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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

In other Howard Stern news: Gabourey Sidibe 'most enormous fat black chick I've ever seen' – Internets shocked and appalled

Posted by andreaitis on March 10, 2010

Actress Gabourey Sidibe at the Oscars in March 2010 (Getty Images)

Actress Gabourey Sidibe at the Oscars in March 2010 (Getty Images)

Howard Stern is having a banner week so far.   While he’s snagging headlines for his Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant, he’s also getting slammed for his comments about Precious star and Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe.

Howard Stern’s saying something shocking! (Shocker, right?) Today his target is Precious’s Gabourey Sidibe. “There’s the most enormous, fat black chick I’ve ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone’s pretending she’s a part of show business and she’s never going to be in another movie.” And on Oprah Winfrey: “Oprah’s another liar, a filthy liar. She’s telling an enormous woman the size of a planet that she’s going to have a career.”

We should note Gaby just landed a role on Showtime’s The Big C.

via Link Party: Howard Stern Calls Gabourey Sidibe Enormous – E! Online

The twitter is overwhelmingly buzzing with those who are eternally offended.

kyledeb Howard Stern is a jerk. I’m watching the movie “Precious” now just to spite him and support Gabourey Sidibe. #sexism

Legacy_Maker the fact that people like howard stern are allowed to exist in this industry frightens me! http://bit.ly/bRD7GC he’s the epitome of an ASS!!

Zazochi Howard Stern Not A Fan Of Precious Star Gabourey Sidibe: http://bit.ly/bH0TBy via Stern being the loser dick he is.

In the midst of the stream, though, a drop of reason.

Cocoabella Howard Stern was a douche about it– but there was some truth to what he was saying.

Listen up, people.  Howard Stern is known for saying out loud what everyone else is thinking.  That’s his gig, we’ve all known that for years.  If you don’t like it, change the channel.  Cancel your subscription.  Turn it off.  But please do not sit there and tell me you didn’t think to yourself, “Wow.  Gaby is pretty large.”   It’s a fact.  She’s way overweight, and that’s not healthy.

[daylifegallery id=”1268327575771″]

I would guess 99% of those who are upset about Stern’s words didn’t actually listen to the clip.  Was it nice?  No.  Does Howard Stern have the right to say it?  Of course.  Just as Tony Kornheiser had the right to say Hannah Storm’s outfit was “horrible.” We have the right to free speech, not nice speech.

Is it really that awful?  Listen for yourself before you decide:

[youtubevid id=”JVzv-SmPtbU”]

Posted in Entertainment, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Jamie Jungers wins Howard Stern’s Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant

Posted by andreaitis on March 10, 2010

For the first time in a very long time, I miss Howard Stern.

I used to listen to Howard and the gang on WXRK in New York,  way back when commuters carried Sony Walkmen and still read newspapers.   In 2006 Howard moved to Sirius satellite radio, and I moved on.  I’ve thought about Howard over the years, but mostly with nostalgia and fond memories.  Until today, when my Tweetdeck informed me of the Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant.   I felt a pang, a sudden craving for the Howard I used to know and love.  So I did the next logical thing:  I googled.  And, lo and behold, Howard spoke to me from the inner workings of the internets as the story popped up reported by Jewish Business Magazine.  What?!?  I mean, who even knew jewbiz.com existed let alone would be a source of Howard Stern’s Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant news and information?  So, I googled some more and found the press release from JBM’s “successful launch.”

Andrew Cohn, decided to launch the Jewish Business Magazine to fill the need to connect the worldwide Jewish business community for Jewish business discourse and debate, Jewish business news, Jewish business networking events, Jewish business advice and tips and profiles of Jewish business leaders, executives, professionals and Jewish-owned Businesses.

That’s 7 Jewishes in a single sentence.   Certainly a publication ripe for Howard-worthy mockery.  Give them the benefit of the doubt, I thought.   Perhaps their Howard Stern coverage falls under the category of  Jewish business news or, um, Jewish discourse and debate.

What have we learned from the Howard Stern’s interview with the girls of the Tiger Woods Beauty Pageant?

Howard Stern is the greatest interviewer of all time, and the King of All Media.

On March 10, Howard hosted the Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant with Jaime Jungers, Loredana Jolie and Jaime Grubbs.

The winner received $75,000 courtesy of Ashley Madison, which is a dating site for people in a relationship and want to have an affair.

via Howard Stern’s Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant | Jewish Business Magazine

Not a very auspicious beginning, jewbiz.com.   I chased down googled the story one last time.  I had to know: what did we really (allegedly) learn from the Tiger Woods Beauty Pageant?

Reader/blogger Todd Dery from Waiting for Next Year chipped in with these highlights:

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 13:  Jamie Jungers hosts ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

- Tiger didn’t use condoms with Jungers for 18 months. Jolie said he did and she was sleeping with him for two years. Tiger’s nickname for Jamie Jungers: “Jamie Juicers.” Think about it.

- Tiger flew Jamie Jungers COACH on Southwest to see him! Dude is a zillionaire.

- Tiger asked her about a three-some, but she said, ‘if your wife is involved’ and Tiger never brought it up again.

- Jungers was with Tiger in bed the night that his father passed away. She said he went to the hospital earlier in the day to visit his dad, and then later that night, he and Jungers had sex. She claims Tiger call the call about his

dad’s passing around 2 am.

- Jolie said Tiger was “very into role playing” he would put a suit on, then go into a room with “several” naked chicks and he’d order these chicks to do stuff in front of them.

- Jolie said she “dated” Michael Jordan and Bruce Willis and that Tiger’s penis was larger than Jordan’s.

- Jaimie Grubbs was up third. First thing right off the bat – she banged Tiger two days after the birth of his kid!

- Grubbs did not Tiger was married when they met, and he was not wearing a ring. It took him three days to kiss her. “A lot of 8th grade flirting, he was definitely shy.”

- Grubbs said Tiger called her “skinny fat” because she ate like a “fat person” but was skinny.

- Grubbs thought that he would leave Elin for her. After she found out he was married, she didn’t see him for a year and he continued to text her and begged to see her. Meanwhile she was 21 when all of this was going down.

via Jamie Jungers Wins Howard Stern’s “Tiger Woods Beauty Pageant” — The Big Lead

In the dramatic final moments of the pageant, Jamie Jungers was crowned the winner.   A dubious title, certainly, but also a reminder of why Howard Stern still reigns.  This def goes into the greatest hits album.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Tony Kornheiser, Hannah Storm and free speech as an endangered species

Posted by andreaitis on February 24, 2010

Hannah-Storm-SportsCenter-outfit

Hannah Storm in the "horrifying" outfit. PS: I'd wear it.

Hannah Storm’s Wikipedia entry has been updated already:

In February 2010, fellow ESPN colleague Tony Kornheiser harshly criticized her outfit that day on his radio show, and was suspended from ESPN for 2 weeks. He has since apologized to her via a 15 minute phone conversation.

via Wikipedia

What did Kornheiser say that warranted a two-week suspension and a 15-minute apology?  Did he say she stood by and did nothing while videotaping kids bullying an autistic child?  Did he call her a racist?  Did he suggest she repeatedly and casually incorporated the other r-word into her conversations (hint: it rhymes with me-tard)?  Did he call her (gasp!) fat?!?

Nope, none of the above.   Kornheiser’s offense:  He criticized her outfit.

What Kornheiser said, on his weekday local radio show on ESPN’s Washington, D.C. affiliate Friday, was that Storm was on-air in a “horrifying outfit” with “red go-go boots” and a skirt “way too short for somebody her age.” He added the kicker: “She’s what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.”

Kornheiser has apologized on-air and as well as to Storm personally. On the show Tuesday, he noted his suspension and said he wouldn’t talk about it in any interviews.

So, some context. Kornheiser, on that show, occasionally critiques on-air TV fashions —Kathie Lee Gifford, on NBC’s Today show, has been found wanting — which is perfectly fair game given costuming is a big part of TV. He also makes great use of what he finds irritating — Storm’s stylings just seemed like fodder.

via ESPN suspends Kornheiser for comments on Hannah Storm’s attire – USA Today

ESPN executive vice president John Skipper said “Hurtful and personal comments such as these are not acceptable and have significant consequences.”    What he actually meant is that “hurtful and personal comments” about colleagues are not acceptable.

Asked if the key was that Kornheiser was talking about a fellow staffer rather than specifically what he what said, spokesman Mike Soltys said: “Yes. Respect for colleagues is paramount!”

And here is where we slap the WTF?!? label on this little incident.   Have we learned nothing from Jay and Conan?  Perhaps this is some reverse psychology plot by a super-smart TV executive to get some attention for ESPN, a last-ditch effort to get a ratings spike as February sweeps come to a close.  More likely, it’s just another boneheaded bungle.  How does ESPN react?  A wannabe white knight TV exec rushes in to protect and defend the damsel in distress, and the implication is that Hannah Storm went crying to management.

That is offensive — much more offensive than Kornheiser calling her outfit horrifying.  Where is Hannah Storm in all this? Trash talk is part of sports.  Where’s the feisty comeback, the call-him-on-the-carpet confrontation, the self-deprecating sense of humor?  More than anything, I’d like to hear from Hannah Storm, get her reaction and have her stand up to Kornheiser herself rather than standing behind the men of ESPN.

Here’s how this should have gone down:

- Tony Kornheiser does what he always does.  Nothing new, nothing different, and certainly nothing extraordinarily offensive.  He criticizes Hannah Storm’s outfit and her judgment in wearing such an outfit.  File that under “freedom of speech.”

- Let’s imagine Hannah Storm blows a gasket or, at the very least, is annoyed.  She has several options:

1. She calls into (or shows up on) Kornheiser’s  show, Pardon the Interruption, to criticize his tie.

2. She invites Kornheiser onto her show, SportsCenter, to criticize his tie (and talk about trash-talking in sports).

3. She comments on Twitter, Facebook or in a blog post.

4. If ESPN execs release their idiotic statments, she notes the double-standard  idiocy:  It’s okay to make fun of other people but not of one another?   She also notes the ridiculousness of a two-week suspension and her ability to speak for herself.

5. They appear together on The Daily Show, with Dr. Phil and Jon Stewart as mediator.

6. They appear together as surprise judges on Project Runway.

7.  They immediately shoot a series of promos for ESPN that are posted to youtube and predestined to go viral.

8. Hannah Storm makes a video ripping apart Tony Kornheiser’s Penguin Dance.

[youtubevid id=”7RO82Rwdj1o”]

Remember,  Tony Kornheiser likes to have fun.  And Hannah Storm likes to dress up.

[daylifegallery id=1267047120620]

Were Kornheiser’s comments nice?  No.   Does he have a right to his opinion?  Yes.  The reaction by ESPN implies there was a complaint.  Did Hannah Storm have an issue with Kornheiser’s comments?  I’d really like to know (Hannah, you can reach me at andreaitis@trueslant.com).

Meanwhile, I just told my T/S colleague Michael Roston that his grey shirt doesn’t go with his brown sweater, and suggested he try Garanimals.   Gee, I hope I don’t get suspended.

Posted in Business, Entertainment, sports, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Today's celebrity Twitter fight: Steve Case vs Sarah Silverman!

Posted by andreaitis on February 15, 2010

Sarah Silverman on stage at TED2010 (via ted.com)

Sarah Silverman on stage at TED2010 (via ted.com)

Yesterday it was Kevin Smith in a blistering twitter tirade about having his chubby self chased off a Southwest Airlines flight because he was ‘too fat to fly.’

Today it’s AOL co-founder Steve Case in a snit-pick with comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Issue: Sarah Silverman spoke at a fancy schmancy conference and used the word retarded over and over (and over) again.

Let’s see how this scene unfolded…

The Place: TED2010, a conference that describes itself as “a lineup of amazing speakers, performers and attendees…gathered for four days of TED in Long Beach and Palm Springs.”

The Background: It costs six thousand dollars to attend TED.    Six.THOUSAND.Dollars.    According to blogger, author and tech evangelist Robert Scoble (he’s worked at Microsoft, Fast Company and is currently at Rackspace),  TED never even gives out more than 15 press passes.  It’s been called elitist, smug, pompous and unattainable; the Conference for the Rich & Famous.  Scoble himself suffered from TED Jealousy in 2008.  Now, though, he’s a convert.  In a Scobleizer blog post he wrote yesterday:

Truth is, TED has opened up its content to the world. More than 500 talks have now been shared on TED Talks.

On the TED stage I saw that they had hundreds of events where the live feed was broadcast, including many into Silicon Valley (several VCs and entrepreneurs invited me to view TED with them at their houses, or work offices). Rackspace bought the feed too and lots of my coworkers were talking with me about the talks. So, getting access to the content might not be attainable by everyone in real time, but is certainly attainable eventually by everyone.

via The elephant in the room at TED — Scobleizer

The very first TED conference took place in 1990; over the years speakers have included Lost creator J.J. Abrams, novelist Isabel Allende, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, magician David Blaine, True/Slant’er Michael Shermer, Avatar director James Cameron, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Bono.  This year TED ran from February 9th through the 13th, and included the one and only  Sarah Silverman.

The Incident: TechCrunch has a good write-up of Sarah’s TED performance, from someone who was actually in the audience.

(I’m recalling from memory):

“I want to adopt a special needs child (to which one person applauded), because adopting a special needs child, who would do that? Only an awesome person, right?” I looked around the room and I knew exactly what was coming next. She was going to say retarded and not only was she going to say it, she was going to drop it like 10 times. I knew it wouldn’t be ok, but I was excited about it…

…She went on to say:

“The only problem with adopting a retarded child is that the retarded child, when you are 80 is well, still retarded and that she wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms of setting them free at age 18, so she was only going to adopt a retarded child with a terminal illness so it has an expiration date, because who would adopt a retarded child with a terminal illness? Well, someone who was awesome like her”.

The room went silent and she went on with her show and sang a song about how all of the penises in the world couldn’t fill your heart holes.

The Aftermath: Aside from a mixed reception from the crowd, the man responsible for pulling TED together  took to the Twitter waves with his own reaction.

Chris Anderson on Sarah Silverman and TED

Wikipedia describes Chris Anderson as “the curator of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, an influential annual conference.”  I’d describe him as someone who 1. couldn’t wait to distance himself from the expectedly controversial Silverman and B. has a hypocritical sense of the free thinking that TED is supposed to embrace.

At any rate, Silverman posted her own Twitter message, which prompted AOL co-founder Steve Case to jump in, and…well…Gawker pulled together the entire She Said/He Said exchange:

Earlier today, TED Organizer Chris Anderson called Silverman’s “retard”-filled talk “god-awful,” which set off this exchange between Silverman and AOL founder Steve Case:






The Analysis: What caused all of this?  Robert Scoble has the most prescient and balanced perspective on  Sarah Silverman and TED:

Silverman succeeded because her talk was a science experiment, albeit one of trying something out on a much different audience than she usually gets to perform in front of. TED is all about trying out ideas and seeing which ones are the best and hearing from the people who do the best experiments, from dance to algorithms. Silverman is the best at her craft alive today. Or certainly in the top .001%.

It was why she was on the TED stage. She used that opportunity to try to challenge the audience. That was successful and I hope TED invites her again to perform another one of her experiments on stage.

But it failed too. I found her talk repulsive and challenging. I was in the second row. I actually was one of those who called for her to come back out on stage, although I knew that she had challenged the audience in a way that would be viewed as a failure. She challenged me quite a bit with her experiment. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that Chris Anderson, the guy who runs TED, had said she was “god-awful” on Twitter (he now has removed that tweet).

I didn’t have a chance to discuss that talk with Chris, but I would say that he was wrong and right. He was right that her talk wasn’t up to the usual TED quality but that she represented the best of what TED is: science experiments in human living.

via The elephant in the room at TED — Scobleizer

“Science experiments in human living.”   We can apply that to Twitter as well.  We’ve been granted access to intimate moments we might otherwise never see.  We all experienced first-hand the emotions around Silverman’s performance because Sarah Silverman and Steve Case allowed us to do so, as did Chris Anderson (until he deleted it).   With Twitter, Facebook and now Google Buzz, we’re all experimenting with what we share, how much we share when, where and with whom.  It happens to the rich and the poor, the known and the unknown, the savvy and the meek.   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Technology, social media, social publishing, digital community — it is collectively the great equalizer.

Chris Anderson should not shy away from this.  It is, as Scoble states, what TED is all about.   It’s exemplary of what we are all going through now as we fumble through new social terrain.   It is what you should have expected  from a Sarah Silverman performance, and you should have embraced it at that moment.  Why did it split the audience?  Why did it trigger such strong emotions?  That’s the hard but most interesting part.  Don’t favor political correctness at the expense of greater understanding.  We can look at @thatkevinsmith’s rabid ‘too fat to fly’ twitter rant and see the very same thing.

The Conclusion: It’s all so awesomely exciting that I’ve come up with a new word for this phenomenon:  twumble.

Twitter + Rumble = Twumble.

@johncmayer, I’m pretty sure you’re up next.

I’ll leave you with one last thought on the Sarah Silverman saga and, really, it’s all we need to know:  She’s f**king Matt Damon.

[youtubevid id=”WTADSFR0E_c”]

Posted in Entertainment, social media, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Clerks, Cop Out director Kevin Smith's 'too fat to fly' twitter rant against Southwest Airlines

Posted by andreaitis on February 14, 2010

There is no love lost this Valentine’s Day between director/writer and sometime actor Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines.   According to his rabid, blistering twitter rant,  Smith was kicked off a Southwest Air flight last night for being too wide for the skies. Smith has always been a larger-than-life character.  He shot his first film, Clerks, for a grand total of $27,575.   It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994 and went on to earn millions.   You may also know Smith from  Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  Today he’s not-so-silent Bob.

thatkevinsmith starts southwestair twitter rant 2-14-2010 8-51-03 AM

That started a string of twitter rage.   I de-tweeted it all into the following ‘graph:

Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn’t give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a “safety risk”. Again: I’m way fat… But I’m not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as “Silent Bob.” So, @SouthwestAir, go fuck yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no “safety risk” (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?).  I was wrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And fuck your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir. Thank God I don’t embarrass easily (bless you, JERSEY GIRL training). But I don’t sulk off either: so everyday, some new fuck-you Tweets for @SouthwestAir.

Smith’s emphasis on ‘ARM RESTS DOWN’ is intentional.  Looking through Southwest Airlines’ Guidelines for Customers of Size, the arm rest plays a key role in determining whether a passenger is fit to fly.

Customers who are unable to lower both armrests and/or who compromise any portion of adjacent seating should proactively book the number of seats needed prior to travel. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats and measures 17 inches in width. This purchase serves as a notification of a special seating need and allows us to process a refund of the additional seating cost after travel (provided the flight doesn’t oversell). Most importantly, it ensures that all onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating.

In fact, there’s an entire Q&A about Customers of Size.  Just like the name, it’s all very politically correct.

Is the policy unique or new to Southwest Airlines?
No, other carriers have similar policies, but to the best of our knowledge, no other carrier offers a refund after travel. We’ve followed this policy for 29 of our 38 years of operation, but only became more vigilant regarding the additional purchase when we began seeing an increase in the number of valid complaints from passengers who traveled without full access to the seat purchased because a large Customer infringed upon the adjacent seating space.

Smith addressed this issue right from his seat on the plane:

kevin smith on southwest air arm rests  2-14-2010 9-51-42 AM

kevin smith on southwest air flight He even took a picture of himself and twitpic’d it out to the digital court of public opinion.  Piecing together what happened next from Smith’s tirade, it seems he was placed on another Southwest flight (after, I presume, a rousing discussion with Southwest officials and anyone else within earshot).  Kevin Smith was clearly not going to take this sitting down.  He spewed his unfiltered anger all over twitter, and it spread from there.  He had a point to make and he was going to make it.  Sitting in his second Southwest seat of the day, he twittered:

Dear @SouthwestAir, I’m on another one of your planes, safely seated & buckled-in again, waiting to be dragged off in front of the normies. And, hey? @SouthwestAir? I didn’t even need a seat belt extender to buckle up. Somehow, that shit fit over my “safety concern”-creating gut.

You have to admit, he does know how to play a scene.  I don’t doubt his anger is authentic, but the timing is also quite interesting.  Known for following his own path writing and directing offbeat movies, Smith recently directed a Hollywood formula buddy-cop movie starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan.  It’s the first film he’s directed that he has not written himself.  It happens to open in a couple of weeks, on February 26th.  As I said in my last post, timing is everything.  Let’s drag out another too-true cliche:  There’s no such thing as bad publicity.  I don’t doubt Kevin Smith was outraged and angered, but being (allegedly) discriminated against because you’re (allegedly) too fat certainly won’t hurt the promotional campaign for Cop Out.  It’ll totally help (no allegedly).

[youtubevid id=”IAqej4v6WCc”]

Kevin Smith finished his venomous tribute to Southwest Airlines with this:

kevin smith final twitter rant against southwest air 2-14-2010 10-01-09 AM

Classic.  A good director knows how to play a great scene and what to do with priceless material when it falls in your large lap.   Kevin Smith shows his talent even when he’s unhinged with rage.  Oh, and the absolute irony of this high-flying adventure?  The Valentine’s Day message up at the Southwest Airlines website:

southwest airlines v-day ad  2-14-2010 8-42-00 AM


Happy Valentine’s Day, Kevin Smith,  from the LUV Airline.


Posted in Entertainment, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How Betty White got screwed by the Winter Olympics

Posted by andreaitis on February 12, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  Actress Betty White atten...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

She’s the hottest octogenarian ever. Golden Girl Betty White may have started her showbiz career in the 1940s but these days you haven’t hit the big time until you’ve gone viral. Now, finally, the 88-year-old actress has arrived: Betty White is a real live meme.

More than 245,000 people have joined a Facebook campaign suggesting Betty White host Saturday Night Live. You hear that and you think, “Huh. Good idea, Internets.” The Facebook page Betty White to Host SNL (please?)! has been gathering momentum with status updates and blog posts and twittering and re-twittering.
Are you listening, Lorne Michaels?

Dear Lorne Michaels...Please let Betty White host SNL.  Love, the Internets.

Dear Lorne Michaels...Please let Betty White host SNL. Love, the Internets

You can’t really call this a comeback since Betty White never went away. She is on quite a streak, though, the kind  that makes Chevy Chase, Mickey Rourke and Jay Leno drool with envy.

The streak started with Betty White’s role in the movie The Proposal, alongside Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Is she funny in the movie? Yes. But she’s even funnier in this behind-the-scenes spoof.

[youtubevid id=”wn1r1jb4–k”]

That sent Betty White and the phrase “ab-crunching jackass” into the digital galaxy. In the past month, though, Betty kicked it up three notches:
1. She accepted the SAG Lifetime Achievement award with this line: “I look out at this audience and I see so many famous faces. But what really boggles my mind is that I actually know many of you. And I’ve worked with quite a few. ::beat:: Maybe had a couple.”

2. She was the surprise star of a Super Bowl ad:
[youtubevid id=”X1Sv_z9jm8A”]

3. She became the subject of the aforementioned grassroots Facebook campaign to get her to host Saturday Night Live, which prompted coverage from NPR and the New York Times.

All good, right?  Wrong.  As Betty White knows, timing is everything.  In this case, the timing could not be more off. You see, there is a new formula for today’s multimedia economy:

Digital Presence + Story Arc = Window of Opportunity

In the past, the Window of Opportunity would stay open weeks at a time.  As information immediacy grew with blogging and Facebook and Twitter, the WoO closed bit by bit.   Television has four Sweeps periods each year; in the digital world every day is Sweeps.  Scratch that, every hour is Sweeps.  Looking at the formula in Betty White’s case, the timeline is pretty clear.   Her digital presence is high, her story arc is peaking, the window of opportunity is now.  She should be on Saturday Night Live tomorrow night.

Enter the Winter Olympics.  More than 2,500 athletes from 80+ countries over 17 days  are collectively ruining the Betty White SNL dream.  All that Olympic-ness is on NBC, home of — you got it — Saturday Night Live.   In fact, SNL isn’t even on the air tomorrow night.  The next show is scheduled for February 27th with Jennifer Lopez as host.   Anything can happen between now and then, 15 days is an eternity in the tweet life.  One thing, though, will most certainly occur:  the Betty White momentum will stall.  Might she still appear on SNL?  Very possibly.  Will we still tune in on a Saturday night two weeks from now with hopeful anticipation?  Very possibly not.  If it happens, we’ll catch it on Hulu the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Betty White host SNL.  It’s exactly the kind of surprise that show needs.  But the meme-line demands it happen now to take advantage of the build-up, the Betty White mind-meld.  With the 2010 Winter Olympics starting tonight, we’re already off meme’ing about Vancouver and luge and the fateful turn of events.

Still, the idea of Betty White on SNL is too good to let it fall into the short-attention-span precipice. So Lorne Michaels, here’s what you should do:  Make Betty White a regular. Have her join the cast of Saturday Night Live.  Let Betty White pop in and out of every show in an unexpected and surprising way.   She can sing with Samberg.  Report the news with Seth.  Hijack JLo’s monologue — or better yet, sing and dance backup.

We’ll never know when she’ll show up or how, but we’ll all keep watching and waiting for Betty White.   If you really want to shake things up, don’t even tell the cast members which skits she’ll be in.   Let’s see what happens when you go off-script with improvisation and ad-lib.  A cameo by Abe Vigoda wouldn’t hurt, either.

The new meme starts now:  Put Betty White on SNL, and put the Live back into Saturday Night.

Posted in Entertainment, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Valentine's Day: The tighter the dress, the bigger the box office?

Posted by andreaitis on February 10, 2010

Who cast this movie, anyway?  The red carpet walk  for the movie premiere of  Valentine’s Day will surely set off the hot babe alert on several continents.  There’s an app for that, right?

Tight dresses.  Short hems.  High heels.  Lots of skin.  A glitzy gimmick to tempt us into the theater or a distraction for a sub-par movie plot?

[daylifegallery id= “1265819263518”]

Final word: I bet Jessica Biel didn’t climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in that.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What's with all the Super Bowl ads featuring guys without pants?

Posted by andreaitis on February 7, 2010

American Idol kicked it off with the Pants on the Ground anthem, and now that trend is carrying through to the Super Bowl.   In one commercial break there were two ads — count ‘em, TWO —  with a ‘no pants’ theme.   The kicker?  The pants-less were not busty bikini’d blondes, but guys.  Regular, average, everywhere you look guys.

According to industry analysts  CBS gets between $2.5 to $3 million for each 30-second commercial.  Overall, more than $200 million will be spent on Super Bowl ads, including pre-game and post-game.  All this geared toward an anticipated audience of about 100 million people tuning in to see the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints do the Super Bowl shuffle.

So who decides the no-pants thing is the way to go?   You gotta admit, it’s quite a coincidence to see two ads butting up against one another,  both with a ‘less is more’ play.

First it was CareerBuilder.com with Casual Friday:

[youtubevid id=”d1FxwagDP8A”]

That was followed by Dockers with I Wear No Pants:

[youtubevid id=”kiS-2sTFdZ0″]

Add to that one of the funniest ads that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, from Bud Light:

[youtubevid id=”UXrnV_PoJMU”]

If that’s not enough, allow me to present one final entry in this ass-tastic series of events.  Earlier this week, the funniest new show (sayeth me) Modern Family had an episode titled Moon Landing.  Mm-hmm.   Let the quarter-back, half-back, interception and touchdown jokes begin.

[huluvid id=”ltzHNTr6rULl7yHmNUn4Tw”]

PS: I can’t remember what network it’s on but you can watch Modern Family — and all the Super Bowl ads — on Hulu.   Score.

Posted in Entertainment, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

From fawn to yawn: How social media is killing the awards show

Posted by andreaitis on February 2, 2010

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and they were as boring as Anne Hathaway’s beige pantsuit.

Announcing 2010 Oscar Nominations.  Y-a-a-a-w-n.

Announcing 2010 Oscar Nominations. Y-a-a-a-w-n.

Sure, the people  who win awards care about them. And the people who are nominated care about them until they don’t win and then they rationalize the superciliousness of awarding one another trinkets for perceived validation.

Aside from the winners and the wanna-be-winners, does anyone one else care anymore?  After nodding off during the Golden Globes and then the Grammys, I’m thinking not so much.  To be fair, most of the Grammy performances were worth watching.  It was the awards part that felt like filler.  T/S’er Leor Galil noticed as well in  Another ‘Grammys are irrelevant’ post.

So, what gives?

Two words:  Social. Media.

That’s right, social media is killing the awards show.    We used to watch awards shows because they were the only chance we had to live vicariously, to see celebrities as themselves or dolled-up versions of themselves.  We could relate — Sandra Bullock winning a Golden Globe is kind of like when I came in third place during that district spelling bee in 5th grade.   Dressed up?  Check.  Trophy presented?  Check.  Accomplishment recognized?  Double check.

But now, I no longer need to wait for an awards show to get an intimate glimpse of a celebrity, and I no longer need to rely on the “expertise” of those selecting the winners.   Social media gives me access to celebrities and experts on my terms, allowing me to call the shots.   Rather than a network programming my awards season for me,  I can do it myself through blogs, twitter feeds, podcasts and videos.    Social media is, to a large extent, the great equalizer.

I watched the Golden Globes specifically because Ricky Gervais was hosting, and I was disappointed.   Mel Gibson joke aside, it was a multimedia dose of ambien.  Lesson learned.  I’m much better off going to Ricky’s blog, where I learn he just did a photo shoot, his mate’s missing dog was found and  his day consisted of “More junkets.  Went for a run.  Drank wine.  Watched telly.”

I can follow celebs on twitter, including my fave awards show host and current crush Neil Patrick Harris (@actuallynph on twitter and yes I know he’s gay but I’m still crushing).  I can even interact directly with celebs, responding to their twitter messages or commenting on their blogs.   Sometimes, a-hem,  Jon Favreau might even retwitter you.

jon favreau twitter 2-2-2010 9-53-47 AM

But mostly, it’s about the ever-growing voice of public opinion.   It’s about what movie or music my Facebook friends favor, rather than the Foreign Press Association.   It’s about what’s trending on my Twitter feed, with my carefully-curated list of people I follow.  It’s about technology giving us an all-access pass, letting us in behind the velvet rope.  I imagine many actors watched the Academy Award nominations much as I did this morning, viewing the live stream on my laptop.  They will follow the media flow in the same way as well, googling and twittering and clicking on multiple devices.

We’re no longer handcuffed to the entertainment experts presented to us through traditional media venues.  Celebrities can listen not just to the professional critic,  but also to the amateur and fan.   I listen to the opinions that matter to me;  I can find, choose and follow those voices.  Through social media we are achieving what art is all about — freedom of expression — and in doing so we are de-valuing the monopolistic voices that drove public opinion for so long.

I’ll still watch the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7th, to see how Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin fare as  co-hosts and to see the dresses and drama.   It will no longer be a Big Event for me, though.  I’ll likely be multi-tasking with the TV on and TweetDeck open.   Like the Golden Globes and the Grammys, the Oscars have lost their luster.   To shine again they need a significant overhaul that takes into account how we consume media today.  That means more than a go-to-the-website -to-vote-for-a-Bon-Jovi-song gimmick.   Seriously, that’s the best you can do?  For an industry that is grounded in story-telling,  imagination, creativity and magic, remaking the awards show should be a worthy opportunity and challenge.

My six-year-old put it all in perspective when I told her about the Oscars.  She said, simply,  “Oh, they just want you to go to the movies so they can make more money.”

Members of the Academy, the future generation of awards-show-watchers are waiting in the wings.   Go ahead.  Make their day.

Posted in Entertainment, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Party in the USA: Hardcore kids in Miley Cyrus sing-a-long

Posted by andreaitis on January 27, 2010

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 19:  Miley Cyrus performs...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There’s a video making the rounds.  It was up on TwitVid, then YouTube, and just found its way to the MTV Iggy Blog.  It’s from a punk rock show in Atlanta, Georgia on January 12th.  You should care about this because:

1. The video was taken by our friend and unofficially official True/Slant photographer, the very ink’d and very happening Matt X. Miller (he took this picture).

2. The video already has over 25k views on the ‘Tube with a bullet.

3. It shows that we can set our differences aside and find common ground, whether you’re a little bit country or a little bit rock-n-roll.

4. It captures a moment in time and sincere, authentic fun.  Remember fun?

From the MTV Iggy Blog:

And yet sometimes, in America, you all sit at the dinner table together. And you understand why he doesn’t want to work. And you like his tattoos. And you think maybe your sister isn’t so shallow, that maybe all she wants is to seek out beauty like we all do, to live in a fluffy, happy world.

In the video below, we see hardcore metalheads in Atlanta — you know, your older brother’s type — in a moment of rare, un-ironic love for their little American sisters.

At a show for hardcore bands Trapper Under Ice, Cruel Hand, Naysayer, and Foundation some smart alec put on Miley Cyrus’ USA hit, “Party in the USA” and what did the boys do? Turn it off? Tear the speakers to pieces? (See that song’s original video here.) Nope, they unabashedly danced, hugged, and sang (nearly) every word. It’s your YouTube of the day. A sneak peek into the weirdness that is America’s Teenage Wasteland:

via Hardcore Kids, Singing Along to Miley Cyrus? That’s America > MTV Iggy Blog > MTV Iggy – Global Pop Culture, Latest Trends and New Music

Here’s the video:

[youtubevid id=”4669ozY4faQ”]

In the YouTube description, Matt said “It was rad to see hardcore kids take themselves a little less serious and loosen up.”   Funny, that’s exactly what he said to us after taking our True/Slant pictures.

Posted in Entertainment, technology, video | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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