When Catfish The TV Show premiered in 2012, I was less than impressed. While I enjoyed the original documentary film about a man’s (the filmmaker’s brother, Nev Schulman) online relationship-gone-wrong, Nev’s MTV version lacked the same authenticity and felt rather exploitative. But when Schulman tweeted about being in the Cincinnati area (Findlay Market, specifically) this past February, my interest was certainly piqued. Who doesn’t love seeing Cincy on TV (even if it inevitably would be a negative representation of the city and its people)?
The Cincinnati episode of Catfish aired last week and local ties aside, it was one of the most controversial episodes thus far. Nev and his docu-series partner-in-crime Max embarked on a unique catfishing adventure when Carmen contacted the duo to help her host a “catfish intervention” with her cousin Antwane whom, despite never meeting the man in person, had been in a relationship with a guy named Tony for three years. Antwane explained that he “met” Tony on a late-night chat line but he’d never so much as seen a photo of him. Carmen and ‘Twane are both big personalities, sure to get a reaction from viewers, but they both seemed genuine.
After a crazy turn of events, Antwane’s cousin Carmen nonchalantly revealed that she was “Tony” all along, and she had kept up the sick charade as revenge for…wait for it…the one time Antwane called her “a fat ass Kelly Price” in front of her family three years ago. Oy.
When Max and Nev learned that Carmen was behind the whole thing and that she planned the Catfish cameras to catch her so she could get a brush with fame, they were furious. And rightfully so, that’s a straight Disney villain move (also your cousin?!). In a very edited scene, Nev heatedly called out Carmen, mocking the way she talked, when producers immediately stepped in to call for a break. While I in no way condone any of her sociopathic actions, I did find it bitterly just that these MTV hotshots got a taste of their own exploitative medicine. They embarrass countless people on the show (though some might argue the subjects ask for it) and while they say they do it to help people, like any television producers, it's all about ratings and "good" TV. In the end, this episode was sure to rack up plenty of viewers.
After the show aired, Nev posted the following message on his Facebook page, which reeks of his signature smug judginess:
“Shooting this weeks episode of Catfish was one of the most intense and emotional experiences of my life. Relating to and understanding Antwane was a struggle for me in many ways, but I really grew to appreciate and respect him. He has many fears and flaws, but showed so much courage and resolve in the face of adversity. He is a man who proves that you don't need anybody else's approval to be happy. My lesson learned is to be confident and proud of who you are no matter what anybody else says or thinks. Life isn't always easy, but we can all chose to be positive in the way we treat ourselves and others. Cheers.”
Watch the full episode here. The show features shots of Short Vine (it looks like Antwane lives across the street from Bogart’s); Coffee Emporium in Over-the-Rhine (Nev and Max famously do all their research in a coffee shop in each episode, and were very impressed by the local spot); and various locations across Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The term “catfish” has
caught on as a definition for people who assume false identities on the Internet
(or the act of doing so) — so much so, that the word’s new meaning has been
added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Go here to read about how the term originated in
the doc by the same name.
Every year, the Guardians
of the English Language at M-W begrudgingly add new words and definitions to the
dictionary. This year’s list was just released and, in addition to catfish’s
new meaning, there’s hashtag, selfie and steampunk . Peep the full list here.
Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey are neighbors now, and apparently just a couple of bros.
Magic Mike was a hit. Channing Tatum is apparently working on a sequel, Magic Mike XXL. So it’s no surprise that “The Real” Magic Mike is also in the works. Directed by Joe Manganiello (“Big Dick” Richie in Mike, Alcide in True Blood), La Bare gives a raw, inside look at the talented male dancers at La Bare Dallas.
We now live in a world where Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia gets invited to give commencement speeches and receives honorary doctorates. Which is to say, an awesome world. Check out his words of wisdom here.
Jimmy Fallon has been doing a Suggestion Box bit on The Tonight Show, where he takes completely random questions or ideas from fans and brings them to life in epic Tonight fashion. Fallon has dubbed Game of Thrones with children’s voices, gotten Audra McDonald to sing real Yahoo Answers and tested out Digi-Staches on Higgins. But this might be one of my favorites:
The Contemporary Arts Center turns 75 this year and she’s looking as good as ever! Celebrate the CAC’s long history of pushing Cincinnati along the cutting edge with an epic birthday bash tonight. The festivities start at the CAC’s former location in the Mercantile Center with dinner and silent and live auctions from 6-9 p.m. (email email@example.com or call 513-345-8422 to get on the waiting list). More food and drink, dancing and art awaits at the CAC with a Diamonds + Debauchery after-party from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. CityBeat’s own Jesse Fox will be taking fabulous photobooth pics and there will be an appearance by California avant-garde performance artist boychild. After-party tickets are $40 in advance, $75 per couple and $100 for a group of three (online sales end at 4 p.m.) or $50 at the door. Read this week's cover story on the Contemporary Arts Center here.
Downtown nightlife staple Mt. Adams Pavilion recently underwent a facelift, complete with interior renovations of the dance floor area and penthouse, new cocktails and a menu created by Chef Brian Duffy (of Bar Rescue fame). Check out the updated digs tonight at Pavilion’s re-launch party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Head down to Washington Park for an OTR-rific Saturday with the first City Flea of the season and the eighth annual OTR 5K. City Flea, Cincy’s local curated urban flea market, embarks on its fourth season this weekend, offering handcrafted goods, art, antiques, local grub and more fun goodies from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The OTR 5K also kicks off at 10 a.m., with festivities following in the park.
Northside is a hub for creativity, so it’s fitting that the Cincinnati Arts Association is sponsoring a self-guided tour of Hamilton Avenue artist studios from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday. North By Northside features studio tours, pop-up exhibitions and an overall celebration of art in the eclectic neighborhood. Start at Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave.), where tickets can be purchased beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, then make your way through several artist studios and creative spaces. Head back to the lodge from 5-7 p.m. for an after-party including food, drinks and music. Tickets are $35; the event benefits non-profit gallery Weston Art Gallery.
Throughout history, people have often said they can remember many details about where they were when they heard monumental news: the moon landing or JFK’s assassination, for example. So it is likely we’ll recount to our children and grandchildren what we were doing when we learned of the most recent Great American Tragedy: The Solange-Beyoncé-Jay Z Feud of 2014.
Just weeks ago, sisters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles were playfully performing onstage together at Coachella. Now, Solange has all but erased her sibling from her life (well, from her Instagram, at least).
The fallout comes after the release of an elevator surveillance video from the Met Gala after-party in which (supposedly) Solange Knowles (apparently) attacked (a man who might be) Jay-Z as Beyoncé (reportedly) stood by. Check out the video here.
This shit is a goldmine for
gossip rags every media entity, so rumors, anonymous reports and vague
speculations are coming out of the woodwork regarding all three recording
artists. Some say Solange was just being a drunk mess and flipped when Jay told
her to chill out; others report Solange has concerns about Jay’s fidelity and
Beyoncé has become his robot bride; it’s also being speculated that the stunt
is just a piece of performance art arranged by James Franco.
At the end of the day, we can all hope the trio will work things out, because they are a fambily. And speaking of, shout out to my friend Miranda who brought it to my attention that the sisters sang the theme song for the early-2000s Disney animated series, Proud Family. Never forget.
Now, cue the “Drunk in an Elevator” spoofs.
Usually when your grandma discovers social media, it can be an embarrassing disaster. Not if your grandma is a badass bitch, though. Enter Baddie Winkle.
With a Twitter and Instagram tagline that reads, “stealing your man since 1928,” Baddie lives up to her name by posting pictures of her babely outfits, words of wisdom and videos of her twerk game. BuzzFeed calls her “the most hardcore grandma on the Internet.” And she’s a local! Baddie hails from Williamstown, Ky., just a few miles south of Cincinnati on I-75. Represent, Baddie!
Macaulay Culkin was trending this week when his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, Pizza Underground (yes, yes, a million times yes) tweeted an epic photo of Culkin. Kevin McAllister himself is seen wearing a T-shirt with a photo Ryan Gosling…wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Macaulay. Meta, for sure, but not to be missed in the photo is the awesome Pizza Underground coffee mug. I’ll take one of each, please.
BREAKING: Add another layer to this meta-ception.
(Totally ‘shopped, but I don’t care)
Like it or not, Ben Affleck
is the new Bruce Wayne in the upcoming (and still untitled) Batman vs. Superman movie. Check out the first look at the
actor in character with the new and improved bat suit and Batmobile here.
Plenty of great authors have odd writing process quirks, and A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin discussed one of his writing secrets on Conan this week. When asked if he was ever worried about a computer crash or virus deleting any of his lengthy works-in-progress, the writer revealed he uses WordStar 4.0 on a DOS — essentially a dinosaur of a word processor on an ancient computer not connected to the Internet. Because when you’re writing fantasy work about the Middle Ages, you get into character as much as possible.
Game of Thrones is in the final four episodes of the season, but we’re in for a bevy of new and returning shows this summer. Check out this week’s TV column for a summer show preview. We’re really looking forward to HBO’s The Leftovers and Cinemax’s The Knick, to name a few.
I’m a huge fan of locally-produced commercials-gone-viral. Cincinnati’s Fick Chiropractic Centers current ad might not be up there with Jamie Casino, but it does feature a killer beat that deserves some attention.
Is anyone else just tickled by the concept of a local doctor employing a beatmaker for a commercial? It totally caught me off guard while watching Fox 19 Morning News (aka the Jacki Jing Variety Hour — bitch has more devoted fans than Lady Gaga, just peep their posts on her Facebook page. Locals — including my boyfriend — are totally enamored by her beautiful glamour shots, bubbly attitude and penchant for cosplay. How are the rest of us supposed to compete, Jacki?!).
Are you sick of Beyoncé yet? Trick question: If you answered “Yes,” please get out of here immediately. NO ONE is sick of Beyoncé ever, in fact, parody videos and choreographed routines to her songs are still pouring out of the woodwork four months after the release of her self-titled album. The latest tribute of note comes from self-proclaimed “star on the rise” Chanel Carroll, who’s serving up student loan realness in her take on “Partition” called “Tuition.” ‘Cause we all just want live that debt-free life.
Everything about this is flawless, from her JLo-circa-2000 vibe to the clip art to the cameo by Ashley from Sallie Mae. I would crown her as winner of the Internet for the week, but she shares the title with this dude who’s been reviewing fast food and other grub from his car since 2012. Check out one of Daym Drops’ most popular videos, featuring Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
I want this guy to narrate my life or at least read my eulogy because dude describes a plain drive-thru burger with the eloquence of a poetic preacher. And of course there’s a musical remix. OH MY DAYUM!
Avril Lavigne continues her assault on our earholes with the confusing, excruciating “Hello Kitty.” The Canadian singer responsible for 80 percent of ties bought by young women in 2002 apparently has a massive Asian following, but the Japanime-style video is more of a cringe-worthy misstep than cultural tribute. Hey white pop stars, stop using Asian women (or any women for that matter) as props!
Lily Allen, another 2000s pop relic, is also coming out with new music and a record that automatically gets my support by taking a dig at Kanye West. Sheezus drops next month; the album’s titular new single is a total lady anthem with praise for the Lorde and rhymes about…periods. Whatever, I’m digging it.
This week in movie remake fuckery: A Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is in the works, because nothing from your childhood is sacred! Mara Wilson, who starred as the youngest child in the film (as well as Matilda in the ‘90s Roald Dahl film adaptation) revealed on social media that she wouldn’t be a part of it, as she’s been out of the acting game for several years — which, according to over-each headlines, translated into Wilson “slamming” the sequel, making the private former child actor a trending topic. While we may never see a grown-up Natalie Hillard or Matilda 2 (thank sheezus), you can enjoy Wilson’s musings on her blog. And just because: Mrs. Doubtfire as a horror film.
Also, Goonies 2 is also officially a go. Thanks, Spielberg.
Hey, that’s not Pit Bull, it’s Amy Poehler!
Orange Is The New Black is back on Netflix for a second season June 6 and the new trailer is here. The whole gang’s back, with a few additions, but the lingering question remains: Where is Pennsatucky?!
It was recently reported that Laura Prepon signed on for Season Three as rumors circulate about her being the future ex-wife of Tom Cruise. This is what I like to call Scientology Sads: When you think you like someone — a famous person, obviously, because the group might as well be called Celebentology — but it turns out they’re a Scientologist. Such a shame.
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 hurricanes; 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.
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.