Clueless Gamer – Super Bowl Edition

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Unless you have been living under a rock (no judgment), you are probably vaguely aware that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. Even if you are not a football fan, the Super Bowl is such a big event that it creeps into the public consciousness and many non-sports fans still enjoy the event because of the spectacle, the halftime show and all the commercials. Plus it’s an excuse to eat a lot of junk food and drink beer, which is something that I think, as a nation, we can all get behind. This year’s game is between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots and both teams feature some colorful personalities. On the Seahwaks there is star running back Marshawn Lynch who has zero interest in talking to the media and often gives the same answer in press conferences, regardless of what the question is:

 

Lynch is a former Buffalo Bill and has a weird obsession with Skittles. The man just straight up loves the candy; someone even created a recipe for Skittles chicken wings in his honor. If only the people of Buffalo had thought of that, perhaps he would have stayed in Buffalo. His antics on and off the field have made him a polarizing player in the NFL – people either love him or hate him and there isn’t much room in between. The refusing to talk to the media thing is relatively new; back when he was a rookie on the Bills, he cut this hilarious segment with ESPN:

 

So the guy definitely has some personality.

On the New England Patriots you have Rob Gronkowsi, who has a less checkered past than Marshawn and is far more open with the media. Gronk is one of the best tight ends in the game, but his huge personality almost makes you forget how good he is on the field. Since the Patriots are in the same division as the Bills, I have little love for the team – especially pretty boy Brady- but even I like Gronk. He just seems like a fun guy. I mean, the guy poses for photos like this for ESPN magazine:

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and on media day, while Lynch was giving the media the run-around, Gronk was reading aloud erotic stories that were written about him (yup – this is a thing that exists):

 

So in a lot of ways, Lynch and Gronk are complete opposites of each other; both are talented players and both have big personalities, but those personalities manifest themselves in very different ways.

One of my favorite recurring segments on Conan is “clueless gamer,” where Conan O’Brien – not a gamer – plays popular video games. His reactions are always hilarious and he’s usually pretty terrible at them, which makes for excellent television. I don’t get to watch Conan on a regular basis, but I always make sure to watch the clueless gamer segments online. Last night there was a special edition of clueless gamer; Conan brought together Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowsi to play Mortal Kombat.

 

If that doesn’t get you in the mood for the Super Bowl, I don’t know what will.

 

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Team Trivia Edition

 

I love trivia; as a kid, one of my favorite games was Trivial Pursuit and I always tried to steer people toward playing that over other board games. Part of the reason I enjoy trivia is because I am good at it – I read a lot, I’m up on current events and I have a good memory – but I also enjoy it because I usually learn something in the process of playing it. I’ve been playing Trivia Crack on my phone, but I’m hard pressed to find people that want to play as much as I do. My poor brother has been dragged into playing games with me in perpetuity and even he is taking longer and longer in between rounds.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to bars on trivia nights and play, but I have a tough time recruiting anyone to go. To me, it’s the greatest night out – have some beers, play some trivia and compete with other people – and I would do it all the time if I could. So when my friend Marty asked me if I wanted to go to a trivia night, I jumped at the chance despite the fact that I’m still not feeling 100%. I wasn’t sure when the opportunity was going to come along again. And here’s a little hint – having a pop culture blogger on your team dramatically increases your chances of winning. It might have been a light turnout, but we dominated the contest. It helped that there were a lot of questions about pop culture – the Oscars in particular – but I’m not bad at sports or history either. Geography is my kryptonite – we were asked to name the capitol of Guyana and I’m not going to lie – I had completely forgotten that was even a country. Thankfully, the geography-related questions were few and far between and the overall questioning of the night was more in our wheelhouse. Even the host of the trivia night came over to say how well we were doing. It was a lot of fun and it was nice to have a chance to showcase all that useless information that I have rattling around in my head. Plus I got to try peanut butter and jelly wings (yes – you read that right). Even if we hadn’t won, I wound have had a good time. Hopefully I can do this more regularly.

This week’s pop culture roundup is full of the kind of trivia that might come in handy. So put your team together (feel free to invite me) and study up on all the pop culture that you might have missed in the last week.

  • He seemed to have a sense of humor about the recent SNL skit about him:

 

  • This two year playing the drums is no joke:

 

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Time for some trailers…..

  • A trailer for the second season of The Strain:

 

  • The Walking Dead returns:

 

  • A teaser for the upcoming Game of Thrones special:

 

  • The 4th season of Veep:

 

  • A new trailer for Get Hard:

 

  • A teaser for the third season of Bates Motel:

 

  • A new animated film, Underdogs:

 

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  • The cast of The West Wing reunited to promote Big Block of Cheese Day:

 

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  • Nobody told me that a Batmobile stroller was an option; I might have made some different decisions:

 

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  • Inquiring minds want to know…could Kool-Aid man actually burst through a wall:

 

  • There are a lot of X-men; this video helps you keep all of them straight:

 

  • Conan got the Archer treatment and battled some Russian mobsters:

 

 

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts….

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  • Cookie Monster sings “Fade Into You:”

 

  • A supercut of the bad acting from VCR board games (remember when those were the coolest thing ever?):

 

  • Fall Out Boy covering “Uptown Funk” is better than it should be:

 

  • This supercut proves women get asked terrible questions on the red carpet:

 

  • And finally, Boyhood meets Boy Meets World:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Spring is (Hopefully) Here Edition

I hate to jinx anything, but I think that Spring has finally arrived. The weather is slightly warmer, the days are longer and baseball is back. If that doesn’t mean Spring, I don’t know what does. I even heard the music of my first ice cream truck of the season. My mood has drastically improved the last two days – part of that is because I’m finally getting a breather at work, but I can’t discount the impact of the changing seasons. I think the worst is really behind us. Of course, we’ll probably get a blizzard next week just so Mother Nature can show who’s  the boss.

The improving weather doesn’t give me permission to slack of from my duties, however, so I’ve once again assembles a fantastic menagerie of pop culture goodness. There’s a little bit of everything in here, so if you have fallen behind on what’s going on in the world of pop during your winter hibernation this should help get you back up to speed.

  • Watch Crowe, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots play “Folsom Prison Blues”

 

Who knew Jimmy could play the harmonica?

  • Billy Dee Williams has dropped out of Dancing with the Stars. Probably for the best.
  • Drake has a new song – that name checks Jennifer Lawrence:

 

  • Conan is in Dallas all this week; he tries to become a Texas Deputy:

 

  • More details on the new season of American Horror Story: it will be called Freak Show and Michael Chiklis has joined the cast. Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare Sarah Paulson, Angela Basset, Frances Conroy, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jessica Lange will all be returning in some capacity.
  • How much do you love this photo of some of the Game of Thrones cast on a beach day:

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The Lannisters are the worst, but the actors that play them are pretty awesome.

  • Perhaps to prove progress has been made, George R.R. Martin has released a chapter from the next Game of Thrones book.
  • A youth orchestra in Spain did a flash mob version of the Game of Thrones theme:

 

  • Gotta love the NYC real estate market – the apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead has already been rented.
  • There was briefly rumor that the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys were going out on tour together, but that isn’t happening.
  • For those that enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel, here’s a vignette on Zubrowka (the fictional European country dreamed up by Wes Anderson)
  • I’m still annoyed by the How I Met Your Mother finale, but this makes me smile – Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel perform “The Confrontation” from Les Mis:

 

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  • Justin Bieber won at Canada’s Juno Awards – and was roundly booed. When you’ve lost Canda, you’ve lost the world.
  • You guys…Ginuwine performed “Pony” on Arsenio.

 

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  • Also from The Tonight Show – Samuel L. Jackson did some Boy Meets World slam poetry:

 

  • A ranking of all of Frank’s hats on 30 Rock.
  • Some of the stars of Nashville (not named Connie Britton or Hayden Panettiere) are doing some live shows.
  • A model transformed herself into a real life version of Marge Simpson:

 

  • This just has to be seen to believed – Arnold Schwarzenegger does the Nae Nae Dance:

 

This man used to govern a state.

  • Celebrity beef of the week: Eddie Money vs. Kenny Loggins. Tough call – one has two tickets to paradise, but the other is familiar with the danger zone. Edge: Loggins
  • Star Wars released a featurette on the birth of the lightsaber:

 

  • This map determines what states will be best prepared for a zombie attack. I’m screwed.

Trailers:

  • The first official trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

 

  • A new trailer for FX’s Fargo miniseries:

 

  • Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again:

 

  • Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive:

 

  • A new teaser for Louie, coming back May 5th:

 

  • A new trailer for The Purge: Anarchy:

 

  • A red-band trailer for Let’s Be Cops:

 

  • The new Tom & Jerry:

 

  • The Drop, James Gandolfini’s last film:

 

  • A red band trailer for Sex Tape, starring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz (NSFW):

 

  • Katy Perry may be sort of dating Riff Raff (the rapper, not the character from Rocky Horror).

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts:

  • Wolverine the Musical:

 

  • A Carnegie Hall ensemble played 43 cartoon theme songs:

 

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  • Mike Tyson training videos with Street Fighter sound effects added:

 

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  • Every suit Barney ever wore on HIMYM:

 

  • A supercut of every time Barney had sex on HIMYM:

 

  • For those of you that used to love Homestar Runner as much as me, here’s a Strong Bad/Daft Punk mashup:

 

  • Batman recut:

 

  • A supercut of actors gearing up for battle:

 

  • And finally, Breaking Bad vs. Street Fighter: