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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Fourteen years after the release of sex-comedy camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, the new eight-part Netflix prequel First Day at Camp proves that—just like that greatest summer of your life—even if you are able to put all the same parts in place, sometimes there is no going back. 

    A lot of people were wrong about the original film. Good people. Like Roger Ebert, whose cringey, dad review proved that there is no better way of undermining your argument that something isn’t funny than by falling embarrassingly at the very same hurdle. And, stupid as that review is, many believed him anyway; people didn’t go to see Wet Hot American Summer.

    You might look at the cast of the film now and wonder how any of this could have happened. Amy Poehler. Paul Rudd. Bradley Cooper. Janeane Garofalo. David Hyde Pierce. Elizabeth Banks. Ken Marino. Christopher Meloni. All pulled together by the creators of MTV’s sketch series The State, David Wain and Michael Showalter. 

    But here’s the thing: Other than Garofalo and Pierce, no one knew who these people were. Sure, Rudd had been that sort of incestuous brother character in Clueless, and Meloni had just started committing and solving sex crimes concurrently in Oz and Special Victims Unit, but these weren't yet names on which to hang a movie, especially one that was somewhat unorthodox. There was talent, obviously. But the fame was latent.  

    And really, for those who saw the film early, that was the appeal. You could watch it for the first time and discover these actors who would end up going on to great things. And like anything that you latch on to before the critical mass of popularity turns it stale, it seemed special. 

    Even for those who ducked in later, when the film’s following had been upgraded to “cult,” there was the thrilling realization that Camp Firewood was some sort of ground zero for a dozen divergent careers that 14 years later would be found in Pawnee, at the Academy Awards, or in a superhero costume.

    It’s something that the cast must realize. They wouldn’t be back otherwise, aligning calendars and “making it work” so that they could revisit where it all started. It must have been a sort of reunion for them—an easy sell to Netflix, considering the star-wattage, and a far cry from the struggle to find a distributor for the original film.

    And initially it is exciting to see them all back, basking in the central joke of the series (if you thought they looked mature for their roles in the film, well, guess what 14 years did!) with Marino strutting around in ridiculous shorts and Cooper foreshadowing his character’s coming-out. But the further you venture into the series, the more you realize that the wrinkles on Marguerite Moreau’s face aren’t just a cruel jab at your own aging (she was a kid in Mighty Ducks!). Rather they are a reminder that things have moved on.

    And this is the problem with First Day at Camp. Whether the cast want to imagine otherwise, things have changed. Everyone is more famous. And this inevitably has had major repercussions for the flow of the series. Characters who were minor in the film (Cooper’s Ben and Banks’ Lindsay, most noticeably) have had their screen-time enhanced, which may be in line with their popularity as actors, but is an artificial inflation of what were one-dimensional characters to begin with.

    But the major destroyer of the already precariously placed balance of the ensemble is the overgenerous doling-out of cameos and additional characters. Jon Hamm. Chris Pine. Jason Schwartzman. John Slattery. Jordan Peele. Lake Bell. Michael Cera. “Weird Al” Yankovic. Bruce Greenwood. Kristen Wiig. We get it. You’re more famous now, and so are your friends.

    But with a large cast to start with—one in which certain members feel they are deserving of a few more close-ups this time around—the addition of what feels like dozens of extra characters (most of whom need to be killed off) only seems to muddle everything into a confusing mash of non-connected plotlines that barely come together at the series’ dénouement. Wet Hot always came across as a rough-and-ready, barely-hanging-together picture, but there was always a consistent heart that the rest of the universe gravitated toward. In this series, odd streams concerning toxic waste and reclusive rock stars seem entirely unrelated.

    And this isn’t a surprise, because much of this series seems to have been shot piecemeal around the availability of the different members of the cast. Cooper and Poehler hardly appear outside of the set for the camp musical Electro City, and Marino disappears for about four episodes mid-season.

    To be fair, some fun is had with this (actors of different body shapes portray Cooper’s character’s alter-ego DJ Ski Mask—whose face, as his name suggests, remains covered), but it is a contributing factor to the isolation of certain characters. It is telling that there is never a scene where all the major characters are present. For a site like a summer camp, where there are endless meetings and interest is garnered from the intrigues and relationships between the different campers and counselors, the lack of these sort of foundation scenes makes it difficult to imagine the sort of youthful group dynamic from which the genre’s humor needs to spring.

    So what about that, right? Is it funny? Well, yes and no. It is humorous in a sort of Funny-or-Die, Jimmy-Fallon, 10-million-likes, celebrities-lip-syncing kind of way. Because when it comes down to it, that’s what this is. The film felt like it had been made by outsiders, sniping at accepted form, and the humor gave the impression of recklessness. It feels important that the going-to-town sequence—where youthful hijinks rapidly melt into heroin use—would seem out of place here. Whether by time or Netflix’s guidance, things have become more conventional.  

    This series is not a pathetic homecoming like those bands that go on tour after 15 years and play their most famous album from start to finish. That’s because none of the people here have to be doing this. But on the flip side it means that the Coopers, Rudds and Poehlers can’t be the same risk-taking people they were when they first inhabited these characters. Camp Firewood used to be made up of misfits, and that made sense. But having it made up of the World’s Most Handsome Man, probably the most likeable, and President Leslie Knope just seems to run contrary to everything we have been led to believe. Even Paul McCartney can’t make them wet themselves with “Can’t Buy Me Love” like he used to. There’s no problem with changing; just don’t expect everything to be the same.

    Screengrab via Netflix

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    As NBCUniversal mulls a big investment in digital media, one of its subsidiaries has forged its own pact with an online video network. NBC Universo, a TV channel that offers programming for young Latinos, has struck a deal with MiTú that will bring a series called Vive el Verano to traditional and digital platforms.

    Here’s how a press release from MiTu describes the new series:

    Vive el Verano is a series of fun, quick-hitting clips produced by MiTu and stars [sic] some of its popular talent, including El GuziiMaiah OcandoLuan PalomeraLuisito Comunica, and Oh Em Gee It’s Eddie G., whose combined audience spans in the millions and across all major social media platforms. The topics include do-it-yourself summer hacks relevant to young Latinos, such as electronics, must-have summer apps, fun backyard and pool ideas, savory and sweet grilling recipes and outdoor entertaining tips.”

    Vive el Verano will make its TV premiere on Aug. 1 and will air across the following month. The NBC Universo channel, which will host the series, is available in more than 40 million households in the U.S. In addition, Vive el Verano clips will also be available on the NBC Universo website.

    MiTú, which claims an audience of 100 million global viewers, has recently made TV a significant focus of its expansion. Specifically, it has partnered with Discovery for Spanish-language programs on the Discovery Familia and Discovery en Español channels. With its new deal, it has expanded its reach even further and offered up some exciting opportunities for its creative partners along the way.

    Screengrab via MiTú/YouTube

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    The Chris Gethard Show is an incredible experiment in how a close-knit community can help a show evolve. And now, TCGS fans can get even closer to the experiment. 

    The variety show, which became a hit on NYC public access and made the jump to Fusion earlier this year, is venturing into the world of virtual reality. For the Aug. 6 episode, which features Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani, Fusion pulled in L.A.-based entertainment company Surreal to present a VR version. 

    “Audience interaction and participation has been a hallmark of The Chris Gethard Show since its inception,” Fusion’s Chief Programming Officer Wade Beckett said in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Surreal and enter uncharted territory of interactivity, allowing viewers to have an even deeper personal experience with Chris and the TCGS crew. It certainly won’t be boring—of this, we are certain.”

    Viewers will also be able to see behind-the scenes extras, and while the episode is compatible with Google Cardboard and other VR headsets, if you don’t have one, you can still watch online. 

    Imagine: You could have virtually stood right next to Jason Sudeikis as he ate a chimichanga over a bag of poop.

    Screengrab via The Chris Gethard Show/YouTube 

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    Ronda Rousey and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper had a bond, a mutual respect that was cemented when, just before Rousey stepped into the ring for her first amateur MMA fight, she asked the WWE Hall of Famer if she could use his iconic nickname for herself.

    Piper agreed, and ever since, Rousey has been one of the toughest MMA fighters, male or female, in the world. When TMZ broke the news Friday that Piper had died at the age of 61 from a cardiac arrest, it's not surprising that Rousey, who's scheduled to fight Bethe Correia on Saturday night in Brazil, took the news to heart.

    She posted this Friday night on Instagram.

    Here's what Piper remembered about their first meeting. As he told Vice in 2014, "Ronda and ["Judo” Gene Lebell, who trained Piper and is Rousey's uncle] called me. She was so, so excited and so beautiful, saying, 'Would you mind? I’ll make you proud and I’m giving it everything you got.' And I said, 'You go, gal. You go!'

    "Somebody asked me, 'What would you think if ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey would become the face of the UFC?' I said I think it would be great. I think it would be a really great thing."

    Like many wrestling fans, Rousey is mourning the loss of one of professional wrestling's greatest characters. Piper headlined the first Wrestlemania and had fantastic feuds with Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Mr. T., and "Ravishing" Rick Rude. 

    Like Dusty Rhodes, who died in June, Piper was a legend, and though he never won a WWE world heavyweight title, his legacy won't soon be forgotten. By any wrestling fan who remembers the 1980s or by Rousey, who told the story of how she got her nickname with Jimmy Kimmel last November.

    Screengrab via WWE/YouTube

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    When you think of historic pop-culture moments, you might remember a photo or snippet of a speech. But context is everything, and the Associated Press just gave history nerds a goldmine to dig through.

    In the new documentary Amy, a devastating look at the complicated life of British singer Amy Winehouse, we get a sense of her humor, as she throws masterful shade at both Dido and an interviewer in a 2004 Associated Press clip. She’s roughly 21, and though fame hadn’t quite gotten hold of her yet, it seems she already saw through its facade. 

    A longer version of that interview now lives on YouTube. Last week, the Associated Press announced it had uploaded more than 1 million minutes of news and archival footage to YouTube—in conjunction with British Movietone, a newsreel archive bookending 1895-1986—making it the “largest upload of historical news content on the video-sharing platform to date.” It’s set to include more than 500,000 videos spanning the last 120 years.

    The Winehouse clip is just one of several pop-culture mile-markers included. Many of them also serve as a reminder of how openly sexist ads and entertainment used to be. Good thing that’s changed!

    Here are some of the must-watch clips from the collection.

    1) Muhammad Ali press conference, 1972

    The boxer holds court on his 30th birthday, gives incredible advice about “whoopin’” Joe Frazier, and cuts birthday cake.  

    2) Isle of Wight Pop Festival, 1970 

    The 1970 British concert has been deemed as a disastrous collision of disorganization and ideology, but this clip zooms in more on the nascent festival culture—and the newscaster’s appraisal at the end is some very British shade. Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, the Who, Tiny Tim, and the Doors were among the performers, and Cohen in particular managed to channel the anger and tension floating around after five days into a transcendent performance.

    3) An interview with Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Fame—including how it affected Winehouse, and how those around her, including her father, pushed her to be more in the spotlight than she wanted to be—is a big part of Asif Kapadia’s doc Amy. In this clipcirca the release of debut album Frank, the interviewer asks Winehouse if she could ever see herself becoming “a diva” in “four, five years’ time.”

    “I’ll be rude if I have to be rude,” she responds. “But I do that now, you know. That’s never going to change.”

    4) Marilyn Monroe arrives in London, 1957

    The narrator calls her the “American film star with the famous shape and the wiggly walk,” as Monroe’s shown arriving in London with then-husband Arthur Miller, for the premiere of 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl. There have long been rumors of conflict with co-star Laurence Olivier; in this clip, the tension is palpable, though Monroe smiles through it all. 

    5) Salvador Dalí, 1969

    We get a look at what might be on the menu at a Salvador Dalí party, and it’s about what you’d imagine.

    6) The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, 1981

    The way British Movietone presented this 25-minute clip is almost like a sporting event: It has an austere, dramatic opening, and it’s narrated by a man doing a play-by-play of the ceremony. In essence, it gives a more elaborate context to something we’ve mostly remembered in photos and tabloids.  

    7) Dog walking machines, 1937


    8) A very bizarre 1930s ad for jewelry

    The “vintage glamour” section of the British Movietone YouTube channel is a goldmine of mid-century fashion trends and a barometer for the social norms of the time. Nowhere is that more apparent than this ad. 

    “Give her jewelry this Christmas,” the narrator blares. “That should be the slogan of every man who is a man, and not just a blaggard.” He goes on to say that a wife could use a particular necklace to “hang herself with,” and that what she really needs for Christmas is a new face—preferably a terrifying puppet-man’s. “Sexist commentary pretty typical for the time!” the video description cheerfully informs.

    9) George W. Bush gets shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist, 2008

    Where were you when it happened?

    Screengrabs via AP Archive and British Movietone/YouTube | Remix by Max Fleishman

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    Kevin Bacon is a man of many talents, but if you've spent your life wondering whether or not the seasoned actor could pull off a trademark Beach Boys whine, you can finally check that item off of your bucket list, thanks to his recent appearance on The Tonight Show

    Teaming up with host Jimmy Fallon for a segment called "First Drafts of Rock," Bacon dons some classic beachwear and an oh-so-retro hairdo to perform a hilarious parody of the Beach Boys' classic "Fun, Fun, Fun."

    Bacon is a great fit for the brief role, given that he not only knows how to handle a guitar—he and his brother perform as the Bacon Brothers—but he also has the uncanny ability to look like a teenager, no matter how old he gets. I mean, really, would you ever guess that he's 57? 

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Facebook

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    One Indian rapper is taking on corporate giant Unilever with an environmental protest song set to the tune of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

    Chennai-born rapper Sofia Ashraf partnered with the grassroots organizing campaign Jhatkaa to create the video “Kodaikanal Won't,” calling on the corporate giant to clean up its mess and pay restitution to workers of the thermometer factory that was responsible for a giant toxic waste dump in the Indian city.

    The music video begins with an important message: Fourteen years ago, Unilever dumped toxic mercury waste in the city of Kodaikanal, and has yet to clean up the contamination or pay workers and the community for their suffering. Since then, 45 workers and 12 of their children have died as a result of the contamination.

    Ashraf wrote the lyrics to the song, and the video features a number of community members who have suffered thanks to Unilever’s irresponsibility.

    In 2001, Unilever initially denied any wrongdoing, but after pressure from local organizations and environmental groups like Greenpeace, the corporation admitted it polluted the environment with extremely toxic thermometer waste.

    The company has yet to make amends, and the community is not backing down. According to a report from the New Indian Express, protesters picketed Unilever’s headquarters in Mumbai during the annual shareholders meeting on June 30:

    Among the 11 people from Kodaikanal who went to Mumbai were two women who worked as cleaners inside the factory. Malarkodi (46), has serious brain and gynaecological problems. She suffers from hearing impairment and also has nervous tremors. Nirmala, also 46, has a 21-year-old son afflicted by heart problems. Both women were involved in mopping up mercury spills from the factory floor.

    Thanks to Ashraf’s anthem, more attention is focused on the Indian city and the company’s environmental failures. Jhatkaa launched a petition in an effort to force Unilever to take responsibility, clean up the toxic mess, and make restitution to the factory workers.

    Ashraf’s mission even caught the attention and support Minaj herself.

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via Jhatkaa/YouTube

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    Connor Franta just debuted a compilation album on his newly formed record label, Heard Well, and the next release will tap into a different musical perspective from the world of YouTube

    Lohanthony, a 16-year-old YouTube sensation known for calling out the “basics,” will be the next digital influencer to release on Heard Well, according to label co-founder Andrew Graham.

    “We wanted each influencer to have a unique point of view that’s different from the others,” said Graham. “Connor has this indie pop thing going on, Amanda Steele loves hip-hop, Jc Caylen loves EDM. The labels are happy with that, because they’ll have a song they want to put on an album, but it doesn’t fit for Connor. It allows us to be able to transition priority artists in a smart way.”

    Franta and co-founders Graham and Invisible DJ Records founder Jeremy Wineberg hit the ground running with their project, with hopes to release 20 albums a year.

    “I was talking to an executive at Interscope [about the volume of albums],” laughed Graham. “He thought that was ridiculous!”

    Heard Well can aim for that level of productivity because it’s all licensed content, not studio production, although they aren’t limiting themselves to licensing forever.

    “I sort of liken it to HBO, Netflix, and Showtime,” explained Graham. “Let’s license for a while, let’s get that right, and then let’s move into more originals.”

    Franta, who has 4.7 million subscribers and already launched ventures off YouTube that include a boutique coffee line and a best-selling memoir, has seen his own compilations rise on the Billboard and iTunes charts upon release. That kind of power is a great incentive for Heard Well to elevate up-and-coming bands with a few clicks.

    “It elevates both sides of the coin,” said Graham. “It elevates the influencer. It builds cache around their name, it allows them to play in a market they’re not normally in. On the flip side, if you’re an emerging artist, it gives you tremendous momentum. If you’re a garage band we found on Spotify, I can tell you that you're going to be on a Billboard 100 album. Every artist that’s on Connor's label is going to be on a Billboard 100 album.”

    Screengrab via Connor Franta/YouTube

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    Just when you think the Internet might have tired of "Uptown Funk" videos, someone dreams up a creative new twist on the song.

    This time it's a supercut of famous movie quotes, carefully edited to fit the lyrics of "Uptown Funk."

    We're totally impressed by the dedication it took to bring together movies like Pulp Fiction, This Is Spinal Tap, and Beetlejuice to create this awesome lyric video. In the video description, the creator says it took three months to make. 

    Screengrab via Uptown Funk/YouTube

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    Jena Friedman is a standup comedian, a field producer on the Daily Show, and a former writer for Late Night with David Letterman. She is gearing up to leave her position on the Daily Show—she’s leaving when Jon leaves—to pursue personal projects. American Cunt, her new show, which she describes as “a hybrid between a solo show and a standup set,” premieres at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Aug. 18, but you can catch her working it out in New York before then.

    Aug. 2, Over the Eight, Brooklyn

    Aug. 10, UCB East, East Village

    Aug. 16, 105 Heny, Chinatown

    Friedman is known for her subversive comedy, unafraid to joke about topics that range from abortion to Israel. When I sat down with her last week she told me, “I think what’s hard about standup on so many levels is also what’s beautiful about it. It’s just you and an audience. It gives the opportunity to talk about things, and when you sugarcoat it with comedy, people may not agree, but they’ll laugh.”

    In American Cunt, she jokes:

    “I am 32 and I feel great, I still fit in to my 9/11 jeans, never forget how good I looked in those weapons of mass seduction.”

    Later in the show, she discusses her propensity for making abortion jokes:

    “The best thing about abortion jokes is that no one tries to steal them. They’re like the unwanted children of jokes.”

    Here’s what she had to say about American Cunt, being a woman in comedy, and how audiences respond to her edgy material.

    How did American Cunt come to be?

    I had done Fringe twice, and they asked me to put a solo show together. And I felt like now was the time to put my own show out there. Half the show is standup I’ve already written, half the stuff is new for the show. It’s not the type of stuff I’d talk about if I was doing a club show in Des Moines.

    They don’t like abortion jokes in Des Moines?

    The abortion jokes are part of my stable standup. I wouldn’t do the stuff on aging, being a woman, and feminism when I’m doing straight standup.

    I couldn’t think of a title, and there are literally 3,000 shows at the Fringe, and then I did a creative exercise where I was like, what’s the worst thing I could call it? and I thought “American Cunt” and it made me laugh and when I told my friend, she said, “You have to call it that, that’s so you.” Also because it’s a show for a U.K. audience, and I’m an American woman going over there.

    What does the name mean? Does it play into your image of yourself as a comedian?

    The idea of American Cunt I thought was really funny. My comedy, I’ve been told, is dark and dry; it’s not blue because it’s not sexual, but it’s also not safe for TV. My comedy is not for late night and it’s always done better abroad. It hasn’t done well in mainstream America.

    It’s not about how I see myself; it’s about how other people see me. When you’re a woman on stage and you’re talking about things that are scary, like Israel or Ebola, it can be a little… I don’t know. I wanted to do a show that was political and I wanted to do a show that wasn’t as inward looking. So the “American” aspect is about that.

    And then the “Cunt” aspect, I felt like it gave me permission to say whatever I wanted because if you call yourself a “cunt,” nobody can call you that… I mean they can, but calling yourself a “cunt” is defensive. This is what you’re gonna get.

    Women talking about political issues is threatening and cunt-y to some people. I feel like the title says everything it needs to say to filter in the type of audience who would appreciate that.

    When I first started doing standup I had a little rule for myself: Don’t talk about boyfriends or vaginas on stage. 

    When I heard the title American Cunt I thought the show was going to be about you, and the show is not personal at all. Was that intentional? And also as a female comedian, how do you deal with doing personal material?

    Would you rather the show be about me?

    In terms of my taste, I like when people talk about themselves. I also like political comedy. In terms of the comedy I do, I only talk about myself, so it’s really interesting to me when people can pull off not talking about themselves, so it feels foreign to me.

    That was a conscious choice, and I’m still working on it, and I think female comics, we have the tendency to mine from our personal lives because it’s more familiar; we’re good at it. I think when I was younger, I’d come on stage, and it would be hard to get men to listen, but when you’re a young female comic talking about sex, everyone is gonna listen because everyone wants to be a fly on the wall of an episode of Girls.

    When I first started doing standup I had a little rule for myself: Don’t talk about boyfriends or vaginas on stage. I wasn’t against anyone doing it; I was just trying to reach outside the box, and then as I got more familiar with my own voice, I realized I could talk about anything because it’s my point of view, as long as it’s funny. But with this show, I’m really trying to not talk about myself, and it’s not the easiest thing, and there are sections in the show I’m still working out. I’m really trying to do a political comedy show in the way that people I admire like Bill Hicks or Jon Stewart or George Carlin talk about politics. That’s what I want the show to be.

    Why do you think it’s important to make abortion jokes?

    I’m so pro-choice, and I think the issue has become so politicized that to laugh about it and depoliticize it, to take the stink off of it, look at it as an issue that should be between a woman and her doctor, I think it’s something that needs to be joked about. The policies aren’t based on science; they’re based on emotion and that’s really scary, so to make fun of that has been rewarding. The jokes aren’t shock-value jokes. I’m not talking about abortion to talk about abortion, I just think right now the issue is so polarizing, it’s asking to be made fun of.

    You also joke about aging, as a woman, in American Cunt. Why was that important to include?

    I’m trying to draw parallels. The show is American Cunt. Like: America, me, women, feminism, all these things. I’m looking at America as a country who is on her last legs as a global superpower. We’re like Rome right before she fell. So I like the analogy of comparing America to a woman at the end of her supremacy, and I think the aging jokes play into that.

    I turned 30 recently, and it’s great, it doesn’t bother me, but once you turn 30, you really become a woman. And I wanted to tie that in with America getting older and maybe less powerful. I think the analogy just perfectly lends itself to a woman as she gets older and wiser and less powerful in some ways and more powerful in other ways.

    What are you trying to achieve with the show?

    What I’m trying to do with the show is own whatever I’m thinking and saying right now. It’s American Cunt. It’s now or never.

    Screengrab via Jena Friedman/YouTube 

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    As per usual, Ronda Rousey stepped into a UFC cage on Saturday and dominated an opponent, defeating Bethe Correia just a few days after Rousey declared that she wasn't a "do-nothing bitch" and proclaimed that she loves her body.

    At least one porn company believes that people also will love the body of an actress who's pretending to be Rousey on film. Because there's now a Rousey porn parody coming soon to a screen near you.

    That's evidenced by the Instagram account of Kleio Valentien, in which she reveals that she's playing Rousey in Ronda ArouseMe: Grounded and Pounded.

    Along with Valentien is Sammie Sixx, who's playing Miesha Taint, an obvious takeoff on UFC fighter Miesha Tate—who actually appears in line to get a third chance to beat Rousey.

    As film director Joanna Angel explains in the interview below, she became a Rousey fan after she first watched her fight. And Angel has helped create some new moves for the film.

    "We changed the 'armbar' to a 'dickbar,'" Angel told TMZ Sports. "One of the guys in the film, Ronda’s trainer, his name is Derek Pierce and he knows a lot about fighting. Derek choreographed a bunch of fight moves and used a lot of Ronda’s moves and incorporated that into the movie. And all the fight moves led into sex scenes. ...But Miesha Taint had a special right cross c**t punch. We had a lot of fun with it. Kleio Valentien, she looks so beautiful and really does have a lot of similarities as Ronda.”

    It appears Valentien also happens to be a fan of Rousey. Either that, or she knows a Rousey loss might not be great for business.

    No word yet on how Rousey or Tate feel about the upcoming parody.

    H/T BroBible | Screengrab via UFC/YouTube

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    Whip up an orange mocha Frappucino and get ready to watch the latest teaser for the upcomingZoolander sequel

    The official teaser released by Paramount Pictures doesn’t give us a whole lot of information about what to expect from the sequel that fans have been anticipating for nearly 15 years. We do know that, according to IMDb, all of our favorite characters will be returning: Mugatu, Hansel, and Matilda (or Matil) will be gracing the sequel with Ben Stiller's titular character to hopefully give us quotes to use for years to come. They'll also be joined by Olivia Munn and Kristen Wiig in roles yet to be revealed, and even the Biebs is getting in on it.

    In the meantime, we have a new one to add to our repertoire: “If God exists, then why did he make ugly people?”

    I guess we have a lot of things to ponder.

    Screengrab via Paramount Pictures/YouTube

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    If you’ve “whipped” or “Nae Naed” this summer, you have dance-centric network DanceOn to thank, at least in part, for the craze.

    Atlanta Rapper Silento’s ascent to the mainstream may have seemed inevitable, but the truth is YouTube—specifically, a partnership with DanceOn—that made his moves spread like wildfire.

    Amanda Taylor, a manager and producer working on dance shows, founded DanceOn in her New York apartment in 2010, as a reaction to the plethora of dancers naturally using YouTube as a sort of visual résumé. By that time, YouTube was growing into a job for people, with gamers and beauty gurus making real money from their video output. Taylor thought dance deserved a shot.

    “In our category we had a lot of scale, but we didn’t have a lot of infrastructure,” explained Taylor. “There’s never been a TV channel for [dance]. There’s been a TV channel for golf, but not for dance. More than 41 million people love dance on Facebook, and only 7 million people like golf! It’s a category that’s been thought of by show and not by channel.”

    The operation moved shop to Los Angeles, with backers like Madonna, Guy Oseary, and Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise behind it.

    “One of the things we really realized this year is our creators are music tastemakers,” explained Taylor. “Sometimes we have people who mix their own beats or are identifying underground DJs and bringing those works to life. In other scenarios, we’ve ID’d an artist or a song, and we facilitate the collaboration. Ultimately what ends up happening is a lot of the work they create is creating trends around music.”

    The dance stars of YouTube may not be as easily identifiable as the vlogger set, but they’re already fully established in the mainstream. DanceOn’s biggest stars, Les Twins, are a French duo that have toured with Beyoncé and been featured in videos by Meghan Trainor and Missy Elliott. That’s not unusual for a DanceOn creator who’s already had success across different platforms. While many other YouTubers are itching for a breakthrough to another form of media, Taylor describes YouTube as the “final destination” for her dancers.

    “This is the place where they get to be themselves and who their unique brand is, and it’s OK to be a dancer and be famous for just dancing,” said Taylor. “I think it’s great to be famous for exactly who you are.”

    Taylor and her team of 30 work to elevate dancers by helping them maximize their virality into building a channel, not just a one-hit-wonder moment.

    “We have a program now where we identify trends really early on and seed that out to partners,” she said. “That’s been successful where we’ve seen partners go from 10,000 to a million subscribers based on intelligent programming of their channel.”

    The Silento project began as a partnership between DanceOn and TuneCore, a digital distribution company. Then #WatchMeDanceOn seeded the song to DanceOn’s influencers through paid deals that rewarded performers who created their own dances to the track, and the craze took off from there.

    DanceOn rallied just 5 percent of its network around the song, returning 100 million views and counting on videos by artists like YAK films and 5-year-old Heaven King. According to Billboard, after the campaign kicked off, track sales tripled for Silento, and in May he was signed to Capitol Records. To bring it full-circle, the DanceOn creators who helped launch the song in the first place joined in on the official music video, and DanceOn is now involved in helping further Silento’s career in the long term. 

    “That was really just activating 5 percent of the network,” said Taylor. “If we have 100 percent participation, what would that do?”

    Screengrab via Tianne King/YouTube

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    Doug Funnie is looking to a rapper—and not any of his alter egos—in order to woo the woman of his dreams.

    The Nickelodeon star has paired up with Fetty Wap to bring a rousing rendition of “Trap Queen,” courtesy of Vulture, that’s sure to make you reexamine every memory you ever had watching the beloved Saturday morning cartoon. He’s got support from his friends, but Patti Mayonnaise is still as oblivious (or kindly pretending to be) as ever.

    Noticeably missing is Skeeter on backup.

    H/T Digg | Screengrab via New York Magazine/YouTube

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    The Internet is a virtual minefield of stolen jokes and lifted content. But one Twitter user has finally had enough, posting an open letter to two of Instagram’s biggest offenders.

    On Sunday, a comedian named Davon Magwood posted an open letter addressing alleged content theft by Instagram personalities the Fat Jewish (real named Josh Ostrovsky) and Fuck Jerry (Elliot Tebele). He claims they both posted a recent tweet without attribution, though the latter allegedly posted it with the same grammatical error as Magwood. 

    Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani quickly pointed out the irony here. 

    Author Roxane Gay posted a similar tweet last week, and it’s likely many other people had the same thought in a time when people were seeking virtual justice for Cecil the lion. This happens on the Internet with topical issues. The point of contention here seems to be that Tebele lifted it wholesale, though it has since mysteriously disappeared from his Instagram. 

    Says Magwood:

    If it’s my stuff you’re posting, and if you give me credit, then I get traffic to my site, maybe that traffic goes to my comedy album and then I get paid for my work! You make money from the traffic you generate and guess what, I’d also would like to be paid and credited for the traffic that I’ve generated. I shouldn’t have to asked to be credit for my work, neither should other comedians or clever social media people. You should assume that If I’m posting online that I want credit for whatever you share. Twitter has this neat thing called “ReTweet” where you share what I’ve tweeted or you can tag me in a post.

    I’m not producing shit so you can make more money off of my work, no one is.

    If you’ve spent enough time in certain corners of the Internet, you’ve likely come across the the the Fat Jewish’s or Fuck Jerry’s “content.” Ostrovsky’s Instagram page has more than 5 million followers, and it includes mostly screenshots of content, some with attribution. Same with Tebele’s. They both traffic in what could be called “When” humor. 

    Ostrovsky has been called the “king of Instagram” and interviewed by Katie Couric. Brands reportedly want to give him up to $2,500 to mention them on Instagram. He recently landed a modeling contract. 

    Over the past few years, Ostrovsky has also been called out for reappropriating content into his Instagram or Twitter feed. Last week, Death + Taxes went after Ostrovsky especially hard, editing his Wikipedia page to reflect his alleged serial theft. 

    Writing for the Washington Post, Luke O’Neil described Ostrovsky's technique as “a sort of joke laundering that divests a piece of content from its source.” He also calls out Tebele, who employs a similar practice of cropping out a credit or rendering a piece of content untraceable from its true source. Tebele’s been lauded as a “BAMF” for his burgeoning, lucrative “brand,” which also makes him money. Here’s a telling passage from a recent interview with Cosmopolitan:  

    That's because Tebele doesn't mess with a formula that's proven wildly successful: highly relatable, funny content that you can't resist regramming or texting to your friends. Tebele is cagey about how exactly he finds his viral gems. "I go with my gut," he says.

    Yes, poorly cited or sourced content is everywhere online, from Twitter accounts to BuzzFeed lists. The very fluidity of the Internet has indeed allowed us to “remix everything” and label theft as “transformative,” leaving the original source of a video, photo, or quote several circles down this particular inferno. Just look at Reddit or Imgur. In this climate, it’s possible you’ve posted a photo or quote whose true source was unknown. 

    When confronted with plagiarism in the past, Ostrovsky claimed he just found it on a blog. When the Daily Dot reached out to Tebele about Magwood’s accusation, he echoed a similar refrain: “Never even heard of Davon Magwood, I find the post on a random meme Instagram.” (Ostrovsky did not respond to a request for comment.)

    Taking down joke thieves on Twitter is sometimes successful. Recently, the company started letting users employ DMCA takedown requests for content they believe was lifted, but rectifying every claim of alleged copyright infringement on Twitter is a Sisyphean task, and accusing someone of stealing a joke isn’t as straightforward as it seems in the muddled waters of the Web. Last month, a San Diego-based comedy writer filed a lawsuit against Conan O’Brien for allegedly lifting his jokes for monologues, which shows both how seriously some people take this issue, and how difficult legal action can be against tweets, blogs, and intellectual property.

    Which brings us back to Magwood, who, he says, is simply trying to pursue standup comedy and get some recognition, like countless people on Twitter. Comedians, if they want to reach more people, need to constantly be trying out jokes on social media as well as the stage. 

    It’s going to take a while for people like Ostrovsky and Tebele to be weeded out—based on the speed at which they “aggregate”—if that happens at all. Joke theft is bad, yes. But if you’re a comedian, you just need to keep telling jokes, make your set stronger, and remember some people lack a sense of humor of their own.   

    H/T Death + Taxes | Screengrab via Healthy Artists/YouTube

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    It takes a lot of guts to cover a classic like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but Kurt Hugo Schneider has guts to spare.

    Schneider, who’s made a name for himself on YouTube with inventive covers and musical moments, brought together a who’s-who of YouTube talents for the Queen number, which pays direct homage to iconic Queen imagery.

    Schneider brought together a stable of his frequent collaborators, including Sam Tsui, Tyler Ward, and Madilyn Bailey, but the mastermind behind the project was YouTube musician Alex Goot.

    “Goot and Live Like Us put in so much work to make this happen and they did such a great job producing the audio for this,” Schneider wrote in the video’s description. “The final mix includes 419 tracks of audio, with over 300 for JUST vocals. There are no samples in this recording. The music you hear was 100% re-created and for that the credit goes to Goot.”

    Screengrab via Kurt Hugo Schneider/YouTube

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    Stephen Colbert is less than a month away from taking over as host of The Late Show, and he's already booking big-time guests. Like 2012 presidential runner-up Mitt Romney.

    Let's go to the video below to see what Romney, the real conservative, has to say to the guy who played the fake conservative pundit-cum-buffoon to perfection.

    As we've seen in the past, Romney loves pancakes, so it's no surprise that Colbert's breakfast temptation would be enough to lure Romney into the studio to shoot the promo.

    Either way, it was big of Romney to hobnob with Colbert, especially since in 2012 Colbert's Super PAC—Building a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow—thrashed Romney in this South Carolina attack ad, likening him to a serial killer.

    Apparently all that acrimony is behind the pancake buddies for now.

    Colbert also released two other promos for his Sept. 8. debut including one in which he tries out his trusty new backpack and Charlie Rose trapper keeper, and one in which he fools you with a card trick.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

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    Despite what Christopher Hitchens says, ladies can be funny too. Crazy, right?

    In fact I follow a lot of funny women on Twitter who should have more followers than they do. Here are some Daily Dot selects—hilarious women with (seemingly) great politics who have less than 15,000 followers. Enjoy, follow, fave, retweet, do you.

    1) Grace Spelman (@GraceSpelman)

    Who: Grace Spelman is a staff writer for BuzzFeed.

    Sample line: "I've started talking to my plants AKA I'm turning into the quirky aunt I always knew I'd be" 

    2) black frances ha (@imbobswaget)

    Who: Freelance writer.

    Sample line: "can you imagine having to send dick pics via carrier pigeons like they had to do in victorian times your dick pic just flapping in the wind"

    3) Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously)

    Who: Brooklyn-based comedian and writer.

    Sample line: "What if there were furries during Shakespeare's time?" 

    4) Aria Dean (@lol_prosciutto)

    Who: Los Angeles-based writer and artist.

    Sample line: "if capitalism is the enemy, i guess im like rlly into keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

    5) Julia (@becauseimjewish)

    Who: New York-based comedian.

    Sample line: "Today my therapist told me to stop hating all men because 'all human beings suffer' and I was like 'nah fam'"

    6) Zoë Klar (@zoeklar)

    Who: Co-founder of Lady Parts magazine.

    Sample line: "replying 'maybe' is so brave" 

    7) Gabby Bess (@seemstween)

    Who: Multi-media artist and writer.

    Sample line: "nothing tastes as good as praise from random strangers on the internet feels" 

    8) Jena Friedman (@JenaFriedman)

    Who: Standup comedian, field producer for the Daily Show

    Sample line: "What if the whole entertainment industry knew Bill Cosby was a serial rapist in the 70s, 80s & 90s but pretended that they didn't until now?" 

    9) Shannon O’Neill (@spotastic)

    Who: Artistic director of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City and can be seen on the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, and Man Seeking Woman.

    Sample line: "I've seen Sharknado, but not Sharknado 2, will I understand Sharknado 3?" 

    10) Alexis Wilkinson (@OhGodItsAlexis)

    Who: Writer for Veep.

    Sample line: "you think 'you can't turn a ho into a housewife' but i thought you can't make a human man out of garbage and yet here you are"

    11) melissa c rocha (@melisshious)

    Who: Rocha puts on a monthly scrappy show, Treat Yourselfand programs for the Strong Female Lead film series. You can watch her sketches here.

    Sample line: "'I'm still here.' -Quentin Tarantino's chin"

    12) Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz)

    Who: The brains behind the wildly hilarious Twitter accounts @GuyInYourMFA and @DystopianYA.

    Sample line: "Tweeting about losing followers is like when a standup makes a joke about how badly he's bombing. it just makes everyone uncomfortable"

    13) Alicia Eler (@AliciaEler)

    Who: Alicia Eler is a queer writer who edits ART21 magazine, contributes to the Guardian and Hyperallergic, and splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City.

    Sample line: "Affective labor is the way to my heart. I desire your production"

    14) Jenny Jaffee (@jennyjaffee)

    Who: The founder of mental health nonprofit, Project UR OK.

    Sample line: "Can you imagine if they made poopless dogs? How popular would dogs be then??"

    15) Nicole Drespel (@nicolemtherese)

    Who: Nicole is an actor and teacher at the UCB Theatre. 

    Sample line: "'There's Taylor Swift the person and then there's Taylor Swift the institution' - some B drunk on rosè, also me to @kaileeayyar last night"

    Illustration by Max Fleishman

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    Getting the usually uptight Sam the Eagle to be anything but a stick in the mud looked to be impossible until now.

    He somehow gets wrangled into providing vocals to an Electric Mayhem cover of “Jungle Boogie,” and while he’s all but ready to storm off set, something draws him back in. Is it the music of Kool and the Gang? Is it the legal method of mellowing out for the band? Or maybe he’s finally experiencing a change of heart?

    It’s a lot simpler than that, but for those few minutes, he was as carefree as a bird.

    Screengrab via The Muppets/YouTube

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    What happens in Orlando does not stay in Orlando. 

    Last summer, Hulu’s The Hotwives of Orlando tore down the curtain of the Real Housewives franchise and revealed its true comedic foundation. Now, the hotwives are back, and they’re terrorizing Sin City.  

    The Hotwives of Las Vegas debuts on Aug. 18, and this season moves the ladies away from the swampy McMansions of central Florida. A majority of the same core cast is here, but they’ve taken on different, more oblivious, more Vegas-y personas. 

    Series co-creator and star Danielle Schneider told the Daily Dot last summer that the series is an homage: “And I think we try to not just make caricatures; they have their own stories and their own arcs.” While that's hopefully still true, there’s still plenty of slapping, air-kissing, and drink-throwing. 

    Between this and the premiere of Difficult People, it’s a great month for garbage people. 

    Screengrab via Hulu

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