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Articles on this Page
- 05/26/16--12:59: _Reggie Watts to per...
- 05/26/16--13:55: _Pandora predicts 20...
- 05/26/16--14:54: _Gucci Mane released...
- 05/27/16--05:00: _Review: ‘Presenting...
- 05/27/16--05:07: _Bernie Sanders on t...
- 05/27/16--06:00: _Why we're still foo...
- 05/27/16--17:19: _Justin Bieber, Skri...
- 05/27/16--20:04: _Lil Wayne, Birdman ...
- 05/28/16--05:00: _The 'Bob's Burgers'...
- 05/28/16--13:12: _This Buffalo teen h...
- 05/29/16--06:00: _Let comedian Katina...
- 05/29/16--08:21: _Melissa McCarthy re...
- 05/30/16--12:00: _Dan Aykroyd says ne...
- 05/30/16--14:12: _Snoop Dogg blasts '...
- 05/31/16--08:42: _Katy Perry's Twitte...
- 05/31/16--08:45: _Pope Francis holds ...
- 05/31/16--09:08: _Amazon's 'Transpare...
- 05/31/16--09:44: _Adele scolds fan fo...
- 05/31/16--10:47: _Lil B's curse on Ke...
- 05/31/16--10:54: _Gil Ozeri is trying...
- 05/26/16--12:59: Reggie Watts to perform standup set in virtual reality
- 05/26/16--13:55: Pandora predicts 2016's songs of summer
- “One Dance”—Drake (featuring Wizkid & Kyla)
- “Needed Me”—Rihanna
- “Don’t Let Me Down”—The Chainsmokers (featuring Daya)
- “No”—Meghan Trainor
- “You Don’t Own Me”—Grace (featuring G-Eazy)
- “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”—Justin Timberlake
- “Ride”—Twenty One Pilots
- “This Is What You Came For”—Calvin Harris (featuring Rihanna)
- “Company”—Justin Bieber
- “Working For It”—Zhu
- “Close”—Nick Jonas (featuring Tove Lo)
- “Like I Would”—ZAYN
- “Once In A While”—Timeflies
- “Say It”—Flume (feat. Tove Lo)
- 05/26/16--14:54: Gucci Mane released from prison, and much of Twitter celebrated
- 05/27/16--05:00: Review: ‘Presenting Princess Shaw’
- 05/28/16--05:00: The 'Bob's Burgers' cookbook, reviewed
- 05/29/16--06:00: Let comedian Katina Corrao plan your hot date night
- 05/29/16--08:21: Melissa McCarthy responds to the 'Ghostbusters' backlash
- 05/30/16--14:12: Snoop Dogg blasts 'Roots' remake, slave movies in general
- 05/31/16--08:45: Pope Francis holds court with YouTube stars to promote diversity
- 05/31/16--09:08: Amazon's 'Transparent' renewed for season 4
- 05/31/16--09:44: Adele scolds fan for filming during her concert
- 05/31/16--10:54: Gil Ozeri is trying to fit in (to really small spaces) on Snapchat
Comedian Reggie Watts is performing a virtual reality standup show Thursday night, and the company hosting it is hoping it'll be the most attended event in VR history.
Watts has always enjoyed experimenting with his comedy—whether it's incorporating music, looped sound, or improvisation into a bit—so performing in a 3D comedy club seems like a natural fit.
Watts will perform as his avatar in a virtual comedy club, and fans will be able to walk into the venue and grab front-row seats. Whether or not a live comedy experience translates to the headset format is still yet to be determined.
Earlier this week, AltspaceVR dropped a trailer for the event, debuting Watts' avatar:
Tonight's performance begins at 11:00pm ET.
Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and you know what that means: The battle for song of summer 2016 is about to begin.
If you don't have a horse in the race just yet, don't worry, Pandora has compiled a list of its top 15 predictions. The songs were selected using "a combination of Pandora and Next Big Sound data," plus the "trajectory of station adds, spins and thumbs, and insights from [experts]."
In no particular order, they are:
While only one song will get to be the champion, you can rest assured Top 40 radio will burn all of them into your brain regardless.
Social media was abuzz Thursday afternoon with the surprise news that incredibly influential Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane was released from prison. According to TMZ, who caught up with the rapper’s lawyer, Gucci was released from an Indiana prison Thursday morning.
Gucci, whose government name is Radric Davis, had been behind bars since September 2013 for a probation violation related to gun and drug charges. It was reported he was originally to serve six months in jail for the violation, which later turned into 39 months, and he was due to be out this September.
But his lawyer, Drew Findling, told the New York Daily News that Gucci's attorneys had previously filed motions in court to have the date of his release "shortened and corrected" for time he'd already served.
By the time photos and videos of a free Gucci Mane (with abs) appeared on his girlfriend Keyshia Ka’oir’s Snapchat, the internet was already in a frenzy, wondering which fellow rapper he’d diss first.
Regardless of his legal troubles, which include a dropped murder charge from 2006 and an assault charge in 2011 that stemmed from allegedly throwing a woman out of a moving car, Gucci Mane is one of the most beloved and important rappers currently going.
His iciness—which extends to his diamond Bart Simpson necklace, the ice cream cone tattooed on his face, and his consistent trap house imagery, which is directly responsible for most references to “trap” in contemporary music—have made him arguably the most influential person in rap music.
As many fans have noted, Gucci had a huge hand in putting on some of the most popular rappers in the world, including Future and Nicki Minaj, as well as producers like Mike Will Made It and Zaytoven. Gucci also was working with Drake as far back as 2009. Gucci Mane’s style and flows can be seen and heard throughout rap music, and luckily, Twitter is here to document everyone’s interpretation of it.
Some people celebrated Gucci’s freedom by comparing him to important historical figures:Others used the opportunity to show off their Photoshop skills: One person posted a classic video of Gucci giving words of wisdom: Another person hoped there would be a video to document his first day released from prison like there was the last time: Meanwhile there was a growing contingent hoping that Snapchat would ready a filter for the occasion: And at the same time, someone else took the Snapchat filter into her own hands: Not to be outdone, some people decided to call out seemingly brand new fans: Or seemingly secular fans:
Plus there was a reading of his release as a political reaction:Gucci Mane’s lyrics even made it on the ESPN show Highly Questionable as rapped by the inimitable Papi: It all coalesced with Gucci owning nine of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter for a period of time: Turns out, it was a pretty important day.
In a 2013 clip, we see Samantha Montgomery, aka Princess Shaw, framed vertically in low light. She’s there “just to talk,” but then she casually introduces what she’s about to perform: “This song is called… I don’t know, maybe it will be called ‘Give It Up.’”
That song went on to form the foundation of a 2014 remix by Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, a musician and producer who lives in Israel. The track, part of his Thru You Too project, features 23 different YouTube clips of people playing instruments or singing, and Kutiel has made several videos of amateur musicians stitched together to create new songs. It now has more than 2 million views, and brought together Kutiel and Montgomery, who were strangers at the time.
Presenting Princess Shaw, a new documentary by Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar out Friday, pulls back the curtain on a time before the virality. We see Montgomery visiting friends in her New Orleans neighborhood, and shadow her as she works at an elder care facility, often singing for the residents. At night she does open mics to scant crowds at local dives. “My name is Princess Shaw,” she says before one performance to an nearly empty house, “and I’ve been fucking reborn.”
There’s a duality at play: Scenes of Montgomery struggling to pay bills, reuniting with an ex-girlfriend, auditioning for The Voice, and talking about horrific childhood sexual abuse are intercut with scenes of the slight and bearded Kutiel silently working on his craft in a small room of his home in Israel. We’re the voyeur, watching him watch Montgomery’s vlogs. YouTube for her is a platform for vulnerability and catharsis—a refuge. For Kutiel, it’s a place where unknown quantities can provide new material. Just before he publishes the “Give It Up” clip, the mouse lingers on the button, as if to emphasize that just one click will change her life.
In a way, it does.
And that’s where some of the discomfort creeps in. Haar has known Kutiel for “many years,” he tells the Daily Dot, and had wanted to do a doc on what Kutiel was doing for a while. When he was shown Montgomery’s videos before he started his project, he “really fell in love with her songs and with her honesty and directness and courage.”
He contacted her via Facebook, and told her wanted to do a film about YouTube musicians.
But he knew Kutiel would be putting out a clip that would get some buzz: In the film, we see Montgomery gasp and tear up over coverage in the New York Times. When Haar initially approached Montgomery about the project and started filming in 2013, he left out this piece of info, a point many reviews have criticized.
Haar says he wouldn’t have had a film if he didn’t withhold the reveal, and adds that he didn’t want to spoil the moment for either of them, or feel he was harboring some “dark secret.” Instead, it’s more of a pivot away from traditional documentary films, where you “tell everything,” he says. Haar doesn't interview Montgomery’s friends or family, or even Kutiel. He just observes her.
YouTube has presented a new kind of economy, one where remix culture and memes can be lucrative or star-making, and pluck creators out of obscurity, however briefly. While Kutiel has more than 2 million views on the clip, Montgomery still only has a little over 1,000 subscribers on her channel, her videos a couple hundred views each. There hasn’t been the swell that often comes with viral success. The film also opens with a quote attributed to the free culture movement, which states that “a free culture is one where everyone thinks of themselves as a voice in a huge choir.”
When asked about his approach in September 2014, Kutiel painted a more casual picture of the community and what he sees as collaboration.
“Me and all the other musicians just sit home alone in front of the computer, and after so many times I watch them and it’s like I know them by now,” he said. “And yeah, eventually you get the feeling that everybody knows each other and they’re playing together.” In one of the vlogs Haar includes, Montgomery illuminates the more human aspect: “It’s not easy to be alone with myself.”
Montgomery eventually does meet Kutiel and performs with him in Tel Aviv, and Haar relates that she and Kutiel recorded an album of original songs that will be released soon. But at the end of the 80-minute film, we’re left wanting more time with Montgomery, her stories, and her ever-positive outlook. She’s the foundation of a more complete film about what it really means to connect online, and off.
"You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very very differently," Sanders told Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night.In an interview that was more policy-focused than Trump’s conversation the previous night, Sanders discussed the upcoming California primary, the state with the largest amount of delegates up for grabs, and the idea that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already has the Democratic nomination locked up because of the superdelegates who pledged to vote for her.
Compared to other Sanders interviews, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s definitely a huge contrast to Trump’s time on Kimmel’s couch the night before.
For one, Sanders has a very distinct personal opinion on the transgender bathroom laws.And when he's asked what he’d be doing for his 28th wedding anniversary, Sanders paints a romantic picture of a groundbreaking political rally. We hope there’s also dinner scheduled at some point. While Trump may empathize with Sanders over how they were treated by their respective parties, Sanders “appreciates” Trump’s concern when asked if he’d run as an third-party candidate. But no, Sanders told Kimmel, he’ll be running against him as the Democratic nominee. It’s up to the voters now.
Like any good teen movie, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century begins on the day of the big test.
Zenon Carr, a rambunctious blonde who loves wearing neon leggings, sleeps through her alarm clock. Her mom has to wake her up: Zenon jumps out of bed, now in a frenzy. She grabs clothes out of her closet—naturally decorated with her favorite bleached-haired idol, Protozoa—and opens up her blinds to show Earth floating leagues away from her space window.
Zoom, zoom, zoom, make my heart go boom, boom—my supernova girl.
To this day, these iconic words from the Zenon song resonate with a generation. In fact Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) such as 1999’s Zenon have resurfaced during this era of pop culture nostalgia in cult-like fashion.
Smart House, Halloweentown, Brink!, and a slew of other titles transport today’s young adults back to their childhoods. For any kid who grew up with the Disney Channel, these movies were a big deal, something to celebrate on Friday night with a bowl of popcorn and SunnyD. Earlier this year when the Disney Channel announced that there’d be a mega-movie marathon of every Disney Channel Original Movie—beginning Friday—it’s understandable that now-grown audiences would “flip out major,” as Zenon would put it.
Many of these movies were fantastical adventures grounded with backstories, friends, and families that felt like the people in our lives. And while most of the nostalgic favorites are from the late ‘90s and ‘00s, they also had the uncanny ability to portray a future with technologies that we’re now living with. As absurd as some of the movie premises sound at first, they have turned out to be a lot closer to reality than you’d think.
Stu Krieger is the man to thank for some of the most memorable DCOM experiences. After writing everyone’s favorite dinosaur classic The Land Before Time for producers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Krieger was tapped to adapt Zenon from the original 1996 picture book. Disney interviewed almost 20 writers and many pitched their idea of the movie as a cross between Star Trek and Beverly Hills, 90210.
Krieger beat the competition out by framing his treatment after the lovable, mischievous Eloise at the Plaza (but on a space station). After Zenon’s incredible success, he went on to write a dozen more DCOMs, including the next two Zenon movies, Smart House, Phantom of the Megaplex, Cow Belles, Tru Confessions, and more. Today he teaches screenplay writing at the University of California, Riverside.
“One of the things with both Zenon and Smart House that I kept talking to Disney about is, if you look at the time I was writing them in the ‘90s and early 2000s, I would say to them when people write about the future they tend to do these magnificent leaps. Like in 40 years, we’re going to have flying cars,” Krieger tells the Daily Dot. “And I said, let’s look backwards to the 1950s and there’s so many ways our lives are radically different. There’s also incredible ways our lives are exactly the same. I think we need to be thinking much more incrementally.”
One technological advancement Zenon accurately depicted was video communication. In the movie, Zenon gets in trouble with the space station commander and is grounded by her parents—quite literally grounded, sent to stay with her aunt Judy on Earth. In order to contact her parents, she uses a handheld screen that’s practically the size of an iPhone 6 Plus.
The film’s video chatting is pretty much modern day FaceTime. There’s a front camera so Zenon can watch the screen while talking herself. And after she makes it back to the space station at the end of the movie, she uses the same tech to FaceTime with her boyfriend, Greg, whom she left behind on the planet she grew to love and appreciate.
We might be a few generations away from living together on a huge space station, but Zenon did get something like the handheld screen with various utilities right. The first movie of the trilogy is set in 2049, so we have a couple of decades to start sending families up into space.
Another movie that got not-so-far-away machinery right was 1999’s Smart House. Teenage computer whiz Ben Cooper is still reeling from the death of his mom. His sister and dad are also learning to cope. Ben’s too busy to be a kid these days, so he immediately jumps at the chance to win the contest for a fully equipped smart house named PAT (Personal Applied Technology) that takes care of chores.
PAT is an omnipresent Siri, always listening for the Coopers’ commands. The smart house has a bunch of cool features like turning the walls into full-fledged television screens, picking up the morning newspaper outside with a metallic claw, preparing meals based off a nutritional assessment of each family member, and more.
While the full-fledged smart house isn’t here yet, there are tons of advancements available to turn your home into something akin to Ben’s place. (The Amazon Echo can tell you the weather or set alarms by command; Nest thermostat will let you change the temperature in your home with audio commands; smart locks let you open and close them with the tap on an iPhone; and while nothing will compare to PAT’s ability to absorb any mess on her floors into oblivion, your trusty Roomba will scooter about, vacuuming up messes it encounters.)
Hologram technology is another peek into the future that various Disney Channel Original Movies nailed. In Zenon, the teens on the space station are taught by hologram Mr. Perez, who appears to be a real man just beamed into the class to teach via his non-corporeal extension. He might be intangible, but he’s still able to scald Zenon with a “is there something you’d like to share with the class” as she catches up on Protozoa news instead of paying attention. After Ben tries to teach PAT to be more maternal by showing her '50s-era television shows that feature mothers, the artificial intelligence creates a hologram version of itself based off the moms she studied.
Meanwhile, the 2004 DCOM Pixel Perfect centers on a sentient dancing and singing hologram named Loretta. Main character Roscoe creates a girl to help his friend Sam’s band, the Zetta Bytes. Loretta debuts at a school performance with Sam’s band and she’s an instant hit with her energetic spins and backflips off the drum set.
Holograms have been newsworthy as of late because of their musical power, much like Loretta. Coachella attendees were treated to a Tupac hologram in 2012 and there were rumors of an Amy Winehouse hologram tour. Just this past week a Whitney Houston hologram was slated to perform with Christina Aguilera on the finale of The Voice, but was later replaced by Ariana Grande reportedly because the augmented version of the songstress wasn’t up to the Houston family's standards. We even have famous pop stars just like Loretta—Hatsune Miku is huge in Japan.
“With the technology I wasn’t thinking computers aren’t going to exist anymore, I was just thinking how much forward will they have been? So things like the hologram teacher in Zenon and some of the technology in Smart House, those are things that are in fact now happening,” Krieger says. “But it wasn’t like I had some incredible crystal ball, it was just sort of take what’s here and close your eyes and think what’s the next 30, 40-year iteration of it.”
Subverting the tropes
Disney Channel Original Movies tended to be forward-thinking. No matter what the foundational story was—either living in space or living in the alternate dimension “Halloweentown,” where it’s Halloween every day—many DCOMs were ahead of their time.
Take for example Up, Up, and Away!, a 2000 movie that showcased a black family who also had double lives as superheroes. Today’s superhero television landscape is plagued by a lack of racial diversity; while the family’s blackness wasn’t necessarily explored in the movie, it did strides for representation. The channel also put out The Color of Friendship, a movie that explored global racial tensions. It was based on the true story of the friendship between a black girl living in the United States and a white South African girl benefiting from the apartheid system who comes to America through a student-exchange program.
Various DCOMs were also extremely subversive of typical teenage characters in pop culture during this era. Several movies had bold female characters that landed on all ends of the femininity spectrum. The all-Latina dance team from Gotta Kick It Up! dominated dance competitions, chanting “si se puede!” to pump themselves up. Rip Girls followed a 13-year-old girl as she learned how to surf in Hawaii. And in Motocrossed, a teenage girl cuts off all her hair and butches up to impersonate her twin brother in motocross races after feeling responsible for his injury that puts him out of the sport.
“I think the one movie that I revisted most in my teen and adult years is Motocrossed. It straddles all these weird lines of identity and gender politics that crosses off so many intersections,” says Zach Heltzel, who hosts the DCOM podcast Zetus Lapodcast.
A huge lover of DCOMs while growing up, Heltzel was inspired by other alternative comedy podcasts such as Gilmore Guys to start his own geek-out series about the genre. During the shows, he runs through the oral history of the movies and has 44 episodes available for your listening pleasure.
And while DCOMs got a lot right, Heltzel is also quick to point out that they occasionally missed the mark.
“Disney Channel Movies I found are either really good with their feminist content and some of them are blatantly offensive,” he says.
Take a look at some of the earlier favorites such as Johnny Tsunami or Brink!—sure, they’re fun classics to rewatch, but the female characters are largely relegated to just trophies for these athletic alpha males to pine after and eventually win by the end of the movie.
Same goes for technology misfires. Heltzel points out a ludicrous scene in Can of Worms, where a bully is able to hack into the protagonist’s computer by simply inserting a floppy disk and pressing the space bar.
The new class
Disney continues to produce these flicks with a similar youthful zaniness—albeit at a slower pace than the golden age's monthly burn. The Zendaya-starring Zapped arrived in 2014, and found her controlling boys through an app that was originally meant for dog commands.
How to Build a Better Boy featured two friends who unknowingly use the military’s technology to create the perfect robotic boyfriend. Girl Meets World’s Rowan Blanchard stars in 2015’s Invisible Sister as a youth whose vanishing concoction is accidentally used on her sister.
In Zapped, Zendaya’s character uses the app to make her all-boy junior varsity dance team better than the varsity squad. The mean girl antagonist eventually finds out about the all-powerful app and wants to use it for her own devious plans, but Zendaya is able to smash the phone before anything awful happens.
Rachelle Skoretz was one of the writers for Zapped and has been working on a script called Keep Calm and Crush On, a story about being heavily embedded in the world of social media and tracking down the guy you want to date. She says the key to these films is to play to teen wish fulfillment.
“If I was a 15-year-old girl, what powers would I like, what magical app would make my life easier? Or how can I make my high school experience more pleasant? You tap into that when you are using a magical element,” she says.
While Zenon might be living decades in the future, getting in trouble on a space station, at her core she was just like any adventurous teen.
Plots such as mind control and military technology could easily skew dark, but the Disney banner keeps the tone bright and funny. In Smart House, PAT eventually goes rogue and traps the family in the house, glitching on what she computes to be motherly love and protection.
“The comedy really saves it without becoming too heavy-handed. Especially, like, Zapped, you’re not trying to hit with a heavy hand, you’re trying to keep it centered in that wish-fulfillment realm. Making it sort of physically funny so you don’t err on the side of a little bit scary,” she says.
Futuristic technology and progressive characters notwithstanding, our nostalgic love for Disney cable flicks comes down to their earnest heart.
“The premise was always important, the science fiction elements, all of that I could always do research on, but I would say to them at Disney Channel is ultimately if your audience doesn’t get involved or invested in the characters and their relationships, it doesn’t matter,” Krieger says. “No matter what the special effects are, it’s the characters and how they engage.”
While Zenon might be living decades in the future, getting in trouble on a space station, at her core she was just like any adventurous teen. All Ben Cooper wanted was the best for his family. And in childhood innocence, it was always easy to look forward.
“Disney Channel Original Movies by virtue of being Disney are always [optimistic] and they have a positive message. When thinking about the future, there’s an element of hope, of wonder, a sense of what could be versus what the world is,” Hetzel says. “It’s all about these really young kids exploring the world as it could be and I think that’s great. Especially when so many other things go in the other direction.”
Recording artist White Hinterland, whose real name is Casey Dienel, filed a suit against the pair this week, claiming that Bieber's song "Sorry" (which Skrillex produced) samples her song "Ring the Bell" without giving her credit. Considering Bieber's album broke Billboard records and the "Sorry" video has over 1.4 billion YouTube views to date, that's a considerable amount of royalties on which she's allegedly missing out.In a post to her Facebook page Thursday, Dienel explained:
Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in “Sorry.” But he chose not to contact me. After the release of “Sorry,” my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample. Justin Bieber is the world’s biggest artist, and I’m sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me. But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art.
While it's ultimately up to a court to decide if the infringement is indeed "obvious," you can judge for yourself in the meantime.
Here's White Hinterland's "Ring the Bell":
They certainly are similar.
Update 8:15pm CT: Both Skrillex and Bieber have responded to White Hinterland on Twitter, and both say they didn't steal anything. Skrillex even offers his proof.
And if the five-digit figures aren’t crazy enough, there’s a twist.
"When I used to be in the studio with Lil Wayne and Birdman, they would bet $10,000 a game on Madden, and they would just let the computer play," T-Pain said.
He says the two wouldn’t even pick up a controller to steer their fate.
“They didn't play the game. They just let the computer play both teams. And they would just bet $10,000 on that game. And I thought that was the most ballin' shit I had ever seen in my life," he said.
T-Pain says he couldn’t get their version of fantasy football, and he certainly didn't join in on the gambling.
"I'm not an idiot," he said.
Wayne sued Birdman in January 2015, accusing his mentor of violating their contract for withholding revenue from Wayne’s Carter V. The two have recently made it into each other’s good graces, but the lawsuit still stands. Wayne also filed a lawsuit in March against Universal for unpaid royalties from artists he says he discovered, like Drake and Nicki Minaj.
When I first started Bob’s Burgers—the animated Fox comedy about a weird and loving family who owned a struggling burger restaurant at the Jersey shore—a couple of years ago, I had a couple of thoughts. One, it was consistently funnier than I ever expected it to be. Two, I wanted one of those crazy Burgers of the Day.
Rarely shown but always named (except for that one episode where they temporarily disappeared), the Burger of the Day is one of the show’s running gags. The names—which are almost always food puns—appear on the chalkboard hanging near the cash register in every episode just like the revolving owners of the building next to Bob’s Burgers and the rat vans in the opening sequence. The burger names are punchy, cheesy, the puns have the right amount of dad-level humor, and they can get especially silly if Louise Belcher gets her hands on the chalkboard. The puns themselves are created by the show’s writers, and according to Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, it’s one of the main things they’re required to come up with when writing an episode. They’re just as much a background joke as they are insights into Bob Belcher himself.
And that’s only scraping the surface when it comes to the delightfulness of Bob’s Burgers itself. It just wrapped up its sixth season on Sunday with at least two more on the way (with no signs of stopping), but it still has the feel of an underground show in part because its rise in popularity came from word of mouth. The versatility of Bob’s Burgers makes it perfect fanart and mashup fodder. It has sold out concert halls on its live tour, which includes a table read, a Q&A, and standup from the main cast. Tina Belcher is the awkward, feminist hero we’ve been craving. And it even inspired Cole Bowden to start the Bob’s Burgers Experiment, a Tumblr blog where he documented and strived to create every Burger of the Day shown in Bob’s Burgers, which now number in the hundreds.
All Bowden had to go on were the names as he started to tackle the Burgers of the Day, and soon enough, Bouchard noticed. He mentioned Bowden’s blog in a 2014 interview with Vulture, saying, “That is my dream come true as it pertains to these burgers—or, I should say, my dream come true would actually to put out a Bob’s Burgers cookbook based on the Burgers of the Day.”
An official Bob’s Burgers cookbook was announced in January 2015, which was a collaboration between Bouchard, the other Bob’s Burgers writers, and Bowden, and it received additional confirmation in August. Soon enough, the burgers they named and created strictly as puns would really come to life—and we’d all be Teddy, one of the Belchers’ few regular customers.
“For those of us who worked on the show and followed him, Cole’s culinary ambition was thrilling, and his chutzpah was and is inspiring to say the least, but when you read his recipes it becomes clear that primarily what he brings to the table is imagination,” Bouchard wrote in the Introduction of The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers.
And now Bob’s Burgers are a reality. The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book is as bright, colorful, and humorous as Bob’s Burgers itself, and the book captures the tone of the show wonderfully. Many of the burger names rely on cheese puns, and sprinkled throughout are witty comments such as discouraging the use of “no-purpose flour,” informing us that “stretchy mozz rhymes with sketchy thoughts,” and advising us not to touch our belly buttons after handling habanero peppers because well, you never know.
For burger and French fry novices, the cookbook offers a basic guide to making your own burgers and fries—it even bolds the most important steps in the paragraphs for those who skim over it—and many of the recipes are geared toward beginners. Essentially, if you can grill a burger and put it together you’re pretty set, although some of the recipes can be somewhat sparse in their specificity. Most of the ingredients are available in your local grocery store, and if it’s more of a delicacy, like the black garlic in the Bet It All On Black Garlic Burger, it’ll inform you where you can buy it.
On the other hand, it doesn’t seem as though the recipes are in any sort of order such as organizing by episode appearance or the type of cheese used, so if you find a recipe and want to come back to it, it’ll take some flipping through unless you’ve already marked down the page. If non-beef or vegetarian recipes are more your speed, they’re at least grouped together toward the back of the book.
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book was released in March, and fans have gradually discovered it, like the show itself. But now we’re putting it to use for one of the biggest days of the year for burgers and the people who cook them—Memorial Day.
Bob’s Burgers are supposed to be excellent despite his business constantly being on the brink of failure; on the other side of the coin, Bob’s neighbor and rival Jimmy Pesto runs a successful yet tacky Italian restaurant, but his food is terrible. How do they fare in the real world?
I recruited my Daily Dot colleagues to take on several of the recipes. They may be joke burgers, but the deliciousness is more than real.
Cheeses Is Born Burger
Season 5, Episode 6: “Father of the Bob”
This burger is an efficient monster you can make in about 35 minutes. It’s a savory lover, loaded in gooey textures that parachute down your windpipe: Jarlsberg and Swiss slices, molasses-brown gravy, sauteed mushrooms, diced Roma tomatoes, brown mustard. Only crispy lettuce and a thick bun balance out the protein-shake gob of hot lovin’. The burger is a revelation that’s difficult to botch in the kitchen. (Used a pan, as both of my backyard grills harbor spiders.) The caveat, of course, is that it features hot-button flavors difficult to unanimously please even a cookout of four. It’s also heavy enough that it only pairs well with water and absolutely no fries, dear God are you mad? But if the profile is your shade, ingredients will run you about $27 (even if you spring for the $10, grass-fed patties) and you’ll eat with the fury of a spelling bee champ all weekend. —Ramon Ramirez
Parma Parma Parma Chameleon Burger
Season 4, Episode 20: “Gene It On”
Accented by garden-fresh zucchini and squash chips, this Italian-inspired choice spotlights freshly picked basil and a unique tomato sauce with a guest appearance by blueberry jam (which seemed like it’d be easier to find than the called-for juice). We opted to double the helping of parmesan—melting some straight on the patty in addition to topping the sauce—but otherwise found this recipe delightfully bright and flavorful. We’d recommend serving the panko-crusted zucchini and squash chips with some of the leftover blueberry marinara for dipping. —Monica Riese
Poutine On The Ritz Burger
Season 2, Episode 9: “Beefsquatch”
Poutine may make you think about Canada, but it’s just as much of a heartstopper as anything we have down here. Plus this recipe, which includes French fries, allowed me to test out the process of making your own fries, and a giant sharing fry bowl is a great addition to any party; just look at all of the fry-stealing that occurs during pretty much any happy hour.
I bribed one of my friends with food to help me cook, which is a good thing because even with her help it still took a few hours to make everything, so if you’re making this for a party, start early or make them the night before. We used Russet potatoes and fried them in vegetable oil instead of the suggested peanut oil before mixing them with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (all measured to taste) and topping it with gravy and cheese curds. Creating the gravy from scratch was a simple endeavor, although I found the recommended amount of black pepper overwhelming; I added in more flour to counter. The fries came out crispy and well-seasoned, but you could just as easily use frozen fries or commandeer a bunch from your favorite restaurant and achieve a similar feat in a fraction of the time.
Once cooked in a regular stove pan and my burger assembled, the Poutine On The Ritz Burger is an expertly crafted mix of salty and sour with Ritz Crackers sprinkled on top, and it works much better than it has any right to (although I wish the cheese curds had melted a bit more). Be prepared to keep leftovers, because this is a lot more filling than it looks. —Michelle Jaworski
Shake Your Honeymaker Burger
Season 2, Episode 3: “Synchronized Swimming”I had about half the necessary ingredients on hand to make the Shake Your Honeymaker burger, so while it's not something I'd approach on a whim, it is something I can realistically consider without feeling like I need to purchase obscure ingredients I'll only use once. I decided to opt for the old-timey version of using a mortar and pestle to blend the dates, garlic, and sherry vinegar into a paste, which provided a more chunky and rustic condiment than a food processor.
My largest flaw was impatience. This burger requires you to caramelize your onions, which the recipe suggests takes a good 20 minutes but I, hungry and bored, fell short of by at least 10 minutes before I decided my onions were good enough to eat. My Honeymaker burger was an easy prep on a pan stovetop, and I used the same onion pan for my meat to make sure it infused with flavor. Construction was sloppy, as the feta cheese I had didn't want to stay balanced on the bun, and once I took a bite everything came spilling out.
Taste-wise, it was too sharply sweet for me to enjoy, the honey meeting the sherry dates in a way that left an unpleasant aftertaste. It's not a bad way to shake up the burger routine, but if you're planning to feed a hungry horde, I wouldn't recommend such a complex and nontraditional take. You'll be stressing about presentation and the flavor blend more than you'll be enjoying a well-done burger. —Rae Votta
Don’t Get Crème FraîcheWith Me Burger
Season 2, Episode 9: “Beefsquatch”
Nevertheless, the idea of blueberries, basil, and crème fraîche was appealing. I subbed in a pretzel bun for Vienna roll out of necessity, and added some horseradish to the crème fraîche-basil mixture to give it a little heat. My line cook (aka helpful boyfriend) seared the burger in a pan, as per the recipe, but my meat-bread crumb-squished blueberry pattie was having a hard time keeping it together. The Don’t Get Crème Fraîche With Me Burger would probably have cooked better on a grill, but it didn’t look terrible when the crème fraîche and spring mix were added. Perhaps the pretzel roll was a misstep, because the burger was a little sweet; it needed something else (the boyfriend suggested onions sauteed in honey) to make it taste less like a breakfast sandwich. Maybe a sharp cheese? (I added Sriracha after a couple bites and it did the trick.)
If you’re not a person who is disgusted by fruit in burgers, this would be a fun experiment this summer as a slider or appetizer. You know, a summer burger. —Audra Schroeder
Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers Burger
Season 3, Episode 11: “Nude Beach”
I went into making the Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers Burger thinking, “This would be a great hangover burger” not just because of the egg—which is becoming a more common burger topping. And while I only had a slight headache when preparing it, that was spot-on.
I cooked new burgers for this in a stove pan, although you can probably just take leftover burgers from another one of the book’s recipes instead. (I can’t speak for the burgers filled with other ingredients/cheeses, but I imagine they’ll work just as well.) From there, just cook your egg, which I made sunny side up—over easy would be another good option—and stacking everything in the right order. As soon as I placed my English muffin on top, the egg yolk began to run down. I’ve had a similar burger on many occasions, but the addition of an English muffin and hot sauce to a new classic brought it all eggcellently together.
A new contender for the Breakfast of Champions? I think so. —M.J.
A Good Manchego Is Hard to Find Burger
Season 5, Episode 10: “Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob and Louise”
The sharp nuttiness of the aged manchego and zesty bite of fresh arugula play perfectly off the real star of this show: black fig jam, generously spread on the top bun. It would’ve played just as well without the shallots (which I slightly burnt after a last-minute prep snafu), but their caramelization easily ties the whole bite together. We paired this burger with the book’s basic fry recipe (subbing white potatoes for the recommended russet, and with corn oil over peanut), which turned out perfectly salted, if a tad soggy after a few minutes at room temperature. —M.R.
Disclosure: Universe Publishing provided the Daily Dot with a copy of The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book for review.
All it took was one tweet to get the attention of Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez.
Buffalo teen Jessica Casanova was simply smitten with Rodriguez's navy Golden Globes dress, telling the actress that the gown would make the perfect prom outfit after catching her at this year's awards show in January.To Casanova's surprise, Rodriguez responded, stating that the Zac Posen-designed dress was on loan. She does have another Golden Globes showstopper: The formfitting Badgley Mischka gown she wore in 2015. And so the dress made its way upstate, where Casanova wore it to her prom on Thursday night. After she's done with it, Rodriguez says she'll be sending it to another lucky fan to use for a special event.
The star-struck teen appeared to have a blast at prom. As for how her outfit was received?Yes indeed.
Ask anyone in show business, and they’ll tell you that the path to success is lined with delusion, hope, and hard work. It’s a combination that NYC-based comedian/actor/writer Katina Corrao knows rather well.
After 10 years of putting herself out there through standup comedy—a passion she didn’t know she had until she started doing it—Corrao recently released her first comedy album, Hot Date. She asks obvious questions about dating, pokes fun at her showbiz aspirations, experiences rejection, and explores the ridiculousness of naming a store Dress Barn. Her high-energy on-stage persona is relatable and self-deprecating while remaining emotionally honest.
“Quite a bit of my comedy is about looking at life from the outside,” says Corrao. “It’s like when people say, ‘Oh, I had a hot date!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, did you get to stay in and watch Dateline in your pajamas?’ I want to go on more ‘hot dates,’ but the essence of me is pajama-wearing and watching murder shows.”
Such is Corrao’s sensibility. It’s less acquired taste and more required taste, probably because everyone needs pajamas and TV in their lives. With such a strong comedic character and point of view, it’s surprising to learn that she didn’t even mean to become a standup comedian. In fact, she originally moved to New York City to become an actress. Upon arrival, she immediately got involved with the UCB Theatre, where she started doing one-person shows. Though she thought being an actor and improviser were her main performance gifts, she ended up in standup through a pretty natural progression.
“When you do a one-person show, you have to get the theater and fill it,” she says. “Standup for me was a way to perform a little more frequently, and hone who I am on stage.”
Even though standup's popularity has increased since the alternative comedy scene characterized in the 2005 documentary The Comedians of Comedy, it still has a reputation for being a mean-spirited, dude-dominated world. This is one of the stereotypes that Corrao found to be completely untrue, especially as she became more immersed in the standup world.
“I got feedback from fellow comedians that helped me figure out who I was on stage and what I wanted to talk about,” she explains. “The community was so welcoming. It sort of was the complete opposite of what I thought it would be, which is this crazy, dark club room where I didn’t think I was gonna fit in because I didn’t talk about things that even I thought would be interesting.”
As a comedic actress, she’s landed roles on Broad City and Unforgettable, and also worked as a warm-up comic on TheJenny McCarthy Show. Her very funny webseries The Good Neighbor Minute stars her as the really annoying neighbor who doesn’t take exit cues. The concept for that series was inspired by her mom’s stories about showing up at neighbors’ houses unannounced, and the Mrs. Poole character from the sitcom The Hogan Family.
In one episode, she ends up at the apartment of Eliot and Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and isn’t quite able to see herself out.“She’s that person who you invite over and then they’re like, ‘Can I just stay over?’” says Corrao. “It’s just the worst thing. I’m a pretty open, friendly person, but I’m like, ‘Please do not come to my house unannounced.’ If someone came to your house, it would be like, ‘Do you need something?’”
She’s inspired by comedians like Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Judy Gold, Louis C.K., and Chris Rock. For Corrao, it’s less about the material and more about the energy and passion they bring to their on-stage persona.
“When I see comedians up on stage, no matter what their thought process is or what they’re talking about, I see that passion and feel attracted to that,” she says. “I get up on stage and I get excited. I don’t care if I have three minutes or 45 minutes—I feel so happy and excited when I’m on stage. When I see that in another comedian, I could watch them forever.”
There’s a down-to-earth, reality-based side to Corrao’s personality, however, and that comes from knowing about show business. No one goes into this business without a goal of anything less than becoming famous, yet as time passes the reality of working sets in. Corrao says that, for her, the main goal is really just to continue working and using her gifts.
“I know some people say, ‘I wanna star in a movie!’ But for me, it could just be a freakin’ Windex commercial,” she says. “Voiceover, movie parts, doesn’t even have to be anything huge, so long as I’m able to use whatever it is to the best of my ability.”
That seems so modest for a comedian like Corrao, who has loud feelings and a big personality. She's obviously holding back.
“Well, my short-term goal is, I am dying to work with Louis C.K. in something,” she admits. “I love him so much. Anytime you watch or hear something he does, you are moved emotionally, you have a reaction, and I think that’s such a brilliant characteristic.”
Director Paul Feig has met the backlash of his Ghostbusters reboot head-on for months. One of its stars is joining him in setting the record straight, weighing in on the fans who are complaining about the female cast.
Melissa McCarthy is the subject of a new profile in the Guardian, which touches on her rise in Hollywood and the constant predictions from critics that she will fail, the projects she makes with her husband, actor and director Ben Falcone, and the types of characters she portrays. But in the piece she also addresses criticism about the female reboot of Ghostbusters.
While the pushback from fans of the original Ghostbusters movie have been near-constant, criticism has hit a fever pitch when a new trailer drops or with the spread of a viral video on why one critic refuses to see it. The original trailer is the most-disliked video on YouTube, and the newest trailer took a week to land on YouTube after an exclusive deal with Facebook and Twitter.
McCarthy’s comments particularly focuses on the group of people who have accused the reboot of ruining their childhoods.
“All those comments – ‘You’re ruining my childhood!’ I mean, really,” McCarthy told the Guardian. “Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood? I have a visual of those people not having a Ben, not having friends, so they’re just sitting there and spewing hate into this fake world of the internet. I just hope they find a friend.”
She’s hardly the first person to talk about the elephant in the room. Kristen Wiighas said the vocal (and sometimes sexist response) “really just bummed me out.” Sony domestic marketing president Dwight Caines told the Hollywood Reporter that “the people talking are such a tiny percentage of the people viewing” and “they are trying to define the experience.” Feig recently noted to the New York Daily News that “Geek culture is home to some of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met in my life.”
McCarthy also talked about some of the other backlash from the trailers. She mainly hones in on the fact that Leslie Jones’s character, Patty Tolan, is the outsider of the group and the only black Ghostbuster. The character stands as the only non-scientist of the new quartet, similar to the role that Ernie Hudson played in the original.
McCarthy confirms that Feig originally wrote the character for her, and that the new characters aren’t just a rehash of the older characters nor are their roles tied to a specific race or ethnicity.
“I think originally Paul had written me as that part and then he switched, so she could have been white, Hispanic... It was truly just a coincidence.”
Ghostbusters will be released July 15.
H/T The Guardian
If you're sensing something weird and it don't look good, remember who you're supposed to call?
Original Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd, who played Dr. Ray Stantz and helped write the first two films in the franchise, swooped into action on Facebook recently. He proclaimed that the new film, which stars Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig, is even funnier and scarier than the movies he helped create.That's high praise from one of the best comedy actors of the past four decades. Though many of the commenters on his post are bewildered about why Aykroyd is so positive about the all-female reboot, he hasn't been shy in the past about voicing his support for the movie. Perhaps Aykroyd's Facebook post will quell some of the negativity that inspired McCarthy to say, "All those comments—'You’re ruining my childhood!' I mean, really. Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood? I have a visual of those people not ... having friends, so they’re just sitting there and spewing hate into this fake world of the internet. I just hope they find a friend."
Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.
The remake of the 1977 landmark miniseries, Roots, will premiere on the History Channel and A&E on Monday night, and though there was backlash when the project was first announced, the online reviews of the reboot have been flattering.
Based on 22 reviews, Metacritic has given the miniseries a grade of 81, and the Baltimore Sun wrote the eight-hour series "is one of the most powerful and profound narratives ever written or told about the American experience, including anything written by any of the celebrated giants of our national literature."
But if you were ask to Snoop Dogg his thoughts about the 2016 version of Roots or about movies depicting slaves in general, he wouldn't be so positive. In fact, in a video uploaded to Instagram on Monday, the rapper calls for a boycott of Roots, saying he's "sick of this shit" and wonders why nobody is making movies "about the success black folks [are] having."That opposition is in stark contrast to the intent of rapper T.I., who plays runaway slave Cyrus and who explained earlier this month why the series is an important one.
“I think this story is the origin of African-Americans,” he said, via Uproxx. “I think the first one, although it is the most watched television series of all time, I don’t think this generation had an opportunity to experience it and take it in properly ... Just due to the amount of technology now. You watch any movie from that era, if you’re of this generation, it’s just difficult to get into it because it looks so different.”
And count LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte in the original, as agreeing with T.I. (and not with Snoop).Or as Laurence Fishburne, who plays Alex Haley in the new version, might put it. Roots will be simulcast Monday night at 9pm ET on the History Channel and A&E, and it will continue at the same time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
The most-followed account on Twitter fell victim to a hacker on Memorial Day.
Katy Perry’s account, which boasts more than 89 million followers, was compromised Monday. The hacker appears to be based in Romania, given that the hijacker asked people to follow another account, @sw4ylol, based there. That account was created on May 28 and remains online.
The takeover was short-lived but certainly interesting. The hacker tweeted out profanity, slurs, and SoundCloud links, as well as a playful shoutout to Taylor Swift.
Keemstar, a controversial YouTuber addressed by the hacker, reacted to being singled out with a slur.
The tweets were swiftly deleted, and Perry’s camp has yet to release a statement. Her account is only the latest of in a series of high-profile hacks on Twitter. The social media platform has experienced an ongoing struggle with security measures and encourages users to implement two-layer authentication.
BY SAM GUTELLE
Eleven prominent YouTube content creators just met one of the most important people in the world. During the Scholas World Congress in the Vatican this weekend, social media stars hailing from 10 different countries all met Pope Francis, who hosted his guests for a conversation about promoting diversity.
As was the case for the YouTube creators who got a chance to speak at the United Nations, the video-making community’s visitors are an international bunch. Here’s the list, according to a press release from YouTube: Hayla Ghazal (United Arab Emirates); Dulce Candy (United States); Matthew Patrick (United States); Louise Pentland (United Kingdom); Lucas Castel (Argentina); Matemática Río (Brazil); Jamie and Nikki (Australia and Africa, respectively); Greta Menchi (Italy); Los Polinesios (Mexico); and anna RF (Israel).
In meeting a handful of the most popular personalities on the Internet, Pope Francis opened up new avenues on which he can spread his message of tolerance and understanding. He urged the creators who visited him to discuss the topics they are most passionate about, ranging from immigration to gender equality.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say how exciting it is to see such a major world leader take interest in the power of new media to create positive social change,” said Matthew Patrick in a press release. “It’s something we all believe in, so to have more traditional bodies take notice of the work we’re doing and be interested to learn more is incredibly validating.”
Video of the meeting between the pope and his YouTuber guests is available via anna RF’s YouTube channel. Additional information can be found in a blog post authored by YouTube.
Good news for fans of the Pfefferman family: Amazon just ordered a fourth season of their hit show Transparent.
Even though season 3 doesn't premiere until the fall, the streaming network decided to lock in the cast and crew ahead of schedule. Considering the show has already garnered two Golden Globes and five Emmys for Amazon, it makes good business sense.
Season 4 won't air until 2017, but just knowing it's on the way should be a comfort for fans.
H/T TV Line
In life as in her music, it's best to stay on Adele's good side.During a show in Verona, Italy, over the weekend, the singer took a second out of her performance to share a few choice words with an audience member who had set up a tripod in the aisle.
"Can you stop filming me with a video camera?" she asked. "Because I'm really here in your life. You can enjoy it in real life rather than through your phone."
After some applause from the audience for her initial comments, the singer doubled down, saying, "Can you take your tripod down? This isn't a DVD. This is a real show, and I'd really like you to enjoy my show, because there are lots of people outside who couldn't come in."
Ironically, the incident surfaced because someone else in the audience recorded it and posted it on YouTube.
The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet once again with the title on the line after the Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals Monday—and one rapper is claiming credit.
Lil B, who’s known for his Twitter-driven curses on other big stars—particularly basketball players—from his "Based God" moniker, directed a victory tweet toward any doubters of his power following the final whistle.Whether the Warriors’ win was a major comeback or something else entirely (if you believe the conspiracy theories) is irrelevant, because Lil B’s curse on the Thunder’s Kevin Durant apparently had the last word.
Their off-and-on feud, complete with cursing, is the stuff of Twitter legend. But here the Thunder were dominant early on—some Based God magic was required.B (born Brandon McCartney) was a careful observer of the Thunder-Warriors series, and even when the Thunder emerged with a commanding 3-1 lead he didn’t pivot. Lil B even praised Durant for trying to break the curse. But Lil B never doubted the inevitability of Golden State. And so Durant is without an NBA championship despite nine hyped years as the league's next dominant superstar, and everyone is once again celebrating the power of Lil B. While most of the other NBA teams are done this year, they might already be trying to get on His good side for next season. No word yet on which narrative the Based God prefers in the NBA Finals: a repeat to end a near-perfect season for Steph Curry, or redemption for LeBron James.
Gil Ozeri’s Snapchat rewards you if you wait for it.
Ozeri—a performer and writer on Children’s Hospital, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Happy Endings—has created something special with his Snapchat, an array of 10-second meditations on space and physical comedy. He says he got turned on to Snapchat by his pal Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), who advised him it was a place to “be stupid and silly.”
“It was a way to put out videos without overthinking them,” he tells the Daily Dot.
How much thought goes into his clips might not be quantifiable. Ozeri is fond of hiding in his snaps, or fitting himself into ridiculous spaces as the big reveal. Sometimes the camera slowly pans to Ozeri as he’s straddling a light post, or laying in the meat case of a grocery store. His face is often expressionless.He says he gets by with a little help from friends, as well as his very patient wife. “I’ve tried to get people to push me and squeeze me into places,” he says. “I just did a snap where I was in a dishwasher and my friend John Gemberling [of Broad City] shoved me inside. ... Sometimes I can’t always fit where I want to fit. I’ve been trying to get into an oven for a long time.”
Not every space is ripe for his comedy. He relates that he got stuck, butt-first, in a garbage can while trying to film one bit. “It was basically like a clam opening inside a garbage can, and it was impossible for me to get out, and I was like screaming laughing,” he says.Ozeri says that roughly 30-40 percent of the time, he’s relying on the kindness of strangers for help with his setups. Often, he’s enlisting two strangers: one to shoot and one to star or assist. There’s a foundational trust that must be in place, and Ozeri says most of the time people are happy to be roped into some random act, like fitting him into a suitcase.
“They’re like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll hide you,’” he says.The majority of Ozeri’s snaps are connected bits, like his Safest Man series or a Steven Spielberg lookalike who stalks him. He hopes that narrative format might translate outside Snapchat—like maybe his own show. But Snapchat has become a platform for original programming (and out-of-the-blue revivals) as well.
“Snapchat is modeling after the early days of TV," Ozeri says, "because there’s a limited number of channels."While some snaps are impromptu, others obviously take more planning. Ozeri relates that waterskiing through an intersection was frightening. There’s little to no dialogue in his snaps; the focus is on the physicality and absurdity of the situation. That absurdity is heightened in clips where wordlessly he puts a toilet bowl brush in his mouth, or does a headstand in a mop bucket.
“When you’re doing comedy, you’re a clown essentially,” he says. “You’re performing for an audience for validation and for money. I sort of have this connective narrative in the snaps… where I’m playing this sort of clone.
"At some point in the snaps, I had killed myself and came back as this sort of version of Gil Ozeri. This character was sort of built to be this clown for everyone who’s watching. A lot of comedy, and especially physical comedy, you’re punishing your body for someone to laugh.”Ozeri’s snaps are the antithesis to a lot of the YouTube prank-bro videos, which often lack an element of comedy or humanity and go straight for the reaction. Ozeri says he likes that there's often no reaction in his bits. “I’d rather people just treat me as someone who is part of the world," he says. "That person might be weird or different, because they’re hiding in a dishwasher or they’re swimming in a fountain or pouring a latte in my hand, but I usually don’t want the person to go, ‘Whoa, look at him!’ I‘d rather them just be like, ‘This person is just going about their business doing their own thing in their weird way.’”