Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Using Some Vacation Days Edition

Normally my summer vacations revolve around going to visit friends; over the years many of my friends have scattered across the country and vacation is a chance to catch up with people and explore some of my favorite cites. I am lucky that most people have relocated to fun and exciting places that I would want to visit anyway, so it works out for everyone. This year, however, a weird phenomenon has happened – the stars have aligned and almost all of my far away friends are coming through Albany at some point this summer. It’s kind of weird to have everyone on my home turf, but it is also has been beneficial for my travel budget. Since I don’t have anyone to go visit, I’ve decided to do a bunch of smaller trips instead of one big trip this year. I’m still not 100% what I’m doing, but since summer is more than half over I’m starting to put together some concrete plans. It’s exciting to have so many possibilities, but it’s also a little overwhelming. I’m also trying to work around my already over-scheduled social calendar; I’d already committed to a bunch of activities before I decided to use up some vacation time. I’ve got to stop buying concert tickets.

While I spend hours figuring out some ways to blow through my stockpile of vacation days, catch yourself up on the pop culture that you may have missed in the last week. With the Television Critics Association meeting wrapping up and Comic Con about to begin, there was plenty of pop culture goodness to choose from this week. I love when that happens!

  • A Game of Thrones theory has been making the rounds lately. It isn’t new, but this video explaining it has revitalized it (spoilers):


  • Kanye gave an interview to GQ and as usual, it is filled with ridiculous quotes. Don’t ever change, Yeezus.



  • There’s a contest to win a hometown screening of the new Star Wars film – and give a sneak peek at the new X-wing prototype (full disclosure – I have no idea what that is):


  • The final season of Sons of Anarchy will not only have Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, but also Theo Huxtable.
  • I was so very sad to hear that the great Elaine Stritch had passed away. In her honor, here’s some of her best moments on 30 Rock:


  • Here’s a photo of Joe Manganiello as a kid and Joe Manganiello now. Impressive transformation.



  • Side note – I don’t even really drink soda any longer, but I’m kind of obsessed with finding a Coke bottle with my name on it.
  • I only just learned of American Ninja Warrior thanks to my friend Laura’s kids, but even I recognize that this run through the course is pretty impressive:



Note to LEGOLand, my birthday is in September. Start building.

  • Ryan Murphy teases the conjoined twins from American Horror Story: Freak Show:



  • Edit out the banter and an episode of Family Feud only lasts 3 minutes:


  • Conan and Dave Franco explore Tinder; hilarity ensues:


  • Here’s a first look at Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Adam Sandler in Pixels:



  • A look at the new season of Homeland:


  • A teaser trailer for Fifty Shade of Grey turned up in an unlikely place – Beyoncé’s Instagram feed:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on


  • A first look at Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler:


  • Elisabeth Moss in The One I Love:


  • Jim Parsons and Rihanna lend their voices to Home:


  • Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game:


  • Dominic West (McNulty!) in the new Showtime series, The Affair:


  • Another week, another new trailer for Gotham:


  • Keira Knightley in Laggies:


  • The Conjuring spinoff, Annabelle, gets a trailer:


  • More scary stuff – the trailer for Ouija:


  • Syfy’s new show, 12 Monkeys:


  • The Rock predicts the outcome of a fight between Hercules and Superman (he’ll portray the former in an upcoming movie that looks terrible but that I will still see).
  • Tumblr of the week: Bea A Day, because who doesn’t love Bea Arthur?


  • This aquarium is pretty cool:


  • Footage has surfaced of a young Kanye West rapping in 1996:


As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts.

  • The Game of Thrones theme – the dubstep remix:


  • Kids cursing in movies:


  • A cover of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust<” created using clips of people screaming in movies:




  • Here’s a slow jam version of The Muppet Babies theme:


  • Jack White covering “99 Problems” is like my dream come true:


  • Hear the Queen’s Guard play a cover of The Game of Thrones theme:


  • And finally, “Let It Go” sung using clips from 80s TV shows:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Jimmy Took Over The Tonight Show Edition

It finally happened – Jay Leno (hopefully) went off into the sunset and blog favorite Jimmy Fallon took over the reins of The Tonight Show. I’ve only been able to see one show so far, but I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen. He seems to be keeping the same general show that he had when he was doing Late Night, which I think is a good thing. I’ll just be happy when he finally takes over his real time slot – starting the show at midnight to accommodate the Olympics is just late enough that I can’t justify staying up to watch it live. I cannot tell you how nervous I was watching the first show of his Tonight Show tenure; I think I would have been less nervous if I was up there telling jokes.

But the succession in late night isn’t the only thing that has been going on in the world of pop culture; despite the long shadow that the Olympics has shined over the landscape, a lot has been happening in the last two weeks. While you’ve been busy watching curling, I’ve been compiling all the links that you might have missed. So here’s your biweekly cheat sheet on some of the stories that you might have missed:

  • In honor of the man of the hour, here are 39 facts about Fallon. Please note the mention of College of St. Rose, which I drive by every day on my way to work.
  • See a 17 year old Jimmy in his first stand up performance:


  • Here’s Jimmy’s Saturday Night Live audition:


  • What does Conan think of all this? Classy as always:


  • Stephen Colbert is now the First Lady of France:


His logic is flawless.


  • There will be a mini-Seinfeld reunion on TV Land’s Kirstie, which is still not enough to get me to watch Kirstie.


  • Check out Walter White’s Facebook Look Back video:


  • There is just so much to love in the Kraft mac and cheese ad:


Vanilla Ice as a stock boy? TOTALLY believable.


  • If you enjoyed the movie as much as I did, you’ll get a kick out of The LEGO Movie “blooper” reel:


  • See Will Arnett read school closings as Batman:


  • Scrubs may also head to Broadway. TV shows aren’t cancelled – they just become fodder for musicals.
  • A visual guide to who owns the movie rights to various Marvel characters:


  • The star of the National Geographic reality show, Snake Salvation, died from a snake bite. That’s some M. Night Shyamalan stuff right there – who saw THAT coming?
  • A full list of the BAFTA winners (aka the British Oscars).
  • See Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Ryu from Street Fighter in this clip from The Pete Holmes Show:


  • Channing Tatum has a bust of Matthew McConaughey. I absolutely need one of these for my living room.



  • Check out this Parenthood/Friday Night Lights crossover on this NBC webseries:


  • While I’m still very bummed about Derek Jeter’s retirement, you have to admit that his dating history is pretty dang impressive:


  • Even I am not immune to the charms of the Jamaican bobsled team and their theme song.


  • The first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer debuted last night:


  • Jake Gyllenhaal has a dual role in The Double:


  • A teaser for the 2nd season of Inside Amy Schumer:


  • Tom Hardy in Locke:


  • Christopher Meloni in Surviving Jack, a new sitcom at FOX:


  • A trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black. I can’t wait!!


  • John Cusack in Drive Hard


  • Nicolas Cage in Joe:


  • An extended trailer for the Spanish language version of Breaking Bad:

I’d watch that.


  • The Purge: Anarchy:


  • A teaser trailer for the new season of Veep:


As always, we wrap up with the mashups and supercuts

  • The same goes for Sesame Street’s answer to Flappy Birds – Flappy Bert.
  • I love this New Orleans style cover of Guns N Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine”


  • This couple breaks up – using 154 movie titles:


  • A supercut of hit songs from 2000, which appears to have been a very dark time for music:


  • A supercut of cats in movies:


  • As a former Greek, I was amused by this The Wolf of Wall Street parody, The Wolf of Phi Psi:


  • And finally, Billy Ray Cyrus has redone Achy Breaky Heart as a hip-hop jam. For reals, people:

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Christmas Eve Edition

Tis the season of giving and I could think of nothing better to give my dear readers than an extra jam packed stocking of pop culture links. There is a lot in here, which will hopefully keep you entertained as the blog takes a mini-holiday hiatus for a couple of days. If all goes according to plan, I should be back Friday with a Wolf of Wall Street review.

And now, my gift to you: more pop culture knowledge than you can shake a stick at:

  • You can now watch Metallica’s entire concert in Antarctica:


  • Lifetime has also announced dates for their Flowers in the Attic and Lizzie Borden movies.
  • Kate Winslet has picked a name for her newborn son and yes, it’s unusual (though kudos for NOT giving the kid his father’s last name of Rocknroll).
  • STOP THE PRESSES – a Tom Hiddleston/Benedict Cumberbatch dance-off:

I think the Internet just exploded.

  • I do love me some touchdown celebrations, so I appreciate the Wall Street Journal analyzing all 1,150 in the 2013 season:

They also created this fancy chart.

  • Watch Ron Burgundy perform “Ride Like the Wind” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!


  • Paul Rudd told Letterman about the time he tried to break up a drag queen fight while in his Anchorman 2 costume:

THAT should have been added to the movie!

  • Put Conan, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart together and watch the magic happen:


  • Conan also visited The American Doll store.

I think Conan has just earned his way to a season pass on my DVR. He’s killing it lately.

  • Watch a Jeopardy! contestant do his best Bane impression:


  • I enjoyed this Cougar Town ad created from thousands of corks. The Cul-de-sac crew loves its vino!


  • Cracker Barrel pulled, then restocked, their Duck Dynasty merchandise after Phil Robertson’s controversial GQ interview.
  • Justin Timberlake photobombed some people at his concert:


  • Ha! Watch Michael K. Williams (OMAR!) promote the Chalky White line of children’s books:


  • I’ll be on the market for a new car within a year; perhaps I should look into this LEGO car.

For your holiday perusal – a tone of trailers:

  • A new teaser for Community (January 2! Can’t wait!)


  • A teaser trailer for the new season of Orphan Black:


  • Anne Hathaway and Jamie Foxx in Rio 2:


  • A promo for Patton Oswalt’s new standup special:


  • A longer look at HBO’s Looking:


  • An animated trailer for Community:


  • Did the Oscars always have trailers?


  • Ha! Netflix did a trailer for their streaming Yule Log:


  • A trailer for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel:


  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:



  • A red band trailer for 22 Jump Street:


  • The Other Woman starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton:


  • The Expendables 3 teaser trailer:


  • Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore team up for what I’m already predicting will be one of the worst movies of 2014:


  • Jon Hamm + Baseball = Heather’s wheelhouse. I will see Million Dollar Arm 100 times.


  • A third season trailer for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:


  • I have never seen Kanye as happy as he is in this photo, eating ice cream:



There has been a sudden proliferation of oral histories;

A few quick Mashups and Supercuts

  • Check out this illustrated mashup of memorable pop culture events in 2013:



  • I try to keep you guys up to date, but if you want a real crash course, here’s a three minute video on 2013 pop culture:


  • Watch Jeff Winger and Dean Pelton’s relationship on Community reimagined as a psychological thriller:


And finally, we end with a bunch of holiday stuff:

  • A holiday themed Billy on the Street featuring Amy Poehler:


  • For those of you who feel a little grinchy, an “I hate Christmas” supercut:


  • This never gets old – the Happy Endings Hip Hop Santa dance-off:


  • A Peanuts flashmob? Outstanding!


  • Watch Elf re-enacted with pugs:


  •  Whoa – check out this gingerbread Optimus Prime:


  • A song made only from Christmas tree ornaments:


  • Some guy named Paul inserted himself into Home Alone:


  • In honor of Festivus, a supercut of Seinfeld characters airing their grievances:

I’ve got a lot of problems with you people.

  • “Defying Gravity” as sung by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:


  • And finally…..Conan reveals a terrifying twist for Elf on the Shelf:


Wishing you all a very happy holidays – however you choose to celebrate, I hope you are smiling.