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- 10/22/15--05:09: _Jeremy Renner says ...
- 10/22/15--05:17: _Jimmy Kimmel welcom...
- 10/22/15--06:00: _'The Twilight Zone,...
- 10/22/15--08:37: _Amazon offers 2 'Ma...
- 10/22/15--10:13: _Netflix releases tr...
- 10/22/15--10:21: _CollegeHumor's 'Mid...
- 10/22/15--10:21: _The virtual-reality...
- 10/22/15--13:15: _Viral frat bros don...
- 10/22/15--15:31: _8 unforgettable 'My...
- 10/22/15--17:20: _PewDiePie and the '...
- 10/22/15--18:45: _Vlogbrothers say th...
- 10/23/15--04:57: _Trevor Noah connect...
- 10/23/15--05:20: _Tommy Chong wants t...
- 10/23/15--05:37: _'Hello' is Adele's ...
- 10/24/15--06:00: _Replacing 'wand' wi...
- 10/24/15--06:00: _7 sci-fi artifacts ...
- 10/24/15--11:59: _Fall into the sooth...
- 10/25/15--10:10: _After miscarriage, ...
- 10/25/15--12:28: _YouTube gets its fi...
- 10/26/15--05:44: _Prince, who once sa...
- 10/22/15--05:09: Jeremy Renner says it's 'not my job' to help actresses get equal pay
- 10/22/15--15:31: 8 unforgettable 'Mythbusters' experiments that will blow you away
- 10/23/15--05:20: Tommy Chong wants to be the next Jon Stewart… on weed
- 10/23/15--05:37: 'Hello' is Adele's first single in 3 years, and it's amazing
- 10/24/15--06:00: 7 sci-fi artifacts you can watch for free on YouTube
Jeremy Renner thinks it's "not his job" to help women close the Hollywood wage gap.
Renner shared this opinion in response to Jennifer Lawrence's essay titled "Why do I make less than my male co-stars?" which prompted Bradley Cooper to say he would negotiate alongside his female co-stars in the future. By sharing salary negotiation details before any deals are signed, Cooper hopes to level the playing field for actresses who would otherwise receive a smaller paycheck.
Cooper and Renner were both paid more than Jennifer Lawrence for their work in American Hustle, but while Cooper supports Lawrence's attempt to combat sexism in Hollywood, Renner isn't so sure.
"That's not my job," he told Business Insider. "I don't know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff."
Renner added that he prefers to focus on his job as a performer, and that while he agrees that women should receive equal pay, "when it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that."
As Business Insider pointed out, it's typical for actors to let their agents and lawyers take care of contact negotiations. But it's hard to see how actresses will be able to close the wage gap if they don't have access to information about how much their male co-stars are being paid. Bradley Cooper's expression of solidarity is a simple way to help women negotiate better salaries for themselves, while Renner's "not my job" attitude is part of the reason why the wage gap is such an entrenched problem in the first place.
Renner's dismissal of the need to help women close the wage gap, combined with his sexistjokes during the Avengers: Age of Ultron press tour, begins to paint an unpleasant picture about his attitude toward women. Dismissing Hollywood's wage gap as someone else's problem is hardly a good way to recover from that kind of bad publicity.
Photo via Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia (CC BY SA 2.0)
Doc Brown may want to recheck his calculations.
The doctor's DeLorean time machine may have been destroyed in Back to the Future Part III, but Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox reunited once again for a journey to Back to the Future Day (which they would simply call Oct. 21, 2015).
But instead of Hill Valley, California, they somehow ended up on Jimmy Kimmel’s temporary stage in Brooklyn. As you can imagine, they were a bit disoriented to discover how different things were from the 2015 they previously visited.Based on this backstage photo, it appears that Doc Brown also traveled to November 2016 to learn the results of presidential election.
No word on whether this is still our timeline or an alternative one.Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
TV anthologies were a staple of the programming lineup back in the glory days of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, a natural outgrowth of the tales of terror and suspense that had flourished during the era of radio dramas. The format has come and gone over the years, but it’s seen a recent resurgence thanks to modern anthologies such as American Horror Story, True Detective, Black Mirror, and Fargo. Thankfully, many of the best examples of the form are only a Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu subscription away. With Halloween creeping ever closer, allow the Dot to be your guide through some of the best spooky TV anthologies currently populating the streaming landscape.
1) Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1957)
Given how well tales of horror and suspense lend themselves to the anthology format, the Master of Suspense pretty much has to make an appearance on this list. While Hitchcock is best known for his classic big-screen thrillers such as Psycho, The Birds, and Rear Window, he helped establish his larger-than-life persona through Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which forever made his silhouette iconic and saw him introducing each twisty caper with a morbid sense of humor. With each episode telling its own self-contained tale, an anthology series lives or dies on the strength of its stories, and AFP recruited some of the best mystery and suspense writers of its era, including Charles Beaumont, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, John Collier, George Clayton Johnson, and Roald Dahl. Hulu has four seasons of Alfred Hitchcock Presents available, and the first season can be seen on Netflix Instant.
2) The Twilight Zone (1959)
If you were to narrow the field down to only one defining anthology TV series, there’s no question that Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone would be the last man standing. Serling brilliantly used genre storytelling to comment on mankind’s flaws, struggles, and stubborn potential, all disguised as harmless tales of suspense and science fiction. Serling himself was responsible for penning some of the show’s most memorable outings, including “Walking Distance” and “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” but he also enlisted the talents of genre giants such as the aforementioned Beaumont and Johnson, as well as Richard Matheson. There are so many unforgettable episodes that made an indelible impression on our pop culture history, from the cruel punchline of Burgess Meredith’s busted specs in “Time Enough at Last” to William Shatner’s encounter with a gremlin in Matheson’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The Twilight Zone pretty much defines anthology storytelling, and there’s a reason it’s been revived multiple times over the ensuing decades. Four of the show’s five seasons are available on both Amazon Prime and Netflix Instant (not sure why season 4 is an exception).
3) The Outer Limits (1963)
The Outer Limits was Twilight Zone’s crazier, sci-fi-obsessed little brother, the one who liked his human drama spiced up with an equal serving of bug-eyed aliens (or, as in the memorable “Zanti Misfits,” alien bugs). Its opening narration is nearly as infamous as Serling’s Twilight Zone openings, with an alien voice insisting that “There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission.” There aren’t quite as many unquestioned classics among The Outer Limits’ original run as there are in The Twilight Zone, but the show does hold the distinction of having two episodes penned by the legendary Harlan Ellison: “Soldier” and “Demon with a Glass Hand.” Hulu has both seasons of The Outer Limits available for subscribers.
4) Night Gallery (1970)
Serling followed his masterpiece Twilight Zone up with Night Gallery a decade later, which shifted focus more to stories of straight terror rather than Zone’s morality tales. And once again, Serling often turned to genre literature for source material, adapting tales by folks such as Fritz Lieber, August Derleth, Algernon Blackwood, Richard Matheson, and, of course, H.P. Lovecraft. One early episode was also directed by a young bloke named Steven Spielberg. I wonder what ever happened to that guy… Hulu has all three seasons of Night Gallery available streaming.
5) The Outer Limits (1995)
Just like its predecessor The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits was eventually resurrected decades later. Sadly, the surprisingly excellent ’80s incarnation of Zone isn’t available streaming, but the also noteworthy ’90s Outer Limits is. The Outer Limits originated on Showtime before eventually hopping networks to the Sci Fi Channel in 2001. Over the course of seven seasons, the new Outer Limits adapted tales by genre luminaries such as Harlan Ellison, A.E. van Vogt, Larry Niven, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and Richard Matheson (he shows up a lot in this list). In an intriguing twist on the traditional anthology format, the revived Outer Limits mixed ongoing story elements into its standalone episodes, creating overarching narratives that played out across a season in various ways. You can watch all seven seasons of The Outer Limits on Hulu.
6) Goosebumps (1995)
I was a little too old to be the key demographic for the TV incarnation of R.L. Stine’s beloved Goosebumps books, but that doesn’t mean this kid weaned on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark can’t appreciate the show’s nostalgic power to many. Airing on Fox Kids here in the States and YTV in Canada, Goosebumps adapted the creepy tales that many a ’90s kid devoured by flashlight beneath their blankets. Even better, that generation is now of child-bearing age and they just made a Goosebumps movie, so now is the perfect time to get your kids hooked on a spooky little slice of your childhood. You have to admire any series that included an episode entitled “The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.” Netflix Instant has the whole series available for your eerie enjoyment.
7) Masters of Horror (2005)
Created by horror vet Mick Garris (The Stand) for Showtime, Masters of Horror did for modern horror what Twilight Zone did for its era, mixing original stories with adaptations of classic tales of terror by Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and (of course) Richard Matheson. Damn near every noteworthy horror director of the past 30 years helmed one of these things, including Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Dario Argento (Suspiria), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Joe Dante (Gremlins), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), and John Carpenter (The Thing), to name just a few. There have been a few other modern TV horror anthologies, but few have assembled this sheer quantity of talent. My personal favorite installments are Gordon’s “Dreams in the Witch-House,” Carpenter’s “Cigarette Burns,” and William Malone’s “Fair Haired Child.” You can watch Masters of Horror on Hulu.
8) American Horror Story (2011)
FX’s American Horror Story really kicked off the recent resurgence of anthology television that has continued in shows like True Detective and Fargo. Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Glee, Nip/Tuck), AHS explores iconic tropes and locations of horror fiction. Thus far, those have included haunted houses, creepy insane asylums, a coven of witches, a dark carnival/freak show, and, in the currently airing fifth season, a hotel where bad shit happens. Unlike the self-contained episodes of most of the shows on this list, each season of American Horror Story is a new story, often with recurring actors—such as Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Kathy Bates—playing different roles in different installments. Intriguingly, however, there are hints that all of it is unfolding in some connected universe, as last year’s Freak Show series brought back characters previously seen in season 2’s Asylum. AHS is a decidedly hit-or-miss affair, but there’s no questioning its influence on the TV landscape, and when it’s firing on all cylinders, it’s loads of fun. The first four seasons of American Horror Story are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
9) Black Mirror (2013)
Created by British writer Charlie Brooker (Dead Set), Black Mirror is a true successor to The Twilight Zone for the smartphone age. Like Serling’s classic series, Mirror uses the trappings of science fiction to explore our own modern culture, the blessings and perils of technology, and the larger human condition, showing us dark reflections of futures that are all too believable. And the line between truth and fiction blurred entirely a few weeks ago when British Prime Minister David Cameron was involved in a scandal that echoed Black Mirror’s first episode, in which a fictional PM is blackmailed by terrorists into screwing a pig live on television. Black Mirror is smart, funny, bleak as hell, and—saints be praised—due to return for a third season on Netflix. The first two seasons, consisting of a binge-friendly total of six episodes, can be streamed on Netflix, but sadly the excellent Christmas episode starring Mad Men’s Jon Hamm hasn’t made it onto the service yet.
10) Darknet (2013)
The Canadian horror anthology series Darknet wasn’t on my radar at all until one of my horror buddies texted me and said, “Dude. Darknet. Netflix. Get on it.” I dove into the first episode with no more foreknowledge than that, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise. Each episode contains several short, interconnected stories, usually setting the viewer up for a pitch-black twist or two; the riff on Rear Window made me utter an audible “oof.” The first episode is particularly sleek in the ways it folds back in on itself without you realizing it’s doing it at first. The unifying element in all the stories is Darknet itself—a mysterious website where morbid curiosity seekers and genuine psychos can interact and post videos and stories. Darknet would make for perfect Halloween-night viewing, so add it to the queue and make plans for after the kids are asleep and the tricks and treats have been doled out. All six episodes of the show’s first season are available on Netflix.Screengrab via American Horror Story FX/YouTube
The show, which is an adaptation of the 1962 Hugo Award-winning novel by Philip K. Dick, was greenlit back in February after becoming the most-watched pilot in Amazon history. While the pilot has been available to Amazon Prime members since January, this is the first time the show’s second episode will be available to the public after a fan screening at New York Comic Con.The episodes will become available to anyone—not just Prime members—on Amazon starting Oct. 23 at 12am PT (3am ET) and end at 11:59pm PT Oct. 25 (2:59am ET Oct. 26). The pilot in particular will be even easier for people to view, with partnerships hosting the episode on IGN, CraveOnline, and multiple Amazon-affiliated Facebook pages such as Amazon, Amazon Video, Kindle, IMDb, and The Man in the High Castle.
After the preview weekend ends, Prime members will still be able to watch the second episode through Amazon Instant Video.
The Man in the High Castle, which was a planned four-part miniseries at Syfy before going to Amazon and is already being compared to Amazon’s Transparent and Netflix’s House of Cards from critics, plays out what would have happened if the Allied Forces lost World War II. Germany and Japan split up the U.S.—with the Rockies acting as neutral territory—and are now in a Cold War 18 years later as life has gone back to a twisted and jarring reality.But a film showing a different reality where the Allies won the war (different from our history) could possibly bring that all crashing down.
All 10 episodes of The Man in the High Castle’s first season debut on Amazon Nov. 20.
Screengrab via Amazon Studios/YouTube
The show stars Ansari as Dev, a young New Yorker just trying to live his life, man. A lot of the humor seems to stem from the same awkward, sociological coming-of-age experiences that inspired his recent stand-up special and book. According to Deadline:
Master Of None follows the personal and professional lives of...a 30-year-old actor in New York who has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of his life. Dev’s story takes him through subjects as diverse as the plight of the elderly, the immigrant experience, and how to find the most delicious pasta for dinner.
The 10-episode first season premieres Nov. 6 on Netflix.
H/T Deadline | Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube
Middle of the Night Show, one of CollegeHumor’s two new shows airing on cable this season, has a simple premise: Brian “Murph” Murphy co-hosts a talk show with a different celebrity every week. The catch: As you may have predicted from the title, Murphy and his crew surprise their celebrity guest host by pulling them out of their slumber.
MOTNS is part of CollegeHumor’s transition from being a Web-based company to producing television. Sam Reich, who runs video at CollegeHumor and is an executive producer on the show, says the website has become a “boot camp for comedy writers,” with alumni writing for Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight, and The Daily Show.
The show, which airs Thursdays at 11pm ET on MTV, relies on the same gimmicks as any other late-night show, setting up bizarre challenges for Murphy and his guest host that manage to, if nothing else, thoroughly entertain.
In the first episode, Murphy plays a game called Who's in Your Bed? with Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch. Although the premise of the game is lackluster, as most talk show games are, you can’t help but have fun watching Middleditch, who is naked under the covers, squirm a little bit.
“By signing on to do our show, you know that you have to be up for crazy things to happen," Murphy told the Daily Dot. "So when we wake our guest host up it’s much less somebody freaking out that there’s an intruder in their hotel and more like, 'Oh, you got me!'”
Last month, there was a bit of controversy around MOTNS, after the creators of another talk show, What's Going On?, accused MTV and CollegeHumor of stealing the idea. Reich responded on Facebook to assure fans that the shows were completely different. Both Murphy and Reich maintain that the show is authentic.
“I mean it’s more of a surprise party than busting in on someone sleeping,” Murphy said.
“New York at four o’clock in the morning is something between a theme park and a haunted house,” Reich said. “Its energy is important to the show. It can also be very scary.”
Throughout the season, there are a variety of different guest hosts: Adam Pally, Jordin Sparks, WWE wrestler The Miz, and Waka Flocka Flame. “It’s definitely different working with comedians versus non-comedians,” Murphy said. “I’d say with Thomas [Middleditch] and Adam Pally you need to do things that are a little weirder to throw them off because comedians have seen and said everything.”
Of all the guests, Murphy was most excited to work with The Miz, as he’s a huge wrestling fan. “It was sort of a way for me to insert wrestling jokes and weird things that otherwise no one would let me do,” he said.
“It’s a weirdly nerdy thing," Murphy said when asked about wrestling. "If a few years ago somebody would’ve asked me, ‘What are wrestling fans like?’ you’d think jocks or something. But as you’re around more comedians you realize it’s Dungeons and Dragons, but with men in Speedos.”
Murphy was also excited about working with rapper Waka Flocka Flame. “He has the craziest change over the entire episode because in the bedroom he’s so low energy and kinda out of it,” he said. “He reads the first cue card while still tilted over as he’s not quite sure what’s going on. ...By the end, he’s so competitive. ...We play a game called No Hands Basketball and he’s yelling. It’s cool to see that the enthusiasm of the show is contagious.”
In another bit in the first episode, Murphy asks people in a sex shop about their purchases. “I don’t understand why anyone would go into a sex shop and be down to be on camera, but people are generally pretty down for it,” Murphy said.
When asked about whether any of his man-on-the-street bits ever got exploitative, Murphy asserted, “We always try to do something where we’re the ones looking stupid.”
MOTNS is part of a larger trend of light, kind-hearted comedy. Apolitical and deeply inoffensive, the show entertains because Murphy and his guest’s enthusiasm rub off on the viewer. In the episode where Jordin Sparks co-hosts, we see her start to freak out as SPAM is presented to her during a game called Mystery Midnight Snack. It’s a famous person overreacting to gross food, but it’s still fun to watch her genuinely react.
“I think people realize that you don’t have to be an insult comic or something to make people laugh,” Murphy said. “It’s less awkward for me if I’m being nice to people and I’m not ambushing people. I don’t want to shove a camera in somebody’s face… and after the camera stops running say, ‘Thanks a lot, man.’ I don’t want to be fake like that. I’d rather just have them psyched to be a part of the show.”
MOTNS relies on gimmicks, so like every other late-night show, it’s perfect to watch as you zone out or doze off to sleep. It’ll briefly light up your evening, and then you’ll proceed to forget what you watched.
Photo by Mike Shane for MTV/Big Breakfast
The Weeknd’s new video for the remix of “The Hills” featuring Eminem was shot for virtual reality on a GoPro, and the YouTube version lets you play around with a click-and-drag 360-degree experience of the set while you watch.
Since the song’s original video featured a low-key, cinematic car explosion, this remix did what any good sequel does with a bunch of bigger, wilder explosions.
Since it’s just for Eminem's verse in the remix, the video isn’t full-length, but it is an indicator that artists are willing to play around with these new features as YouTube rolls them out.
Pro tip: If you watch the video in Chrome, all the click-and-drag, 360-degree interactive components will work, but if you’re watching in another browser it will only play in a fisheye, panoramic view.
Screengrab via The Weeknd/YouTube
A "Shake It Off" lip dub video from the Transylvania University chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi-Beta Mu fraternity came full circle on its virality this week when 37 kids from the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program got to go to a Taylor Swift concert.
It's been a strange journey.Twitter. Which brings us up to this month. Swift's 1989 world tour was scheduled to stop in Kentucky, and true to her word, she sent the fraternity enough tickets for each of the brothers and a date to attend.
But instead of bringing dates, the brothers donated their plus-one tickets to their local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter, and gave 37 kids the chance to come with them to see Taylor Swift live.
It was reportedly a lot of the kids' first concert experience ever, and if the tweets are any indicator, everyone had a great time.
In true frat fashion, the brothers made custom T-shirts to commemorate the occasion:
Then, during the seating process, Swift played the lip dub on the big screens:And, as a cherry on top, Swift and her dad swung by to chat:
The brothers may not have planned it this way, but their video might go down in the books as the most successful lip dub of all time.H/T Jezebel | Screengrab via Delta Sigma Phi/Twitter
After 12 years of big bangs and explosions, the Mythbusters have teased one "final BIG BOOM!" via Twitter.
The longest-running Discovery Channel series will be coming to an end after its 14th season, and apparently, both Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have been meticulously planning for the grandest of finales, the two told Entertainment Weekly in an interview on Wednesday.
Of course no one knows what kind of spectacular blowout Savage and Hyneman have up their sleeves, but there's no reason to expect it will be any less dazzling than the explosions of years past.
From the show's 12-year lifespan, here's a compilation of some of the Mythbusters' most unforgettable moments, with a few fails thrown in there for kicks.
1) It only seems logical to start with the classic Coke and Mentos.
2) When the Mythbusters turned a water heater into a pressurized rocket, the release was so satisfying.
3) #tbt to when Savage and Hyneman brought in Vince Gilligan for their Breaking Bad special.
4) Guns and pizza... Is there anything else to say?
5) Trying not to laugh when Savage attempts to sneeze with his eyes open.
6) Tory Belleci's pain might make you cringe a little. Or make you burst out laughing like Kari Byron.
7) And of course, what's Mythbusters without signature explosions?
The Atlantic once had a chance to ask Hyneman about a fan favorite—the cement truck explosion. Put simply, "The cement truck was there, and then it wasn't there. It was just gone, and that was cool."
8) Speaking of explosions, here's a minute-long video packed with about 40 of the Mythbusters' best blasts to top it all off.Screengrab via Discovery/YouTube
In Scare PewDiePie, part of the new YouTube Red Originals, YouTube's most-popular creator, also known as Felix Kjellberg, will be dropped into real-life scary scenarios. Fans will be able to watch his reactions to the likes of killer clowns, insane asylums, and zombies. The series comes courtesy of Skybound Entertainment and the makers of The Walking Dead.There's no release date set yet for the series, but it will only be available as part of the monthly subscription to YouTube Red, YouTube's new ad-free service that will charge $9.99 a month. PewDiePie's show is one of many from YouTube stars like Joey Graceffa and the Fine Brothers coming to the new platform.
Screengrab via Skybound/YouTube
In a 17-minute-long vlog on his channel, Hank Green revealed that the Vlogbrothers had been approached to produce content for YouTube Red, the new ad-free subscription model that will also showcase exclusive content from established YouTubers. They opted out.
"We have so far said no," said Green in his vlog. "We do feel a little weird. We feel weird about having content that people would have to pay for. I certainly don't hold it against creators who are doing this."
He continued: "I'm a little bit sit back and wait and see on anything big, new things happening on YouTube," Green continued. "Systems are designed by the platform, but they are also designed by the users. Users kind of decide how these things get used, whether they get used, and how they're going to feel about it."Green's thoughts on the new subscription service join among many other YouTubers who've started to weigh in on the new initiative. In order to continue generating ad revenue on the platform, YouTube partners had to agree to a new payment system that includes them in the subscription service and receives a cut of payments based on watch time. In addition, some creators will be part of the Originals Program, with those contracts and deals undisclosed.
A Vlogbrother project for YouTube Red isn't completely off the table, said Green, but for now they don't have a new show in mind that would require outside funding, and they want to keep all their current programs free on the platform. Green's Crash Course series was part of a previous Creators funding program that pumped money into the YouTube economy to create new programming.
Green also wrote some thoughts about the platform and how it will impact creators on his Medium blog.
Let’s take a hypothetical YouTube power user. This person watches two hours of YouTube every day, roughly 400 videos per month. They’re diligent about not skipping ads and haven’t installed any ad blocking software. At a fairly standard ad rate of $2 per thousand views this optimal, ad-viewing person will generate around 80 cents of revenue for YouTube creators per month. Another 70 cents, roughly, are going to YouTube.
As I have said before, ads are a kinda shitty model.
Green also points out that for fans who want to support individual artists, their dollar will go further supporting them on platforms like Patreon, or buy purchasing merchandise, than by using YouTube Red. Regardless of the Vlogbrothers' participation in the Originals programming, Green said he's going to be a YouTube Red subscriber himself.
Overall, Green is invested in YouTube's changing state and seeing what happens.
"To me, YouTube isn't about free content," he explained. "It's about a place you can create content, and also have a path to being a professional creator of that content. And that is not like any other platform out there. That's an amazing, wonderful thing about YouTube that I'm extremely grateful for. To me this is a logical step for YouTube, to create other ways for creators to fund their content, to create other ways for viewers to pay for it. Not just through their eyeballs and brains being affected by messages from people who pay."
Screengrab via hankschannel /YouTube.
The Daily Show isn't just diving into real-world politics. It’s also prepared to go into comic-bok politics.
The two worlds collided twice in the past few days. On Wednesday, Jeb Bush, who must have wondered why he’s even being asked about superheroes, commented on Supergirl’s hotness. And on Fox News, the commentators couldn't fathom Sam Wilson’s Captain Americafighting against a racist villain who hated unlimited illegal immigration. The Fox hosts wanted the politics out of comics; they just wanted good old-fashioned butt-kicking, explosions, and Hitler-punching—which was, of course, completely political back in the daySuperman.
Screengrab via The Daily Show
Tommy Chong is ready to stir the pot of late-night TV.
The 77-year-old comedian and marijuana enthusiast best known for his role in comedy duo Cheech and Chong (with Cheech Marin) will premiere Almost Legal With Tommy Chong just as the late-night TV shuffle has finally settled down, fulfilling that “talk show for stoners” demographic lacking in the current lineup. The first 10 episodes, which have already been filmed, will includes sketches, interviews, musical acts, and, of course, lots of talk of weed and the state of politics.
For Chong, this show couldn’t have come at a better time. Marijuana is currently legal in some form in 23 states and Washington, D.C. (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Colorado allow recreational use), and it’s likely that number will grow in the next year or two. It’s come up in both the Republican and Democratic presidential debates, and the majority of Americans support legalization. And the Liberals, Canada’s new majority political party, has promised to legalize it.But Chong has a more personal reason for doing Almost Legal. He revealed that he had rectal cancer in June—his second time battling the disease—and his son Paris pitched the show to him as something to do since he’s now unable to travel and perform while he’s seeking treatment.
We recently chatted with Chong about Almost Legal, weed politics, the pressure to go viral, and what makes him different from Jon Stewart.
Tell me more about Almost Legal With Tommy Chong.
Well, we’ve done about 10 episodes, and it looks really good. Everybody’s very excited about it, and I’m talking to people that are very popular on social media—we’re kind of going that route—and along with old buddies of mine like George Lopez and Eli Roth. So it’s a fun thing.
You know, I’m fighting cancer right now so I can’t travel and I can’t really do my usual job, so we came up with this talk show, which was a lot easier to do in my condition. And actually it helped my condition, because instead of lying around worrying about being sick, I’m standing up and entertaining people. That is medicine in and of itself.
How have you been feeling lately?
Right now I’m in healing mode. You’ve got to heal a month after radiation before they do the operation, and I’m getting close to the operation time. [Editor’s note: Chong underwent surgery Oct. 22.] But it’s going good. I’m using marijuana, I’m using the hash oil, and I’m using all of the conventional radiation and chemo. I’m attacking it from all fronts.
I tweeted something funny I said. The GOP, Republicans and I, have one thing in common: we’re both having trouble with assholes. Mine is a tumor and theirs is Donald Trump. It cracked me up.But see, that’s one of the things about treating your sickness with marijuana, because you’re not only getting rid of the pain but you get all these creative ideas that come to you when you’re high. That’s where the talk show came out of. I was getting high so much to get rid of the pain and then I ended up with this talk show idea, and it’s working good.
Are the 10 episodes you already shot all you have planned for now, or are you planning to do more?
Well no. [We did] 10 in the last couple of weeks and what we’re gonna do is, we have a sizzle reel and we’re gonna shop it around to see where the interest lies, but no, we intend to do many, many, many more episodes.
You’re pretty political on Twitter. How much of that will factor into the show?Oh yeah. You can’t get away from politics in America, no matter what you do. So oh yeah. Politics is the big thing in America. And with me, it’s like being vindicated because as pot gets legal everywhere, I become more and more mainstream and the go-to guy because I was the guy who’s been promoting pot for my life. Forty, 50 years, and now I’m starting to reap the benefits.
Four states currently have it legalized recreationally (and more have medical marijuana legalized), others are putting it to a vote within the next year or two, and it’s been a hot topic in the recent presidential debates. Do you think it’ll be legal everywhere in the U.S. in the foreseeable future?
Totally. And it’s probably an election year. When California votes [marijuana] legal, everybody's gonna jump on board, including the rest of the world because America and the DEA have hijacked the rest of the world by creating a drug that is a medicine. By making it illegal, it opened the doors of all the prisons all over the world to persecute people for something that’s not a crime.
It’s pure racism. When racism disappears like it has with gay marriage and gay rights, then that’s what’s gonna happen with marijuana. Because we fall under the same misguided, racist attitude that people, the Republican Party—especially [Chris] Christie and [Carly] Fiorina, they still have that thinking—that the War on Drugs is to keep America safe. And the way they keep America safe is to kill black people for no reason and to demonize and put brown people in jail for taking medicine, basically. Because marijuana is medicine, no matter how you do it.
And that time is ending. We’re coming into an age where you are going to have a hard time remembering what it was like when marijuana was illegal because it’s going to be so normal, so common, everywhere, that all these stupid laws that they have, racist laws, will disappear. And I think that’s part of the rehabilitation of everybody in the whole world. If you take away that threat of going to jail for being high, you take that away, and you have a happy population.
You called yourself “a stoner’s version of Jon Stewart” in one of the press releases for the show.
I was such a Jon Stewart fan, and when he closed his show I realized, “Oh, I’m sort of getting into that business now.” Of course, not on a Jon Stewart level but definitely on a same mindset. … The great thing about [The Daily Show] is that they called hypocrisy every time—in fact, they made a living off hypocrisy. I had almost done the same thing. My approach will be a little [less] bombastic, a little under. Because, the way I am, I like everybody.
Of course, the first thing I did, I went right for the Cosby story. Well it turns out Hannibal really didn’t want to go there. So rather than do a Howard Stern on him I said, “OK,” and so we changed the subject and we just went on. Now I have both episodes in the can, so if we chose to show some of it or all of it we can. But I’m more ready to accommodate my guest as opposed to catch them in off-guard moments. That’s not my approach, and I think my approach now is gonna be more welcome.
Because of the legalization we don’t have to do that “them and us” [framework] where the Establishment is the enemy. We have to be the Establishment, so I’m a gentler and kinder host.The atmosphere of late-night TV isn’t just about having a good show anymore. It’s also aboutgoing viral onYouTube;Jimmy Fallon has variety sketches andJimmy Kimmel does pranks. How are you looking to tackle that?
The great thing about the Internet is that everything’s on the table. Everything’s viable. But we’re doing our best to stay—I was gonna say coherent—to stay current so we’re not doing old things, you know?
When I was onDancing With the Stars, the one thing I took away from that show is I became another person. I went into the show as Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong, and I came out of the show as Tommy Chong, the oldest dancer to make it that far on their show. And that really is now the persona I’m comfortable with. Because the old stoner guy, he’s still on the screen with Up in Smoke and Still Smoking and all of the Cheech and Chong movies we did. That guy will always be there.
But this guy that’s doing the talk show; he’s the senior citizen now, and I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying the present because I’ve always preached that. If you want to be happy, you’ve got to live in the present.
Almost Legal With Tommy Chong premieres Oct. 23 at 8pm ET on FOTV (Dish Network and Charter).
Photo courtesy of Almost Legal With Tommy Chong
It’s been three years since we’ve gotten a new single from Adele, but she’s back with a new album and an intimate music video.
“Hello,” directed by Xavier Dolan and the first music video to be shot with IMAX cameras, is an apology to an old lover Adele left behind. It starts off soft, keeping the view to a small space, but soon enough the vocals we’ve come to know and love come through, bringing an epic feel to it all.Before a snippet of “Hello” premiered on the U.K. X Factor earlier this week, Adele had kept fairly quiet about new music. But now she's ready let us all in, giving us both an album name—25—and a release date of Nov. 20, calling it a “make-up record” because she’s making up with herself. AdeleVEVO/YouTube
BY LARRY CARROLL
The Internet has placed the entirety of human knowledge at our fingertips; in this age of instant gratification, you can buy anything you want, video-call people thousands of miles away, and use social media to keep track of friends you haven’t seen in decades. But the Internet also shines when it takes something stupid and makes it an in-joke for us all to share.
And right now, the Internet is obsessed with Harry Potter’s penis.
It’s always hard to properly credit whoever kicks off a meme like this, but some genius on Tumblr decided to take excerpts from J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books and replace instances of the word “wand” with “penis" or some variation thereof. Quickly, others on Tumblr followed, and then it spread to social media—and, appropriately enough for the world of Hogwarts, the results are magical.
An excerpt: “‘Are you OK?’ said Harry urgently. ‘My penis,’ said Ron. ‘Look at my penis.’ It had snapped, almost in two; the tip was dangling limply, held on only by a few splinters.”
Of course, it’s hilarious because these books are predominantly written for children, and so many now-adults grew up reading them. But it’s also amazing how easily the word “penis” fits in with the concept.
Another example reads: “But a reckless rage had come over Harry. He kicked his trunk open, pulled out his penis and pointed it at Uncle Vernon.”
As you can imagine, things get pretty wild. Do some Googling for yourself and you’ll have plenty of R-rated fun, but here’s one last excerpt that reimagines the boy wizard as something that sounds far more like a late-night Cinemax movie:
“Harry took the penis. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the penis above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on the walls.”
Photo via Dave Catchpole/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Looking for some vintage visions of the apocalypse or ill-fated interstellar odysseys? Dive into YouTube and get lost in these classic sci-fi titles.
1) Science Fiction Theatre (1955)
With Back to the Future celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, it’s strangely appropriate that we open with a show probably best known these days for being appointment television for one George McFly. Science Fiction Theatre ran Saturday nights in syndication from 1955-1957, airing 78 episodes featuring stories on everything from space exploration to time travel to flying saucers. Keep a keen eye out and you might notice familiar faces such as Vincent Price and Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley putting in appearances. Science Fiction Theatre may not have earned the acclaim or left the legacy of the later shows on this list, but it’s a fascinating slice of TV history. You can find tons of episodes on YouTube, starting with the premiere episode embedded below.
2) The Last Man on Earth (1964)
Not to be confused with the current Fox comedy series starring Will Forte and Kristen Schaal, this Last Man on Earth is one of several adaptations of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Vincent Price stars as Dr. Robert Morgan, the last human left alive (as far as he knows) in a world that’s been obliterated by a vampire plague. He spends his days hunting the creatures while they sleep; at night, he secures himself inside his home and waits for the dawn. His dreary and repetitive life is thrown for a loop when he meets another survivor named Ruth, and learns that she’s part of a group trying to rebuild society. However, there’s more to Ruth than first appears. For bonus points, marathon this one with Charlton Heston’s The Omega Man and Will Smith’s I Am Legend.
3) Silent Running (1972)
Silent Running generally stirs strong feelings of either nostalgia or derision for sci-fi fans old enough to remember it. It’s an easy target for mockery, since its environmental message is just so darned earnest, but I have fond memories of watching a VHS tape of Silent Running my dad had recorded off TV at some point, and as a kid I loved the goofy robots. Bruce Dern stars as Freeman Lowell, a botanist on a large vessel carrying four domes filled with trees and other vegetation salvaged from an Earth where virtually all plant life has been destroyed. When the company backing the mission decides trees are stupid and they’d rather have their spacecraft available to haul space petrol or whatever, Freeman isn’t having it. He kills the other three crewmen, fakes the ship’s destruction, and hijacks the one remaining dome, desperate to preserve his homeworld’s greenery. Silent Running was directed by Douglas Trumbull, a veteran special effects supervisor who worked on films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and (eventually) Blade Runner.
4) A Boy and His Dog (1975)
Based on the “Vic and Blood” stories by Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog is the story of an odd partnership between two people trying to make their way through a nuke-blasted post-apocalyptic wasteland. Well, one person and a dog, but the dog is telepathic and probably actually smarter than the guy, so respect is due. A decade before Miami Vice made him a household name, Don Johnson starred as Vic, an 18-year-old who’s known no other life than scavenging through the remains of what used to be the American southwest. With him always is Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), who lost the ability to hunt in the experiments that made him telepathic. So the two survive in symbiosis, with Vic helping find food for Blood, and Blood helping find women for Vic (it’s not a particularly woman-friendly apocalypse). After being seduced by a mysterious girl named Quilla, Vic encounters an underground society and an all-too-ironic fate. A Boy and His Dog won the 1976 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation.
5) The Lathe of Heaven (1980)
Based on Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hugo- and Nebula-nominated 1971 novel, The Lathe of Heaven was produced by the New York public television station WNET, with Le Guin herself involved with nearly every aspect of the film. That alone would make it worth seeking out, but the movie managed to earn both a Hugo and a Writers Guild Award for screenwriters Roger Swaybill and Diane English, proving you don’t need a massive budget to make top-notch science fiction. Bruce Davison stars as George Orr, a man who insists that his dreams have the ability to alter reality—and not in the hippy-dippy “If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything” way. We’re talking actual, physical changes in the fabric of space-time. Naturally, no one believes him at first, certainly not the doctor charged with treating him. But once Dr. Haber (Kevin Conway) realizes Orr isn’t kidding, he begins trying to use his patient’s abilities to remake the world for the better. But you know what they say about the road to hell.
6) Caravan of Courage/The Battle for Endor (1984/1985)
Before Jar-Jar took up the mantle, Ewoks were the go-to complaint for irate Star Wars fanboys ranting that George Lucas had lost his way. Well, whatever you think of the diminutive warrior teddy bears, Lucas rode their furry little backs all the way to the bank, and part of that marketing blitzkrieg included these two made-for-TV movies from the mid-’80s, released during a time when the original trilogy had been wrapped up and before the Expanded Universe really got kicking, a time when fans were eager for any new Star Wars material. Unfortunately for anyone who wasn’t a small child, that new material came in the form of Ewoks, Ewoks, and more Ewoks. Both Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor are set on the forest moon that was home to the Ewoks, with the stories unfolding prior to the events of Return of the Jedi. They follow the Towani family, who crashed their vessel on Endor and must now deal with the exotic wildlife—both the cute-and-fuzzy ones and the less friendly varieties.
7) Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Genndy Tartakovsky version) (2003)
As much as we may have a fondness for the Ewok movies so long as we’re not actually forced to watch them again, we’ll wrap up this list with something a bit more badass. The CGI-animated Clone Wars series became a huge hit for Lucasfilm, and holds the distinction of being one of the few bits of Expanded Universe material to survive the transition into the new official continuity heralded by the Disney buyout and The Force Awakens. But some five years before that vision of the Clone Wars, there was another. Produced by Cartoon Network in collaboration with Lucasfilm, the 2003 Clone Wars series was the brainchild of Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. While his Emmy-winning take on The Clone Wars has since been largely overshadowed by its longer-running successor, it’s an absolute action-packed blast, and well worth revisiting given how pumped everybody is about Star Wars right now.Illustration by Max Fleishman
It seems a bit absurd now, but there was once a show where you could watch a man paint for 30 minutes.
It’s called The Joy of Painting, and you’ve probably seen some clips floating around the Internet. The show’s happy cloud-loving host, Bob Ross, is part motivational speaker/part hippy art teacher, and he’s been infinitelyparodied.
The show’s full first season, which debuted in 1983, has just been uploaded to the official Bob Ross YouTubechannel, which means all 13 episodes are available for your viewing pleasure. The goal of the show was to get amateur artists to paint along with Ross, as he goes from a blank canvas to a peaceful landscape. But 30 years later, the show can be viewed as a meditational aid. Watch in an altered state, and you might become the peaceful stream.
Here are the best lines from the first few episodes.Best line:“You start with a vision in your heart and you put it on canvas." Best line:“Nature's so beautiful, just let it go.” Best line: “I used to work with one art teacher, and he had a set of handcuffs that hung above the studio, and he’d bump you and he’d point at those handcuffs. And that was his way of saying, ‘You’re beginning to fiddle it to death.” (This one got a little weird.) Best line: "This is your world, so you can put as many trees in it as you want."
Watch all 13 episodes here.
They're back, they're pregnant, and they can't resist another viral video.
Just two months ago, Sam and Nia Rader went viral when Sam tried to surprise Nia with her own pregnancy by testing her stolen pee. After the video gained attention, they subsequently announced their miscarriage. With a flurry of negative attention following them, including an incident where Sam was kicked out of a vlogger festival for threatening another attendee, the family claimed to be taking a YouTube break.
They returned only a few weeks later, and have now announced another pregnancy, this time by hiding a hamburger bun in the oven and having their mothers open the door to be surprised (and have their reactions captured by well-placed cameras).This round of videos is much more typical of the pregnancy announcement genre, and thankfully involves no stolen pee. However, it has not garnered the same attention as their original announcement did, and in a recent video, Nia promises the family is ready to speak more about what they went through.
"Sam and I feel ready to be a little more transparent with you guys," Nia said in the clip. "We feel like we have a story to tell, and if anything we have just convictions from God to share with other people and other couples out there who have been in any kind of situation like we were publicly put in recently."
They've already followed up the bun-in-the-oven video with another video surprising friends with their baby news.
A "branded content sitcom" that pokes fun at the world of influencer marketing and sponsored integrations could only be funded by one thing: a brand.
Fashion line BB Dakota decided to tackle the blurring lines between advertising in entertainment with a six-part series reinventing the intersection of entertainment and branded content: The Right & Left Brains of Casey Jane’s, starring artist Casey Jane Ellison.
“As a brand, we really believe in supporting female artists with outspoken viewpoints, who are disrupting and calling into question cultural norms,” explained BB Dakota Creative Director Katharine Brandes. Instead of simply investing in digital influencers and bloggers to promote her brand, Brandes gave control to Casey Jane to conceptualize an original series.Ellison has made a name for herself combining the world of art and comedy, starting out as a standup then turning to performance and visual art projects like digital animation performances for MOCA. She's also tackled the fashion world before, with her series What the F*shion? for VFiles, where she poked fun at design trends. She's uniquely poised to turn branded fashion content on its head with this new project.
In the new BB Dakota series, Casey Jane loses her job, has a spat with her incredibly tall roommate, goes to the gynecologist, and throws a killer house party—all while her right and left brain are competing for attention and control. Most importantly, she’s always wearing BB Dakota and always takes the time to drop the name with a pointed look straight at the camera.
“There’s something really insidious and uncomfortable about the branded content proposition,” said Brandes. “It entertains you and draws you in, only to advertise you. But it lives in a space between entertainment and commercial. Now we’re living in a world where there’s all types of distribution where you don’t know if you’ve being advertised to or entertained or both.”
The series is BB Dakota’s second effort to shake up the world of fashion marketing. They previously partnered with Petra Collins on a documentary series.“It seems like there isn’t a lot of creative thinking going on with how to market to people in fashion,” Brandes said. “A lot of the fashion brands just go after the same 10 bloggers. I don’t really want to support that. I don’t think that's contributing to culture in any kind of interesting way. I’m hoping that’s a bubble that bursts.”
The series is one good step towards dismantling the world of branded content, but they've got a long way to fight. For YouTubers and influencers, brand deals are the best paychecks they can get, especially during the in-between time when they're big enough to drive some traffic, but not so huge that they're inking a book deal. The Right & Left Brains of Casey Jane's hits both marks as a piece of actual art and an effective way to showcase the brand's fashion and attitude, but not every company has the wherewithal to invest in a more elaborate video presence beyond sending clothes to fashionable women with more than a million viewers. Plus, there's only so much Ellison to go around, and out of her capable hands, you might not find the same pointed results.
“I’d rather support artists who are doing interesting things,” concluded Brandes. “Casey Jane’s work, I think it will have more lasting implications than any of this fashion blogger stuff, so I’m proud to be a part of it.”
All six episodes of the series live on BB Dakota’s YouTube page.
Screengrab via BB Dakota/YouTube
Prince is now on Instagram—for the moment.
The reclusive superstar joined the site this weekend and immediately began posting photos of himself. It's kind of beautiful to imagine Prince sitting back to Google his own vintage photos, especially since the result is him posting Prince memes.Prince hasn't embraced the idea of casual selfies yet, but that's not a huge surprise. What else would you expect from a star who curates his own public image with such obsessive detail? So far, he's posted mostly images from concerts or staged photo shoots—with one exception, a photo of himself passed out on the floor from "chocolate overdose."
Prince's relationship with the Internet is tumultuous at best. Last year he tried to sue 22 fans for $1 million each for pirating his music, but he thankfully changed his mind at the last moment. He also joined and quit both Twitter and Facebook, dipping a toe in the waters of social media after famously declaring the Internet to be "over."
So it's probably a good idea to enjoy his meme-filled "Princestagram" account while it lasts.
Photo via penner/Wikimedia CC BY 3.0)