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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Women in science are no strangers to sexism. From underlying assumptions about women’s abilities to cutting remarks from distinguished scientists, it seems female scientists still have to fight for the right to don a lab coat. But don’t worry: The ladies are fighting back full-force. And their secret weapon is humor.

    Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party’s new webseries, Experimenting With Megan Amram, is leading the fight with full-blown absurdist wit. The series features Amram, a real-life Harvard grad, demonstrating try-it-yourself science experiments and interviewing leading female scientists. But unlike the typically earnest content put out by Smart Girls, the series’ tone veers dark and absurd.

    Amram, former Parks and Recreation staff writer and long-reigning Twitter master, explored similar themes in her book Science… For Her! “I wanted to show, through my insane satirical character, that stereotypes are negative and destructive,” Amram told the Daily Dot. Her “character” in Experimenting plays up that tone, acting boy-crazy, looks-obsessed, and perpetually perplexed compared with her savvy and accomplished guests.

    If Amram’s persona seems crazy, she should. It’s a pointed attack on the casual aggression that plagues women in science today. Said Amram:

    “It's crazy how much resistance women in STEM are still met with. It feels like every few weeks, another person makes insane claims about a woman's inability to practice science or math. It's good for my show, though—free publicity! My female friends who work in math, science, or technology all have horror stories about implicit or explicit sexism they've experienced. I hope that my book and webseries helps bring up this continuing conversation in a fun and funny way.”

    New episodes of Experimenting With Megan Amram are available the Smart Girlswebsite each Monday.

    Screengrab via Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls/YouTube


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    We get it: Owen Wilson has a distinctive manner of speech.

    Instead of the “Things Owen Wilson Says” viral hit coming across as a video diss track against the famed actor, we present it to you here as a primer on casual English used by native speakers daily. 

    Be sure to use a tool like ListenToYouTube to extract the audio and listen to it over and over again to brush up on your speaking skills.

    Among the handy, fluency-demonstrating phrases celebrity instructor Owen Wilson will help you learn:

    • “Wow!”

    • “Goddammit!”

    • “Unbelievable”

    • “Whoa!” (sometimes with a stutter)

    • “Honestly,” “To be honest,” repeated references to one’s honesty

    • “Come on,” to demonstrate sentiments of both “please” and “forget about it”

    Admittedly, Mr. Wilson also makes repeated references to situations being “crazier than a road lizard,” which no one understands, but it’s flavorful language.

    Photo via Wedding Crashers


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    The act of podcasting can be an isolated, intimate act—that’s part of its charm. But a new podcast collective called the Heard is experimenting with building a community around it.

    Founded by Jakob Lewis, the Heard is made up of six podcasts that stretch across North America and cover a range of experiences. He wanted to create a platform where producers could bounce ideas off one another, eliminating that solitary element. Lewis helms the Nashville, Tennessee-based Neighbors podcast, which tells the stories that happen beyond the front porch.

    Jonathan Hirsch came in a bit later. He’s the Brooklyn-based host of Arrvls, a podcast about love, distance, and spaces in between. They then set out to find other like-minded producers: Vanessa Lowe produces the Bay Area-based Nocturne, a show about the night. Marlo Mack hosts How to Be a Girl, in which she and her daughter navigate how to raise a transgender child. Rob McGinley Myers hosts Anxious Machine, a podcast about how humans interact with technology. And Tally Abecassis’s First Day Back documents the Montreal filmmaker’s attempt to return to the industry after six years away and two kids.

    “It’s very easy to get into podcasting,” Hirsch said. “But to make high-quality, crafted work, it takes a lot of effort, a lot of research, a lot of development. And there are a variety of hurdles that are answered by being part of larger networks and supported by the [radio] industry that was in place previous to podcasting.”

    In recent years, podcasting has become its own industry. The success of Serial proved the platform could engage people on a weekly basis just like a TV show and gave way to an emerging trend: Old NPR and public radio folks forging a new path via the podcast. The NYC-based Gimlet Media is home to This American Life contributor Starlee Kine’s Mystery Show, which hit No. 1 on the iTunes charts just a month after its debut; former TAL producer Alex Blumberg’s tech-centric StartUp; and PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman’s Internet-focused Reply All. In a recent interview, Gimlet CEO and co-founder Blumberg claimed he viewed the network as the “HBO of podcasting. We’re trying to create hits,” develop talent, and be sustainable.

    The Heard’s approach is a bit more understated, and while it’s not crowded with public radio vets, there’s a similar eye toward stories that will draw in large audiences and connect people. “We wound up producing these programs, but not through traditional channels,” Hirsch said.

    Coincidentally, Abecassis says she was listening to StartUp when she got the idea for her podcast. It was “tracking a story in a documentary format, and it made me think, ‘Hey, that’s what I do. I could do that.’” she said. Abecassis started beating the bushes for story ideas, then realized her own story might be the starting point. She’d been podcasting on her own since January and was approached a few months later to join the Heard.

    “To be honest, I really didn’t know what it would be,” she said. “And I don’t think anybody really did. Podcasting can be really solitary, so I was mostly excited about the idea of having a community, and I thought the shows were all really strong, so I decided to get on board.”

    And community is what Abecassis needed, as she attempted to dive back into an industry where “youth is kind of fetishized” and find her voice as a filmmaker. So she used First Day Back to work through life on the other side of motherhood, and she structured the podcast much like she would a documentary film: creating serialized episodes that advance the plot, documenting the disappointments and obstacles she encounters in the process of producing a film, and adding in heartfelt anecdotes from her kids.

    Abecassis cites the Heard’s community as a major factor in its balance. “...We all have each other’s back,” she said. “And I think that’s actually true because of the way that we’ve structured ourselves, where we all kind of benefit from each other’s success.”

    Hirsch says knowledge, resources, and reach have become the Heard’s focus, not necessarily monetization or becoming the next Serial. He adds that if you try to answer the money question first, “your shows might suffer.”

    “I think it’s really interesting that there’s so much attention to what this is going to look like as part of the economy,” he said. “And I think what the Heard is trying to answer is a very different question, which is: What are ways in which independent producers can come together and continue to make really great shows?”

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


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    One Taylor Swift fan has some excellent suggestions for celebrity guests she should bring out at her upcoming concerts. 

    If you’ve ever been to a Swift concert, you might have experienced the parade of mostly white, very famous celebrities and models she trots out as a testament to how many besties she has. Podcaster and writer Lara Marie Schoenhals—co-author of White Girl Problems, a 2012 satire that started out as a tongue-in-cheek hashtag—went to Swift’s Santa Clara show over the weekend. The singer brought out Julia Roberts and Joan Baez, for some reason, and made them awkwardly dance to her music. She is the puppetmaster. 

    So Schoenhals created her own dream lineup of increasingly ridiculous celebrity cameos she’d like to see at Swift's upcoming L.A. concerts. We’d kill to actually see Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and the Blair Witch on stage with Tay Tay. 

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    BY TRIBUNE MEDIA WIRE

    Over the weekend, a photo of Jennifer Aniston in her wedding dress went viral and was featured by dozens of media outlets. The only problem? That’s not Jennifer Aniston.

    The photo was first shared by a Jennifer Aniston fan page. The photo has been liked over 330,000 times and shared 26,000 times.

    The dress is from a label named Dimitrius Dalia and the photos were taken in 2014.

    But don’t worry. Everything else you read on the Internet is true.

    Aniston and fellow actor Justin Theroux made it official in an intimate ceremony at home earlier this month.

    RELATED: Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc not on Jennifer Aniston’s wedding invite list

    The small Bel Air ceremony included about 70 guests such as Aniston’s former “Friends” co-star Lisa Kudrow, Chelsea Handler and Howard Stern.

    It was a three-year engagement for Aniston, 45, and Theroux, 43, who had been friends for many years before dating, leading observers to routinely wonder whether the couple was breaking up.

    Screengrab via MovieClipsTrailers/YouTube


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    Do not mess with #TeamInternet.

    E! Online is learning that the hard way today on social media, as prominent YouTubers respond to an article about this weekend’s Teen Choice Awards in an all-out battle between old media and new.

    It all started with a post from E! Online about the weekend’s TCAs, which led with, “Okay, we just have one question: What was that?” The article goes on to talk about how the writer felt old watching the show and didn’t know who most of the stars mentioned at the awards show. Seija Rankin—who graduated from college in 2009, putting her outside the teen demographic for the show—complained about categories and YouTubers she didn’t even know existed, like Joey Graceffa and Felix Kjellberg (better known as PewDiePie).

    5. There were entire categories that we didn't even know existed. Choice Viner, really?

    6. There were entire categories in which we'd never heard of the nominees. Eva Gutowski? Lele Pans? Joey Graceffa? Felix Kjellberg? Are those even real people?

    YouTubers and their fans were quick to point out the flaws ofE!’s post, especially since several YouTubers Rankin called out have higher viewership numbers than many of the E! Network’s shows.

    E! Online began responding to the criticism with memes, including one citing its deal with YouTuber Grace Helbig, albeit without naming Helbig.

    The reponse was swift, with YouTubers like Connor Franta calling the site out for its recent content.

    E! also called out YouTuber Tyler Oakley for being “Straight Outta Chill” in a reappropriated Straight Outta Compton promotional meme.

    Rankin also fired back on Twitter about teens’ lack of understanding of sarcasm.

    In the last year, digital celebrities have become increasingly more prominent figures for teen audiences, with a Variety survey showing that YouTube stars are more recognizable to teen audiences than mainstream movie stars.

    The E! article wasn’t only about YouTubers, though: It also called out more mainstream acts like Little Mix, as well as the tendency for (presumably) teen attendees to bare a lot of skin on the red carpet. Little Mix fans also called out the hypocrisy of the article combined with E’s coverage.

    As YouTubers strive to achieve legitimacy on mainstream platforms—including Helbig on E!—a misstep like this one only further drives a wedge between old media and new.

    Update 6:28pm CT, Aug. 17: E! Online's social media manager has responded to the situation.

    Screengrab via Connor Franta/YouTube


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    What podcasts should I be listening to? 

    This is a question Gretta Cohn gets quite often. And she believes it will be answered by Howl, a new premium-subscription platform that debuted Monday from podcast advertising network Midroll, which combines content from its comedy podcast bookends Earwolf and Wolfpop. Cohn, a senior producer at Midroll, says Howl’s been in the works for about six-to-nine months, and is a means to help solve a growing issue: "discoverability in podcasting.”

    Cohn explains Howl’s a “curated model” that will feature “short-run pieces that don’t have a platform or way to monetize,” such as Colt Cabana’s anthropological study of the Gathering of the Juggalos. Those will live alongside established Earwolf podcasts like Marc Maron’s WTF and Comedy Bang! Bang!, and newer originals like Superego: Forgotten Classics, in which comedians improvise based on the first and last line of a book; The Complete Woman, a serialized ‘60s spoof from Amanda Lund (Cohn says it’s “sound-designed to sound like an LP is being played”); and Lauren Lapkus’s Psychic Show, in which the Orange Is the New Black star explores her lifelong fear of psychics. 

    Subscribers with premium access ($4.99 a month) will also be able to consume the full Earwolf and Wolfpop archives, as well as Comedy Central and A.V. Club tie-ins. An iOS app debuted in May, and an Android app is set to follow. 

    As Maron said in an interview with Fast Company, Howl’s format is a bit like Netflix:  

    People that wouldn't have come to our show will come to our show, and people who are generally into podcasts are now going to have very easy access to whoever is on Howl. I think it's going to blow up the audience for podcasts in general, because it’s going to make it easier and all in one place.

    The trend toward podcasting as a collective, curated endeavor isn’t new, but it’s seen a renewed focus in the last year or so, from old public radio heads clearing out a digital space to newer producers finding support and feedback through the medium. Howl’s yet another cul-de-sac for exploration, albeit with a focus on comedy fans and developing original content that might not have the legs for a weekly show. “It might be incentive for somebody like me to do a five-part piece on a subject that I might not want to do as part of my regular show,” Maron said.

    Cohn says they’re still working to commission more original content. It'll be interesting to see how it elevates discoverability when seemingly everyone has a podcast. 

    Photo via WarmSleepy/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    With Meryl Streep starring in Ricki and the Flash, a new film about an aging rock star who tries to reconnect with the family she blew off 20 years earlier, it makes sense that Streep would be stoked about receiving a guitar lesson from the legendary Neil Young.

    Turns out that, yes, she was, in fact, excited about it.

    Most actors would bow at the feet of Streep. But at the end of the video, Streep does the whole "I'm not worthy" thing in front of Young. That's a fitting tribute to Young, one of the world's best rockers, from Streep, who might be the best actress of her generation, after Young spent about 45 minutes giving Streep her first guitar lesson.

    And Streep apparently put in the time while tweaking her movie character. Director Jonathan Demme told Entertainment Weekly that Streep told him she's been obsessed with electric guitar since she was five years old. The two quickly decided before filming that Streep was going to have to perform live on film, and that meant she had to learn how to play the guitar.

    Aside from hanging out with Young and co-starring with Rick Springfield, she apparently got right to work. As Demme explained to EW:

    For her, that meant, "OK, I better find a good teacher and get to work practicing." She worked with an acoustic guitar teacher for two or three months in New York. And having developed a familiarity with the instrument, she worked with an electric guitar teacher and arranger ...

    They rehearsed so much. Between three and four weeks playing the songs—with Meryl. Full band. There was a wonderful bar in New York that had just closed, the Rodeo Bar and Grill. Kind of a country rock club that had been around forever. We got it. We were able to rehearse in a bar. They came in Monday through Friday and worked a full day. Meryl wouldn’t let me come for two weeks! She let me know when I could come. They were a real band! They had developed great friendships. All the musicians were excited to develop chemistry with Meryl.

    The idea was to rehearse right up to the first day of filming and then film all the performances right away. We finished rehearsing on a Friday and shot on Saturday.

    Here's how it turned out, at least in movie trailer form.

    Here was how Streep described the meeting with Young.

    Ah, turning it up to 11, eh? Classic move from an experienced rock star.

    H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Jacob Burns Film Center/YouTube


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    Josh Groban once graced us with an album of Kanye West tweets for Jimmy Kimmel, and now he's doing the same thing for someone else who's just as hated.

    Donald Trump, who already got a new campaign song from late-night TV, can now enjoy Groban's album of the media mogul's greatest Twitter hits. Groban brings musical gusto to the presidential candidate’s already empowering tweets with every declaration, humble brag, and contradiction.

    “Donald Trump’s tweets will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, but mostly they’ll make you cry,” Groban mused between songs.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    The Internet is a cesspool of nostalgia.

    We’re constantly bombarded with listicles reminiscing about the glory days of the ‘90s and early aughts, when the world full of hope and greatfashion, and our favorite TV characters had snappycatchphrases. There's a seemingly infinite amount of Tumblr fan blogs celebrating the television of that glorious time. But the power of Internet nostalgia has surpassed innocent reminiscing.

    We are officially in the era of the reboot.

    I’m grateful Netflix and Hulu are not only producing shows rejected by major networks, like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Difficult People, but also stepping up to the plate to rescue beloved TV shows that were cancelled too soon, like The Mindy Project. However, rebooting shows from decades ago—Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Full House, Boy Meets World, and, most recently, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—is a whole other story.

    In Josef Adalian’s Vulture essay on TV remakes, he interviews an anonymous television insider who explains, “There’s so much product, it’s hard [for something new] to stand out.” So it makes sense that networks are bringing back what’s recognizable, especially with the unprecedented popularity of television-themed listicles and quizzes online. These reboots are a good investment for the network. There’s no need to market; they sell themselves.

    Arrested Development was one of the first of many shows to be rebooted, back in 2013. I had a visceral sense that watching season 4 would somehow lessen my adoration for the first three seasons, and that revamping a show that originally aired in 2003 wouldn’t quite translate, especially since its brilliant commentary on the George W. Bush era was central to the charm.

    I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s sixth season, where—spoiler alert—Buffy’s friends resurrect her from the dead, assuming that she is suffering in the depths of hell. Buffy has a hard time readjusting to hellish Sunnydale, and she eventually reveals that her friends pulled her out of heaven, where she was finally at peace. Sure, Buffy’s life was cut short (she sacrificed herself at the end of season 5 to prevent the apocalypse), but bringing her back did far more harm than good.

    Arrested Development and other reboots are Buffy. They shouldn’t have died, but now it’s just too late to bring them back.

    Using this analogy, Arrested Development and other reboots are Buffy. They shouldn’t have died, but now it’s just too late to bring them back. If we let shows like Arrested Development stay in TV heaven, we can comfortably reminisce about their glory days. When we give them another life, it changes the way we interpret the original series. As we saw with Go Set a Watchman, the belated sequel can damage our view of the original.

    Of course, most of these revivals are still in development, so we have yet to find out whether our favorite TV shows will be forever altered for better or for worse. Regardless, they take away the magic of speculation. One of the reasons we idealistically (and perhaps indulgently) reminisce about shows like Freaks and Geeks or (pre-Netflix) Arrested Development is because their runs were cut short. That’s not to say they aren’t deserving of praise, but we didn’t have to endure any dip in quality or take issue with weird character developments. We never saw our favorite characters leave (or get killed off) because the actors decided to move on. We saw them only at their best. The aforementioned shows are lauded, in part, because they were canceled too soon. Plus, everybody likes an underdog.

    Then there are shows rebooted with a different cast. The Carrie Diaries—a prequel to Sex and the City, set in the 1980s—aired on the CW from 2013-2014. In Matt Zoller Seitz’s review he writes, “The problem is that The Carrie Diaries is an inept spinoff that dishonors its source. … Everything about it is wrong, starting with the venue, the CW, a commercial broadcast network whose content restrictions guarantee we’ll never… hear about the sort of misadventures that turned Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie into a… sex [columnist].”

    That’s the downside of the easy marketability of the TV reboot/spinoff/revival. It is inevitably compared to—but seldom lives up to—the spirit of the original. Perhaps The Carrie Diaries would have lasted more than two seasons had its protagonist not been a younger version of such an iconic character. Carrie Bradshaw is deeply embedded in our cultural consciousness; women identify as her, and any other representation is bound to disappoint.

    Of course, there’s a laundry list of contemporary reboots, revivals, and (especially) spinoffs that have been successful. Fargo, for example, works in part because of how much it deviates from the original—the movie is a mere jumping-off point. Battlestar Galactica is a rare case where the reboot is more beloved than the original. The fundamental difference between The Carrie Diaries, Fargo, and Battlestar Galactica and shows like Arrested Development, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks is that the latter group’s revival was fueled by online fan momentum. Part of the success of Fargo and Battlestar Galactica is due to the fact that no one asked for it; it’s easier to do well when there’s not a lot of hype to live up to.

    Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a revival of the 2001 cult classic, was recently released as a series on Netflix. It has been well-reviewed—with somecritics lauding it as better than the original—but it’s important to acknowledge how much context can influence our perception of the series. As Brian Moylan points out in his review for The Guardian, “When WHAS arrived in theaters in 2001 the only really recognizable cast members were David Hyde Pierce—who was starring in Frasier at the time—and the alumni from MTV’s too-short-lived sketch comedy program The State.” It’s fun to watch the series’ celebrity cameos, because it’s funny to see a cast of excellent middle-aged comedians play horny teenagers. Emily Yoshida writes in her review for the Verge: “If you're a diehard, it will play out like a fan-fic stranger and more elaborate than anything even in the furthest reaches of Tumblr.”

    That is how I anticipate the Twin Peaks and X-Files revivals will turn out: They’ll read as excellent fanfiction. A show like The X-Files is a reflection of the ‘90s and isn’t particularly relevant in 2015. And with Twin Peaks’ disappointing second season, I can’t imagine its reboot delivering the same vibe and quality as the original, even with David Lynch directing.

    Of course, many of these revivals are in development because we asked for it. Fans will be into it because it’ll be fun to see Scully and Mulder together again. We’ll indulge in the Full House revival because it’ll be fun to see how Kimmy Gibbler aged and what actors they choose to play DJ’s kids. (And it’s already become a widely shared meme!) I have faith that even though the Internet continues to buzz with excitement, fans will acknowledge that these revivals cannot compare to the originals.

    Let the shows of the past rest peacefully in TV heaven, and live on in our fanblogs, fanfiction, listicles, and memes. If fans are that thirsty, perhaps television executives should look to Larry David’s brilliant Seinfeld reunion plotline in the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. We got to see the cast of Seinfeld back together, behind the scenes, making a terrible reunion show. We got a glimpse of what it would be, and then we could be glad it never happened.

    Photo via Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    The first look at Chris Hemsworth’s receptionist character in the Ghostbusters reboot has appeared online, and he won’t only just be the person you’re gonna call.

    A photo of Hemsworth riding a motorcycle started circulating the Internet Monday, leaving fans to analyze every aspect of what it could mean for his character and the movie as a whole. He’s wearing a Ghostbusters uniform (something original Ghostbusters receptionist Janine Melnitz eventually did outside of the movies), moving what appears to be a supply of materials for the Ghostbusters. He’s also got on a nice pair of glasses—perhaps a nod to Janine?

    For a comparison, Ghostbusters director Paul Feig tweeted out our first look at Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Jill Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) just last month.

    Some fans originally saw Hemsworth’s casting as a refreshing instance of him taking a backseat in a female-led film, but then why is he wearing a Ghostbusters uniform?

    According to Variety, Hemsworth was actually offered “one of the major roles” early in the production. He initially refused on account of the role in question being too small but later accepted after Sony made the part bigger. Could he possibly be getting in on the action or even assisting his bosses in their ghost-busting?

    It’s too early to tell much of anything, especially when looking at a uniform (and one lacking any Ghost Slime). But with Hemsworth’s role getting “beefed up,” could it be another instance of a male actor getting cast in a role typically reserved for women and needing to be reassured that he’s not actually playing the kind of role typically reserved for women?

    Just last month, the Wrap reported that Chris Pine was cast as Wonder Woman’s love interest Steve Trevor. But included within the article was the following line: “Steve Trevor will be no mere love interest for [Gal] Gadot’s Diana Prince, as there will be plenty of action to keep him busy, though plot details remain under wraps.” It’s almost as if fans needed reassurance that Pine would be doing something besides being arm candy for Wonder Woman.

    Another possible explanation, offered by Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson, is that Hemsworth could be the link between this Ghostbusters and Channing Tatum’s Ghostbusters film in this Ghostbusters franchise.

    Or maybe he designed the uniforms and just wanted one for himself. We really don’t know.

    We hope that all of the major characters in Ghostbusters are fully developed characters in their own right, but we also don’t want Hemsworth’s character to take away any of the Ghostbusters’ thunder. At the very least, Feig knows full well what’s at stake.

    H/T Vanity Fair | Photo via El Hormiguero/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)


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    Comedian Mike Epps just learned the hard way that social media isn’t as private as he might have hoped—as did his wife.

    On Aug. 15 Epps tweeted at ceciCitra, who had earlier tweeted about spoilers online. This caught his eye, and he immediately asked if she had Instagram and asked for her to DM him.

    A few days later, Epps’ wife, Mechelle, caught wind of the exchange and sent him just a single, pointed emoji. 

    Epps deleted his interactions and blocked Ceci. She’s been making the most of the situation by joking around and offering to tweet out mixtapes for aspiring rappers because of all her newfound attention.

    Meanwhile, the Internet exploded in memes celebrating the interaction.

    Epps is set to release several upcoming projects, including playing Uncle Buck in remake of the 1989 TV series of the same name, taking part in a Fifty Shades of Grey parody film called Fifty Shades of Black, as well as portraying iconic comedian Richard Pryor in Nina.

    Hopefully with this incident behind him, he can stick to being a source of comedy on the big screen instead of online.

    H/T Complex | Photo via Visit El Paso/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    While Trevor Noah doesn’t officially take over until next month, Comedy Central is already rolling in the next era of The Daily Show on social media less than two weeks after Jon Stewart’s departure.

    Stewart’s social media channels have been largely silent since he took his final bow on Aug. 6, but today the official Daily Show accounts debuted a new look. Instead of Stewart’s face (which was featured as recently as a few days ago), it is now Noah’s that graces The Daily ShowFacebook and Twitter accounts.

    Comedy Central also debuted what looks to be the new Daily Show logo , which showcases the show’s premiere on Sept. 28.

    Noah already demonstrated what The Daily Show might look like under his reign (and even took out the tape measure on Stewart’s last show), but now he can stretch out his legs without getting in the way of his predecessor. As his latest promo says, “Same chair, different ass.”

    Fans, for their part, received the news with mixed emotions, with some bemoaning the switch and others eagerly anticipating the new era.

    We’ll all find out what awaits us when The Daily Show With Trevor Noah premieres Sept. 28.

    Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube


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    This is the exposition, the part where I have to tell you what’s going on as efficiently and effectively as possible. Just like in journalism, the exposition in film can be a tricky task, but thankfully RocketJump Film School is here to help us all.

    The YouTube channel takes on exposition in their latest video, all while paying homage to John Carpenter’s 1981 classic, Escape From New York. 

    Instead of a straightforward tutorial, the RocketJump team uses the conventions of exposition in movies to teach their lesson. The clip stars Joey Scoma, the director and editor for RocketJump Film School, and Will Campos, a writer for Video Game High School

    RocketJump Film School is part of RocketJump’s efforts at transparency in their filmmaking, with behind-the-scenes content, practical guides and tutorials, and even humorous takes on filmmaking topics. 

    We can’t wait to see how they tackle chase scenes.

    Image courtesy of Rocket Jump


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    We’re already feeling the lack of Jon Stewart in our lives, but his next gig guarantees we’ll see him again very soon.

    The WWEannounced Monday that Stewart would be hosting its SummerSlam this Sunday, a four-hour broadcast that will bring about a rousing rematch of the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

    Stewart, of course, famously called out WWE’s Seth Rollins after Rollins said he could host The Daily Show better than Stewart could. They faced off during an episode of Monday Night RAW, where Stewart kicked Rollins in the balls.

    Rollins showed up last month to call him out for his “corporate shilling.” Although Stewart’s run on The Daily Show is over, chances are they’ll reference their feud yet again during Sunday’s broadcast.

    Essentially, by confirming that Stewart was a “longtime member of the WWE Universe” in an official blog post, WWE made Stewart canon. It might just be on the same level as Stephen Colbertreceiving Captain America’s shield after his death.

    But Stewart is far from the only famous person to be part of the WWE Universe. Pro-wrestling is, at its finest, pure entertainment, and everyone wants to take part. Some people assume the mantle of host, but others are willing to get their hands dirty, one way or another, to ultimately become part of the canon themselves. Here are seven of our favorites.

    1) Donald Trump

    If elected, Donald Trump would become the first president to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. (Yes, really.) But before that honor was bestowed upon him, he and current WWE chairman Vince McMahon got into a billionaire’s tiff in 2007 at WrestleMania 23 and decided to duke it out in the ring in a match with hair-raising stakes: The loser would get his head shaved.

    To think, we almost got to see what Trump looked like without hair.

    2) Stephen Amell

    The Arrow star and longtime Hulkamaniac is set to take on Stardust and King Barrett with Neville at SummerSlam on Sunday, but like Stewart, it’s a smackdown months in the making: Stephen Amell and Stardust had a tense staredown and got into a social media fight, as you do with modern-day beefs.

    Stardust and King Barrett may have the upper hand in the ring, but don’t count Amell out: He’s trained in parkour and does his own stunts on Arrow.

    3) William Shatner

    William Shatner has made multiple appearances in WWE shows over the years, but his greatest one might’ve been putting his vocal abilities on display to sing a bunch of famous wrestlers’ entrance songs.

    4) Mr. T

    Don’t pity him. The actor ended up in the ring with former WWE pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan and defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff at the very first WrestleMania. A year later, he faced off against Piper again.

    5) Shaq

    Former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal found himself as a ringside enforcer during an episode of WWE Raw, but after the match things got tense between him and the Big Show.

    6) Grumpy Cat

    Ahead of the Grumpy Cat’s terrible Lifetime movie last year, the Miz tried to pitch the curmudgeonly feline some ideas for a Hollywood film. She wasn’t into them at all—or maybe she just wanted a nap. It’s kinda hard to tell.

    7) Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor and body builder by trade, so it doesn’t surprise us that he can also hold his own during a fight with Triple H.

    Screengrab via The Daily Show


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    Former View host Rosie O’Donnell is reaching out to the Internet to help find her 17-year-old daughter, who has gone missing.

    According to O’Donnell, her daughter Chelsea hasn’t been seen since Aug. 11. She left home with her 6-month-old therapy dog named Bear. She was wearing a black hoodie, dark blue ripped jeans, and gray Converse sneakers. She also had on a black backpack and has a tattoo of a dream catcher on the right side of her body. Cindi Berger, spokeswoman for the family, says that Chelsea isn’t carrying any money or a phone.

    O’Donnell added that “Chelsea stopped taking her medicine and is in need of medical attention.”

    “Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness,” Berger told CNN. “It has been a difficult road for Chelsea and her family, and they just want her back safe.”

    Nyack, New York, police have been searching for Chelsea O’Donnell since Sunday near Rockland County—where O’Donnell has a home. On Tuesday, she took that search to social media to see if any of her millions of followers had any information on the whereabouts of her daughter.

    O’Donnell has also posted a photograph of Chelsea before she spoke up about the case, asking her to call her family.

    Anyone with information is asked to call authorities at (845) 358-0206.

    Update 6:18pm CT, Aug. 18: O'Donnell's daughter has reportedly been found:

    H/T CNN | Photo via David Shankbone/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Kelly Clarkson knows how to lift up a Tinder profile.

    Just one day after Josh Groban sang some Donald Trump tweets, Jimmy Kimmel got Clarkson to croon out to Tinder. While the conversations between users can be absolutely terrible, Clarkson instead focused on the thing that draws people in (or turns them away) in the first place: the profile.

    And she’s not just singing them word-for-word. She turns them into actual songs, from a catchy pop hit about one man’s foot fetish to a gospel tune for Justine, the woman who loves her hairless cat, baking cookies, and smoking blunts. They’re all about to get a lot more popular.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    Since Josh Ostrovsky, better known at the Fat Jew, signed with the talent agency CAA, the Internet has been buzzing—or rather, screaming—with fury.

    Ostrovsky runs a Twitter and Instagram account where he aggregates funny content made by other comedians. He identifies himself in his Instagram bio as “United States Creative Director of Internet Curatorial Affairs.”

    The main issue is that Ostrovsky seldom credits the comedians whose material he screenshots—at times it appears he intentionallycropsouttheirusernames—and he can make thousands of dollars per post. When comedians request that he credit them, he does—albeit half-heartedly. For example, he wrongly identified BuzzFeed’s Ben Rosen’s Instagram handle in a now-deleted post. He has also been accused of setting up a dummy Twitter account, so he can further evade responsibility in terms of crediting comedians.

    Since the joke theft accusations have gained more traction, it’s been reported that Ostrovsky has lost his endorsement deal with Seamless and his development deal with Comedy Central. Both Seamless and Comedy Central assert that cutting ties with Ostrovsky had nothing to do with the allegations.

    Twitter user Kevin Kelly put together this list of Ostrovsky’s stolen memes with links to the original posters. He told me that as of 5pm Monday, his post has gotten over 112,000 hits.

    While Ostrovsky’s publicist said her client did not have any comment on the issue of joke theft, she did direct me to a Tech Insider article that quotes an anonymous comedian who uses the pseudonym Jake. He is a rather grateful victim of Ostrovsky’s joke theft. Jake says:

    “When you see your image, or your joke, being ripped off…it's a mix of validation and anger. I was like, 'great, my stuff is funny because all of these people are liking it on this guy's page.' At the same time, none of those people know that joke is mine."…Then one night several months ago, Ostrovsky had finally tagged Jake's handle in one of his jokes Ostrovsky posted to his account.”

    After Ostrovsky stole several more of Jake’s jokes, he finally tagged him in a post. “‘I got 7,000 followers in 2 minutes,’ Jake remembers. ‘It was great for me, and great for my career.’”

    Jake, however, is an anomaly. I interviewed two comedians from whom the Fat Jew has stolen jokes: Ben Rosen, standup comedian and senior creative at BuzzFeed, and Patrick Walsh, writer for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Two Broke Girls. (Editor’s note: These email interviews have been edited slightly for length and clarity.)

    How did you find out the Fat Jew stole your joke?

    Ben Rosen: My roommate sent me a text message when he saw it. My first reaction was “how the hell did he find that?” It wasn’t on Reddit or anything. I had just tweeted it about 24 hours before he stole it. I very upset that he took the time to crop out my Twitter handle. It shows that it’s not like he’s forgetting to credit, he’s actively trying to hide it.

    Patrick Walsh: I was eating lunch with some friends and a buddy of mine said “Check out this Instagram the Fat Jewish did, isn't this funny?” I looked at it and it was my Instagram! My name, handle, and photo had been removed, and it was posted as Fat Jew’s post. There was no credit of any kind and he didn’t even add an additional comment to it. It wasn’t like when someone usually steals a joke where they change the wording to “make it their own,” it was just… my post. I saw it had thousands of “likes” on it, way way way WAY more than it got when I posted it. At the time he had half a million followers; now it’s nearly 6 million. I was angry. I hadn’t heard of the guy, so I texted an Internet-savvy friend and she said “oh yeah, he’s been doing this for years.” I tweeted “Don't follow this guy, he’s a blatant joke thief,” linked to the two Instagrams as obvious proof, and tagged him in it. He responded, probably only because he saw I had a lot of Twitter followers, and said, “It was on a blog, dude. Apologies.” 

    Why is it important to you to call the Fat Jew out on this?

    Rosen: It's amazing to me how many people defend this guy just because they want all their funny jokes in one, easy-to-find location. They don’t care if he steals and they don’t care if it’s credited, and that’s a big problem. Think about what that’s doing to the community. If it’s acceptable for him to steal jokes, why would anyone want to follow comedians at all? No one comedian could ever equal the output of every comedian on the Internet. The Fat Jewish has all the choice cuts. That means less attention for the people who write your favorite shows and star in your favorite comedies. We should be trying to make it easier for the funny people to get noticed, not praise someone who intentionally hides them.

    Walsh: I think it’s important to call him out so that it stops, not just with him but across the board. Everyone’s focusing on Fat Jew, but a LOT of people do this, and it sucks. I recently had a really popular tweet that I saw on dozens of Instagram and Twitter accounts, all with a ton of followers, all without credit (including BuzzFeed by the way, who should really know better). If people see that stealing material leads to a huge increase in followers, TV deals, book deals, and lots and lots of money, they’re going to keep doing it. And then what? I’m working hard and writing jokes for the Fat Jew and his ilk now? No thanks. They all say the same “I saw it online, sorry” crap, but the fact is that, in most cases, it takes 10 seconds to Google a joke and find out where it originated. They’re not doing it because OF COURSE they want people to think they wrote the funny joke. It happens constantly.

    What can you do to stop this, aside from tweeting about it and blocking him?

    Walsh: Tweeting about it and telling people is all I’ve done, to be honest, because how much time do I really want to devote to this loser? I tweeted about it a year ago and nobody cared. Now it’s a much bigger thing and that’s great. That’s all you really can do. I’m not going to sue him because I’m not going to waste the time and money and energy. Hopefully someone does.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    One Direction fan @otrataylor experienced a dream moment at a 1D concert this week when Harry Styles signed her hat in the middle of the show.

    On its own, this isn’t a hugely big deal for anyone other than @otrataylor and her friends. But since her real name is Taylor, footage of Styles signing the hat was enough to bring back sweet, sweet memories from the Harry Styles/Taylor Swiftromance.

    Checking how to spell her name, Styles appears to ask, “Like Swift?” and now Harry/Taylor shippers are freaking out.

    Taylor (not Swift) even tried to clarify that it was a fluke with little to do with Taylor Swift, but it was too late.

    Haylor fandom is still alive and well, it seems—three years after their breakup. But a few fans had a simpler explanation:

    Hopefully the Green Bay Packers are even half as excited as One Directioners over this time in the spotlight.

    Photo via otrataylor/Twitter


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

    From interior decorating to activism, Kalel Cullen (Kalel Kitten as she’s affectionately known on YouTube) is all about living her best life, and through YouTube, she’s hoping to inspire you to do the same.

    Kalel Cullen has lived countless lives and pursued numerous channels during her time on the video platform. In the early days, Kalel worked as a beauty vlogger before turning to life as a cosplay tutor and then daily vlogger. She has finally arrived at her most personal endeavor yet: a channel featuring her countless passions, designs, and great adventures.

    Upbeat, candid, and not afraid to laugh at herself, Kalel has formed a loyal following of 1.7 million subscribers through her videos on animal activism, vegan lifestyle, interior decorating tips, fashion hauls, and hilarious collaborations with famous friends such as Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings), Joey Graceffa, and David Camarena.

    It would be easy to merely label Kalel as “a hot girl with a heart of nerd,” but that would overlook the quality and personality she has brought to YouTube by just being herself. At 18, Kalel (née Kristen Smith) legally changed her first name to Superman’s real name—Kal’El—to better suit her personality. After having a very public engagement and breakup with Smosh’s Anthony Padilla, Kalel moved forward, building a colorful, passion-driven life. That move could have been difficult, considering the ridiculous adoration of Smosh’s 21 million subscribers. But Kalel has never taken the easy way out.

    Earlier this year, she uploaded this makeup-free video onto her channel in order to talk openly with her fans about her battle with acne. In an overwhelming show of support, fans rallied around her for sharing her personal, and often self-conscious, experiences with acne.

    Each of Kalel’s videos reminds me of sitting down and chatting with your most hilarious, awkwardly adorable friend who is just obsessed with cats, jewelry, and motivational posters as you are. But the absolute best part of Kalel’s videos? Her contagious laugh.

    So keep laughing, Kalel, and we promise, we’ll keep watching.

    Screengrab via Kalel/YouTube

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