While Japan continues to be the rightful focus of international attention this week, it's important to remember that we have a vast Internet at our disposal to at least distract us with humor, insanity, and the extraordinary (which doesn't always mean good). We can finally take comfort in knowing that the Charlie Sheen firestorm has dwindled to a child's Fourth of July sparkler at best, but we've also had some new sensations step up to take his place, as well as an old favorite to draw the pop culture public's general ire.
Singer Rebecca Black has become the new face of the phrase "overnight sensation" with her music video for "Friday" and let's just say the reviews have been... mixed. Australian teenager Casey Heynes has become a worldwide hero for standing up to his bully, and thanks to YouTube his fight has been an inspiration to kids everywhere - and adults trying to bring awareness to bullying. And then there's Jersey Shore star The Situation, who delivered one of the most memorable celebrity roast performances in history. Again, that's not necessarily a good thing. As for the rest of this week's pop culture highlights, there were a few other highlights in between, including one of the many inspirational stories coming from the aftermath of Japan's earthquake.
There are various times in my life when I’m thankful I don’t have children - when I’ve been unemployed, when I drink a lot, when I go to strip clubs - but none more than when I first watched the video for Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. I have to keep in mind that this is a young girl with an impressionable mind and fragile feelings, so I can’t be too harsh on her debut musical effort. But hoo boy, does this song suck or what? 13,000,000 views, America! Top 70 on iTunes! I’m all for kids chasing their dreams, but they shouldn't skip that critically necessary stage of earning it. Best of luck to Rebecca, should she continue to pursue her pop culture dreams, but at least ditch the autotune. And maybe find a new songwriter.
Bonus points to comedian Matt Mulholland for his inspired take on Rebecca’s song.
(Gif via Get Up & Support NYC)
On Tuesday night, Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino made his comedy debut as a roaster at the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump. And as Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross summed it up: “It might be his last." Situation’s jokes probably would have drawn laughs if told by most comics familiar with the style and delivery of a roast; however, he lacked both of those essential elements and, therefore, went over like a fart in a hatchback. The crowd not only fell uncomfortably silent on some of Sitch’s jokes, they even booed him when they just got terrible. And by terrible, I mean he resorted to bragging about his wealth and sexual conquests… to Donald Trump. Nice try, Mike, but leave the comedy, television and fame to the experts.
*Above pictures are from a series that myself and my own Pauly D(dangerously) put together for Funny or Die on Wednesday.
As Australia promotes its National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence today, teenager Casey Heynes has unexpectedly found himself the poster child of opposition to bullying. A student at Chifley College’s Dunheved Campus, Heynes has been characterized by classmates as the constant victim of bullies because of his size. On Monday, his size became his strength as he body slammed a younger bully who punched him at least three times at school. Bystanders caught the fight on video and it became a viral sensation as people praised Casey for standing up for himself worldwide. You can view the video and read my original take at With Leather, but I included the Taiwanese news version above because it really just makes the whole thing 10 times better.
There’s not so much of a story to this as just a poorly-worded phrase leading to my Picture of the Week*. Unless this McDonald’s really gives away boy toys, in which case I will volunteer myself for any former Victoria’s Secret models or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models. What can I say, I’m generous.
*You saw it last week? Month? Year? Don’t care. I didn’t so it stands as current.
Let this be a lesson to all the teenage boys out there - you don't have to smile awkwardly and pretend like you enjoy having a girl in a bikini hanging all over you. And at the same time, if you're taking a photo with someone, at least have the common courtesy to be ready when the photographer snaps the picture. At least I think that's the point of this.
(Via Get Up & Support NYC)
Speaking of pop sensations, Ke$ha hit the beach in Australia this week before she launches her world tour down under, and the early reviews for her bikini choice ain’t so hot. Far be it for me to criticize what anyone wears to the beach - I only wear mesh denim - but this ensemble screams, “I’m trying to blend a modern look with the 1930s and they’re fighting each other to the death on my body!” If her bottom climbed any higher it would have to hire sherpas an plant a flag of its nation.
Akiko Kosaka is a student at the University of California-Riverside, and like many Japanese students studying in America, she was certainly terrified for her family back home in Minamisanriku, a fishing village that reported at least 17,000 residents missing after the massive earthquake. For three days, Akiko knew nothing of her family’s status until a friend finally told her about a video on YouTube that showed her home. Sure enough, Akiko’s family survived and her sister was captured on video with a sign to tell Akiko that they were all fine.
In related news, I do not call my parents enough.
If one TV show has given us a million memorable songs, it's The Simpsons, and someone finally captured them in one delightful medley... well, almost all of them. Musician Fredrik Larsson used just his guitar and a love for my favorite TV show of all-time to put together "The Monorail Song", "We Do (The Stonecutters' Song)", "Canyonero", and a few others. Sadly overlooked are Mr. Burns' "See My Vest" and "La Maison Derriere", as Matt at Warming Glow pointed out. And if the video is deleted by the time you try to watch it, wait five years and Family Guy will do it.
With more than 165,000 views in a few days, it’s good to know that I’m not alone in finding this simple video of a guy kicking a soccer ball into his own face just flat out delightful. There’s really not much else to it. Unless he hit himself in the groin, that would be pretty funny, too. Oh man, can you imagine if he kicked the ball and it bounced back and hit off his face into his groin? Why, I might laugh for 4, maybe 5 minutes at something like that. They should work on that for an encore.
Insurance mega-giant Aflac fired company spokesman* and incredibly offensive and raunchy comedian Gilbert Gottfried after he ran off a Twitter tirade of jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company, which has a huge Japanese business interest, issued a statement via press release that it was incredibly sensitive to the aftermath of the horrible disasters and did not endorse or condone the jokes made by Gottfried. And as Vince at FilmDrunk pointed out, the company’s marketing team probably should have thought of that when they hired the guy who gave us The Aristocrats.
*Or guy who voiced a duck, if you're into specifics.
- As of late 2010, Justin Bieber commanded the 6th highest payment per concert with a whopping $300,000 per appearance. Only Rascal Flatts, KISS, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, and Sugarland made more per show than the teenage star. And if we pray hard enough, maybe someday a deserving artist will make that list. (Justin Bieber Zone)
- Achieving limited but occasional success in the United States, the boy group Menudo has survived for 34 years, as the roster changes regularly to keep the faces and voices fresh. Since the group’s inception in 1977, there have been 49 different members. I’m guessing none of them made $300,000 per show, though. (Eons)