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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Kacy Catanzaro stands at five feet and weighs just 100 pounds, but she did something no woman was able to do on American Ninja Warrior until now. She made it to Mt. Midoriyama.

    On American Ninja Warrior, there’s no separate course for men and women. To qualify for the finals at Mt. Midoriyama in Las Vegas, they need to complete a number of obstacle courses in the first round to make it to the qualifier finals and then complete another course to get to Mt. Midoriyama. It’s almost impossible for many parkour experts, gymnasts, and even some Olympic athletes.

    Catanzaro already made history earlier in the season by becoming the first woman to complete an American Ninja Warrior course; two more qualified in other cities. With the crowd at Dallas cheering and her boyfriend and trainer, who failed to qualify this year, on the sidelines, she not only made it through the course, she made it look easy.

    If she can do that, you can go out running today.

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via American Ninja Warrior/YouTube


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    Hillary Clinton has remained tightlipped about whether she plans to run for president in 2016 despite countless interviews, but that doesn’t mean Jon Stewart didn’t try to get it out of her.

    She went on The Daily Show to promote her book, Hard Choices, but after humoring her about it for a minute or two, Stewart cut right to the chase.

    “I think I speak for everybody when I say no one cares,” he said. “They just want to know if you’re running for president.”

    Instead, Clinton played along with Stewart’s extensive questionnaire that asked loaded questions such as what shape she’d prefer her office and whether she’d rather sit in traffic or cause it.

    While the interview took on a more serious tone, Stewart still managed to sneak in another presidential question. Chances are, if Clinton is going to run for president, she’ll probably milk this for as long as she can. She’s evidently still having fun with it at Stewart’s expense.

    H/T Jezebel | Photo via The Daily Show


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    While it’s been more than three years since Adele released her breakup-inspired 21, we still tear up every time we hear “Someone Like You.” But thankfully for Adele, those three years have held happier times. The singer found love again thanks to beau Simon Konecki, experienced the joy of motherhood with the birth of her son Angelo, and won enough awards and Grammys to sink a ship.

    Though the singer’s been busy with family for the past few years, a tweet dispatched Tuesday night by the World Music Awards Twitter account announced that the singer will be returning not only to the stage, but the to hearts of her fans with a new album.

    While there has been no official announcement from the singer or her representation on an album release or tour, the title does fall in with the previous age-related LPs 19 and 21. Back in May, on her 26th birthday, the singer tweeted a photo with a rather cryptic blip about 25. 

    While it does seem a bit bizarre for the announcement to come from the social media account of a music award show held two months ago, it's hard not to be excited with the promise of new music from Adele. While we wait with baited breath to see if the Brit pulls a a Beyoncé, with a suprise album release as the Daily Star reported, we'll be streaming her on Spotify all day and feeling all the feelings. 

    H/T Vulture | Photo via alexlovesmiley/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    There’s already revivals of Sailor Moon, The Magic School Bus, Power Rangers, and a live-action version of Jem and the Holograms for us to look forward to. Now we need to make room for one more reboot from our childhoods.

    A new version of Rainbow Brite is on its way, and the news came from none other than the new Rainbow Brite herself, Emily Osment, who’s best known for portraying Miley Cyrus’s best friend in Hannah Montana.

    She posted a picture of the first script to Twitter over the weekend, which also revealed the name of the first episode from Rachel Vine, “Cloudy With A Chance of Gloom.”

    IFrame

    There’s no word on the other cast members or what the show will ultimately entail. First created in 1983 by Hallmark, the original series lasted from 1984 to 1986, spanning 13 episodes and a feature-length movie. An attempt to reboot the show in the ’90s didn’t pan out.

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    H/T io9 | Photo via MHG Productions/YouTube


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    Remember when Noah’s screenwriter explained that everyone in his movie was white because it was “mythical,” and because white people are apparently universal stand-ins for the human race?

    Yes, it was a pretty weak excuse. But Exodus: Gods and Kings looks a lot worse, since it actually is set during a specific historical time period, and yet still includes an impressive number of white American and British actors playing Egyptian and Israelite characters. 

    Directed by Ridley Scott, Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, and Aaron Paul as Joshua. John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver have supporting roles as Seti and Tuya, another king and queen of Egypt. This fits in with Hollywood’s grand tradition of arbitrarily casting white actors to play people of color, which was a particular feature of classic “swords and sandals” epics like The Ten Commandments.

    To get an idea of what this casting implies, try to imagine the outcry if a major Hollywood studio released a King Arthur film starring Idris Elba, John Cho, and Lucy Liu, with only one or two of the knights of the Round Table being played by white actors. 

    Except even that isn’t a fully accurate comparison, because disgruntled viewers would still have the option of watching one of the many other King Arthur adaptations already in existence. In the context of Exodus, not only are people of color being erased and replaced by the likes of Aaron Paul and Christian Bale, but it’s also virtually impossible to find a similar type of epic historical movie that stars realistic actors in the lead roles.

    The A.V. Club has already describedExodus as “a whitewashed Prince of Egypt,” and many film fans are pointing out that in 2014, there is really no excuse for this type of casting. That’s where the #BoycottExodusMovie hashtag comes in.

    It will be interesting to see if, as with Noah, one of the filmmakers of Exodus: Gods and Kings comes forward to discuss the issue. If they do decide to comment, then look out for some of the following phrases: “best actor for the job,” “more fantasy than history,” “ancient Egyptians were pale-skinned,” and of course the old classic: “This is meant to be a universal story.”

    Photo via MazMHussain/Twitter


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    Thank god Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live had double the AC last night, with guest Anderson Cooper joining Andy Cohen, because things got hot and uncomfortable in the Web-only aftershow.

    As part of the show’s five year anniversary celebration, Cohen had Kelly Rippa guesting alongside the CNN silverfox, with fans voting in a live poll as to who they wanted to reveal a secret about the Bravo host in the aftershow.

    With a landslide win, Anderson was appointed to share a secret about his friend. But Cooper didn't settle for a boring cop out. Rather, he busted out the heavy artilerity, professing that Cohen, unlike Drake, did not start from the bottom.

    The whole thing transpires around the 3:15 mark, as Cohen encourages Anderson to go with his gut when it comes to spilling secrets. 

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    If you're too lazy to watch the video, here's the glorious moment in gay history in a single beautiful GIF. 


    GIF via RealityTVGifs


    Photo via digitas/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    The Barenaked Ladies launch a national tour today, and with that effort comes an exclusive Daily Dot premiere of the music video for the band’s latest single, “Did I Say That Out Loud.” 

    The band released a Canadian-exclusive pressing of its four-song The Long Weekend EP on July 1, and “Did I Say That Out Loud” rides the commercial success of last year’s Grinning Streak—the band’s 11th studio record and its best-selling in a decade. Barenaked Ladies is four-deep these days (the red-haired, acoustic guitar-wielding singer Steven Page left in 2009), but they have 26 years' worth of songwriting to their name and enough autonomy to rest their feet on proverbial ottomans and churn out what they dig. 

    To wit, “Did I Say That Out Loud” is exuberant sedan pop with power steering sensibility. Its accompanying clip—directed by Rooster Teeth cofounder Matt Hullum—is an Internet age love triangle between video-chatting lovers (thatguy21 and maybekatie19, played by Rooster Teeth couple Gavin Free and Meg Turney) and the friends that they accidentally broadcast to. Thatguy21’s antics go viral, so we navigate his journey as a meme through off-brand variants of familiar networks like Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, one of those White House petitions, BuzzFeed, and—the most heartily familiar of music video narratives—to a private concert by the band.

    Whether fueled by alcohol or alchemy, the Rooster Teeth–Barenaked Ladies partnership seems to be panning out: This is the second music video produced by the Austin-based company, following 2013's "Odds Are."

    Screengrab via Rooster Teeth/YouTube


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    Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Fallon are literally putting words in each other’s mouths.

    She was ready to play when she came on The Tonight Show, and Wednesday’s game of “Lip Flip” allowed them to talk freely as someone other than themselves. With some help from graphics, Fallon’s lips were superimposed on Goldberg and vice-versa, and they didn’t waste any time donning ridiculous accents.

    Neither of them are going to win any awards anytime soon for their impersonations, but they still attempt to have a conversation about whistling and instruments with plenty of accents in play, thrown off only when a second pair of lips is shown.

    If you think it looks weird on YouTube, imagine how bizarre it must be sitting in that audience.

    H/T The Wrap | Photo via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    We’re now halfway through “Weird Al” Yankovic’s eight music videos in eight days, and this time he’s showing off even more of his toolset.

    His first few were high-concept—“Word Crimes” turned “Blurred Lines” into a giant grammar lesson, and “Foil” was about more than just aluminum—sometimes it’s effective to go for the simple approach. His next video is for “Handy,” which spoofs Iggy Azalea’s megahit “Fancy,” and it’s nothing more than about his capabilities as a fixer-upper.

    Toilets, sinks, walls, floors—there’s nothing Yankovic can’t fix, or at least attempt to repair. And he’s got a hell of a toolkit to boot.

    Can he fix the music industry? Considering how well Mandatory Fun’s already doing, we wouldn’t put it past him.

    H/T Vulture | Photo via Yahoo! Screen


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    If you’re going to stake a claim on the origin of a joke, you better be able to prove that you were there first.

    The other night, Stephen Colbert did a story on bears in hammocks, gay bears, and a promiscuous bear in his “ThreatDown” segment, complete with several clips, one of which featured a bear masturbating.

    Later on, he claimed to be the first person to show such a clip on television.

    But when you make such a bold, tongue-in-cheek claim, there’s bound to be someone to dispute it—like the very person who’s featured a masturbating bear on his TV shows for close to 20 years.

    Word of Colbert’s stunt made its way to Conan O’Brien, and needless to say, he wasn’t happy. His own Masturbating Bear was on his deathbed despite doctors’ best efforts.

    But, like many stories, this one has a happy ending—in more ways than one.

    Photo via Team Coco


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    With 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTubeevery minute by 1 billion users in 61 countries, it may be hard to believe, but I maintain all of YouTube is essentially connected by seven degrees of separation from Mike Falzone.

    But despite his all-star roster of fans—including the Vlogbrothers, Tyler Oakley, Olan Rogers, and Coley O’Toole—and enviable collaborations with such creators as Meghan Tonjes, SourceFedNERD, and Hannah Witton, Falzone doesn’t seem to realize just how influential and beloved his content has become in the eight years since he first started his channel. When it comes down to it, everyone knows Mike Falzone—from creators he’s inspired along the way, including Akilah Hughes (SmoothieFreak) and Gunarolla, to the most novice of YouTube viewers. 

    Falzone originally joined YouTube to promote his musical pursuits. He began touring as a musician at just 14, and in his late teens, discovered his passion for comedy as well. And thus began the internal tug of war: Music or comedy?

    “I think people like you based on how much of yourself comes through, like how much of your uniqueness or your voice, and so I just kept making things and eventually, [I] just found what made me come out the most and I think that was the combination of music and comedy,” shares Falzone, who, just minutes prior, had yelled at me that compliments weirded him out and he would hear no more of mine.

    His channel is now a mix of biweekly vlogs about relationships and life, music videos, awkward interviews with popular YouTubers such as Elliot Morgan, Meghan Tonjes, and Chris Thompson—and everything in between.

    The thing that sets Falzone apart as a creator is his ability to reach through the screen and make viewers feel as if they’re having a conversation with their oldest, and dearest friend. (Ha, a compliment! Gotcha, Falzone.) And he genuinely appreciates every single viewer that tunes in.

    “You know, there are a millions things to bitch about for YouTube, [but] you have to remind yourself that you’re pointing a camera at yourself, saying stuff that you think is funny and other people like it. That’s nuts!” laughs Falzone. “All you have to do is step back, and have the perspective, like: Picture 9,000 people, picture 500 people, and picture them all looking at you, and telling you that they liked what you just made. That’s fucking nuts. That’s crazy, and I feel like that keeps you motivated. If there is any number underneath the video, someone is listening, and that person has value.”

    In a YouTube culture obsessed with subscriber counts and view time, Falzone is a refreshing voice in the fray. With each moment of our interview, I can’t help but be inspired by his “live life to the fullest in the funnest, funniest way possible” attitude, and wonder how he’s able to do all this while still balancing a full plate of outside projects.

    From his YouTube videos, Falzone has had the opportunity to expand his fireside chats into Welcome to the Podcast, a weekly podcast with his girlfriend; hilarious ongoing series including “Making Women Happy” and “Historically Speaking”; records; consistent appearances on YouTube Nation; and a book, Never Stop Shutting Up: A Book of Advice and Other Things You Didn’t Ask For.

    “I had a pretty big health scare a few years back, that kind of just forced me to slow down and learn about life and love life so much,” states Falzone. His golden advice? “Don’t waste time, don’t squander opportunities, and don’t not work hard.”

    Less than a year ago, Falzone, who previously resided in Connecticut, made the big move to Los Angeles in the pursuit of music, stand-up, and YouTube. He’s working toward making another album, a second book, and acting in a scripted series—something he’s never done before.

    “If you have the opportunity to do something, if people think I’m funny enough and talented enough to do shit out here, then if I want to, and I have a love for it, I owe it to myself to try,” explains Falzone on his no-regrets policy. “No one is ever going to work harder for you than you.”

    Photo via mikefalzone/YouTube


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    If the Internet’s relentless ’90s nostalgia parade has a silver lining, it’s that millennials have discovered David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, a spooky TV series that set the stage for the golden age of premium cable. But will this generation of fans fork over cash to celebrate the show’s impact?


    Stephen Lange seems to think so—otherwise he wouldn’t be asking for $600,000 on Kickstarter to transform an Everett, Wash., house into a combination Twin Peaks museum/bed and breakfast. This isn’t just any dwelling, of course: in the series pilot and the 1992 film Fire Walk With Me, it served as home to the Palmers, the family at the center of a surreal murder mystery. 


    “As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most magical television programs of all time, Twin Peaks, we are presented with a unique opportunity,” Lange writes—namely, preserving an “iconic landmark” that “was witness to some of the most climactic moments in the series.” Lange envisions T-shirts, posters, guided tours with coffee and pie, and arguments over who gets to sleep in Laura Palmer’s bedroom. (Spoiler alert: She won’t be needing it; she’s dead.)


    The crowdfunding campaign has a long way to go—Lange would likely have more success opening a real-life One Eyed Jacks—but in the event you do someday find yourself a guest at the Palmer homestead, be extra-careful in the bathroom: The towels are not what they seem. 

    H/T Defamer | Photo via Estately


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    The ever-smug Stuart Varney, host of Varney & Co. on Fox Business News, found his foot to be a less-than-tasty snack when “Weird Al” Yankovic appeared on the show July 16. 

    The parody mastermind, currently releasing a one-a-day series of videos from his new album, politely shrugged off questions related to making money on the Internet and thoughts related to recent attempts to take over Time Warner. 

    If anything, the interview pointed out that the “Weird” part of Yankovic’s name is a bit of a oxymoron. A graduate of Cal Poly SLO with a degree in architecture, Weird Al proved to be quick on the draw when Varney threw a quiz question on grammar related to the music video “Word Crimes,” calmly responding with the correct answer: “a split infinitive.”

    Time to unlace that shoe. 

    Varney’s rapid-fire follow-up was about how artists make money on the Internet; Yankovic’s on-target rejoinder explained how videos are a promotional tool for reaching a targeted audience. 

    Shoe off, insert in mouth.

    Beyond his musical genius (a term not loosely tossed around!), Yankovic, who is 55 (but doesn’t look it since his 1998 Lasik surgery), has been able to remain more than just relevant to continuous generations of fans by creating clever, true-to-the-times song parodies that nibble and sometimes bite just enough to create a social buzz. It’s rare that a Weird Al video will generate less than several million YouTube views. 

    Not that you asked, here’s my favorite Weird Al song parody. It has a personal meaning.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via YouTube/Fox Business News


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    Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are fighting to the death for the title of the world’s biggest Star Wars fan.

    Back in May, Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams showed a glimpse of the set and offered the fans the chance to win a role in the movie by donating to Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable effort that will support UNICEF’s Innovation Labs.

    Colbert and Stewart, both geeks in their own right, have gone head-to-head on their respective shows before, but this time around they can barely keep straight faces as they face off with cosplay and obscure trivia. There’s plenty of nods to the original source, and it has a great starting point for fanfiction writers.

    Can we just give them both roles in Star Wars?

    H/T Reddit | Screenshot via Omaze/YouTube


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    Deborah Ann Woll has a new role to sink her teeth into. The True Blood star has been cast as the female lead in Marvel’s new Daredevil series.

    Woll, best known for playing sheltered-teen-turned-sexy-vamp Jessica Hamby for seven seasons on True Blood, will play Karen Page in the Netflix-distributed series, opposite fellow HBO alum Charlie Cox as Daredevil a.k.a. Matt Murdock. 

    It’s the first major portrayal of Page—Murdock’s secretary and love interest in the classic comic series—since Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) briefly played Page in the 2003 Daredevil flick starring Ben Affleck.

    In addition to Woll and Cox, the new Daredevil series is also set to star Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) as Foggy, Murdock’s friend and legal partner, Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black) as crime lord Kingpin, and Rosario Dawson (Sin City) in an unspecified role.

    Daredevil marks Marvel’s third TV venture. Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D was recently renewed for a second season and Agent Carter starring Captain America’s Hayley Atwell will debut midseason for ABC. Daredevil is also part of a multiyear deal between Netflix and Disney that will bring three other Marvel superheroes to the streaming site. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke “Power Man” Cage will also be getting their own  shows. The four serialized storylines will culminate in an Avengers-esque team-up for  a miniseries called The Defenders.

    Woll, Marvel, and Netflix have not commented on the casting.

    H/T Entertainment Weekly | Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    AOL unveiled 12 new original series during its presentation at Digital Content Newfronts in late April. Of that group, AOL is now set to release what is perhaps its most intriguing new offering. The online video platform has released a teaser for Follow Me, which will chronicle the off-camera lives of YouTube stars.

    The 10 episodes of Follow Me claim to offer behind-the-scenes access to some of the online video community’s biggest stars. Included in the series’ cast are Brittani Louise Taylor, 5 Second Films (5SF), Our 2nd Life (O2L), Marquese Scott, ScrewAttack!, Secret Life of a BioNerd, fouseyTube, Black Nerd Comedy, and Megan Nicole. These diverse creators have one important commonality: They’re all partners of the multi-channel network Fullscreen, which produced Follow Me for AOL.


    AOL has found success working alongside YouTube stars in the past, and Follow Me will up the ante by bringing in a plethora of familiar faces. If the series’ stars leverage their respective fan bases, it has a great chance to become AOL On’s most successful new original, no matter how many Emmy nods Steve Buscemi’s Park Bench scores.

    Follow Me also arrives at a time when its core subject is making headlines. For instance, Connor Franta’s sullen vlog about his troubled off-camera emotional state served as an important reminder that life behind the YouTube curtain isn’t always as glitzy as it seems. Will Follow Me be able to accurately explore this compelling topic? We’ll begin to know when the first two episodes arrive on July 29th.

    Screengrab via AOL


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    We're a long way from the days when admitting to using online dating immediately marked you as a social pariah. Everyone and their mother is on OkCupid, Match.com, eHarmony, Guardian Soulmates—and the rest. Even celebs aren't immune to the allure of a thousand potential partners at the click of the button.

    Last night, late-night host Conan O'Brien has roped in the help of actor Dave Franco to explore the brave new world of Tinder.

    I won't spoil what happens, but rest assured, true love is achieved and it all ends up happily ever after—kinda.

    Still haven't had your Franco fix? Check out the outtakes.

    Screengrab via Conan


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    What a time to be alive: “Weird Al” Yankovic and Jason Mraz are currently vying for the No. 1 spot on next week’s Billboard 200.

    Mraz released his latest album, YES!, on Tuesday, the same date Weird Al released Mandatory Fun. However, Mr. Yankovic’s PR effort has been much more effective: He’s released a parody a day since Monday, schooled a Fox News host on how the Internet works, and appeared on an episode of The Hotwives of Orlando as a self-help guru.

    According to Billboard, industry forecasters are predicting both albums will sell roughly 70,000 to 75,000 copies by Sunday.

    Weird Al has been experiencing something of a renaissance, and his new album highlights just how much his style of parody has evolved to fit the Internet. When asked how Yankovic stands out in a sea of YouTube parodies, in a time when Cookie Monster’s done a “Call Me Maybe” parody, he told NPR’s Tamara Keith:

    “Yeah, Cookie Monster is my No. 1 competition right now. Actually, I don't view it as a competition at all. I think it's wonderful that there's a level playing field now. Anybody can upload their videos to YouTube and you don't have to get the blessing of some record executive somewhere to get your stuff heard. If your stuff is good, chances are people will hear it.

    I did have the field to myself pretty much throughout the '80s and '90s, and it's more of a challenge now because I have to make sure my material rises above on its own merits. I can't just say, ‘Well, I'm the only person with a major label recording deal.’ Now I have to compete with the thousands and thousands of people that are also putting out comedic songs and parodies.”

    His latest video is for “Sports Song,” which isn’t a parody so much as a general skewering of our sports-addicted culture.

     

    The Billboard 200 numbers will be released on July 23. We, as a culture, can help Al get to No. 1. 

    Photo by ruffin_ready/Flickr (CC By 2.0)


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    “Weird Al” Yankovic just doesn’t parody the Top 40 charts. He also covers entire genres, and his next song is an ode to anyone who’s ever been a fan of a sports team.

    In a week-long series of gifts to the Internet, he’s already managed to cover everyone from Robin Thicke to Lorde and Iggy Azalea. But his latest tune, courtesy of Funny or Die in an effort to spread the love through as many platforms as possible, is a tribute to every single similar-sounding college fight song.

    But if you’ve somehow managed not to learn anything about sports ever, this primer from Yankovic and his marching band is a hell of a place to start. It’s got all of the subtle nuances, figurative phrases, and none of the sportsmanship.

    The college football season doesn’t start for at least another month, but here’s to hoping the Best Damn Band in the Land will cover it in one giant Yankovic-themed tribute next season.

    Photo via Funny Or Die


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    The Internet time machine strikes again! This time it’s produced a clip of a 19-year-old Kanye West freestyling at a NYC record store in August 1996.

    The footage is from Fat Beats, a now-shuttered record store that functioned as a think tank and testing ground for the ’90s hip-hop scene in New York City. DJ Eclipse posted the clip, which is apparently from opening day of the store’s new location, and he writes that there were quite a few notable names in the store that day: Xzibit, Rob Swift, DJ Spinna.

    “But what took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19-year-old kid who at that time nobody knew. Now I've had this person as a guest on my radio show years later, but it's pretty crazy to see this footage in ’96 and think, ‘Damn, this dude was in my house then?’ and not even know. More to come. ...”

    Kanye’s always been one to keep his references fresh. During his short freestyle, he name-drops Alanis Morissette. It’s a reminder that it’s 1996, but also infers that he’s rapping from the future. Could he foresee his Auto-Tune rant?

    Keep that footage coming, DJ Eclipse.

    Screengrab via itdjeclipse/YouTube and digitalsextant/Flickr (CC By SA 2.0) | Remix by fern


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