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KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
Nine Irrefutable Reasons Why National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the Best Christmas Movie Ever Made
By S.E. Shepherd on ©9:00 am
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s December and just about everyone is in full-blown holiday mode. Since Thanksgiving, television networks have been trotting out their annual line-up of Christmas movies and specials, from classics like Rudolph and The Grinch and Christmas Story, to more recent creations, such as Sofia the First’s Holiday in Enchancia or whatever computer-generated abomination Disney has vomited onto the airwaves this year in their latest effort to sell poorly made toys to kids. With so many holiday-themed movies from which to choose, you might feel overwhelmed when it comes time to decide how to spend your precious viewing time.
Well I’m here to help, folks. And the solution to your problem is simple: The only movie you need to watch is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s the world-champ of Christmas movies, and it’s unlikely that any contender will emerge to challenge its title in our lifetimes. Here’s why.
1. The house-lighting scene.
There isn’t a man alive over the age of 25 who hasn’t imitated this scene at least once when plugging in the Christmas lights (or changing a light bulb or fixing a small appliance).
2. It was the last truly great movie Chevy Chase ever made.
Most of the internet generation knows Chase simply as the weird old guy on Community or the magical hot tub repairman from Hot Tub Time Machine. And that breaks my heart. In reality, Chase is, with the possible exception of Bill Murray, the greatest comedic actor of the last 40 years. And I don’t say that lightly. For my money, I’d put Chase’s five best movies – Vacation, Fletch, Caddyshack, The Three Amigos, and Christmas Vacation – up against any other comedic actor’s top five every day of the week. In his prime, Chase was the king, effortlessly portraying all the greatest comedic leading-man archetypes: the everyman with an edge, the silver-tongued ladies man, the put-upon father, and the fast-talking wiseass.
Sadly, Christmas Vacation represents the last time Chase was at the top of his game. The flick was released in 1989 on the heels of two sequels that weren’t as good as their predecessors (Fletch Lives and Caddyshack II), and it was all down hill from there. Like a great athlete whose body fails him, allowing the game he loves to pass him by, Chase lost a step comedically and was never able to fully recover. With the possible exception of the super-weird and widely panned Nothing But Trouble (which, in my opinion, isn’t as bad as its reputation might lead you to believe, and its faults certainly aren’t due to a lack of effort on Chase’s part) and Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Chase’s star never shone as brightly as it did in Christmas Vacation. That makes it worthy of the top ranking if for no other reason than it’s basically like watching Michael Jordan hit the game-winner over Byron Russell in the 1998 NBA Finals, right before he retired for the second time and then embarrassed himself by playing for the Washington Wizards.
3. Aunt Bethany’s rendition of that beloved Christmas classic, The Star Spangled Banner.
Actually, pretty much anything Aunt Bethany says is the greatest. My personal favorite is when, upon arriving at the Griswold home and seeing all the twinkling lights, she asks, “Is your house on fire, Clark?”
4. The best PG-13 freak-out scene in movie history.
Sure, the language is only slightly NSFW, but has anyone ever made phrases like snake-licking, dirt-eating, dog-kissing, stiff-legged, and spotty-lipped sound filthier than Chevy Chase?
5. Johnny Galecki as Rusty and Juliette Lewis as Audrey.
Of all the actors and actresses who have portrayed the Griswold children, Galecki and Lewis are the best all around combo in the series. Sure, Anthony Michael Hall was the OG Rusty and can’t be topped, and Vegas Vacation’s Marisol Nichols was easily the hottest Audrey of the bunch. But the Galecki-Lewis duo delivers an unbeatable one-two punch. Lewis’ Audrey perfectly captures that weird teenage dichotomy between being too cool for everything while still being secretly excited about the family rituals and traditions that come with the holidays. And Galecki’s Rusty is the perfect straight man to Chase’s Clark, a faithful son who is painfully aware that his father is a bumbling doofus, but who never lets that get in the way of his admiration for his pops.
6. Ellen’s instinctive protection of the Griswold family jewels.
7. Clark’s open contempt for his neighbors.
The holidays are a time for spreading tidings of comfort and joy, but whom among us hasn’t used Christmas and all that comes with it – the decorating, the gift giving, the holiday parties – as a chance to throw some good, old-fashioned shade on an annoying neighbor or a frenemy? Clark Griswold knows what I’m talking about. He lives next door to a couple of judgmental yuppies (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicholas Guest), and his barely hidden disdain for their overly sanitized, modern-decored existence is hilarious. Not only does he make their lives a living hell by blinding them with countless strands of Christmas lights and destroying their stereo system by sending frozen ice missiles through their windows, he goes so far as to don a Jason-esque hockey mask and thrust a running chainsaw in their general direction. If that isn’t what Christmas is all about, I don’t know what is.
8. Cousin Eddie.
Randy Quaid appeared as Cousin Eddie in every Vacation movie except European Vacation (he even starred in his own made for TV sequel to Christmas Vacation, 2003’s god-awful Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure). But Christmas Vacation finds Eddie at his loud-mouthed, snot-covered, RV-living best. His cream-colored sweater and black turtleneck Dickie look is so Cousin Eddie it hurts. And he delivers one of the best lines of the entire movie when he informs the yuppie neighbors that he’s standing outside in his mini-robe, emptying the chemical toilet from his RV into their sewage drain because, well, “Sh*tter was full!”
9. The True Meaning of Christmas.
Strip everything else away – Audrey’s brush with frostbite, the flirting with the lingerie saleswoman, the crass relatives, the disastrous holiday dinner, the melted cat, the exploding sewer gas, the kidnapping, the SWAT team raid – and what’s left is a movie that captures the Christmas spirit as well as any holiday-themed movie ever made. For all his faults, the Christmas Vacation version of Clark Griswold is a model father; his only motivation throughout the entire film is to surround himself with family and give everyone the best Christmas possible. As everything else crumbles around him, he realizes the true meaning of Christmas isn’t the “bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees.” It’s family and spending time with the ones you love. There’s no way a stop-motion reindeer or a taller, skinnier, animated rip-off of Oscar the Grouch could ever deliver that sentiment better than Chevy Chase and his perfectly dimpled chin.
So, if you haven’t already, do yourself and your DVR a favor and delete your recordings of all those other Christmas specials. Make Christmas Vacation the defining movie of your holiday experience. Twenty-four straight hours of it on Christmas Eve isn’t enough. Buy a TV and a DVD player and set up a dedicated viewing station in your house, one that runs Christmas Vacation and nothing but Christmas Vacation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every year from Dec. 1 to Dec. 26. That’s a sure fire recipe for the hap-hap-happiest Christmas ever.
Well ladies and gentleman, the close of 2013 is almost upon us–I can’t believe it either; and, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the foremost authority on the English language (I suppose…) selfie is your word of the year.
As a millenial, I’m rather sensitive to social critics who tend to condescend to those in their late teens and 20s, the demographic to whom the selfie has been subscribed. With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, and with it, the selfie, many from the generations that precede us as use selfies as evidence of our narcissism, and a desire to broadcast every moment of our lives–no matter how insignificant.
In order to really delve into an issue, one must only look to the wisdom of American Horror Story: Coven. Emma Roberts’ character on the current season of the FX miniseries, put it this way:
I am a millennial. Generation Y, born between the birth of aids and 9/11 give or take. They call us the Global Generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post whenever we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see. But it seems that our one defining trait is a numbness to the world, an indifference to suffering.
Overly simplistic, yes. Drawn from a fictional character on a cable TV show, yes; but there are dozens of pieces from every possible print and digital medium on this subject, that share this sentiment.
Not saying much of it isn’t true to one degree or another, but I find the concept of a social critic, a writer, condescendingly calling out an entire generation of people (over and over and over) to be a bit ironic.
They too feel the need to share their opinions, the lens through which he or she views the world, with whomever can be forced to listen–isn’t that a bit narcissistic?
I too am in this category–calling myself out.
As one of these millenials, a single female in her 20s coming-of-age with all the Internets and social media at my disposal, I may not take selfies, but I am expected to (and do) consume an obscene amount of pop culture. What else am I going to do with my time? I am the center of my own universe after all.
We can’t possibly digest everything that’s out there. Not even Portlanders.
When reflecting on these 2013 and what this year has meant to pop culture, and me specifically, it’s quite difficult to pinpoint the most influential moments in music, movies, television, politics etc etc; as a Grantland commenter put it–all of us, not simply older generations, are adjusting to a digital age of cultural overload.
And similarly, as Chuck Klosterman and Company at Grantland put it–we must pinpoint micromoments that were significant to us, and assumably many, in our reflections on 2013.
So here it is KSR, because my thoughts are the most important thoughts that have ever been put to digital paper, I’m going to share my picks for the most influential songs, albums, artists, and micromoments loosely associated with music, of 2013:
- The Miguel face kick
There are so many music awards shows–the Grammys, the American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, the “we have to think of another awards show or what we will air on Sunday nights in the summer?” Awards Show.
But the 2013 Billboard Music Awards show, in which apparently Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Rihanna, and blah blah others won lots of pointless awards–the show was memorable for one shining moment–the Miguel face kick. While performing his hit song that I wouldn’t recognize if Miguel himself performed it for me, Adorn, the rambunctious R&B star got a little carried away, attempting to leap over the crowd from one side of the stage to the next.
It wasn’t enough that he kicked two women in the face, Miguel landed violently on each of their heads, hooking one, and knocking the other into the stage. It was a moment that will live in Tumblr lore forevermore.
- Blurred Lines
Althought not awarded the song of summer at the Video Music Awards (that “honor” went to One Direction’s Best Song Ever…) Blurred Lines clearly was that song. Spending 12 weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, it had the longest run at the top spot of the 2010s.
Aside from playing approximately 7 billion times a day at any given second anywhere in the world, Blurred Lines will live in infamy as not only that overplayed song from 2013 you never want to hear again–but also as the most controversial song of the decade.
Exacerbated by the Robin Thicke-Miley Cyrus VMA performance (more on that later,) the song’s lyrics and music video have been condemned as mysognistic and a promotion of rape culture.
Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. singing about hating “blurred lines” because “I know you want it, I know you want it, (if you don’t Imma make you want it) cuz you’re a gooooood girl doesn’t exactly sound like a healthy sexual interaction between two consenting adults; it’s a yes or no thing, no grey area there Robin. And the music video, in which naked girls prance around fully clothed men singing about girls being animals? Just a tad bit dehumanizing.
The song of 2013 everyone… let’s pretend that didn’t happen, ok?
We’ve written pretty extensively about the rise of New Zealand’s teenage pop star, Lorde, here on the site. Her ascent to the top of the Billboard charts with her single Royals, was quite remarkable. The quirky 17-year old has made a name for herself by calling out other artists like Selena Gomez for sexualizing themselves, refusing to tour with Katy Perry, and other (possibly manufactured) gouges at mainstream American pop music.
Yesterday marked the release of her new music video, Team, Vevo crashed within minutes of the video being posted–that’s a pretty good sign that Lorde has some staying power post-Royals.
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis emergence
Virtual unknowns just a year ago, Macklemore (and that other guy) have been involved in several top-40 hits from 2012-2013–YouTube sensation Thrift Shop, Can’t Hold Us, Same Love, and now, White Walls.
And as outspoken advocates of LGBT equality and other social issues, the duo is using their popularity to make an impact.
- Daft Punk and Pharrell resurgence
The internationally-known French electronica/funk/martian duo, Daft Punk had been “relatively” silent for some time until this year. Without a full-length studio album since 2005, Daft Punk had “dropped” a track here or there and creating the score for 2010′s Tron: Legacy, the release of Random Access Memories was greeted with jubilation by music bloggers far and wide.
Get Lucky and Lose Yourself to Dance were the first two singles from the album, and each were not overtly sexual enough not to be played at children’s parties, sporting events, and other inappropriate settings.
Each of these singles also featured producer/songwriter/mogul Pharrell Williams. Getting his hands on Blurred Lines, along with the unexpected team up with Daft Punk, Pharrell has burst back on the top-40 scene as a performer.
Pharrell’s a nice dude, with some nice dreams, see these ice cubes, see these Ice Creams?
- Justin Bieber SMDH
The Biebster has been on his Believe tour since September of 2012, and is currently promoting the concert movie, Believe 3D, set to release on Christmas Day, but other than some collabo with Nicki Minaj, I couldn’t name a single Bieber song of 2013.
However, I can name about 3 dozen incidents in which the Biebs made TMZ for something unrelated to his artistry (haaaaaaaaaaaa.)
Aside from being surpassed by Katy Perry as the most followed person on Twitter, other tragedies have befallen your favorite androgynous pop star in 2013.
- Justin Bieber’s pet capuchin monkey, Mally, was confiscated by German custom agents in March of 2013.
- Also in March, Bieber had a run in with a paparazzo in London, and was restrained by his bodyguard while threatning to “beat the f***ing f*** out of him.”
- Bieber was accused of spitting on a neighbor in his LA neighborhood.
- Bieber goes shirtless through security in a Polish Airport, Wladyslaw Reymont, shirtless
- In April, Justin visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In the guest book, he wrote, ”Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
- Selena Gomez and Bieber broke up at some point during this year. I will find out the exact date, don’t you worry Funkhouser
- Keyshawn Johnson, former NFL wide receiver, confronted Bieber about speeding through their residential LA neighborhood in some Ferrari cake. Porsche. Whatever. Bieber hid in his home, as he should have. Keyshawn called Bieber “entitled.” Nawwww he’s Canadian! Can’t be.
- Justin Bieber was caught on video, leaving a NYC nightclub peeing into a mop bucket, and spraying a bottle of cleaning supply at a picture of Bill Clinton (why was that there anyways…) and saying “F*** Bill Clinton. The two spoke on the phone later and cleared that whole thang up.
- On his tour of South America, Bieber reportedly was seen leaving a Rio de Janeiro brothel, several days later, this was followed up with a selfie video of a sleeping Bieber taken by an alleged porn star/prostitute in Brazil. He also spray-painted (I think the kids call it “tagged” these days) a wall.
I’ve had enough, I’m done. Get it together Bieber. You’re besmirching Canada’s good name.
- Our Father Yeezus, who art now a Kardashian, hallowed be thy name
Kanye West released his popular 7th studio album, Yeezus, and became a father with the birth of North West, June 15th.
Kanye West is a god and a genius and the father of our Messiah, but most importantly–he and Kim K are the most reflective couple of American pop culture in 2013. While we’d like to say it’s Jay Z and Beyonce, let’s be honest–Kim and Kanye represent the entire spectrum (not socioeconomically..)–from trashy reality television to whatever the hell Kanye represents on any particular day. He’s a political and cultural critic, and a very talented artist–but like mutants–we fear what we don’t understand. Kim is a bit easier to read.
Most importantly, Bound 2. Thank you Kimye for blessing us with your engagement, this child, and this video in 2013. We could not ask for more.
Oh, and 2013′s unquestioned Prince (soon to be King) of rap music–Kendrick Lamar has been bopping along with Kanye on the Yeezus tour. The kid out of Compton will be headlining festivals worldwide soon.
His verse in Big Sean’s Control, calling out other rappers (or is it rappists?) is one of the most talked about moments in hip-hop this year.
Remember that? It came in January, it left in February. Praise the gods.
I know you’re tired of this now too. I feel bad for mothers with 5-12-year olds, you must be in hell right now?
The Norwegian pair, Ylvis’s viral sensation, What Does the Fox Say, came out of nowhere to chart and reach 10 bajillion views in 2013.
- Eminem is beginning to feel like a rap god/acid-bot
Like Kanye, this rap god also had a new album, Berzerk, but it’s been overshadowed for me by his greatest achievement–an interview during halftime of the Michigan-Notre Dame game on ABC’s Saturday Night college football broadcast.
There may never be a more awkward minute and a half between three people in history. Cherish it, moments like this only some so often.
- The Great Gatsby soundtrack
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, one of the more popular movies this summer (but currently 15th in the domestic box office behind We’re the Millers and The Heat…. da fuh) is noteworthy for having one of the most unexpected, popular soundtracks of 2013. Co-produced by Jay Z, it featured songs by The XX, Lana Del Rey, Florence Welch, Gotye, Beyonce and Andre 3000, Jack White, and Jay Z himself.
The Roaring 20s have never felt more like the Roaring 2010s.
Another candidate for most interesting soundtrack of 2013 is that of the soon-to-be-released Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewlyn Davis. The folksy tracks feature voices such as that of Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and Marcus Mumford. Check it out here.
- Genre crossover
2013 has seen the rise of “blurred lines” between genres in music–from Taylor Swift introducing some electronic feel to her pop country, Florida Georgia Line rap sangggging in a twang with Nelly, Dutch DJ, Avicii combing folk country with dance music, to One Direction becoming less boy band and kinda sorta more rock band–music ain’t what it used to be.
In the digital age, we are all interconnected, and because of this, the barrier between typically dichotomous forms of music such as rap and country, or top-40 and dance music is fading faster than ever before.
- Dance music taking over
On a similar note, electronic dance music–from deep house to funk to electronica to synth to dubstep to techno to dahelldoesthatallmean (I swear these are all things,) the music that has dominated Europe for years is finding a mainstream audience outside the club and music festival scene.
From Beatport, a site entirely dedicated to the DJ, to the Billboard Hot 100 which features such songs as Zedd’s Clarity and Avicii’s Wake Me Up, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris’s I Need Your Love, electronic music has taken hold. And not only “party” music is gaining popularity here in the states, but also more relaxed, electro-pop/synth-pop artists have made strides–Chvrches, Cut Copy, Active Child, The XX, BANKS, Crystal Castles, GEMS, and many others are becoming mainstays in the blogosphere, and in radio charts as well.
The most blogged about band in the world for the first half of 2013, Disclosure, is one of the freshest on the electronic scene. The 19 and 22-year old British brother duo incorporates funk, synth, house, (alllll the EDM varieties) into their original music and remixes. Their first studio album, Settle, was one of the best of 2013–original, catchy, and filled with the voices other talented British newcomers–London Grammar, AlunaGeorge, and Sam Smith–these kids are here to stay.
I saw them in concert. It was epic. Listen to them here. Moving on.
It must be noted, with more and more suburbanites doing those bad drugs Miley Cyrus talks about, digital dance music should remain a mainstay in the festival and live music communities for the distant future. Whether EDM will maintain its influence in pop, rap, and even country music, targeted at a more soccer mom and teeny-bopper crowd, remains to be seen.
- The year belongs to Miley
We all know it and there’s no denying it. No one has made more news than Miley in 2013, she’s even being considered for TIME’s Person of the Year.
The VMA twerkfest with Robin Thicke was undoubtedly the biggest micromoment for Miley Cyrus. I cannot remember any incident in pop culture in the past decade that has been talked about more, or by more diverse parties, than this. Along with releasing her album Bangerz, hosting Saturday Night Live, dancing with little people, rapping with Wiz Khalifa and Mike Will Made it in 23, being featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, smoking a spliff onstage in Amsterdam, licking a sledgehammer and swinging naked in Wrecking Ball, or performing that very song at the American Music Awards with a crying digital cat, in a cat two-piece–Miley knows how to market herself.
I almost forgot about that video, that’s how much Miley Cyrus excitement there was in 2013, that bizarre video seems like NBD.
Oh, and Wrecking Ball is currently the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. And she just turned 21.
So here’s to you Miley, you owned 2013. Also, R. Kelly–you’re my runner-up. The greatness that is Sex Dolphin, along with performing with Phoenix at Lolla and Coachella, means after decades you’re too legit to quit.
Sound off if you have any other top music moments of 2013, or want to go less mainstream with it then I did here–all ears.
The Anglo Files: Five British Television Shows You’ll Love (That Aren’t Downton Abbey, Doctor Who or Sherlock)
By C.M. Tomlin on ©1:30 pm
As a young student, living in the United Kingdom was hands-down one of the greatest experiences of my life. It’s truly a wonderful country, a really great people – and the cultural offerings of London and beyond were so new and different at the time from the offerings Stateside that I really grew to appreciate the pop cultural leanings of the British. From England’s penchant for lofty, absurdist comedy to the class awareness present in even lowbrow offerings like the long-running soap Coronation Street, you really can’t criticize the BBC much. As a countrywide, borderline-monopoly of entertainment, it pretty much works.
With the United States currently in the midst of another full-on British cultural invasion (arguably started in the early 2000s by Ricky Gervais’ The Office, furthered by sci-fi cult reboot Doctor Who in 2005 and – more recently – brought into the parlors of our mothers and grandmothers by Downton Abbey), it would certainly seem that entertainment options from across the pond are as valid and recommendable as our own Breaking Bads and Scandals. But don’t let that accent lull you into thinking that just anything British is clever and smart; take some advice on some of the better Brit offerings available on the likes of Hulu and Netflix right now. Righty-O, then! (The British don’t say that.)
In the last ten years, the hugely talented comic duo of David Mitchell and Robert Webb – aside from producing a BBC 4 Radio show entitled That Mitchell & Webb Sound, a short lived-sketch show called That Mitchell & Webb Situation and a BAFTA-winning four-season television show called That Mitchell and Webb Look – have somehow managed to also shoehorn in eight seasons of the (still going) acclaimed sitcom Peep Show. Though it was recently announced that Peep Show would end after its ninth season in 2014, it’s worth seeking out the eight existing seasons as they form somewhat of a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style cringe comedy based on two distinctly opposite South London flatmates and their varying degrees of mania and ineptitude with women. While flaky electronic-musician Jez (Webb) can’t balance a job or a monogamous relationship, upwardly-mobile history buff Mark (Mitchell) is so destined to go down in dating flames that he’s even willing to marry someone in the ultimate act of relationship chicken. Each series of Peep Show is short (6 episodes, each clocking in at around 24 minutes) and stick with it because the show really hits its stride in Season 2, with the characters established and a lot of fun to be had. Good stuff.
Available on: Hulu Plus, Netflix
The Wrong Mans
When Ricky Gervais’ The Office ended after two seasons and a Christmas show, Americans almost lost their minds. How could a show that good just pull the plug? Why is this not on for another eight seasons? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? But Gervais’ tactic was one many great brit-coms have employed in the past: simply stop when the story’s finished. For more of this idea working perfectly, check out The Wrong Mans, a 24-esque comedy-buddy-action-sitcom centering on two young rural-England city workers (Matthew Baynton, James Corden) who run afoul of a crime ring, murder, kidnapping and extortion after one happens to answer a ringing cell phone he finds on the side of the road. Only six episodes long (though a new-story second season could be on the way, if rumors are to be believed), the sole season drags its reluctant heroes from one seedy location to another with tongue-in-cheek aplomb and all great action clichés in tow. Altogether, The Wrong Mans is no longer than a long-ish movie, and its entire run will likely still be shorter than the new Hobbit movie. And no, I regret to tell you that saying the title The Wrong Mans out loud will never feel not-awkward, so just get over it and watch it anyway. That’s the title. Deal with it.
Available on: Hulu Plus
Fresh Meat is still a relative newcomer on British airwaves but it’s already getting a lot of traction after only two seasons. A comedy-drama focusing on six odd-hextuplet college students thrown together in a student house at fictional Manchester Medlock University, Fresh Meat does a solid job of tapping into the fears and desperation of figuring out inevitably new rules of college life. Pretending to be what you’re not, finding one’s identity, delicately maneuvering the rules concerning hook-ups and at-home significant others – the parameters of Fresh Meat are universal for anyone who’s gone away to school. There’s still time to catch this one on the rise, as its young stars are making a lot of waves in the UK and you’re likely to see them pop up elsewhere in the near future. More comedy than drama, there’s a heartfeltness about Fresh Meat that makes you care for the characters and as they grow on you, so shall the show.
Available on: Hulu Plus
Ever wonder what Gordon Ramsay must have been like before the FOX network shipped him over to America and decided to make him a mean, awful, Simon-Cowel-for-the-Kitchen-Set? Interestingly enough – and as the series run of Ramsay’s The F-Word proves – it turns out the celebrity chef is a funny, pleasant, ultimately very cool fellow. The five-year run of Ramsay’s cooking show sees each episode based in Ramsey’s London restaurant, where cooking challenges and celebrity guest spots frame remote segments on alternative cuisine and organic eating. It’s quick and flits from one segment to the next nicely and Ramsay – thought not averse to getting on the case of a kitchen misfit – continually comes off as likeable and fun, especially when quizzing comic Ricky Gervais on his beer palate or raising dinner-bound sheep with his children in his very own backyard. It’s kind of a shame that we Yanks get the nastier version of Ramsay, but it’s nice to see he’s still available in kinder elements online.
Available on: Hulu Plus
I absolutely defy you– even if you can’t get past the Superbad and Porky’s-style misogyny of young lads looking to score – not to let the raunchy, funny Inbetweeners tickle you. The perfectly-cast quartet of socially-destitute characters assembled for Britain’s E4 network is a sheer greatness, from know-it-all Will and lovelorn idiot Simon to gleefully dumb Neil and foul-mouthed Jay, and most single episodes of The Inbetweeners are strongly written and funny enough to rival any coming-of-age comedy released in US theaters in the last five years. Physical comedy, crisp dialogue – even a no-holds-barred series finale movie which sends the boys to Greece for Spring Break – there’s a heart behind the humor at work in The Inbetweeners that endears the viewer to each character as he fumbles to score with the opposite sex. It’s worth noting that there was an MTV reboot of this for America by the same name, and it was DREADFUL. But I’m telling you: give this one a watch. You won’t regret it.
Available on: Hulu Plus, Netflix
The above photo is what comes up when you Google Image search “Don LaFontaine Santa Claus.” I was hoping that someone had taken a photo of our illustrious awards’ namesake in a HoHo suit. But, alas, no such luck. On the bright side, though, if you’re in the LaFontaine, Michigan area December 12th-19thish, make sure you drop by and have a seat on old Saint Nick.
But of course, that’s not the reason you and I have gathered here for our weekly one-way conversation. No, friends, it’s time again for the Don LaFontaine Awards for Best Trailers for Movies Released Sometime in Approximately the Next Thirty Days. Our December honorees are a special bunch. Since the holiday movie season gets into full swing this mont, the studios are bringing out their big guns and leaving the Runner Runners of the movie world for après-Oscars.
So, there are significantly less stupid trailers for unavoidably awful movies to make fun of. But fear not! Just like every Christmas, there’s plenty to be disappointed about and more than enough to geek out over. So, come on! Hit that jump. Let’s watch some trailers.
By S.E. Shepherd on ©9:12 am
Forget zombies, vampires, Frankensteins, mummies, ghosts, ghouls, demons and serial killers. This turkey is the most terrifying horror movie villain ever. Relentless, seemingly indestructible and frighteningly menacing; you’ll never look at your holiday main course the same way again.
On December 15th, USA Network will air Psych: The Musical, the oft talked about, frequently delayed episode of Psych. The dramedy/procedural follows Shawn Spencer (James Roday), the son of an outstanding police officer, who was very good at being observant. In the pilot, Spencer notices a crime on TV and calls in a tip to the police, but must pretend he’s a psychic keep himself out of trouble. Shawn is joined by his long time friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill) and the two opened up the Psych Agency and are detectives for hire/consultants to the Santa Barbara Police Department. The SBPD is made up of Juliette O’Hara, Carlton Lassiter (who is always suspect of Shawn), and Chief Vick. Corbin Bernsen plays Shawn’s dad, who is always trying to teach Shawn a lesson. The show is pretty witty, despite the slapstick shenanigans that go on during each episode, which are very funny. The constant references to the most obscure shows, movies and music in the 1980′s are some of the things that keep viewers coming back to Psych.
The show is finishing up its seventh season, as Psych: The Musical is technically labeled as the final two episodes of season 7. To prepare for the epic event, I’ll share with you some of Psych’s top episodes to watch before December 15th, all of which you can watch on Netflix.
Spellingg Bee – Season 1 - Episode 2
When the show debuted on July 7th, 2006, USA Network gave away “Spellingg Bee” on iTunes for Free to help gain more viewers. I downloaded it, as it seemed like it could be an interesting show. To this day, this is (obviously) one of my favorite episodes. In fact, with this being my first introduction to the show, I wouldn’t end up watching the series premier until season one came out on DVD. This episode is your first introduction to Juliette O’Hara, Shawn’s love interest for the show. The plot of the episode involves the local Santa Barbara spelling bee, where shawn notices that one of the contestants has an asthma attack, due to a faulty inhaler. The “Spellmaster” is also murdered, and as Shawn and Gus investigate, Shawn has to take over as “Spellmaster” after being stuck in the sound booth with no one around. He dishes out words like “Banana” and “Mitchum.” The Pilot is skippable, this is the one you should start with.
Murder?… Anyone?… Anyone?… Bueller? – Season 3 – Episode 2
“Murder?… Anyone?… Anyone?… Bueller?” is Psych’s love letter to John Hughes movies. When Shawn believes he sees someone fall off the roof at his and Gus’ high school reunion, no on believes him (“No body, no crime Shawn…”). With homages to The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, this is an episode that you can keep going back to over and over again. This is also the debut episode of Abigail Lytar (Rachale Leigh Cook), the Psych character my dog is named after. Shawn stood her up in high school, but the two get back together through the solving of the Murder. Gus in full panic is also classic, as he’s trying to host this reunion, not wanting a murder to ruin all of his hard work.
Tuesday The 17th – Season 3 – Episode 15
In the way that “… Bueller?” was an homage to John Hughes, Tuesday the 17th is an homage to Freddy/Jason movies. Shawn and Gus are creepily accosted by a childhood friend from camp, to help find a counsellor at the camp who disappeared. As would normally happen in “Nightmare” or “Friday the 13th” movies, the gang at the sleep away camp are stalked by a murderer. This episode is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s James Roday’s directorial debut for Psych. It’s also one of the first episodes of the series that has a very serious tone, which will run through major episodes of the program.
An Evening With Mr. Yang – Season 3 – Episode 16 &
Mr. Yang Presents – Season 4 – Episode 16
The Yang Trilogy is what sets Psych apart from other comedic procedurals. While I said trilogy, the first two are the episodes you NEED to watch. The third is certainly the worst of the three, but is necessary to watch to complete the storyline. In “An Evening With Mr. Yang,” Shawn is being taunted by serial killer, “Mr. Yang” who is on the loose again. He and the SBPD have to race around Santa Barbara figuring out all of Yang’s riddles to catch the criminal. Things get more crucial as Yang kidnaps Shawn’s mother (played by Cybill Shepherd). Ally Sheedy, who plays Yang, has a memorable performance which makes the second episode so exciting.
In Mr. Yang Presents, Yang returns, despite being in a correctional facility. The gang realizes that the show must be the work of “Ying”, Mr. Yang’s counterpart. The episode, as the show usually does, honors Alfred Hitchcock movies, while using the Mr. Yang riddles to boost the episode. The height of the episode is a moment where Juliette is kidnapped from a custom movie set where the gang has to play different parts from Hitchcock movies. Shawn must decide between saving Jules or Abigail who has also been kidnapped. One of the most emotional episodes of the series, which has maybe yet to be matched.
Dual Spires – Season 5 – Episode 12
Have I mentioned that Psych likes to pay tribute to some of their favorite pop culture items? Dual Spires is no different, as it’s an homage to Twin Peaks (Dual Spires, get it?). Shawn and Gus travel to a mysterious location where the people are a bit quirky, based on a vague email. The duo have to solve the mystery of a drowning victim, who had drowned seven years ago. Eight members of the original Twin Peaks cast comes back to reprise versions of the roles they were known for. This is an episode of Psych that is meant to serve as a stand-alone episode, with not much storyline progression. The final moment of the episode is the gang sitting at a diner in Dual Spires, with a ton of “Twin Peaks” moments happening around them.
Last Night Gus – Season 6 – Episode 2
“Last Night Gus” is one of my favorite episodes in the last couple of years. The episode is Psych’s version of “The Hangover” as Gus’s car is destroyed, Lassiter has fired a couple of bullets, Medical Examiner Woody has white powder around his mouth, and Shawn can’t tap into his memory. The episode has very memorable quotes including from Gus, who after being drugged by a criminal in his own apartment, yells, “Hey, somebody shot that guy’s TV” after having his own TV shot. Any episode that has Woody as a central part of the program is a must see.
100 Clues – Season 7 – Episode 5
The 100th episode of Psych is a not so subtle nod to “Clue” even bringing back most of the original cast. Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren and Christopher Lloyd return back to a mansion where a murder will occur. They’re also joined by Garrett Morris and Psych favorite, Curt Smith. This episode was notable that, like the original Clue movie, the show had multiple endings. Fans were asked to vote during the episode, and the winning ending was shown. This was done both for the east and west coast. On the DVD, they have all three possible endings like you would see when watching Clue now. There are many Clue easter eggs in the film, including the singing telegram and the sprinting from room to room during the summation. This is certainly a can’t miss episode.
There are certainly other episodes that are great, including “Talk Derby To Me,” “Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger,” and “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part”. If you want, you can catch up on Psych on Netflix, as you’ve got 12 days before Psych the Musical.
What is your favorite Psych episode?
For what was a slower first half (again), it sure picked up in the second and things really exploded.
Oh, you thought I was talking about last night’s UK game? No, though both it and The Walking Dead featured some Providence (weren’t the Prison group outnumbered?). Also, both the episode and the half season (are these like, halfsie seasons?) ended with the proverbial “bang.” We had what I would qualify as 2 main characters, and a slew of secondary characters bite the dust. More importantly, the group is finally, FINALLY leaving the prison. I suppose the farm house was worse, because it lasted a whole season, but man did I feel like we were in that prison FOREVER.
As we head into the midseason finale–returning February 9th–there are more than enough questions for the next 8 episodes to answer, and they’re set up (hopefully) in a way that won’t lead to stagnation and boredom. Again. At the moment, even with the plot holes and excess characters (does anyone like Beth as a character?), I feel like there’s hope for this show for the first time since they got to the prison. It was bad at the farmhouse and bad at the prison. I sense a pattern here.
But regardless, let’s get on to the recap!
Thanksgiving is over and that means one of two things: either you’re currently engaged in a to-the-death wrestling match with a large woman dressed in a full sweatsuit over the last deeply discounted turkey fryer at WalMart, or you’re reading this on your phone in the bathroom where you’ve been holed up for the last 45 minutes under the guise of dealing with gastronomical issues when, in reality, you are simply taking a much-needed respite from your in-laws. Either way, as this season of giving thanks draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and share with you a list of mostly pop-culture-related things for which I am thankful for this year.
I am thankful for Kenny Powers’ happy ending and his badass screenplay.
I am thankful for (and, frankly, more than a little disturbed by) this Miley-Cyrus-as-a-turkey gif.
I am thankful that I finally discovered “Wait So Long” by Trampled by Turtles, even if I am about three years late to the game:
I am thankful for Richard Harrow, one of the most complex and intriguing characters in TV history, and the fact that he seemingly found the peace in death that eluded him in life. (Even in you don’t watch Boardwalk Empire, I implore you to seek out and watch the final scene from last Sunday’s season finale. Those two minutes of television are among the most powerful and heart-breaking in recent memory.)
I am thankful for The Avett Brothers and the amazing show they put on at Rupp Arena last Saturday night. Although the crowd was much smaller than I expected, those who braved the cold and wind were rewarded with a nearly two-hour set that proved the Avetts are at the top of their game.
I am thankful that UK’s football season is – mercifully – almost over (and that there is reason for optimism next year), and that UK’s basketball season is in full swing.
I am thankful for this hilarious retelling of The Great Tim Heidecker/Tom Scharpling Twitter War.
I am thankful for people who still make good ads, like this one for Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey:
I am thankful for the two amazing and insightful Broncos-centric longreads that were released this week: one from ESPN The Magazine’s Seth Wickersham, who wrote a profile about Peyton Manning’s efforts to reinvent his game while battling father time and his failing body; and the other from Sports Illustrated’s Thomas Lake which focuses on Tim Tebow’s career, with special attention paid to the magical run he had as Denver’s starting quarterback in the final games of the 2011 season. Whether or not you’re a Broncos fan, both articles serve as nice reminders that there is still a place for quality, long-form sports journalism in today’s world of ever-shrinking attention spans.
I am thankful for the Funkhouser readers. It’s not easy writing for a new blog – especially one that may not always appeal to the readers of the main KSR site – but knowing there are folks out there like us who are interested in UK sports AND pop culture keeps us motivated to provide content that you will hopefully find entertaining and informative.
I am thankful for my daughter and the opportunity to rediscover the joys of the holiday season through her fresh eyes. Whether it’s marveling at elaborate holiday decorations, listening to Christmas music on repeat during every car ride, or introducing her to some of my favorite holiday classics like Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, she helps me remember just how magical the holidays truly are.
And last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my loving wife, my caring family, my loyal friends, and all the important things – our health, a roof over our heads, steady employment, money to pay the bills – we are fortunate to possess, no matter how modest or inconsequential those things may seem to others. We’ll never be royals, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t rich.
Here’s hoping you and yours had a great holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.
Back in Winchester with the family this Thanksgiving, where Internet is difficult to come by, and we blog on phones. I wanted to share what I was thankful for, well I’d be remiss not to share these new clips from David O. Russell’s American Hustle, set to release December 18th. The film received glowing reviews at its first industry screening and is being buzzed as a potential Best Picture Oscar nominee. I’m so excited I may start Lizzing everywhere. Can hardly contain it.
The Jennifer Lawrence Funkhouser mention streak continues.
For that, I am thankful.
Sidenote: If the Internet existed in the 1970′s, it definitely could have been my time to shine. That hair…
Despite what your experiences may have taught you, holidays aren’t merely occasions to eat enough food and/or candy to put your body into a recuperative coma. They also aren’t there just so Aunt Bessie can drink enough chardonnay to feel comfortable airing all of her grievances regarding Uncle Cooter and that harlot who works at the health clinic. We probably won’t ever really know the reason our ancestors adopted the custom of these periodic celebrations or why certain ones have persisted over time, but we can make a pretty good guess. The holidays that are the most entrenched in pretty much every culture are time markers, moments of pause and reflection usually tied to some annual natural transition like the harvest or a solstice. They’re there because we need them to be. We need them because the concept of time is legitimately terrifying.
Think about it. There are the obvious ways that time makes us uncomfortable. Noting how its passage prods the universe’s propensity towards impermanence reminds us that we, too, are transient fixtures. And observing its impossible immensity pushes us towards the recognition that, in the grand scheme, the totality of our experience is beyond miniscule. Like Louis CK says, we’re all going to be dead for WAY longer than we were alive. We’re really just dead people who haven’t died yet. And that’s an unsettling enough proposition that thousands of years of humans have concocted all sorts of ways to deal with it.
But an even more unnerving realization undergirds how time disturbs us: WE DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL. To the extent that we think we’ve been able to make up math equations to explain the universe (a ridiculous process that we call “physics”), there’s a pretty good chance that time doesn’t behave at all like we think it does. The fact that we experience time as linear might just be our feeble brains’ way of organizing and understanding an experience that is way more confusing than we generally let on. In a lot of ways, this struggle to arrange and comprehend time is humanity’s chief battle. In other words, if existence is a war, time is our greatest enemy.
Holidays are vital and complex weapons in that war. They serve as landmarks to help us organize time and remember our experiences moving through it. Absent of a calendar, holidays are the best method we have for marking time’s passage. I don’t remember the exact day or even exactly how old I was that time I thought I broke my back playing tackle football in the snow with my friends, but I know that it was around Halloween because that was the weird year that it snowed on Halloween. You might not be able to call up the exact year that Cousin Ethel wrassled her grown son to the floor and whipped his behind for being a smart aleck, but you remember that it happened at the annual Christmas Eve dinner at Meemaw and Peepaw’s.
And that’s what makes holidays such effective tools in our eternal battle against time. Not only do they mark its passage, but they are also the closest we can get to a refuge from it. We’re comforted by the practice of keeping holidays and maintaining the traditions associated with them because doing so provides the illusion that we’re lifting ourselves out of the rushing stream of time for a few moments each year. William Faulkner famously said that in the South, the past is never dead; it isn’t even past. When we celebrate holidays, we get as close to making that literally true as we possibly can. Taking your kids trick-or-treating or cooking Granny’s stuffing recipe at Thanksgiving connects you with your past in a way that makes time feel less fleeting and more circular than it does on a daily basis. Holidays don’t just mark time, they provide a momentary victory over it, a window through which we can try to squeeze some continuity between the people who came before us and the ones who will come after.
As people living in the United States during the second decade of the twenty-first century, we have a lot to be thankful for. Measured by average level of physical exertion and daily personal risk, our lives are exponentially easier than those of people who lived a hundred years ago. Very few of us have to worry about having our limbs ripped off by the exposed belts and gears of the machines we interact with at work. Even fewer leave the house each morning wondering if we’ll be eaten by a bear at some point in the day. Also, Jennifer Lawrence.
But if you were to ask me what one thing about modern life I’m most thankful for, I would probably give you an answer that had something to do with how well the transmission of popular culture during the past fifty years or so has transcended time. I’ve written about how I think the rapid advancement of recording (and replaying) technology has fundamentally altered the conveyance of culture, but on the day before Thanksgiving, there’s something more to be said about the implications of that transformation. The popular music that I have access to through vinyl albums, CDs, and mp3s, the movies I can watch on VHS, DVD, or streaming on my computer, the television programming that I can dig up on YouTube — down to the previously relatively ephemeral commercials and obscure short-lived cartoons — are all momentary victories over time.
I might go as far as to say that the present form of the internet is the greatest weapon humans have ever invented to defeat time. Not only does it destroy space by creating a digital plane in which information can move at ridiculous speeds, but it freezes moments in time, allowing us to replay them over and over again. Just think — barring some catastrophic political and economic collapse — people living a hundred years from now will be able to pull up the video of Miley Cyrus gyrating against Jason Seaver, PhD, Jr. and watch it any time they want. While that might not seem like a victory to you, the inescapable fact is that it is a victory. Someday, Miley will die. But Miley’s Tongue is immortal. And to me, that’s as good a cause as any for celebration. It’s definitely a heck of a reason to give thanks.
1. The expression of giving thanks.
2. Sitting on the couch Thursday morning watching inflatable characters and floats in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
3. A time of year where many Americans are diagnosed with the medical anomalies known as “Food Comas” or “Food Babies”
On Saturday night, I was up late at the restaurant next to my house, that serves $5 pizzas after 10 PM, watching the football game. I walked back to my house after downing the entire pizza in an exercise I like to call, “Thanksgiving Prep.” Something must not have settled right with the pizza, as I had a late night “pizza dream.” I don’t know why, but I always have the strangest dreams after a lot of late night pizza, and Saturday night’s dream was no different. I dreamt that I had a front row seat at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. All of the performances, floats and balloons were some of the things I’m most thankful for in pop culture. Let me give you an overview of how it all went down.
Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie took care of the hosting duties, as Al “Vined” the entire parade in six second increments. Matt Lauer was nowhere to be found, as I assumed either Ryan Seacrest or Willie Geist had him tied up in a closet somewhere, telling Lauer, “Retire already.”
Off in the distance, I see the first floats coming my way. The marching band leading the way is holding a banner that says, “TV Pickups.” The first float to hit the showcase area is the @Midnight float, with Chris Hardwick showing a GIF of a dog wearing socks to Patton Oswalt, Kurt Braunohler and Doug Benson. The float started to trail away quickly as Hardwick jumped off the vehicle to run to the next one, with “Points!” being all that spectators could hear. Hardwick jumped on the next float, which was long and skinny and quite noisy. He picked up a bowling ball and chucked to the other end of the trailer. “This must be the Celebrity All-Star Bowling float,” I thought, as I saw the cast of Doctor Who awkwardly heaved their bowling balls down the lanes. (Celebrity All-Star Bowling was picked up by AMC). Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis come down the street, dragging a float on their backs with a skinny redheaded comedian and a “human fish,” in the “The Chris Gethard Show” float. The float stops in the middle of the showcase area as Gethard gets kicked in the leg by a Mixed Martial Artist for answering some question wrong we couldn’t hear, as an unknown punk band was playing. He then attempted to take a live phone call, but the parade marshal hurried the float along.
After the “TV Pickups” floats drifted off, we were treated to a few musical performances. HAIM started things off, having stuck around from their evening on Saturday Night Live. They were followed by Jonathan Coulton, who performed classics like, “Code Monkey” and “Kenesaw Mountain Landis.” Mal Blum and Mikey Erg come through together, singing “Baltimore” and “Pray for Rain,” respectively. To cap off the performances, I was delightfully treated to a beach music montage, led by The Embers playing “I Love Beach Music,”
Balloons start racing by at a pace that I could barely keep up with. There was a balloon of Don Draper chasing after other balloons of cigarettes, a Hershey bar, and whiskey glasses, seemingly never able to obtain the one thing he truly wants. The Draper balloon did awkwardly turn around to catch a glimpse of a talking Padma Lakshmi balloon, that was saying “please pack your knives and leave,” which I think it was saying at the potential advances from the Draper ballon . Either that or she was talking to the Cake Boss balloon coming through, followed by other balloons of Paul F. Tompkins, Werner Herzog, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Garry Marshall and Ice-T. Off in the distance, race volunteers can be seen scurrying out of the way as Jesse Pinkman races through the parade, apparently still driving all the way from New Mexico.
After the volunteers get settled again, floats come through once more. The Wil Wheaton “Tabletop” float comes through as Wheaton is playing “King of Tokyo” with Grant Imahara, Allison Haslip and Paul and Storm. Wheaton was knocked out of the game in mere moments, as that’s usually what happens on Tabletop. The next float strolled by with Colt Cabana sitting in the middle of a wrestling ring, recording an “Art of Wrestling” podcast with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Antonio Cesaro. They were discussing the Royal Rumble coming up in January (which next to Christmas, the Royal Rumble is my favorite holiday). The final float of the morning was the USA float. As it drifted by you could see the cast of Suits, White Collar and Psych showing off their normal routines. Faint sounds of “C’mon Son’s” were audible from Psych’s Shawn and Gus as the float turned the corner to the next street.
The parade was closed by, of course, Santa Claus who wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. As people started to file out of the bleacher seats at “Parade Central,” someone yells, “Wait, there’s one more float coming!” The float makes its way down the street, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on the Sherlock float, talking something about how the raft had to appear in England first, and we had to wait a few weeks before the raft could appear in America. I’m not really sure, but that’s around the point in which I woke up, went downstairs and checked to see what time Wasena Tap Room opened so I could get another pizza.
I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving. Please enjoy your weekend and enjoy your time with your family. If you can’t go home, be sure to call and at least say, “Hey.”
Good morning my friends! I’ll bet a lot of you were up late last night watching that awful (and to be honest, riveting) Denver-New England game. If you watched the whole thing, you might’ve even missed the Walking Dead! Oh, no!! As any of you reading know, I’ve been panning the show fairly harshly these past couple of weeks. Last week, I couldn’t even think of anything nice to say at all about the long awaited return of the Governor. That’s because I’m mean, I guess.
But this week isn’t about meanness. It isn’t about analyzing scripts and characters and pointing out rather obvious holes in the show’s logic. No, this is Thanksgiving week! And all week, in fact, we writers here on Funkhouser are going to be letting you know what we’re thankful for in this world of pop culture! For instance, I’m thankful for the upcoming Ronald Moore show, that the fifth season of Fringe is now on Netflix, that I’m only one game away from finally knowing what all the fuss about the ending to Mass Effect 3 was, and that Eddie Murphy’s album ’9′ is being released in February. Still no Detox this year, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Therefore, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m not going to pan this week’s episode (it was better anyway). In fact, after a recap of the events I’m going to make a list of both the things I’m thankful about in regards to The Walking Dead, as well as what some of the major characters of the show are thankful for! It should be a fun change of pace, so let’s go!
Today is the 21st birthday of the one and only Miley Cyrus.
Happy Birthday Miley, hope it’s a fittingly wild one.
Whatever you do next, let’s just collectively admit America–we won’t be able to look away.
Oh, and remember that time I saw Hannah Montana in concert? Yeah, me too.
It’s time for everyone’s favorite game, Sound Off, in which I present three videos that caused me significant duress the week and you, faithful Funkhouser reader, decide which is the least disturbing.
First up, I give you this furry-necked Barbary Sheep whose bleat sounds exactly like the terrified screams of a man plummeting from the top of a skyscraper:
Next, I present the unique stylings of this woman who claims to have perfected “the super burp” (you might want to turn your volume down before you press play on this one):
And, finally, here is the trailer for the new web-series from Riff Raff, the rapper/professional weirdo/former contestant on MTV’s From G’s to Gents who was most likely produced in a lab experiment gone wrong when a bunch of scientists faded on sizzurp tried to breed a Bearded Dragon with a box of neon Crayons:
So there you have it. Which of these videos is least likely to make you lose your lunch, punch your computer monitor, or fuel your nightmares for a month? Let me know in the comments below!
Alright, everyone. Gather in. Take a seat. We need to talk about Monday night.
Now, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, Kentucky is really, really good. It’s actually a good thing that we’re playing them, because it will bring in some money for the school and the program. And I’m not going to lie to you – we’re going to get completely demolished out there by them. That’s what we’re there for. But that’s okay. Because our trip to Kentucky has a silver lining.
We are not coming back to Cleveland.
What, you thought I’d just agree to send us off to Rupp Arena, the loudest place in the world, to a bunch of fans who are completely insane about a National Championship-contending team and who want nothing more than to see them make everyone in their path look like chumps? Look, I know we all work hard here, but that would just be silly. There’s been a bigger plan in place this entire time.
Don’t look surprised. You know you guys hate it here too. It’s so cold. It’s awful. It’s only November 21st, and two days ago one of our student managers froze to death in the wind. I was looking at my six year-old’s illustrated map of the United States this morning and the icon next to Cleveland was just a sad face. My wife and I had to celebrate our anniversary last week at a Joe’s Crab Shack. So we’re all going to Kentucky on Monday and we’re staying there.
Administration doesn’t have a clue but I have everything planned out. It’s all going to be perfect. I have a guy working on new drivers’ licenses and birth certificates for all of you, along with cover stories for your new lives in Kentucky. Trey, your new name is Richard Turlington. You’re twenty-seven years old with two kids and a managerial job at Garden Ridge. Marlin, you’re a floral assistant in Corbin. I myself will become Toyoku Utada, the assistant director of Tourism for the city of Carrollton. It’s not going to be easy for any of us – in my case, I don’t even know anything about what Carrollton has to offer – but I’ve arranged for each of you to get a small sum of money to get started along with a short dossier about your new identity. It’s not much, but maybe it’ll help.
Since we scheduled this game this past summer, I’ve spent every single night in my basement stuffing very tall burlap dummies full of straw and dried beans so the bus driver will think we’re all onboard and headed back to campus after the game. There’s a back exit near our locker room at Rupp Arena and afterward we’re each going to put on our new clothes and quietly slip out the door, one at a time, and into the night. Do not act like anything’s up. If any media asks you any questions you just tell them you tried your hardest but Kentucky’s really good and you’re looking forward to the rest of your season. Then meet me in the locker room where I’ll hand you your wig and glasses, shake your hand, and send you on your way to a new life.
This is a secret which will bond us together for the rest of our days. No one can ever know who we are. If anyone ever asks you about Cleveland, even if you know the answer, you’ll have to pretend that you don’t. And that’s not going to be easy, because there will be many occasions where you will be the only person in the room who knows anything about the Cleveland Cavaliers. But you have to stay quiet. Remember, no one knows anything about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not “regular people” like you, anyway.
I want to take this time to say it’s been an honor being your coach, but we can never see each other again. The same goes for your families; so make sure you enjoy this last weekend with them. But you’re going to love Kentucky. They only get snow there about nine or ten days in an entire winter. They have trucks which come around – sometimes once a week – to pick up garbage off the street. You can drink water straight out of the faucet. Someday you’ll realize this was all for you. All for you. There’s no way of knowing it now, but it will all be for the best.
Vaya con dios, my friends. We will greet each other with our true names next when we meet in heaven. Until then, here’s a copy of The Bluegrass Conspiracy and a True Blue Fan button for each of you. You’re going to fit in just fine. And someday, I know you’ll thank me for this.