by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 01:05 PM | Permalink
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Dumb Starbucks, we hardly knew you!
The “parody” coffee shop, which mimicked the
real Starbucks' name, logo, menu (Dumb Frappuccino, Dumb Espresso, served in
Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande or Dumb Venti), everything
— even font — opened in L.A. Friday only to be shut down by the Los Angeles
Health Department Monday. Forbes posted Dumb Starbucks’ “frequently asked
questions,” which explains that by adding the word “dumb,” it’s protected by
parody law. Therefore the “coffee shop” was actually recognized as an art
gallery and the coffee, art. Guests, who lined up out the door and around the
strip mall where Dumb Starbucks set up shop, were treated to friendly service
and free coffee and pastries (there were even CDs for sale at checkout,
including a “Dumb” Norah Jones album). The real Starbucks acknowledged the
parody shop, explaining the two had no connection and they were pursuing legal
Word about the stunt (which it obviously was, dummies) spread across the
Internet via various comedians’ Twitters, so some it was no surprise that a
comic was at the helm. Nathan Fielder, deadpan genius with the Comedy Central show in which he “helps”
struggling business by offering ridiculous ideas (among other meta satirical
“pranks”), revealed himself as the owner with this video:
Now I really can’t wait for
the next season of Nathan For You.
Some big changes are happening to NBC’s long-running late-night shows,
and you can read all about them in this week’s TV column.
After some sad goodbyes (Jay Leno’s
final episode of Tonight, Jimmy
Fallon’s last time hosting Late Night
and Seth Meyer’s final Weekend Update segment), there’s a lot to look forward
to. Fallon brings house band The Roots and announcer/sidekick Steve Higgins
with him — hopefully the same goes for all the celebrity drinking games and
generally bizarre bits and skits. Like this gem:
Fallon’s first week of guests includes Michelle Obama and Justin
Timberlake, so fingers crossed for another Evolution of Mom Dancing
and History of Rap.
As for Late Night, Seth Meyers
starts his run Monday, Feb. 17 and in a total surprise announcement, Meyer’s
old SNL buddy and modern comedic god
Fred Armisen will be the show’s band leader.
The Olympics have taken over NBC (miss you, Parks and Rec) and oh, what a hot mess they’ve been! Plumbing
problems and strange bathroom setups in the Sochi hotels,
the Olympic rings mega-fail
during the opening ceremony, the fact that it’s actually too warm for any of these damn outdoor winter sports — the list goes on. C’mon, Russia, you can’t even get winter right? At least
we’ll always have this:
I'm not ashamed to admit VH1's Couples Therapy is one of my favorite shows on right now. With The Real L Word disappearing without a trace, I am finally able to get my Whitney-Sada fix (the couple is featured on Therapy), plus Jon Gosselin is apparently dating another mega-bitch and "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham is equally intriguing and frustrating and alienesque. But the true star of the show is Ghostface Killah's girl, Kelsey Nykole...'s hair. #flawless
Remember Celebrity Death Match?
The MTV claymation classic pitted musicians, actors and other famous people in
pop culture or the news against each other in an over-the-top gruesome fight to
the death. Showdowns included Marilyn Manson v. Charles Manson, Mariah Carey v.
Jim Carrey (featuring Drew Carey) and Lil’ Kim v. Little Richard. Well, a few
years after its 1998 debut, Fox presented a toned-down real-life version with Celebrity Boxing, which went down as one
of TV Guide’s worst shows of all time. Has-beens like Danny Bonaduce and Barry
Williams (of The Partridge Family and
The Brady Bunch, respectively) took
to the ring in what usually just a really sad battle. Only two episodes aired.
So how do you take a bad idea like Celebrity
Boxing to another level of shame? Add in the man at the center of one of
the most controversial murder trials in recent years!
George Zimmerman was set to box rapper DMX in a televised match, but
both DMX and boxing promoter Damon Feldman have backed out, presumably after
thinking about it for three seconds. The fight is still on for now and will be
broadcast from a secret location this March, Zimmerman just needs an opponent.
In completely unrelated news, Brooklyn
Nine-Nine co-stars Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti used to be childhood
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
A new era in NBC late night begins this week as Jay Leno passes The Tonight Show on to a new host, Jimmy Fallon. Fallon previously hosted Late Night beginning in March 2009 through last Friday’s final show.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Pack your bags for a holiday retreat to the place where the dream of the 1990s and 1890s is alive. Portlandia might
not return for Season Three until next month, but IFC has left a little
gift in every hipster’s stocking with the holiday special, Winter in Portlandia.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
At the risk of
inducing widespread PTSD flashbacks, I invite everyone to recall 2011’s
Internet Public Enemy No. 1, Rebecca Black. The teen, who is probably a decent
human undeserving of worldwide hatred, assaulted eardrums on a massive scale
with her music video gone viral, “Friday.” The worst realization to come out of
Friday-gate wasn’t the sorry state of the music industry or even the online bullying Black faced,
but the fact that, apparently, rich people will throw a few thousand dollars at
a greedy producer to create a shitty song and music video for their marginally
and songwriter Patrice Wilson was one of the driving forces behind “Friday” and
if you wanted to give his work another chance, you’re in luck. He worked with
Nicole Westbrook to record a song not about one day of the week (that’s so 2011),
but one day of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Thanksgiving.
Kraft Mac-n-Cheese – AY! Stove Top stuffing – AY! We
one-percenters should have better food than this.
While we’re on the
topic of social phenomena ripe for mockery, it’s fitting to recognize Food
Network’s Guy Fieri (Real Name: Guy Ferry. Yeah, douchebag status: confirmed)
who recently opened a new restaurant in New York City. It seems most people
either love or hate Guy. He co-owns five California restaurants and hosts the
popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,
on which he travels the country highlighting off-the-beaten-path chow-down
spots — so, clearly he’s got some fans out there. Others are a bit turned off
by his labored “Rock-N-Roll” façade, his annoying catchphrases
and his penchant for bowling shirts. I can’t trust a man who purposefully styles
his hair like a goofy visor hat from Cappel’s,
and apparently New York Times’ Pete Wells isn’t a fan either. In his Nov. 13 take-down piece on the new Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, Wells completely ripped
the joint apart limb from tribal tattooed limb. While any attempt to seriously
review what sounds like a black hole for overweight tourists would probably
prove futile, I feel Wells could have been a bit more creative in his blasting
of Fieri. Guy’s an easy target, so why go with the cliched “Dear Guy,” letter
format, punctuated by a series of overly sarcastic questions? At this point I’m
waiting for a cynical review of Wells’ review (please tweet any findings to
@jackern), but I have to hand it to the reviewer for this service assessment
that made me choke on my morning coffee: “The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a
real restaurant.” Find the full story here.
Fans got a first
look at Brad Pitt zombie action flick World
War Z last week. The film, based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same
name, may stray farther from the text than fans have hoped, judging by the
(Though it’s important to note how
deceiving these first looks can be). The book reflects on a worldwide war on
zombies after the fact, using interviews with survivors to paint the terrifying
picture, whereas the film appears to be a straight-up zombie movie. However it
turns out, zombie purists beware: These may be the quickest and most agile
last week’s election, gay marriage is now legal nine states. It’s a great feat
for equality, but we’ve got a long way to go. In fact, gays across America have
given straight, conservative men an ultimatum: Vote to legalize same-sex
marriage, or they will marry the crap out of your girlfriends.
Portlandia, the hilarious sketch comedy
spoofing counter-culture trends, returns to IFC Jan. 4. The show stars SNL’s
Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag guitarist-singer Carrie Brownstein — quite possibly my
favorite non-romantic duo — in a series of timely skits about the hipster sect
of popular culture. All the good little boys and girls of Oregon and beyond can
get an early sampling of the two with the “Winter in Portlandia”
holiday special on Dec. 14. Fans will see Peter and Nance go low-carb to stave
off winter blubber and meet Candace’s son as he swings by Women and Women First
during his holiday visit.
Here’s the first skit from the
upcoming third season:
by Jac Kern
at 01:59 PM | Permalink
Are you sick of
silly, humorous material taking over the internet? So is Fred Armisen. That’s
why he’s created Be Serious for 30 Seconds. It’s a project, not a contest, to
generate user-created videos. The videos must contain no comedy, they
must be 30 seconds or shorter, feature a
five-second dramatic pause and no more than two people, contain a cutaway of an object and end with a door
slam. This really is serious, so no laughing, ironic humor or purposefully poor acting.
Fred explains with an example below (with Portlandia
co-star Carrie Brownstein).
Get it, it’s not supposed to be funny, so it is! Go here to watch some of the best submissions.
I sometimes find
myself wondering what I’d do if anything should ever happen to my beloved pets
(though I’m banking on immortalizing veterinary breakthroughs/all of us dying at the same
moment during the apocalypse). This guy decided to taxidermy his cat, which
might be weird for some people, but I find kind of cool. But we’re not talking
standard window sill-sitting pose, here. He turned his cat into a remote
control kitty-copter. Watch him fly!
apologize for adding to the audio assault that is Carly Rae Jepsen’s ubiquitous
hit “Call Me, Maybe,” but this version really is the (taxidermied) cat’s
If anyone needed
further proof that The Roots can make anything cool, that’s it. Does bongo guy
remind anyone else of this?The SCP Foundation is my nerd
obsession du jour. It’s one of those sites that is hard to describe, and really
requires users to just jump in. But basically, it’s a database of fictional
classified information. Think Wikipedia of the X-Files. Pick a series, browse top rated pages, or whatever you
like, and you’ll find files on strange objects found and contained in a (again,
fictional) headquarters. These objects range from oddly funny
to legitimately terrifying.
It’s going to be a
very Leo Christmas for moviegoers this year, as Mr. DiCaprio stars in two
highly-anticipated films, Baz
Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and Quentin
Tarantino’s Django Unchained, both
out this December.
respective directors, you’ll either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I, for one, can’t
stop watching these trailers on repeat.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Lake Superior State University recently
released its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for
Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. Annoying terms such as “baby
bump,” “man cave” and the worn-out “amazing” made the list. Now, I can’t
argue with the retiring of these words, but I’d like to add one to the
list — hipster.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Trying to come up with a fake major while stoned in college is easy (“Dude, I wish I could major in, like, pot studies or ’80s TV sitcoms or something.”). But trying to come up with a real major can be a bitch, especially as technology and a tanking economy have shifted and narrowed the job market. But every now and then, a college will irresponsibly offer advanced degrees in frivolous studies.