but having tallied 73 million views and counting, despite Emmy making three videos a week, there is still a five-month waiting period between her receiving a fan’s hand curated goody box and being able to film a video about it.

    Over the past five years, Emmy has taken her fans on a food adventure from the sweets of Slovakia to Germany, from the butt pudding of Japan to Russia, Canada, Estonia, and Arizona. She’s even expanded into military rations and space food. While her channel is best known as a  taste-testing emporium, it’s grown over the years to include international recipes and food tutorials such as “How to Make Cake Filled Origami” and how to eat the Filipino snack balut (a duck embryo). Emmy even began keeping a food diary after receiving so many comments asking how, despite her work on YouTube, she hasn’t expanded to the size of a linebacker. The key? Lots of greens, avocados, and reasonable portions.

    As millions of us would agree, Emmy has the dream job. Trying snacks, desserts, and drinks from around the world? Yes, please! It sounds like a simple idea, but really, the crux of her success lies beyond the food and in the cultural education each video is providing viewers. Throughout her series, Emmy has shown how one country's cuisine influences another, and by using the packages curated by viewers, Emmy is providing an actual representation of what the food culture is like in countries around the world. The more viewers who are exposed to these foods—and, through Emmy’s meticulous descriptions, to the tastes of these foods—the more accepting and adventurous they’ll be in their travels and in their relationships with people around the world.

    Thank you, Emmy, for opening up our eyes and taste buds for over five years. My family has a lot of origami cake coming their way this holiday season, and they definitely have you to thank.

    Screengrab via emmymadeinjapan/YouTube

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    The parody gurus at Screen Junkies have never opted to preserve the dignity of an esteemed cultural juggernaut rather than provide us with a hilariously Honest Trailer. Fortunately for all of us, Toy Story wasn't all that dignified to begin with.

    By the time you're done with this trailer you may find yourself thinking about the flawless grandfather of the Pixar empire in a totally different light. Is Toy Story actually all taking place in Woody's mind? Has he suffered a dissociative break from reality rather than accept that he's been quietly locked away in a trunk somewhere for the rest of his existence? Is the entire last third the last gasp of a man who thinks he's making a perilous dash for freedom, when in reality he's about to suffer an Ambrose Bierce-like Occurrence in Sid's Backyard? 

    And for that matter, won't someone think about Sid?

    Luckily there's an Honest Cameo from Randy Newman later on to ease our troubled minds—where "Randy Newman" is actually comedian Will Sasso.

    And "honest" is, well... by now, you've probably figured that one out on your own.

    Screengrab via Screen Junkies/YouTube

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    Taylor Swift's belly button is something often talked about, but not often seen as the singer usually keeps her tummy under wraps. While Swift has shown fans a glimpse of her mid-section before, it's almost guaranteed she had no idea her elusive body part would one day inspire a Photoshop battle of epic proportions.

    In a Reddit thread entitled "PsBattle: Taylor Swift showing some stomach" started June 14 by a user named_thats_not_me_ , Swift fans seem to be having the time of their lives seeing who could come up with the most creative interpretation of the singer's belly button. A picture of Swift showing her belly posing with a fan has spawned the posting of so many GIFs and memes with everything from featuring the belly button as a black hole to a bodybuilder-type six-pack. 

    RELATED: Taylor Swift's cat Olivia Benson meets Mariska Hargitay, they are instant best buds

    "I don't like showing my belly button. When you start showing your belly button then you're really committing to the midriff thing. I only partially commit to the midriff thing," Swift revealed to  Lucky magazine in 2014. 

    By 2015 though, the fascination with the singer's belly button had gotten a bit out of control and it was rumored she didn't even have one, so Swift decided it was best to take matters into her own hands. She did this by shedding her usual high waisted outfits for a bikini in an Instagram photo before paparazzi pictures could get out of the mid-section baring Swift and her girlfriends on a trip to Hawaii. 

    Since then Swift has had some fun with baring her belly button, even posing for pictures -- like the one that started the epic battle -- of her showing off her middle with fans. 

    The battle is complete proof the possibilities are truly endless as to what a group of fans and some talented editing can do with a simple belly button. The entries run the gambit from cute to straight up disturbing with many NSFW images. 

    Photos via Reddit

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