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by Amber Hemmerle 04.18.2014 54 hours ago
Posted In: Comedy at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Rajiv Satyal

Comedian brings his No Man's Land tour to the Aronoff Center Saturday

Comedian Rajiv Satyal was born and bred in Cincinnati — Fairfield to be exact. He’s gone from being an intern on Capitol Hill to brand manager at Procter & Gamble to full-time comedian living in Los Angeles. Satyal has worked with Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim (the tool man) Allen, Kevin Nealon and Russell Peters. Heard of the University of Cincinnati’s Bearcast? He named the school’s radio station-turned-media group. He runs a consulting business called StandPoint Agency and is a regular at all the L.A. comedy clubs, but he got his start at Montgomery’s Go Bananas. Satyal’s unique way of viewing the world continually draws in more fans. He refers to himself as the funny Indian, but he’s really just a funny — and nice — dude from Ohio. Satyal performs his first one-man show No Man’s Land Saturday to a sold-out audience at the Aronoff Center, and he squeezed CityBeat into his schedule for a quick rundown of all things Rajiv.

CityBeat: Since you’re from Cincinnati I have to ask, what high school did you go to?

Rajiv Satyal: Totally fine, a very Cincinnati question, but I went to Fairfield High School and I got an undergrad at the University of Cincinnati in materials engineering.

CB: I read that you worked on Capitol Hill, what did you do there?

RS: I was at the University of Cincinnati at the time and I went out to Capitol Hill to be an intern for a representative, Steve Chabot. So I just worked in the office and it was for fun, I got to live in DC and explore that town and did whatever tasks around the office, but it was mostly getting the feel of Washington.

CB: Do you have a funny family or what sparked your interest in comedy?

RS: Actually I have two brothers and, well, two parents, and everybody has a sense of humor. It was a super fun household to grow up in. We were all pretty positively reinforced, we weren’t really a tough crowd, like, we definitely encouraged each other to say funny things and we laughed a lot. I know a lot of comedians’ families would be like, you know, “boo” or whatever when they told a joke and were a tough crowd, but we were a really good crowd for each other and just kind of encouraged each other to be funny. My brothers and I never really fought a lot growing up, which is so strange, but we all got a long and we had a good time.

(Check out Rajiv’s dad going Bollywood last Monday on The Bob & Tom Show here.)

CB: Does Cincinnati or growing up here inspire any of your stand-ups?

RS: Oh, definitely. I feel like growing up in Ohio, it made me kind of more of an everyman being able to relate to people in the heartland of the country and people who grew up on the coast. I think people on the coast have their own sensibility, but it’s hard to know what works inland. A lot of comedians are like virgins; they knock it out on the coast, but when they come inland they die. I feel like being from the Midwest gives me an advantage.

CB: What inspired you to pursue comedy seriously?

RS: When I turned 30 I really flipped out, I was like, ‘Man, I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and I need to do something different.’ So I left Procter & Gamble and moved to Los Angeles, I was a brand manager at P&G Water for only about 3 months and then I jumped shipped and went into it [comedy] full-time. I guess I felt like I really enjoyed speaking in front of people and I love being funny and those two things lend themselves well to being a famous comic, ya know.

CB: So basically just turning 30 did it for you?

RS: Yeah, I felt like life’s too short and, you know, why do something you don’t want to do? Why not go for it. I guess I thought when I turned 30 I felt like, “Man, I don’t want to turn 40 and watch TV and go, ‘Man I could have done that.’” I think given all the privileges, if I don’t try it…I’m born in the United States, I’m American, I have all these opportunities, it’s the land of opportunity, you got to self-actualize, man, go for it.

CB: How has your comedy evolved from where you first started to now?

RS: I would say that just getting deeper. As comedians do it longer and longer you start to go from jokes to more of a point of view. You start to realize what makes you funny. You have these weird beliefs and you stand out a little bit. You don’t really have to do jokes anymore, you just tell people what you think and they think it’s funny because they are like, ‘Wow, that’s a weird way to look at it.’ Being able to make people laugh at the way you look at the world, I think that’s kind of cool.

CB: Do you have any stories about opening up for or working with various comedians?

RS: I actually opened up Dave Chappelle’s very first show when he came back from Africa in 2005, so that was really cool. I had opened up for him at the University of Cincinnati in 2000 before I even started doing stand-up — I started doing stand-up in 2002. So people in the student senate and student government and programming board at UC were like, ‘Hey, you’re a funny guy, you’ve done a little bit of stand-up, would you want to do?’ So I opened for Dave Chappelle at UC and got booed off the stage in front of all these people. Then five years later I opened Dave Chappelle’s first show when he comes back from Africa and I did really well, I killed and it was really redeeming.

CB: Did he remember you from 2000?

RS: Yeah, he did actually, that’s what’s crazy about it — that he remembered that. It’s funny. He was really encouraging and complimentary. I talked to him for two hours by myself that night in 2005, after we were done, just he and I were in the room and for two hours we were just talking about politics and religion and the world…I know that he was happy that I stuck with it and everything. 

CB: Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t worked with?

RS: I would like to work with Bill Burr. He is not an extremely well-known person, but he is a genius and he is from Boston. I think it would be awesome to work with Louis C. K., of course, he is like the biggest guy in comedy right now. I mean, I don’t know, I think Jerry Seinfeld would be pretty awesome. I love Ricky Gervais, I’m a big fan of Ricky Gervais, a guy from England. Chris Rock, I love Chris Rock. I actually met Chris Rock when he performed at Ohio State and I told him someday I am going to open for him and he goes, ‘That would be something man, you never know.’ So I have to make good of my promise. I told him one day I was going to open for him, so I better do.

CB: What kind of topics or themes can audiences expect from No Man’s Land?

RS: It’s mostly about dating and relationships. The central questions of the show are: Why am I single and how would you define manhood in modern society? So I’m a single, 38-year-old man out there trying to figure out the evolution of manhood and what does it mean now, how does the definition of manhood change and I try to define it. It’s not a show about men versus women, it’s a show about men versus guys.

CB: What do you miss most about living in Cincinnati?

RS: Well my family, obviously, my family and my friends. I have a really good friend who lives in Seattle, but he is thinking about moving back here and the only reason is his family; it’s not for the weather, it’s not for a better job and it’s not for anything else other than the fact that his family is here. I think family is a big thing.

CB: I feel like if I moved away I would miss three-ways too much.

RS: I do miss Cincinnati food. I love LaRosa’s, I love Graeters’, I love Skyline and I do love Cincinnati food. You know, there is something about the Midwest. The people are super nice and, you know, just walking down the street you can say hi and the person will say hi back or the person will initiate or whatever — that doesn’t really happen in L.A. as much, at all, and people are not as nearly as friendly as they are here.

CB: What advice do you have for people who are trying to break into the business?

RS: I think they should just start. They need to start…The Internet is such an opportunity to reach the people you want to reach. I think it’s possible more than ever to go down to the local comedy club and enter the open mic night and start. Get to know the people and get up and do it. Write material, start a group up that supports each other. It is difficult, but you know there is a way in. Comedy is more accessible than ever.

Get a glimpse of some of Satyal’s funny stuff here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.16.2014 4 days ago
at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Senior prom is a special milestone for many American teens, but even traditions as old as school dances change over time. Intimate one-on-one dates have given way to group dates and attending as friends. Flip-flops and cutout cocktail dresses replaced the overdone evening look for many girls. And now a southern-fried specialty is getting in the prom game. Kentucky Fried Chicken — What? Yes. — partnered with Louisville florists to create the chicken corsage. For $20, Louisville residents can purchase a corsage from Nanz and Kraft Florists that includes a $5 gift card to KFC, where folks can then go buy the perfect piece of chicken. It can only be assumed that after prom, girls will press the greasy chicken bone between their yearbook pages, just like their moms did with their corsages when they were young.




It’s confirmed: Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show desk once David Letterman retires sometime in 2015. That’ll mean no more Colbert Report and, likely, the end of the host’s faux-servative character. Start the countdown to the announcement of a new reality show following Letterman, Leno (and, let’s just be honest — Craig Ferguson and Conan O’Brien) around Ex-Host Island. Move over, old people! Slightly younger people are takin' yer jerbs!

In the contemporary classic Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s Cady describes Halloween as, “the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Well, Coachella must be kind of like Halloween for celebrities, except instead of wearing lingerie and some form of animal ears, they throw on the most jumbled assortment of terrible fashion fads. Not sure about the new cream-colored designer jumpsuit you purchased? Try it out in the middle of the desert! Want to channel Woodstock without ever having been to, read about or seen a photo of Woodstock? Grab a Native American headdress and wear that shit to Coachella. The fest is HQ for floral head wreaths, jorts and combat boots (often all worn at once), and for some reason I cannot pull myself away from the celeb photos of this mess. It’s like someone made a slot machine with various teenagers’ style blogs on Tumblr and everyone going to Coachella must take a spin to determine their outfit.

“Ooh, I got a bindi, a latex bra, a crocheted duster and gladiator sandals!” Just look at these famous attendees, capped off with Koachella Kweenz Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

 

But seriously, you need to see this video that’s (probably) of Leonardo DiCaprio Coachin’ it up (people say that, right?) at an MGMT performance, which makes me feel weird and old.

And since I brought up Lindsay, the supposedly sober starlet was supposedly washing down all that Coachella dust and glitter with vodka this weekend. The reports come days after the latest episode of her Oprah docu-series, in which she admits to drinking alcohol after her latest stint in rehab. Also, there were a lot of emo scenes of Lindsay filming herself crying. Get it together, girl. OPRAH WILL CUSS AT YOU AGAIN. And everyone knows if Oprah has to cuss at you twice, you will spontaneously burst into flames.

Celebrispawn in the media is quite the hot topic as of late, particularly thanks to Dax Sheppard and Kristen Bell vs. Papz (this will definitely be a court case our children will study in history class). But what about fake famous babies — fair game? OK! Leslie Knope is pregnant! Pawnee's upcoming addition will be the Prince George of fictional TV comedy births. Which is to say, a very big deal. Parks and Rec's Leslie and Ben will be the best parents ever. I think I speak for fans everywhere by saying we can't wait for his or her first playdate with the world’s most attractive child, Ann and Chris’ little Oliver.

Sunday was an epic night for television with the final Mad Men premiere (sort of) and a crazy-ass episode of Game of Thrones. These two are great popular, critically-acclaimed dramas, but they’re on complete opposite ends of the style spectrum. Mad Men’s seventh season debut was gradual and calculated (as always), giving viewers a chance to fill in the blanks between Season Six and now, speculate on what’s to come and read into every little detail. And by detail, I mean Pete’s California Ken Doll look, which was #flawless. Ratings were way down Sunday — the lowest-rated premiere since the second season's in 2008. Some attribute the drop to a lackluster episode, but the truth is probably that everyone was too busy losing their shit over this week’s Game of Thrones to get into the cool Mad Men mood.

Without giving too much away (and because I spoiled “the incident” for myself since I can’t stay off the damn Internet — so I know it sucks), Thrones fans who hadn’t already read the books were treated to a truly righteous, bubbly, bloody scene this week that totally flips the script for many of our favorite characters. Can’t these people get through one wedding without having to immediately plan a funeral?

New movie trailers to hit the Interwebz: bestseller-turned-likely blockbuster Gone Girl; two red band previews for 22 Jump Street (The College Years); Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and a manorexic Jason Segel, a comedy that’s exactly what you think it’s about; and Jon Favreau’s take on the foodie world, Chef.

Aaand it looks like Jay-Z and Beyoncé may tour together for a string of shows this summer, so I need to go quit my job and fulfill my dreams of being a roadie. Byé!
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.11.2014 9 days ago
Posted In: Events at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/11-4/13

This weekend’s forecast includes warm weather, a bit of rain, a few clouds and tons of art. Whether you want to watch it, make it, buy it or just support local arts organizations, art is all around this weekend — starting with the last Macy’s Arts Sampler of the season, presented by ArtsWave.

Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends bring free performances, workshops, tours and other art opportunities to venues across Greater Cincinnati. Saturday’s final installment includes concerts by the Cincinnati Children's Choir, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Men’s Chorus at St. John’s Unitarian Church; dance demo classes and performances at Covington’s Step-N-Out Studio; yarn-bombing 101 with the Bombshells of Cincinnati at 21c Museum Hotel and tons more events in College Hill, Butler County, Mariemont and other neighborhoods. Find a full schedule of free art to sample here.

Visionaries + Voices provides countless opportunities for local artists with disabilities. With locations in Northside and Tri-County, V+V helps these artists create, market and showcase their pieces. At the organization’s annual fundraiser, Double Vision, talented V+V artists exhibit and auction their works of art. Double Vision V takes place at Memorial Hall Friday — VIP and general admission ticket options available here. Art will be on sale via live and silent auctions, and attendees can enjoy drinks, snacks and music by DJ Mowgli.

Oakley’s Brazee Street Studios hosts a free art supply swap from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Clean out your craft closet and bring any unwanted items such as paint, textiles and brushes, then stock up on other materials you may need. It’s all free and honor system-style — please bring at least two items if you plan on swapping. All extra supplies will be donated to Crayons2Computers.

It’s Northside Second Saturday time this weekend! Art, retail sales, food and drink specials abound throughout the neighborhood starting around 6 p.m. Highlights include shows at Northside Tavern and The Comet, gallery openings at Fabricate, NVISION and Northside International Airport’s Bathrool Gallery and a closing reception at Thunder-Sky, Inc.

Local electronic artist Charles Woodman is a founding member of video performance group viDEO sAVant and he currently has a show on display in Weston Art Gallery you can read about here. This Sunday viDEO sAVant presents Lateral Thinking, a unique, live multimedia performance at 21c Museum Hotel downtown. Video clips of both sci-fi and avant-garde films will play out as a soundtrack is composed live. This feast for the senses is free and begins at 4 p.m. Read more here.

Be sure to read our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more.

For more theater shows, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

 
 
by Kelsey Kennedy 04.10.2014 10 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Thoughts After Binge-Watching 'House of Cards'

SPOILER ALERT

Alfred Hitchcock made Psycho infamous by killing off the main character 30 minutes into the movie. Audiences were shocked — some even walked out of the theater. This had never been done before. Viewers had already invested 30 minutes into Janet Leigh. But her character’s death — as shocking as it was — created an essential space for Norman Bates to emerge and develop. The movie took a twist for the unexpected, and Norman Bates remains one of the most fundamental characters in the history of film.

It took me awhile to get into House of Cards. The series seems to pick up more steam the longer you watch. Kevin Spacey makes me uncomfortable (for good reason). I wasn’t hooked right away. Like Heisenberg in Breaking Bad, we are captivated by the villains — the evil doers. Frank and Claire Underwood are the political equivalent to Bonnie and Clyde. The audience is part of a first-person psychopathic journey through a politician’s road to world domination, and we’re frozen on the edge of our seats.

The turning point for many was the first episode of the second season, “Chapter 14.” Here we are, fully engaged with these characters, rooting for the journalists (I was rooting for the journalists) and waiting to see what amazing one-liners this series would come up with next. And then Zoe died. I had to re-watch the subway scene twice before I believed it was real. It was quick and dirty (just like Frank), an ingenious move on creator Beau Willimon’s part.

It’s the kind of moment where you think about criminal intent and defendants blaming their murders on “insanity.” Frank Underwood is an insane character with direct criminal intent. He didn’t get angry and frustrated and regret his decision. He saw an opportunity to get rid of a pesky journalist, so he took it. We all knew Frank was capable of stepping on anyone (Peter Russo) who was in his way. But this…this was different. This was a character that he had an established sexual and professional relationship with. And he killed her in two seconds. (It was so acrobatic and ninja-like.) That was the turning point for me, the point where I was hooked. Zoe’s death was a classic Hitchcockian move, only viewers had already invested an entire season into her.

The reason why Zoe’s death was so shocking to viewers is because we don’t believe our government officials to be capable of throwing journalists in front of trains when they are getting uncomfortably close to the truth. (9/11 truthers will disagree). In reality, dictatorships and corrupt regimes all over the world have the power to kill and do so regularly. Especially journalists. I find it so interesting that we are fascinated by a concept of unethical government and abuse of power when there is so much damn truth to it. We are romanticizing tyranny. We are making crooked governments into a drama series and it’s enticing and addicting because that’s not how we think we live. It’s dramatic to imagine Congress as a group of blood-thirsty criminals. Things like that “just don’t happen” in this country — so we make it into a TV show.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.09.2014 11 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The fellas of Mad Men showed off their mad manes (sorry) when Jon Hamm and Pete Campbell revealed some pretty epic ‘dos to the public this week.

Let’s start with Mr. Draper. Apparently in all my research of Jon Hamm (Read: browsing his free-ballin’ pics), neither I — nor the rest of the Internet — realized the star had appeared on the short-lived dating show The Big Date in 1996. The USA Network game show was hosted by Mark Walberg (the Antiques Roadshow one, not the triple-nipple one).

Then-25-year-old Hamm, identified on the show as a waiter, rocked the classic ‘90s parted shaggy ‘do (which I like to call the Shawn Hunter). And as if that wasn’t enough to confuse your boner (or ladyboner), just watch as he describes his perfect first date:

(Cut to the 2-minute mark for Hamm’s introduction, but seriously just watch the whole thing).


TOTAL FABULOUSITY! For some unknown reason that will go down as one of life’s biggest mysteries, Hamm did not go on to win a date. FOR SHAME!

OK, fast forward to modern times at the Mad Men premiere party last week. Vincent Kartheiser aka Pete Campbell showed up looking like he started to pull a Britney before changing his mind and running to the red carpet.

Apparently the actor shaves his bang area (why does that sound so dirty) so his character Pete can have a receding hairline  — because obviously — but couldn’t he achieve that look with makeup and a bald cap? Or why not just shave the whole thing? This is especially bothersome to me because, as a child, I was convinced you didn't need to "grow out" your bangs once you grew tired of them, you just had to cut them off. This could have been me:

                                       WHAT IS HAPPENING

Mad Men’s final season premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. on AMC. Like Breaking Bad, this final season will be split between this year and next. Read more in this week’s TV column.

This week in movie remake fuckery: The Goonies 2 is coming atchu.

David Letterman realized Leno wasn’t backing out of retirement this time, so he hopped on the bandwagon and announced he’d be leaving The Late Show in 2015. Chelsea Handler also recently revealed she’ll be leaving E! when her contract is up in a few months, and is one of many celebs rumored to be considered to take Dave’s place. (Her first change: Swap out Stupid Pet Tricks for Stupid Vagina Tricks. Or maybe just Stupid Tricks, a game show with hookers? Call me for more ideas, Chels!) Stephen Colbert is at the center of these rumors as well, as his Colbert Report contract also ends at the end of this year. Meanwhile Late Late host and Letterman follow-up Craig Ferguson waits in the shadows as 75 percent of Americans still think Craig Ferguson is "the black guy from The Office." Wah waaahhh

Iconic album art like The Beatle’s Abbey Road can transform ordinary places into fan destinations. Check out these classic record covers inserted into their respective Google street view locations.

Normally grown-ass women with a hardcore love for Disney turn me off — everyone’s entitled to a nostalgia fest every now and again, but you should not see Frozen three times in theaters if you do not have a child in your life. And there’s a new announcement for you:


Anna Kendrick hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time this weekend and her debut featured not one but two nods to Disney with her Beauty and the Beast-themed monologue and, later, a Little Mermaid bit. But — as you’ll see from the links — Kendrick’s stint was anything but basic. Bravo, Anna! This will certainly be a highlight episode of the season.

Could you use $500,000? Have you always wanted to be on TV? Are you either a soft-spoken racial minority or a loud-mouthed racist? Big Brother is casting its 16th season and the crew will be in Cincinnati next month to scope prospects. According to the online application, casting is curious about important personal information like applicants' weight, hair color and a “self biography” of a whopping 70 words. Those interested in being locked in a house, recorded 24/7 by 65 cameras and 98 microphones and pitted against some of the worst human beings on the planet can apply in person at Mount Adams Pavilion between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, May 2.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.04.2014 16 days ago
Posted In: Events at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/4-4/6

Ei8ht Ball Brewing hosts a party this Saturday that echoes most folks’ sentiments after the past few months. The brewery’s “F#$K Winter” bash features the tapping of Ei8ht Ball’s new double IPA, Preach, the grand opening of its patio, live music from Honey & Houston and a pig roast with all the fixins. Give Old Man Winter the proverbial finger by celebrating in true spring fashion — it looks like this monsoon will end today. Ei8ht Ball’s “F#$k Winter” party runs 4-8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance here.

If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce the kids to classical music and our local orchestras (or if you’re just an adult with an unabashed loved for children’s movies — no judgment), The Cincinnati Pops’ Pixar in Concert is definitely worth checking out. The Pops will be playing tunes from more than a dozen of your animated favorites including the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo and more. Concerts run all weekend, Friday-Sunday at Music Hall; tickets start at $12.

Cincinnati gets a little spring break flavor this weekend with Foam N’ Glow. You know those sketchy Panama bar parties where they flood the joint with suds and everyone goes wild, unaware of what bodily fluids they may or may not be exposed to? It’s just like that, only at Bogart’s. Expect DJs, light shows, foam shooters and way too many neon tank tops packed into Bogart’s beginning at 9 p.m. Friday. Get tickets here.

Monster Jam returns to the Tristate this weekend with a lineup of badass monstertruckers to entertain audiences with tricks and racing. U.S. Bank Arena gets down and dirty as it transforms into race track and obstacle course for Monster Jam Friday-Saturday.

Innovative chamber music ensemble concert:nova always presents fun, interdisciplinary concerts in atypical venues. This Saturday and Sunday, the group flips the traditional classical music gala on its head with RE:BEL — a performance and party at Rhinegeist Brewery. Lots of live music accompanies art installations and guests have the option of enjoying a three-course dinner. Go here for tickets and more details.

The 22nd Victory of Light Expo takes over Sharonville Convention Center this weekend for two days of workshops, lectures, art and music for the mind, body and spirit. Meet and mingle with psychics, healers, paranormal investigators, astrologists and other presenters with spiritual flair. The expo is also a great shopping spot for books, crystals and materials on Tarot, Reiki, aromatherapy and more. Tickets are $14 per day, $20 for a weekend pass.

Be sure to read our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more.

For more art openings, theater shows, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.02.2014 18 days ago
Posted In: Fast Food, TV/Celebrity, Humor, Is this for real? at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The stoner gods have answered our prayers by way of Taco Bell’s “first meal.” Now folks across the country can start living mas as soon as they wake up, because everyone's favorite south-of-the-border fast food chain now serves breakfast. Taco Bell giant unveiled the new morning menu with a commercial that takes a dig at the golden arches:

Taco Bell breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. — 30 minutes later than McDonald’s, yet still too early for their target demographic. When will fast food restaurants learn that the people who really want to consume waffle tacos do not typically wake before noon?

Bill Murray can do whatever he wants. He can crash your party, drink fancy champagne on the rocks and, now, raid your dad's closet circa 1981.

Yeah, he wore PBR pants to a recent golf outing. NBD.

Murray’s Coffee and Cigarettes co-stars and South by Southwest buddies of the Wu-Tang Clan are causing a stir with the release of their new album…which apparently will consist of one single copy.

Of all the terrible reality shows I relish in, I have never been able to get into The Bachelor/ette. I’m not sure what separates this piece of trash from the heap of garbage I enjoy — it’s not like the materialistic, bratty children in Botoxed old lady bodies known as Real Housewives don’t perpetuate negative female stereotypes, but I enjoy shows that are somewhat self-aware and poke fun at themselves, and The Bach just doesn’t do that for me. So, any show in the vein of 2003’s Joe Millionaire that misleads women who signed up for a TV dating show is a winner in my book. In a new show coming to Fox, 12 women will compete for the affection of a man they claim to believe is Prince Harry, despite what the smallest amount of common sense and eyesight would prove — the dude’s just a redheaded imposter!

I Want to Marry “Harry” premieres this May. You know when the truth bomb is dropped on these hoes they’ll be all, “How dare this television show orchestrated to create ‘true love’ be fake?!” But in the meantime we can ponder which is worse: a woman trying to meet and marry a prince (of whom she’s obviously never even seen a photo) and believing British royalty would dare be seen on American reality TV or a woman knowing all this mess is some bullshit but riding that gravy train as long as possible?

In what must be the most fabulous robbery ever, three people were arrested for stealing a replica pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The shoes were on display in a Hilton Garden Inn lobby (which is kind of rude). The trio has been released without bail and is due back in court next month. If only clicking your heels got you out of jail.

Lakewood, Calif., Vice Mayor and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Todd Rodgers is running for L.A. sheriff in an upcoming June election. Typically, county election campaign coverage wouldn’t have a place in a pop culture roundup, save for maybe making fun of an unintentionally funny low-budget ad. But those Hollywood types have connections on the West Coast. If I lived in L.A., it would be important for me to elect an official with not only celebrity endorsements, but a good sense of humor as well. Therefore I’d definitely vote for Todd Rodgers, who last week reunited (most of) the cast of Reno 911! for a series of TV spots.

Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Joe Lo Truglio all suited up in their khaki uniforms for the occasion. While the videos haven’t been released yet, you can see photos here.

You may be asking, “Why would a serious candidate for sheriff seek out the cast of a Comedy Central mockumentary?” or “Why wouldn’t he seek endorsements from actors on a show that is still actually on the air?” or “Isn’t Reno in Nevada? What does any of this have to do with a sheriff election?” The answers all lie in Lt. Dangle’s signature booty shorts. But seriously, Reno was filmed at Carson Station in L.A. from 2001-2006, where Rodgers was a captain at the time, so the cast was actually familiar with him and his work. We’ll take any excuse for a Reno reunion, though. Vote for Rodgers!

And here’s Samuel L. Jackson reciting some slam poetry about Boy Meets World.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.28.2014 23 days ago
Posted In: Events at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
oysters

Your Weekend To Do List: 3/28-3/30

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s monthly Art After Dark series is a really cool way to experience the historic art institution. Each final Friday, the CAM opens its doors after hours for a themed night of gallery tours, live performances and a cash bar with happy hour drinks and appetizers. Friday’s Art After Dark: Rococo Vibrations includes tour of Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700 (members-only at 5:30 p.m., public tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.) and the Neo-Soul stylings of Tracy Walker from 6-8 p.m. The free event runs 5-9 p.m.; parking is $4.

Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival kicks off Friday. This 28th annual food fest features a menu of more than 40 styles of oyster dishes, including Smoked Oyster Salad, Fried Oyster Tacos, Oyster Stuffed Jalapenos, Oysters Mardi Gras and Nantucket Oysters. Guests can enjoy lunch, dinner and happy hour specials and pay to play various games for prizes, with proceeds benefiting the Saint Francis Soup Kitchen in Over-the-Rhine. Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival specials are available 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Thursday.

Recent Grammy Award winners Roomful of Teeth perform at the Contemporary Arts Center Friday. The vocal group specializes in blending classical singing techniques with diverse World music styles for a completely unique sound — one of their songs is in a made-up language! The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., is just the latest offering from the CAC’s solid performance series. Tickets are $14, $8 for members. Read our story on Roomful of Teeth here.

This weekend is your last chance to check out Krohn Conservatory’s spring show, Avant Garden. The show features exotic flowers and shrubs with recycled materials in the landscape. Avant Garden closes Sunday along with the Conservatory’s spring plant sale. The anticipated annual butterfly show — this year it's Pura Vida: The Butterflies of Costa Rica — opens April 12.

Opening Day in Cincinnati is not only a city holiday, but a rite of passage for locals. It marks the first game of the Reds’ season (baseball’s first professional team), the unofficial start of spring and the return of one of the best parades of the year, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — now in its 95th year! Opening Day may not be until Monday, but Covington gallery BLDG is getting a jump on festivities beginning Friday.

199C: Cincinnati’s Opening Day is an exhibit of baseball-, Cincinnati- and Opening Day-themed art from more than 40 artists from around the neighborhood and world. The exhibit opening starts at 4 p.m. Friday with music from Automagik, food trucks, a live art installation, retro video game competitions and a pop-up Wiffle ball game on Pike Street. Find more info here.

Opening Day celebrations run the gamut from sports-related fun to art, bar events and food. Check out a roundup of Monday’s happenings here.

Be sure to read this week’s Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more.

For more art openings, theater shows, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.26.2014 25 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Children of the ‘80s likely remember Jem, the glitziest high-tech cartoon of the decade. The series followed Jerrica Benton (hottest name ever), band manager and HBIC at Starlight Music who used a holographic computer to transform into the frontwoman of Jem and the Holograms. It’s basically the blueprint for every show featuring secret alter-egos (lookin’ at you, Hannah Montana).

Well, Jem is getting the movie treatment now, thanks to Jon Chu (director of fine cinematic offerings like Step Up 2: The Streets and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never). This will be a modern, LIVE-ACTION remake. May I make a casting suggestion?

For more Jem fun, go here to check out this horrendous/hilarious Not Safe For Humanity spoof, courtesy of my little sister (pray for her).

Broad City is just the best. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer rocked the first season of their Comedy Central series — peep the finale tonight at 10:30 p.m. — and the show’s been renewed for a second season. Here’s the duo adequately expressing how I feel when depositing my tax return check.

Want to watch Lady Gaga’s new music video? Well you better have an hour and a love for all things Bravo. The vid features the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ladies as a family band, Andy Cohen as God, Gaga as a wounded phoenix or some shit, a synchronized swim team and four minutes of damn credits. Enjoy!

Ever since it was revealed that American Horror Story would follow an anthology format — with each season taking on new characters, settings and themes — audiences have been speculating about where each subsequent season would take us. I always hoped for some kind of dark sideshow set in the early 20th century, like a scarier, grittier Water for Elephants. We’ve seen a murder house over the course of a century, an insane asylum in the ‘60s and nearly the entire timeline of witchcraft and Voodoo. Thankfully for weirdos like me who want to be scared by the creepy underground world of old-timey carnivals, the wait is over. American Horror Story: Freak Show is a go!

Ryan Murphy tweeted the news Monday and here’s what we know so far: This season will take place in Jupiter, Fla., (Palm Beach) in 1950. Jessica Lange, AHS queen for every season (this will be her last), will portray a German Marlene Dietrich-type character running one of the last freak shows in the States. Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates have all signed on for the season — they will reportedly play the “freaks” at hand. Many other AHS alum are in talks to join this carnival, thought the show tries to keep some details under wraps to surprise the audience (ahem, son of Bloody Face). The season will premiere in October.

So, Kim and Kanye are on the April kover of Vogue. Here’s some behind-the-scenes shit featuring little baby North, who consistently has “Da fu?” face. Get used to it, gurl.

Former TV judge Joe Brown was arrested this week for losing his shit in a court room. The mustachioed judge was later released on his on recognizance, but not before giving us face in his mega-grump mug shot. Judge Joe Brown was cancelled last year.

Bradley Cooper and Louis C.K. both appeared in American Hustle, but a new video circulating connects the two in another interesting way.


Louis C.K. hosts Saturday Night Live this week.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.19.2014 32 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Culture, Humor at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Cincinnati is now a temporary home for Cate Blanchett (this year’s winner of the Best Actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects, Her), Sarah Paulson (The American Horror Story anthology, 12 Years a Slave) and Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Zero Dark Thirty, the Friday Night Lights series) as filming for Todd Haynes’ upcoming movie Carol is in full swing! Some of the stars (and a giant movie crew) were spotted filming at their first location, Eden Park, as well as along US 52 in New Richmond and Spare Time Grill in Alexandria, Ky. The Enquirer’s Glenn Hartong was able to catch a glimpse at Mara and Paulson looking straight out of the '50s filming a scene at the now-closed diner.

Photo: The Enquirer/Glenn Harton. See more photos here.

The film is based on is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel (published as both Carol and The Price of Salt) about Carol (Blanchett), a wife in a loveless marriage on the brink of divorce who falls in love with a young woman, Therese (Mara). The book was revolutionary at the time for portraying a lesbian relationship, and doing so in a non-stereotypical light. Chandler will portray the titular character’s husband while Paulson plays Abby, Carol’s best friend.

Filming continues this week at a home on Grandin Avenue in Hyde Park. Retro Westside institution Maury’s Tiny Cove will be closed April 1 for a day of filming Blanchett and Mara’s characters’ first date. Cincy Magazine tweeted  that the Cincinnati Club, where the mag’s office is located, will also be used to shoot the film at an unspecified date. We’ll keep an eye out — the building is right across the street from CityBeat’s HQ. Search #carolmovie on Twitter for the latest dish on the movie and its local filming and tweet us if you have a run-in with any of the stars!

Even if Carol wasn’t filmed exclusively in Cincinnati, the adaptation sounds like a great premise for a film. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about most of the recent movies based on books and other, previous movies. This week in remake fuckery, we have Rosemary’s Baby and The Birds — two classic ‘60s horror films undergoing contemporary reworkings. Zoe Saldana will take on Mia Farrow’s iconic role in a made-for-TV version of Rosemary coming to NBC; Transformers director Michael Bay is apparently producing the remake of Hitchcock’s feathery flick. We can only guess that Bay will replace said birds with laser-shooting Velociraptors. 

Now and forever:

Speaking of dinosaurs, paleontologists in Alaska last week discovered a miniature species of tyrannosaurs about half the size of its close relative, the T. rex — essentially, what the prehistoric Paris Hiltons were carrying around in their designer mammoth skin handbags. Teacup-Rex!  

A post I found recently on Imgur (because Reddit still confuses/scares me) recalls the story of when the United Way decided to release 1.5 million helium balloons into the air in Cleveland in 1986, breaking the world record. The photos of the event are stunning, but — as anyone with a tiny bit of foresight could tell you — the mega-balloon launch totally backfired. Not only did this result in more than 1.5 million pieces of plastic trash around the region and as north as Ontario, but also reportedly hindered a missing person search on Lake Erie.