John Lithgow Documents ‘Crazy’ Era Of ‘Dumpty’ Trump In Verse

The “3rd Rock From The Sun” star previewed his upcoming Trump-themed poetry book on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Comedy
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This ‘Hot Model Dad’ Inspired A Ton Of Hilarious Memes

Some other fathers were also ready for their close-ups.
Comedy
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Jim Carrey Sacks ‘Overinflated Pigskin’ Donald Trump In New Cartoon

The football-themed artwork warned the president about his “premature endzone dance” following William Barr’s Mueller summary.
Comedy
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The Perfect Response To ‘Are Men Second-Class Citizens?’

You can spend a lifetime trying to find the perfect gif to deploy in response to sheer ignorance about women’s rights.

Today, we can thank Guardian Australia columnist Van Badham for supplying us with one.

The writer appeared on Australian morning show “Sunrise” on Saturday, where hosts were conducting a deep-dive into the ever-pressing topic, “Are men second-class citizens?”

The statement that prompted Badham’s eye roll of the century was “left feminism is essentially selfish.” Former Australian politician Mark Latham made that remark while trying to characterize Badham as only concerned about problems that affect educated, privileged women — even though she covers class inequality at The Guardian. (She also wrote a comprehensive response to Latham’s remarks, which you can read here.)

But her sublime expression is nothing if not versatile when confronting sexist idiocy.

For example:

“Why don’t you want kids?”

“Are you on your period?”

“Women are just voting for Hillary/Bernie because she’s a woman/they want boys to like them.”

“You’d be so much prettier if you smiled more.” 

Try it yourself! In the meantime, the entire segment can be viewed below:

H/T Elle

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Trump Re-ups Berlin Wall

2016-05-03-1462286869-6531543-519pxGreatwall_large.jpg

President Trump announced that he has accepted a bid on a wall that would run along the Mexican border from the German company that built the Berlin Wall for the GDR back in l961. According to aides to President Trump, the Mexicans will still be fronting the money, but the president wanted to make sure that if he was going to get another country to pay that they would be getting the best bang for their buck. Much discussion has gone into the question of what such a wall would be called and after days of deliberation a bipartisan group of both Mexican and American legislators have decided to call it The Trump Wall. Travelers coming either from Mexico to the United States or traveling South from the United States to Mexico will be greeted with large neon signs visible from miles way with the familiar Trump logo, in place of the usual welcome to the United States or Mexico. When Chris Matthews of MSNBC asked President Trump whether choosing the builder of the Berlin Wall would excite comparisons to the Cold War, Mr. Trump reiterated an earlier controversial statement that women who have abortions should receive “some form of punishment.” A White House spokesman commented,
“All along people have told President Trump that this was impossible, this was not gong to happen, but now it’s going up right before our eyes and after the whole thing is finished we’re planning on buying it back for the same 25 bucks that Peter Minuit paid the Indians for Manhattan. We’ll turn the whole thing into a casino. The president is convinced that his wall will make the Great Wall of China look like chump change.”

The Great Wall of China in l907 (photo by Herbert Ponting)

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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#ActionMovieCampaignSlogan Dials This Election Cycle Up To 11

If you ask us at HuffPost Comedy, there’s not nearly enough crazy stuff happening in this presidential election. We asked our thousands of comedy minions on Twitter to kick this political process in the balls with the hashtag #ActionMovieCampaignSlogan.

Many thanks to Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) for being this week’s special guest. Check out his podcast at www.gilbertpodcast.com. And look for him in the upcoming movie “Life, Animated.”

Here are some of the very best of our “Stupor Tuesday” tag, #ActionMovieCampaignSlogan.

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Invasion of the Ducks

We’ve lived in our house in San Diego for several decades now and have never seen a single duck. Seagulls? Tons. Pelicans? Loads. But all of a sudden, my husband looked up from his desk a few weeks ago and said, “Do you hear quacking?”

We quickly discovered that a mallard pair, whom we dubbed Quick and Quack (a nod to NPR), had decided to make our pool their personal lake.

Our dog, Winston, of course, went nuts when he saw them but they were (literally) unflappable. “Have at it, big boy,” they seemed to say with barely disguised ennui.

At first we were totally charmed by them. Ducks! How fun! But by day three we couldn’t help noticing that our pool area and the pool itself were sporting alarming amounts of duck excrement giving new meaning to the term “poop deck.” With regret, I called a local wildlife agency for advice about their relocation.

I quickly discovered that wildlife agencies see ducks differently than pool owners. My wildlife person surmised that they had created a nest somewhere in our back yard. What luck! she said. Baby ducks are so cute!

I nervously inquired about the gestation for duck eggs. Twenty-nine days, she said. I thought I could probably live with 29 days of ducks until she added, “and then another 10 weeks until they can fly.” Definitely, she says, have to keep the dog out of the back yard once the baby ducks are born. And by the way, we’ll need to put a wood plank at the shallow end of the pool so the baby ducks can get out.

I said, what if the toddler grandchildren want to come and swim? And she said, “Oh, they’ll just love the baby ducks!” One got the impression she was seriously focused on the innate adorableness of infant avians and not on (1) we were housing a duckling-eating dog, (2) we employ a lawn moving service with 130 decibel mowers incompatible with baby ducks, and (3) we (sort of) have a life.

At first the wildlife lady had an ally in my husband Olof who was really into the whole miracle of birth thing. That was until he heard that a typical clutch is 12-13 ducklings. Even he had to admit that 15 ducks pooping in our pool for 10 weeks was going to be a biohazard from which we were not likely to recover. It was also mentioned that once you make the ducks feel at home, they come back every year in perpetuity.

When the pool guy showed up the next week he nearly collapsed on the pool deck weeping when he saw the pool. Ducks, he maintained, are harder to get rid of than herpes.

“Can you actually get rid of herpes?” I said.

“No!” he practically sobbed. “And you can’t get rid of ducks either!”

He’d had two other clients with “duck issues” in which they’d tried everything under the sun (other than a .22). Makes the pool very hard to clean not to mention extremely unappetizing to swim in. He said we’d look back on our rat problem as good news.

It appeared after two weeks that the ducks didn’t actually have a nest here; they just liked the locale. I quickly learned that we’re hardly the first people around here to have this problem. No less than the pricey piscine of the venerable Beach and Tennis Club has been mallardially afflicted. The Internet was full of duck eradication ideas, like buying a six-foot long plastic alligator pool toy to float on the pool. But this suggestion was followed by 24 posts of “Doesn’t work” and even one photo of ducks floating on the alligator.

Many of the suggestions required crisscrossing the pool with fishing line or rope so the ducks couldn’t access the pool. But you can’t either. Dozens of other non-lethal suggestions involved bright shiny objects, fake snakes, a product advertising itself as “a secret blend of herbs and spices that will naturally remove ducks” but which probably contains strychnine, and even hiring a falconer. I had a feeling the falconer was out of our price range.

Ultimately I went low tech: the hose. At first I just sprayed a shower in their direction but they just swam over and preened themselves in it, as if to say, “OK, a little to the left.” So I turned it on a little stronger and splashed it as close to them as possible without hitting them. I refused to hurt them–just wanted to ask them politely if they would relocate elsewhere, thank them for stopping by. They took off immediately but I heard telltale quacking in the pool 10 minutes later. They seem to be reappearing less and less, however; days go by that we don’t see them at all. In some ways we’ll miss them. But we have a whole lot of duck poop on the deck to remember them by.

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I Only Hear Wedding Bells If They Ring in Alaska

2016-05-03-1462286703-3096897-weddingcosts.jpg

The venues have been vetted online, through Google Images and Yelp reviews. The current finalists? A reasonably priced lodge in Homer, Alaska, and a state-funded park in South Dakota. Now I just have to search Airbnb and determine if there are some nice hosts in either location who would be willing to accommodate about 200 friends, relatives and possibly a DJ.

This is what a father of girls must do after casually reading — and, as a result, upchucking his morning coffee — a survey revealing that his hometown of Chicago is the second most expensive U.S. location for a wedding. In my case, two weddings.

The survey, conducted by wedding website The Knot, estimates getting married in the Windy City will set me back $ 61,265 once I have covered the reception, music, flowers, attorney’s fees when my wife and I divorce after arguing over which relatives not to invite, and powerful prescription drugs that, if taken with food or milk, should hopefully make me forget the entire event and the plundering of my savings account.

Perhaps I should take heart knowing we did not put down roots in New York City, the most expensive U.S. location for nuptials, with a price tag just north of $ 82,000, according to The Knot. This is hardly a shock considering New York leads the nation in every “most expensive” category, the lone exception being Most Expensive Chicken Nuggets if Served by Snow White. Thanks, Orlando.

New York dads, you may want to consider relocating immediately, as Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the outer boroughs of Manhattan also made the list. Rounding out the top 10 were North/Central N.J., Cape Cod, Mass., Palm Springs, Calif., New Orleans and anywhere in Rhode Island.

But The Knot sympathized with fathers everywhere by also including the 10 least expensive wedding locations. Alaska and South Dakota occupied the top two spots, hence my research and willingness to offer my children a choice. I’m partial to Homer, Alaska’s Driftwood Inn. Wait until I tell my girls that not only is there plenty of RV parking for guests, but wedding packages include a promise to move the reception into the nearby Elks Club in case storm clouds roll through Kachemak Bay — wherever that is. I’d be lucky to find complimentary umbrellas in Chicago. Girls, if your dad is paying, I strongly urge you to consider this location. Other than the possibility of a grizzly bear photobombing the wedding pictures, it seems very practical.

Of course, you could also choose my other option: the beautiful (and cheap) Black Hills of South Dakota. You’ll be happy to know that Custer State Park offers numerous sites for both your ceremonies and your receptions. And, being a state park, it also includes strictly enforced quiet hours, meaning I won’t have to cave when my guests — and the caterer — plead with me to keep the bar open past the agreed upon time.

I’ll save even more money should you decide to get married in South Dakota in January. Don’t worry, I checked out the winter wedding photos online; judging from the expressions on the bride and groom’s faces, nothing says love like standing in a snowdrift.

If these two states don’t offer everything you desire, The Knot also suggests I, excuse me, we, can save money by holding your weddings in Texas (OK, West Texas), Arkansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana or Oregon. If you insist on staying close to home, Central Illinois rounds out the top 10. Just say the word and I’ll start scoping potential locations in Heyworth or Blue Mound, both of which appear to be centrally located, according to the Illinois map I just downloaded.

Girls, please don’t call me cheap. Call me practical. And if any last minute expenses come up, your dad will happily pay for them with a minimal amount of grumbling.

I’ll just withdraw some money from my secret “Finally Have Dinner in New York” account.

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What Every Mother Really Wants

Hello, America. Are you thinking about Mother’s Day? Feeling a tad guilty because the woman that merely gave you life has not yet merited a trip to the card store yet? Oh I know, you’re SO BUSY. Take it from this mom of three, keep your cards/flowers/chocolates. Momma wants a pharmaceutical, and I’m not suggesting showing up to Sunday brunch with a “J” in tow. (Noted exception; if you’re living in CO).

As for the rest of you, don’t be obtuse, I’m talking about taking a step into the time machine. Sigh. Work with me, please.

Before she was Your Mom, she was a smoking hot babe. And then YOU came along. With all the glories of weight gain, stretch marks and breastfeeding. The colic. The teething. The picky eater. And all before you could walk. So thanks for that hazing ritual, it sure kept things real. Real shitty.

Now that you’re sailing through adulthood, how do you intend to right your wrongs? Listen closely, let me whisper the magical salve that she craves; Botox.

Make an appointment for her with the dermatologist. Posthaste.

Accompany Mom to the doctor’s office full of bravado, engage in small talk with a medical assistant that undoubtedly attended a sub-par technician school (she’s nice enough), and have her succumb to needles. Willingly elect to have many needles full of Botulism injected into your MOTHER’S FACE. She will emerge looking rested, well — once the swelling subsides. This will undoubtedly make up for the teenage years. Maybe even the macabre tattoos on your forearm. Who knows? You could very well end up the favorite after all.

The kicker — you’ll pay for this privilege. A lot. My advice, don’t look for “a deal” when shopping around for injectables. Yes I know, I hate to pay retail too. Wholesale is actually a derivative word from Hebrew, meaning “don’t be a schmuck.” Sidenote: I am so grateful my parents sacrificed so much to send me to a Jewish day school. My math skills are remedial and my geography is strictly limited to former French colonies. I cannot locate Ohio. Alors.

I digress.

Despite my children trying to push me over the literal edge daily (we no longer hike), I refuse to succumb. REFUSE. And there is no reason why you should look like a hag either, the world needs more pretty. I could swear that’s a Beyonce song. It’s practically unpatriotic not to subscribe. What would Mom want? An Ameri-can or an Ameri-can’t? Thought so. Consumerism is very USA.

So a shout-out of appreciation from this Momma to Botox and big pharma for getting this anti-perspiration drug approved off-script by the FDA to prevent wrinkles. Sure, we’ve got Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and Cancer. But, priorities people! Contrary to what you’ve read, these enterprises need to be celebrated for their foresight and vision. Your mother will thank me. Well, not “me” per se, but derivatively, there will be gratitude felt.

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Mike Tyson Busted His A** Trying To Ride A Hoverboard

Many people were given hoverboards as gifts this holiday season. As a result, a number of incidents of people falling off of them were caught on video. Well, looks like you can add Mike Tyson to that list.

On Tuesday, Tyson posted an Instagram video of him almost cracking his head open in a pretty hard fall.

A video posted by Mike Tyson (@miketyson) on

He posted a caption with the hashtags #MikeTysonBreaksBack and #imtoooldforthisshit.

At first, Tyson looked like he was having fun and had it all under control.

Then it all went terribly wrong.

 

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Stephen Colbert Nails Why Paris Attacks Prompted Us All To Turn To Social Media

As news broke of Friday’s attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and 352 injured, people across social media began posting messages and hashtags, like #PrayforParis, #JeSuisParis and #PeaceforParis, to stand in solidarity with those affected by the tragedy. 

While some have criticized small gestures like these in the attacks’ immediate aftermath, arguing that they don’t actually inspire change, Stephen Colbert had something else to say about these simple acts.

The talk show host explained in his Monday night broadcast why any and all acts of kindness matter directly after a tragedy as monumental as the attacks. 

“Anything that is an attempt at human connection in the world right now is positive,” Colbert said, “Because who knows what to do?”

In the broadcast, Colbert, in his signature humorous fashion, brought up several simple acts of solidarity from people around the world. He revealed one social media user even expressed support for Paris by watching the movie “Ratatouille.” These acts may not seem constructive, however he stressed that it’s important to relate to those in Paris, especially when we don’t quite know what to do to help. 

“If it makes you feel a connection to the people of Paris, go drink of a bottle of Bordeaux,” he said. “Eat a croissant at Au Bon Pain.” 

It may seem silly, but Colbert has a point. Directly after the attacks, when we’re far from the location of tragedy, but can relate to the feeling of fear, we reach out via social media out of helplessness. 

“It’s too uncomfortable to sit there and do nothing,” Gerald Goodman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told The Huffington Post. “People might ridicule you for doing something so silly, but it stems from an emotion of wanting to be connected, feeling helpless, then doing something about it.”

In fact, we actually do put ourselves in others’ shoes in times like this. According to Karen North, a communication professor at the University of Southern California who studies social media, these posts of support are genuine. We truly do feel a connection with those affected by the attacks.  

“I did it for the same reason as many,” North told the Washington Post, explaining her own supportive posts on social media. “That we actually do care for the strangers who were victimized and the others who were terrorized by this attack.”

After all, love and support is really what the world needs right now. 

 

Also on HuffPost: 

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Stephen Colbert Nails Why Paris Attacks Prompted Us All To Turn To Social Media

As news broke of Friday’s attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and 352 injured, people across social media began posting messages and hashtags, like #PrayforParis, #JeSuisParis and #PeaceforParis, to stand in solidarity with those affected by the tragedy. 

While some have criticized small gestures like these in the attacks’ immediate aftermath, arguing that they don’t actually inspire change, Stephen Colbert had something else to say about these simple acts.

The talk show host explained in his Monday night broadcast why any and all acts of kindness matter directly after a tragedy as monumental as the attacks. 

“Anything that is an attempt at human connection in the world right now is positive,” Colbert said, “Because who knows what to do?”

In the broadcast, Colbert, in his signature humorous fashion, brought up several simple acts of solidarity from people around the world. He revealed one social media user even expressed support for Paris by watching the movie “Ratatouille.” These acts may not seem constructive, however he stressed that it’s important to relate to those in Paris, especially when we don’t quite know what to do to help. 

“If it makes you feel a connection to the people of Paris, go drink of a bottle of Bordeaux,” he said. “Eat a croissant at Au Bon Pain.” 

It may seem silly, but Colbert has a point. Directly after the attacks, when we’re far from the location of tragedy, but can relate to the feeling of fear, we reach out via social media out of helplessness. 

“It’s too uncomfortable to sit there and do nothing,” Gerald Goodman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told The Huffington Post. “People might ridicule you for doing something so silly, but it stems from an emotion of wanting to be connected, feeling helpless, then doing something about it.”

In fact, we actually do put ourselves in others’ shoes in times like this. According to Karen North, a communication professor at the University of Southern California who studies social media, these posts of support are genuine. We truly do feel a connection with those affected by the attacks.  

“I did it for the same reason as many,” North told the Washington Post, explaining her own supportive posts on social media. “That we actually do care for the strangers who were victimized and the others who were terrorized by this attack.”

After all, love and support is really what the world needs right now. 

 

Also on HuffPost: 

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Sheldon And Amy Are Finally Doing ‘It’ On ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Amy and Sheldon are about to prove why they call it “The Big Bang Theory.”

After years of dating, our favorite “Big Bang” couple is finally going to consummate their relationship, aka engage in coitus, aka go “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” aka “The Force Awakens,” aka it’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” In other words, they’re having sex.

Entertainment Weekly reports it’s all going down in the show’s Dec. 17 episode. The show taped the moment on Nov. 17, and the producer wanted to issue a statement on it before the news leaked.

Executive producer Steve Molaro said, “After over five years of dating, we felt the time was right for Sheldon and Amy to finally consummate their relationship, and we’re so excited for the audience to see the journey over the next several episodes,” according to Variety.

The announcement leaves us with a lot of unknowns. Mostly, uh … how? Amy broke Sheldon’s heart in the Season 8 finale, telling him she wanted a break. Does this mean the couple is getting back together? Is this a one-time thing? And this is Sheldon Cooper, remember. Uh … how?

In the original pilot for the show, Sheldon’s character supposedly did reveal he’s had sex before, and you can still find some clips online, but that script went through major changes. The Sheldon we know and love has always been pretty romantically inept. It was years before he even kissed Amy on the show. So coitus would be to go where no Sheldon Cooper has gone before.

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Vine Rockstar Nicholas Megalis Loses His Mind On HuffPost 6×60

It wasn’t a fluke when social media powerhouse Nicholas Megalis became responsible for the most viewed Vine in history, he’s a legit creative talent. I dare you to watch it once and stop it. Impossible.

 

Check out his conversation with HuffPost’s Chaz Smith as they try to keep focused hanging out in some massage chairs.

 

Take a trip to all of Nicholas’ Internet homes:

Vine: Nicholas Megalis

Twitter: @nicholasmegalis

YouTube: Nicholas Megalis

Instagram: nicholasmegalis

Tumblr: Nicholas Megalis

 

Music produced by Above Avrage Productions. HuffPost 6×60 is hosted by Chaz Smith, a 20-year-old from New Jersey majoring in Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. You can follow him on Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (simplyputchaz) and YouTube. 

 

View all the HuffPost 6×60 episodes here:

 

 

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Billy Eichner Gives Us A Thanksgiving Parade For People Who Don’t Have Kids

Billy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Katie Couric

THIS IS COMPLETELY INSANE. Here is MY version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, with gigantic balloons, floats, Katie Couric, and ELENA. Not sure how we're ever gonna top this. Let the holidays begin!!!

Posted by Billy Eichner on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

If you can’t get enough of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – minus the helium-filled Snoopy and Garfield, the band Train, scores of youth dance troupes and high school marching bands — then does Billy Eichner have a show for you!

The comic and host of “Billy on the Street” put together a version of the annual New York City spectacular for a different audience — mainly, people who don’t need to watch their favorite movies on repeat.

The Billy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates publicists, who keep your favorite entertainers in the press! Actress Rooney Mara, who stars as Cate Blanchett’s lover in the upcoming ’50s period drama “Carol”! The Mark Ruffaloat, dedicated to the celebrated career of actor Mark Ruffalo!

Publicists!!!!!!!!!!!

Sean Penn, the “SNL” logo and Maggie Gyllenhaal also make an appearance in balloon form, along with another float devoted to “The United States of Tara,” a critically acclaimed Showtime series that ran for three seasons and ended in 2011. 

Mark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The real Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off on NBC Nov. 26 at 9 a.m., although at this point, it just feels repetitive. 

 

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Horny Dog Chases Potential Mate, Gets Stuck In Cat Door

A horny dog had to be freed by fire crews after she got her head stuck in a cat door while chasing down a potential mate.

Keeta was looking out the window of her owners’ home in Leicester, England, on Monday morning when she spotted a male dog in the garden. 

The 5-year-old American Bulldog, who was in season, decided to hook up with the other canine and raced for the tiny door designed for felines. Alas, her head fit through the cat door and her body didn’t.

She was trapped.

Determined to free herself, Keeta then ripped out the surrounding panel, but the frame remained lodged around her head.

The other dog — believed to be a smaller terrier — spotted the gap in the door, and took advantage of the moment to sneak inside, reports the Leicester Mercury.

Homeowner Nigel Page heard the commotion, and walked into his kitchen to spot the pair of pups together. When he opened the door, the male dog sprinted off.

Unable to remove the panel, Page called Leicestershire Fire Service; the firefighters then spent 20 minutes maneuvering the plastic panel safely off Keeta’s head.

Page, who adopted Keeta from a rescue center after she was abused as a puppy, said he was now waiting to see whether she would end up having offspring of her own.

“We don’t know whether they’ve done anything or not,” he told the BBC. “The other dog was smaller, a little terrier, but you don’t know. She had that thing stuck on her head so she might not have been in a good mood.”

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Horny Dog Chases Potential Mate, Gets Stuck In Cat Door

A horny dog had to be freed by fire crews after she got her head stuck in a cat door while chasing down a potential mate.

Keeta was looking out the window of her owners’ home in Leicester, England, on Monday morning when she spotted a male dog in the garden. 

The 5-year-old American Bulldog, who was in season, decided to hook up with the other canine and raced for the tiny door designed for felines. Alas, her head fit through the cat door and her body didn’t.

She was trapped.

Determined to free herself, Keeta then ripped out the surrounding panel, but the frame remained lodged around her head.

The other dog — believed to be a smaller terrier — spotted the gap in the door, and took advantage of the moment to sneak inside, reports the Leicester Mercury.

Homeowner Nigel Page heard the commotion, and walked into his kitchen to spot the pair of pups together. When he opened the door, the male dog sprinted off.

Unable to remove the panel, Page called Leicestershire Fire Service; the firefighters then spent 20 minutes maneuvering the plastic panel safely off Keeta’s head.

Page, who adopted Keeta from a rescue center after she was abused as a puppy, said he was now waiting to see whether she would end up having offspring of her own.

“We don’t know whether they’ve done anything or not,” he told the BBC. “The other dog was smaller, a little terrier, but you don’t know. She had that thing stuck on her head so she might not have been in a good mood.”

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Video Of A Mole Stuck In A Hole Makes Us Feel Some Type Of Way

Holey moley is right!

A tiny mole seeking sweet, sweet above-ground freedom was almost denied that liberty when it got stuck between two slabs of pavement. 

The mole, reportedly Dutch, was recently filmed by a woman walking her dog in the city of Gorinchem, Holland. The footage shows the tiny subterranean animal throwing its paws in the air as it struggles emerge from the ground.

But don’t fret — the little dude wasn’t stuck there for long. The mole eventually broke free from the concrete and scampered into a nearby bush, according to Yahoo UK. Score one for the moles, yet again. 

Anyway, this is what a mole looks like up close, for those who are interested (Note: NOT the same mole that was stuck in the hole):

And here’s another mole cheezin’ for the camera, because why not:

(Again, not the same mole that was stuck in the hole):

Watch the entire video of the fiasco below:

H/T Daily Mail

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John Oliver Has A Profanity-Filled Message For Paris Attackers

John Oliver has an unequivocal message for those responsible for the terror attacks that killed more than 130 people in Paris on Friday: F**k you. 

Oliver started Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight” with a few words about the deadly assaults.

“There are a few things we can say for certain,” Oliver said before telling the audience he was about to unleash a “moment of premium cable profanity.”

“First, as of now, we know this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking arseholes, unconscionable flaming arseholes; possibly working with other fucking arseholes, definitely working in service of an ideology of pure arseholery,” Oliver said. “Second, and this goes almost without saying, fuck these arseholes, fuck them — if I may say – sideways.”

Oliver also offered some words of support for the people impacted by the tragedy.

“Nothing about what these arseholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure,” he said.

Watch the clip above to see Oliver explain why.

 



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Here’s Why Hedgehogs Are The Greatest Creatures On Earth

Oh sorry, were you not aware that hedgehogs reign superior in the animal kingdom? Well, we have news for you. They do. They are just SO. DAMN. CUTE! But if that’s not enough to convince you, no worries, we’ve anticipated this. Just give us five minutes of your time and you’ll never doubt it again.

Once upon a time, a pinecone, a cactus and a nugget had a baby. No other way to explain the birth of the greatest creature known to man, honestly.

Why should you care about these little guys, you ask? Uh, you mean, other than the fact that they’re teeny tiny cutie pies?

Well, hedghogs fit perfectly in the palm of your hand.

They’re so adorably small, they fit right inside your coffee mug. Which means there’s definitely room for them in your heart.

Their soft little hands and feet are perfect to hold.

Their miniature velvety ears are soft and snuggly.

They make the ultimate travel companion.

A photo posted by Biddy (@biddythehedgehog) on

They’re basically Olympian athletes.

And are always up for adventure.

Some hedgehogs are even a little glamorous. Move over, Beyoncé.

Their quills may be spiky but that doesn’t mean you can’t pet them.

And they’re always down to hang in the great outdoors. Picnic, anyone?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal so they’re always ready to party the night away.

A photo posted by @hedgehog_bb on

They’re probably better sunrise-watching buddies than a SO, tbh.  

They also love to binge watch Netflix shows in bed all night long. Sounds familiar? Could this be your spirit animal?

Their rosy little tongues are the best.

A photo posted by Biddy (@biddythehedgehog) on

They’re not picky eaters. 

But their favorite treat of all is meal worms. And even though worms are kind of gross, they look so happy eating them, you can’t even hate. You do you, baby hedge!

Hedgehogs are so photogenic they’re the perfect model for major Instagram clout.

Just look at this magical Quidditch star.

And this diehard Taylor Swift fan.

Basically any object you place next to a hedgehog suddenly becomes adorable. Seriously. Just look at this thing!

When a hedgehog sleeps it’s probably the cutest thing in the entire world.

Though they’re a little shy at first, they totally get along with other animals. What social butterflies!

A photo posted by Biddy (@biddythehedgehog) on

And when they’re scared, they get even smaller and curl into a little ball of love.

What’s better than a regular hedgehog? Bath time hedgehog!

AND THEY FLOAT!!!

Belly rubs are like heaven to them. It really doesn’t take much to keep them happy.

They love playing hide and seek (and are surprisingly good at it). 

Really, these fashionable lil’ babes just make the world a brighter place.

Still not convinced that hedghogs are the best? Maybe this vine of hedgehogs being muffins will help.

What’s not to love?!

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Just How Badly Do Some People Want To Get Into The Guinness Book?

If records are made to be broken, now is the time: It’s Guinness World Records Day.

2015 marks the 11th year of the event, which annually takes place during the second week of November.

Guinness World Records officials estimate that 650,000 people are attempting to earn their way into the record books this year.

But not all record breakers are human. Otto the Skateboarding Bulldog set a record in Lima, Peru, for “longest human tunnel travelled through by a dog skateboarder.”

Otto doggedly rode through the legs of 30 people on his roll to glory. 

Meanwhile, Japan’s Kenichi Ito scampered into the record books by reclaiming his record for the “fastest 100 meter running on all fours” (by a human).

Ito shaved 0.15 seconds off his previous record of 15.86 seconds for a new mark of 15.71 seconds.

The Harlem Globetrotters may have scored an unofficial record for “sports that set the most world records in one day.”

Globetrotter players established seven new Guinness World Records titles at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, including “farthest kneeling basketball shot made backwards” (60 feet, 7.5 inches), “longest basketball shot made blindfolded” (69 feet, 6 inches) and “farthest blindfold basketball hook shot” (50 feet, 3.5 inches).

But while records are made to be broken, some might make you wonder why they were attempted in the first place.

Benedikt Mordstein of Freising, Germany, set a record for “fastest time to type a text message on a mobile phone while performing head spins.”

Some of the wackiest records set today include the following:

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These Goats On A Trampoline Are Having The Time of Their Lives

Goats can do no wrong.

Especially when they decide to throw themselves a trampoline party and engage in a little horn-to-horn sparring.

These six bearded baaahdasses are living their truths. Keep on jumping, you guys! Never let the fun die. 

Watch the video of them kidding around below:

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Jon Stewart: Donald Trump Is An Internet Troll Running For President

Comedian Jon Stewart returned to standup on Tuesday night, and wasted no time going after one of his favorite targets: Donald Trump. 

“It’s like an Internet comment troll ran for president,” the former “Daily Show” host said of the GOP presidential frontrunner at the 9th annual Stand Up for Heroes event in New York. 

(Warning: strong language ahead)

“When I was doing the program, we liked to make jokes about him because he’s hilarious and easily mockable,” Stewart said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We would mock him with things such as, ‘He looks like a bewigged boiled ham,’ or something like that. So he would tweet in the middle of the night, ‘Jon Stewart’s real name is Leibowitz. He’s a Jew. Why does he run away from his heritage?’ You know, because that’s what I think most presidents would do. I remember Lincoln used to drunk tweet: ‘Hey, emancipate this, you fuck!'”

Stewart, who has had a long-running feud with Trump, was referring to tweets such as these: 

Stewart expressed some disbelief that Trump is a serious contender for the presidency.

Are we really doing this Donald Trump thing? We’re really doing that as a country?” Stewart said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He’s fucked. I like to put my name in giant letters on everything I own as much as the next guy, but the only other people that do that are like 8-year-olds going to camp.”

Then, he broke out his famous Trump impression. 

“Where did I put that building? Oh there it is, Trump. Boom. Where’s my fucking helicopter? Boom, Trump,” Stewart said. “Where’s my wife? Boom, Trump, nice.”

If Trump is aware of Stewart’s jokes, he has yet to fire back on Twitter. 

Stewart had words for people who say they like Trump because of his unfiltered views. 

“People are like, ‘I like Trump; he says what he thinks,'” Stewart said, per The Hollywood Reporter. ”What he thinks is stupid. That’s like if your friend is like, ‘I would like to fuck your mom.’ Why would you say that? … I don’t give a shit if you’re politically correct, just be correct, correct.”

While it seems Trump got hit with the sharpest of comedic barbs, Stewart also told jokes about Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and even himself before wrapping it up with some exasperation over politics. 

“I’m done with this shit,” he said, according to EW. “Done, done, done.”

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Satanist Really Appreciates The New Starbucks Holiday Cups

This fall, Starbucks has altered their holiday cup design to reflect a more inclusive attitude toward their customers’ religious beliefs, trading the traditional snowflakes and elves for a simpler red.

Though the change was met with criticism by many Christians, devoted Satan-worshipper Arnold Gregory welcomes the move. 

“It’s good to feel included,” said Gregory, donning a ritual mask of his own design.

The 32-year-old says he’s noticed the service at his local Starbucks has also gotten much quicker in recent weeks.

“Not sure what it is,” he said, breathing heavily through the mask’s mouth hole and speaking as a serpent might, ”but they’re great about getting me in and out as quickly as possible.” 

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Daniel Radcliffe Can’t Stop Laughing During ‘Water War’ With Jimmy Fallon

Hopefully Harry Potter brought his gillyweed.

“Victor Frankenstein” star Daniel Radcliffe took on Jimmy Fallon in a “Water War” on Tuesday, and he just couldn’t keep it together. Radcliffe started laughing almost immediately, and once he got to dump water on Fallon, he pretty much didn’t stop. 

Radcliffe played a wizard for most of his childhood, so he’s used to doing pretty amazing things. Once he shocked people by pretending he was the receptionist at Nylon magazine, and during a previous visit on “The Tonight Show,” he expertly rapped the “Alphabet Aerobics.” But that stuff aside, seeing Harry Potter apparently get hit by a giggling charm is just as magical as anything.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Daniel Radcliffe Can’t Stop Laughing During ‘Water War’ With Jimmy Fallon

Hopefully Harry Potter brought his gillyweed.

“Victor Frankenstein” star Daniel Radcliffe took on Jimmy Fallon in a “Water War” on Tuesday, and he just couldn’t keep it together. Radcliffe started laughing almost immediately, and once he got to dump water on Fallon, he pretty much didn’t stop. 

Radcliffe played a wizard for most of his childhood, so he’s used to doing pretty amazing things. Once he shocked people by pretending he was the receptionist at Nylon magazine, and during a previous visit on “The Tonight Show,” he expertly rapped the “Alphabet Aerobics.” But that stuff aside, seeing Harry Potter apparently get hit by a giggling charm is just as magical as anything.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Republican Pre-Debate Excuses for Why The Fox Business Network Debate Was a Fiasco

– Candidates repeatedly got lost in Maria Bartiromo’s eyes

– You know–the media. Am I right? Huh? Who’s with me?

– Unfair questions pertaining to business, economy, jobs, taxes, trade, Wall Street, median wages, oil prices, retail sales, Social Security

– Distracted by Cindy Brady being distracted by red light

– Didn’t realize they would be talking specifically about the American economy

– Cookies and milk promised, no cookies and milk provided

– Podiums built by biased, liberal bastard carpenters at half an inch below stipulated height specifications, causing vertigo, headaches, nose bleeds, rambling and incoherent answers

– Unfair questions containing words with vowels in them

– Ben Carson deliberately given less air time after unsuccessful attempt to stab Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker

– No substantive discussions about Kirk vs. Picard

– During commercial/bathroom breaks, toilet paper in stalls was folded incorrectly in “under” fashion

– Random cutaways from Rand Paul to grasscloth wallpaper

– Weren’t aware that the presence of television cameras meant the debate was actually going to be televised

– Candidates still haunted by traumatic flashbacks from previous debates

– Unseen by viewing audience, Neil Cavuto kept threatening to drown a basket of kittens

– Opportunity to bet all money on the “Daily Double” never occurred

– Did we mention the media?

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Talking With Emily Tarver About ‘Donny’ And Her First Big-Time Role

 

“Donny” is a new comedy following real life ad-man, TV personality, and single father Donny Deutsch. Deutsch plays himself as the moronic host of a “Dr. Phil”-style daytime talk show under the direction of his executive producer/adult nanny, Pam (played by Emily Tarver). The show has a unique structure. It’s loosely scripted, and as a result, reads half reality show, half single camera comedy. I had the pleasure of talking to Emily Tarver about the real Donny, her character in the show, and what it’s like getting her first big time recurring role. 

This is so cool! We used to hang out at UCB and now we have cool jobs!

Yeah, we’re not poor improvisers working for free!

Is this your first recurring role in a TV show?

Yes, this is my first recurring role that actually turned out to be a recurring role. I’ve booked other recurring roles that didn’t turn out to be recurring. So this is nice!

Tell me about the show and your character. You’re Donny’s executive producer?

Yes, I play the EP of the show within the show. She’s also the person in Donny’s life who keeps him in line and cleans up all the messes that he makes. The show is like “Seinfeld,” where the topic of the show within the show is normally the topic or the theme of the episode.

What has been your favorite topic?

Without giving anything away, he does one where the topic of the show within the show is about men of a later age coming out of the closet after being in a heterosexual marriage. Donny tries to be supportive of that and, in being supportive, he kind of announces that he is gay. That isn’t what he’s saying but while he’s trying to be brave for these people, he sounds like he’s coming out. So I have to clean up that mess. Not that it’s a PR nightmare; it’s just that he isn’t gay.

What’s your character trying to do on the show? Is Pam trying to get out of the show or this is her big shot as a producer?

Donny sees something in her and tells her that she is to come with him wherever he goes. And, over time, she grew into this position of alpha female and his producer of things. In real life, Donny surrounds himself with very strong women who put him in his place. And so I’m the shining symbol of that. I don’t put up with his shit and he doesn’t impress me. But she enjoys the challenge and she enjoys smacking his hand when he does something so Donny.

The show has a different type of look to it. Parts of it feel like a reality show. Others feel like “The Office.”

I definitely think that was done on purpose. A lot of people don’t know Donny or what he is about. People are like: is he an actor? A host? So the show’s trying to represent a lot of different genres. And because he’s playing himself, that reality feeling you get is because you can’t pin him down. It might be confusing for some people, but I think it’s cool to watch a show and go, “What is this?” Because the only answer is: Oh! It’s something new! 

It does read very new because when you watch it, Donny doesn’t feel like an actor. He feels like the real thing and everybody else is acting around him. Was it weird acting with a guy playing himself?

Yeah! And I don’t want to toot Donny’s horn too much, but he’s just a genius and he’s so good at everything he tries. I think a big part of it is his extreme confidence. When we filmed the pilot presentation, he was giving me notes on my acting. And I was like, “Ahhh, OK.” And he was right about a lot of stuff. Being on set with him, he’ll have notes for actors and production and story and he’ll he right a lot of the time.

I also noticed that this season of TV is centered around older, distinguished antiheroes, like “The Grinder” or “Grandfathered.” “Donny” seems like a different take on it. Do you think this is a wave?

I think people are quick to categorize things because that’s how our brains work. These shows are so different and so good. And I don’t think “Donny” can be put into that category based on the lead because he’s surrounded by so many women. And Donny himself is such a feminist. He wants to tell women’s stories and have female perspectives on his life at all times. And the show reflects that. Donny doesn’t even have a male best friend.

How is doing press? Is this your first time doing big time junkets and stuff?

Yeah, we went to LA. It was just Donny and me. It was really fun.

What’s that like?

Well, you sit on stage in front of a bunch of long tables with people from different blogs on their laptops. And they have a bunch of questions. Then you go to a little room with 12 cameras. And a person has a bunch of questions. Luckily, Donny is used to it. I’m there as Emily, but also as Pam. Emily and Pam are very similar in terms of how they treat Donny. And our interaction is very organic. It’s actually been that way since my callback for the show. I had to do it with Donny while everybody on the show watched.

Are you and Donny on a texting basis?

I actually don’t have his number. And I haven’t asked for it, because I don’t want him to think that I want it. I want him to ask me for my number. And then he can be impressed that I have a 212 number.

Well, that’s a Season 2 thing.

Yeah, Season 2 for sure.

That’s odd. He seems like a guy who would need to be in constant communication with the people working close with him.

Well, I think he’s scared of me. I think he thinks I’m way cooler than him. I bet he thinks if he texted me it would bother me. I’ll never tell him that I think he’s cool. He can read it in your article.

Emily Tarver stars as Pam in USA’s “Donny“ premiering Tuesday, Nov. 10th at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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Que Sera, Sera!

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‘South Park’ To Take On Police Violence In New Episode

The national debate on police violence has spread from Ferguson and Baltimore all the way to the small town of South Park, Colorado.

On this Wednesday’s episode of long-running animated series “South Park,” the town’s residents decide to abolish the police because they’re fed up with people who “impose their authority on the underprivileged.” Given the Comedy Central show’s history of iconoclasm, and its focus in Season 19 on political correctness, we’re gonna go ahead and guess that it doesn’t end well. 

Here’s a clip from the episode, in which one of the town’s police officers defends his kind, saying that “not all cops are racist, trigger-happy assholes.” 

“South Park,” which was created by college friends Trey Stone and Matt Parker, has a long and storied history of tackling controversial topics. Many of its most inflammatory episodes have focused on religious figures like Muhammad to the Virgin Mary. 

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Jennifer Lawrence Plays The ‘Trainwreck’ In Her Upcoming Comedy With Amy Schumer

After seeing this summer’s “Trainwreck,” Jennifer Lawrence knew that she and Schumer were meant to be friends forever. So she sent off a quick email, one thing led to another, and now they’re writing a movie together. But this time, Amy Schumer is the normal one.

Lawrence revealed some more details about the plot of the film — in which she and the comedian play sisters – to Entertainment Tonight, confirming the script is ”dirty” and “real.”

“Amy, in this movie, she has it very together,” Lawrence said. “It’s her lifelong dream to be a flight attendant. She works at the airport. And I’m a mess.

The project came together so quickly, the Oscar winner explained, because both women feel comfortable sharing their blunt, honest opinions with each other. “We both have very similar senses of humor, obviously, and aren’t afraid,” she said. “Which is a good and bad thing, because I don’t know what our movie will be rated.”

Whatever the case, Lawrence put off any idea that she might involve any of her “Hunger Games” co-stars (and friends!) Liam Hemsworth or Josh Hutcherson in the project.

“No, no, no, no, no. There’s not really boys in it,” she said. 

Bechdel test, check.

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Awesome!

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Donald Trump, John Oliver Engage In War Of Words

Donald Trump has a new target… and it’s not a political rival or a debate moderator

Trump is feuding with John Oliver after the comic and host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” said on Friday he has no interest in having GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on the show.

On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to claim he already rejected an offer to appear: 

That wasn’t the end of it. 

The team behind ”Last Week Tonight” fired back on Sunday with a message that Oliver retweeted from his personal account

Oliver told “CBS This Morning” on Friday that he has doesn’t care about Trump “in any capacity.” 

“There’s nothing else to add. He’s said everything he wants to say,” Oliver said. ”There’s no internal monologue, that man, so it’s not like you’re going to find the secret nugget he’s been holding back.”

 

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Here Is An Elegant Solution To The GOP’s Debate Mess

Dear Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus,

It has come to the attention of basically everybody that the Republican presidential candidates and the RNC are displeased with how the primary debates have gone. On Sunday, a meeting will take place amongst representatives of the campaigns to figure out a new system that is less unwieldy and adversarial and more equitable.

In the spirit of finding a solution that could satisfy all parties involved – including the media – let me offer the following proposal that I came up with in between drinks last night:

PICK-UP DEBATE BALL.

What the f**k is that, you ask? It is a debate process that simultaneously rewards the front-runners while not disadvantaging the low-polling horde. It creates equity of time among candidates while allowing them more leverage in choosing a moderator. It keeps the debates at a reasonable length while simultaneously adding elements of drama.

In short, it’s perfect.

Here is how it works. 

  1. You hold two debates, back to back, each for an hour and a half.
  2. There is a different moderator for each debate.
  3. The top two polling candidates, in terms of national polling averages, are split up into different debates.
  4. The top polling candidate is given a choice: choose the time and moderator for their debate or get first selection on one fellow candidate to have in their debate.
  5. Once that choice is made, the top two candidates alternate picks to select their debate competitors.
  6. Selections continue until all candidates are chosen.
  7. And then, you debate!

Pick-Up Debate Ball alleviates many of the concerns campaigns currently have about the debate structure. It would result in more debate time for the candidates. Instead of 120 minutes (two hours) divided between 10 candidates (12 minutes per candidate) you will have 90 minutes divided between seven candidates (12.9 minutes per candidate). And unlike a current proposal to have the field draw straws as a way to break into two equal-sized groups, Pick-Up Debate Ball ensures that each of those equal-sized groups will have at least one major candidate to help draw an audience.

Most importantly, Pick-Up Debate Ball would add a layer of strategic decision-making that could give voters insights into how the candidate’s mind operate. Imagine the mental gymnastics Donald Trump will undergo deciding if he prefers ABC’s Jonathan Karl questioning him or the opportunity to whack into George Pataki for an hour and a half? You could air it on television. People would tune in from around the globe.

Chairman Priebus, I can sense you warming up to the proposal. But you’re not quite sold. It seems risky; perhaps a bit sophomoric for a political party. Well, let me provide you a mock draft to illustrate the wonderful possibilities.

Trump (Round 1 pick): George Pataki.
He is the political equivalent of what Adrian Peterson is to fantasy football leagues, only in the inverse.

Carson (Round 1 pick): Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.)

He is the Le’Veon Bell to Pataki’s Peterson.

Trump (Round 2 pick): Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Trump would make this selection either to reveal Graham’s cell phone number to an even larger audience or to have a foreign policy contrast.

Carson (Round 2 pick): Jim Gilmore.

Then, after being told that Gilmore still hasn’t qualified for the debates, Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Trump (Round 3 pick): Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

This is a natural selection for Trump, who loves having Paul as a foil.

Carson (Round 3 pick): Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.)

Upset that a fellow doctor – Paul — is off the board, Carson picks Jeb to have someone with roughly the same energy level on stage with him.

Trump (Round 4 pick): Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio).

Trump wants to once more tell him that fracking rescued his state and his political future.

Carson (Round 4 pick): Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)

It’s a dangerous pick, for sure. Jindal’s relegation to the undercard debates has hid the potential danger he poses for fellow candidates on the big stage.

Trump (Round 5 pick): Carly Fiorina

Trump risks being accused, once more, of being a crass sexist during a debate. But he decides that if his business record is going to come up in the debate, he’d like to deflect criticism down the podium to the former Hewlett-Packard CEO.

Carson (Round 5 pick): Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Having chosen Jeb Bush, Carson decides to bring Rubio to his debate, too. They’ll go at each other, he reasons, leaving him unscathed and above the fray.

Trump (Round 6 pick): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Trump is no dummy. Cruz has been playing nice to him for months now. He’s shocked the senator fell into his lap in Round 6. But he’ll gladly take him.

Carson (Round 6 pick): Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.).

Unlike playground basketball, there is glory, not shame, in being the last pick in Pick-Up Debate Ball. Congrats, governor.

Final debate groupings:

Group 1: Carson, Santorum, Huckabee, Bush, Jindal, Rubio, Christie.

Group 2: Trump, Pataki, Paul, Graham, Kaisch, Fiorina, Cruz.

Now, Chairman Priebus, I know what you’re thinking. Why did you pay lawyers and aides at the RNC the thousands upon thousands of dollars to come up with a debate structure that failed, when this brilliant idea was right there?

I don’t know the answer to that.

All I know is that, I’m happy to give you Pick-Up Debate Ball for a fee much smaller than anything you paid to put together the current system. Just have The Huffington Post moderate one round. What a steal!

Sincerely yours,

Sam Stein

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Sound Effects

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The One Thing Bill Maher Loves About Donald Trump

On “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night, Maher led a panel discussion about the Republican presidential candidates’ greatest weaknesses, inspired by the question that opened the GOP debate Wednesday. 

While Maher has expressed clearly negative feelings about Trump in the past, he did reveal one thing he appreciates about the candidate.

“Trump [was] the only guy who was honest,” Maher said to his panelists. “He said, ‘I don’t forgive.’ I love Trump for that. He’s like, I don’t forgive. You fuck with me, I’m Vito Corleone, I will follow you back to Italy. I will find you in your old age and I will stick a knife in your stomach.'”

Back in September, Maher called out Trump’s ignorant comments about undocumented workers by channeling him in a segment jokingly telling Americans to rally against Australians “taking” our jobs. 

“Australia is not sending us its best people,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs — yes, enough for everybody, but still — they’re rapists — OK, not rapists, but they do a lot of fucking — and I assume some are good people.”

Sigh. It’s not too surprising that Maher had trouble finding something about Trump to like.

 

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Happy Halloween

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Have a Happy Halloween in Just 5 Steps!

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Who doesn’t love Halloween? The candy, the costumes, the spooky movies, what a holiday! If you and your friends want to enjoy a fun and memorable Halloween this year, just follow these five easy steps!

1. Make your own costume!

Make your own costume! Make a mask! Make sure it covers your face! If you can, wear gloves and shoes a size too big, this way no one knows your fingerprints or your exact shoe size! What fun!

2. Choose the right house!

Do you want treats? You just need to know where to go! Don’t waste time on houses with cheap candy. Go to the Gilcrest house! Mr. and Mrs. Gilcrest are retired. Go there!

3. Sneak in!

Use the cellar door, it’s always open! Be sure to wear your mask. Douglas, grab Mr. Gilcrest! Just tell them no one has to get hurt. John! John, I need you to keep an eye on Mrs. Gilcrest. Ask her where the safe is. I know they have a safe!

4. Run!

John! Where’s Mrs. Gilcrest? Oh no, she called the cops! Douglas, forget about the safe, we have to go!

5. Mexico!

We’ll lay low for a while. I know a small village, Punta Bete, we can lay low there until the next Halloween!

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The Excellerated Reader

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‘The Daily Show’ Covers Benghazi Hearing Number … Ah, We Lost Count

Yep, this is still happening. What was a tragic attack on American citizens continues to act as tinder for a right wing-powered witch hunt against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But as host Trevor Noah highlights, the Republicans have almost become supervillains, revealing their all-too-obvious plot a little too soon.

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On Being Found Unconscious in a Nevada Brothel

Now that it appears, thankfully, that former NBA player and Kardashian in-law, Lamar Odom, is going to be okay, we are free to banter about the preposterous serendipity of being found unconscious in, of all places, a licensed whorehouse tucked away on the remote and barren landscape of the Mojave Desert.

In addition to emitting a genuine sigh of relief at Odom’s recovery, coupled, admittedly, with a raised eyebrow and roll of the eyes at the whole string of indignities that had to accompany such a circumstance, we are also free to speculate as to who among us would pay the greatest “public relations” price for such notoriety.

Let us consider 10 stations in life and rank them accordingly. Here they are in descending order, with the person paying the steepest price listed first, and the person paying, arguably, no price at all (indeed, rising in stature as a result), listed last.

1. CLERGYMAN. It’s no contest. Despite prostitution being legal in parts of Nevada, no one who makes his living communing with God and offering spiritual counseling to the public is going to beat a seedy rap like this. Legal or not, his career is going to take an enormous hit. Unless his book is a bestseller, he’ll probably have to find a real job.

2. POLITICIAN. Ditto for an elected official, even one representing a district in Nevada. It’s bad enough visiting a brothel and paying strangers to have sex with you, but being so recklessly uninhibited that you allow yourself to black out, and have to be scraped off the floor by paramedics will likely render you “unelectable,” even as a Democrat.

3. CEO. It’s not the sex we object to, it’s the manner in which it was obtained. You run a company, you employee hundreds of people, and yet you can’t find a local woman to accommodate you? You have to schlepp all the way out to the desert to get relief? CEO’s should appear confident and resolute. This makes you appear needy.

4. DOCTOR. Not just any doctor. It has to be a cardiologist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist or orthopedic surgeon, otherwise it won’t resonate. If you’re a podiatrist, proctologist or acne doctor, the obloquy will be minimal, and no one except your patients, fellow MD’s and attending nurses are likely to care.

5. ANCHOR MAN. It’s a job that requires presentation, steadiness, credibility and, dare I say, trust. Sorry, but you relinquish the whole package when you party yourself right into a coma.

6. MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. You show up in a $ 3,000 suit and a $ 400 haircut, and charge $ 150,000 to address an audience on the topic of “Putting the Entrepreneurial Spirit to Work for You,” and then people read that you dropped $ 75,000 during a visit to a Nevada cathouse called the Love Ranch? You’ll bounce back, but it’s impossible to come away totally unscathed. Maybe lower your quote to $ 100,000.

7. AVANT GARDE ARTIST (poet, painter, sculptor). Fortunately, because people aren’t certain what you do in the first place, you will be given an inordinate amount of slack. If you were a construction worker or fry cook, they’d want to see you hang by your jimmy-whatnots, but given that you’re an existential poet, they’ll keep a respectful distance.

8. PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. People, especially men, might wonder why you “have to pay for it,” but because you’re a celebrity jock the public will continue to judge you by what you do on the field, diamond or court, not what you do for recreation. Virtuoso athletic performance trumps almost everything.

9. ACTOR. Britain has its royal family, and America has its Hollywood actors. Unless it involves violence directed toward another person, we’re willing to forgive the most atrocious self-destructive behavior. Because we see them as creative geniuses, the normal rules don’t apply. It’s part envy, part admiration, part hero worship. We’re hooked.

10. ROCK STAR. Not only will his career not take a hit, but once word spreads and everyone learns what happened, he will become even more popular, more notorious. Imagine if it were Keith Richards (not now, but when he was younger). His reputation would not only have remained untarnished, it would’ve been sanctified.

Best of luck, Lamar. Seriously. Loved you with the Lakers. Get well, dude.

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5 Movie Character Costumes That Need to Be Retired Immediately

We all* love using October 31st as an excuse to play dress-up as our favorite film heroes and heroines, but there is a difference between classic characters (Ghostbusters, Holly Golightly, James Bond) and characters du jour. We are currently in The Era Of Frozen And Breaking Bad, but should Elsa and Walter White still be super popular five or ten years from now? Probably not.

The following five costumes are long past their cultural moments and yet remain stubbornly prevalent, making them less “throwback” and more “[yawn].” Please allow me to offer alternatives that, while perhaps unoriginal, aren’t ubiquitous.

1. The Corpse Bride from The Corpse Bride

Literally any character in literally any Tim Burton film makes a guaranteed great costume, so why do we always see a hundred blue-faced brides shivering in the late-October night? My theory is that, Lord knows why, many American women own wedding-like lacy white dresses we are looking for an excuse to destroy. If this is the case for you, I suggest Cady’s “ex-wife” costume from Mean Girls. It works on two levels: Your dumb friends will think you are an “ex-wife.” Your cool friends will know you are Cady as an “ex-wife.”

2. The Joker

This costume makes me uncomfortable. Why do so many people find it so fun to pretend to be a psychotic killer from a movie that came out years ago? Don’t say it has nothing to do with Heath Ledger’s death; humans are sickos. And don’t say you’re the Jared Leto or Jack Nicholson version; nobody believes you. This costume is either done well and is terrifying, or is done poorly and makes the wearer look like a child playing with mommy’s makeup. Just be Beetlejuice.

3. Margot Tenenbaum

We get it, you’re a special girl, but this is the Uggs-and-leggings of Halloween costumes. If you insist on looking insufferably vintage chic, throw on the last multi-colored nightmare you bought at Anthropologie (you know you have one) and be Amelie.

4. Jack Sparrow

The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise ceased to be relevant ages ago. If you want to be a badass, be Han Solo. If you want to be a beloved Disney character, be Mr. Incredible. If you want to wear eyeliner, wear eyeliner. It’s your life.

5. Nina in Black Swan

So your fancy outfit was too short and sparkly to turn it into a Corpse Bride ensemble, eh? Fear not, there are two beautiful, hard-working real-life women you can dress up as in a tutu or leotard: Misty Copeland and Michelle Kwan! (Note: If you happen to be Caucasian and are thinking, wow, those women are so inspiring! I think I’ll change the pigment of my skin to look more like them, don’t. That’s racist. Just wear the outfit.)

6. Bonus! Marty McFly from Back To The Future

This costume has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few Halloweens, and it’s not hard to see why: dope ’80s reference, dope jacket-and-vest combo, and Michael J. Fox is a national treasure. And 2015, of course, is Back To The Future year. So, you know what? Be Marty. Everyone be Marty. Take your pictures. Get it out of your system. Because starting Halloween 2016, Marty McFly is on hiatus. If you’re not over your nostalgia by then, you’ll have to be Teen Wolf or Elliot from E.T. Make this the Halloween Of McFly. And then, stop.

*Unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t “do” Halloween, in which case, I pity you.

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Work Some, Nap Some

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‘Welcome To Night Vale’ Is The Indie Podcast For Your Inner Weirdo

“All that glitters is not gold. Particularly that thing over there. That’s maybe a giant insect of some sort. It’s really too dark to tell. Welcome to Night Vale.”  – Cecil Palmer, “Night Vale” radio host (Episode 44, “Cookies”)

If you’ve never listened to the podcast “Welcome to Night Vale,” you’re already less of a person. But that’s okay, because you can always become more of a person. It’s one of the many perks to being a person.

Every two weeks, writers Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and actor Cecil Baldwin take audiences into the small desert town of Night Vale, where real estate agents live inside deer, a five-headed dragon runs for Mayor and is also a blogger, and a faceless old woman secretly lives in your home.

It’s a perfect mix of engaging storytelling and absurd humor. Think “Prairie Home Companion” meets “Twin Peaks,” but where space and time sometimes don’t matter.

The Huffington Post sat down with the trio to talk about the release of their new book, Welcome to Night Vale, a more traditional format for a very untraditional project.

What did you see as the biggest difference between writing the book and writing the podcast?

Joseph Fink: It’s a lot longer.

[Everyone laughs.]

Jeffrey Cranor: We decided to take it out of Cecil’s voice, because while Cecil is reading the audiobook, it is ultimately a novel, so there is about 12 hours of audiobook there. The idea of a 12-hour radio show is not what we were doing. We wanted to take it into a narrative author’s world, go around Night Vale outside of Cecil’s point of view, which allows us to see something new.

You guys were writing the book while still doing the podcast. Did you have to plan ahead since this book wouldn’t be coming out until a year further into the “Night Vale” narrative?

Jeffrey: We definitely put thought into it. We had to think about when the book was coming out, and kind of where in the vicinity of the timeline it would be. We didn’t want to write the book ignorant of the podcast timing. Months and months from now it won’t make a ton of difference because people will be picking up the book at a different point from the podcast, but I think the people who are keeping time with the podcast are probably the same people who will buy the book the day it comes out and read it immediately. 

Does the podcast, and the often odd logic of the writing, make it easier to write the book and not worry so much about continuity?

Joseph: Oh, we worried strongly about the continuity. I mean, “Night Vale” has very strict continuity. That’s sort of the thing that allows us to be as weird as we are. From the very start, we said we can doing anything we want as long as we have a strict continuity. So there’s actually a very strict continuity that goes into the book as well.

Cecil, what were your influences, voicewise? Because it seems to change from episode 1 to episode 70.

Cecil Baldwin: It changed so much. We were still trying to figure out what this character was. And it was definitely a disembodied late-night radio host voice. There were some specifics here and there but there wasn’t a true personality yet. Much like any pilot. As the show went on, we all found more about the person behind the microphone and the people around [him]. Then they’ll write more and then it reflects back on itself, performance to writing. 

From a physicality standpoint, once the show started taking off, were you very protective of your voice? Were you walking into rooms yelling, “I need a humidifier in here!”?

Cecil: [Laughs] Oh, no! It’s just years of working in the theater, there’s certain things you try to do. Honestly keeping hydrated and taking vitamins are probably the best things you can do. We have a pretty rigorous touring schedule, and it’s trying to maintain that, but for the most part for the making of the podcast and the live shows, the microphone does a lot of the heavy lifting, which helps give the performance layers.

Joseph and Jeffrey, how has your writing evolved since the start of the podcast?

Joseph: We sort of just keep trying to do new things. We write, I feel, almost exactly the same in both the work rhythm and the general goal of telling stories that seem interesting to us, and then not really worrying about outside of that. On a personal level, I just constantly try to find new things to do with the 30-minute audio format, and new ways of telling stories, and things you can do with language. And that’s just a constant search.

Jeffrey: Yeah, as a writer I find I’m always trying to find tics and habits I have that I want to phase out. Then you read other stuff and go, “Oh, this is really beautiful, I’m really inspired by this, I’m feeling more emotional lately and I’m going to talk about these types of feelings.” I think that’s just how we are as writers. You’re always taking things in and putting things back out.

Is there a “Night Vale” film in the future? And given the characteristics of space and time, is that even possible given the way the world of Night Vale works?

Joseph: Sure, I think anything’s possible.

Jeffrey: We always have people interested, whether it’s a movie or any number of things, like “Please make a ‘Night Vale’ keychain!” or something, you know.

Cecil: “Night Vale,” the musical.

Joseph: “Night Vale,” the card game.

Jeffrey: All kinds of stuff. And you know, for us, we all come from this background of theater and stage performance and writing, so the idea of going from the podcast to the stage was a really logical and obvious transition. It’s been really great because Cecil’s so great onstage and we feel very comfortable in writing for that and understanding that, and the same thing for the novel.

And you know, moving into other mediums, it just takes more time finding the right people to work with, because none of us come from the background of making a TV show or making a film or making a tabletop game [laughs]. That requires a lot more reaching out. It’s not like we hit on a thing that could get us a check written. I’m sure if we said, “Sure, write us a check,” we could find someone to write a dollar amount, but that’s not what we’re interested in doing. We actually like “Night Vale.” Like, we’re not trying to sell it off.

You mentioned earlier about following a strict continuity for “Night Vale.” Do you guys have a show bible the way some TV shows might?

Joseph: My only bible is the actual Bible.

[Everyone laughs.]

Jeffrey: That’s what we use, we use the actual Old Testament.

Cecil: That’s it. If it’s not in the Bible, we don’t want to talk about it.

Joseph: No, I mean we had a spreadsheet, briefly, that lasted like four episodes. Because there’s only two of us writing it, you have lot more control than if you had a staff of writers and new people coming and going and you have to keep everything stable. Which is not to say we don’t make mistakes; we constantly make continuity mistakes. And then we sort of talk our way out of them in later episodes. But yes, we depend entirely on our fragile memory.

Cecil: Somebody made a “Night Vale” wiki page. I use that all the time. You know, trying to remember if this one character in episode 50 has appeared in episode 5 and also, did that person have a specific voice? That’s always a challenge and it’s easy to look online and be like, “When did X character appear, and in what episode?” and then I can go back through my sound files of old episodes and, “Oh, that’s what that person sounded like.” Then I can choose to, you know, pick up that character voice or do a more third-person read of what that person said. I think that’s the only online resource I really use. Because it is, you know, unwieldy amounts of pages and pages.

You had Will Wheaton on the show several times. Are there any other celebrities you would love to get on the show?

Joseph: Yes. Tatiana Maslany.

Cecil: Yeah!

Joseph: Tatiana Maslany. As Hiram McDaniels’ sister. I’ve been very seriously trying to get her. We’ll see how that goes. That’s my biggest dream.

Jeffrey: Barack Obama.

[Everyone laughs.]

Joseph: Oprah.

Cecil: Whoopi Goldberg. I always thought Whoopi Goldberg on the show would be amazing.

Where do you see podcasts, as a form, going? Because it hasn’t quite been monetized yet.

Cecil: Oh, don’t worry, people are always finding ways to monetize anything.

Joseph: It’s being monetized, actually, in a huge way. It’s a little worrying, in the last few months, big money has really come into podcasting. Bill Simmons’ podcast is produced by HBO. WNYC just announced a $ 15 million podcast studio. And they also had like a contest where the winners got, like, a $ 100K to do a podcast? GE is producing a serial drama podcast that’s 20 to 30 minutes long.

So, yeah I find that all super worrying because I think what makes podcasting really good is that it has this very low barrier of entry. You just need to have a very good and very specific idea and then you need to be able to execute that in front of a mic and then you’re on the same playing field as everyone else.

I think that’s still very much the case but I worry about that going forward as big money starts pouring into it.

Jeffrey: One of the great ways to find out about podcasts is the gatekeepers like iTunes and their lists and mysterious algorithms for why things move to the top of the list. In the four months that “Night Vale” was No. 1 overall above “This American Life,” it was never because “Night Vale” had more listeners than “This American Life.” That’s never been the case. We just had this surge of popularity.

Cecil: There was a dramatic spike.

Jeffrey: Once that surge came back down to a naturally steady increase, we obviously fell back below “This American Life.” But for us being an independent podcast, it was a really great thing to be able to have that. And my worry comes from whether or not that can stay a thing. “Lore” is another new podcast that is interesting and independent.

Joseph: “Lore” just hit the top 10 on iTunes.

Jeffrey: And that’s great, it makes me super thrilled to see independent podcasters reaching that. And I think there’s this hope that institutions like Radiotopia can hold it together and still be at the forefront of putting new, cool stuff out there that people can discover. You know, if big money comes into it, and Bill Simmons and GE and people like that are always at the top of the list.

Joseph: Or if they can buy big ads, because at the moment the iTunes main page is an equal mix of weird independent stuff, and if you have GE podcasts and HBO podcasts, then it really kills that.

Cecil: I think a lot about the ‘90s and the independent film movement when technology became more affordable and more accessible to filmmakers. All of a sudden, you have so many more diverse films being made under the banner of independent cinema.

And then now that’s like 25 years later and IFC [Independent Film Channel] came out of that, and is IFC independent film anymore? What does that mean?

It’s sort of the natural way of things, and it’s amazing to be on the vanguard of any movement. For us, it’s just keeping it going and exploring other new avenues and new mediums.

Joseph: I used to be super into fracking until the big energy companies moved in.

[Everyone laughs.]

Cecil: Ugh, yeah it’s so over.

Jeffrey: Yeah, it’s really annoying, now it’s everyone’s thing. All the hipsters are fracking.

Thanks to Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor and Cecil Baldwin. Their new book, Welcome To Night Vale is out Tuesday wherever books are sold, and probably some places where books aren’t sold and the vendor is perhaps wondering where all these books came from.

 

 

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John Oliver Slams Danish Zoo That Dissected Dead Lion In Front Of Children

The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host compared it to telling kids there’s no Santa.

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Jeb Bush Jr. Lashes Out At Marco Rubio In Total Bro Attack

Last week, Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Florida governor and 2016 presidential super PAC beneficiary Jeb “Jeb!” Bush, told a gathering of New York University College Republicans that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio should, “Like, dude, you know, either drop out or do something.” And that’s exactly how he put it. Conor Skelding of Capital New York has the story:


Jeb Bush Jr. told a group of college students Thursday afternoon that Sen. Marco Rubio should “drop out or do something” rather than miss votes by campaigning for president.

“As a Floridian, I’m a little disappointed, because he’s missing, like, 35 percent of his votes. And it’s just, kind of, like, dude, you know, either drop out or do something, but we’re paying you to do something, it ain’t run for president,” Bush Jr. told about about 70 students at a New York University College Republicans event.

Yes, the son of the presidential aspirant bro-ed down hard on the absent Rubio, and he did not stop there, according to Skelding’s report. “We’re way ahead of Marco’s campaign,” said Jeb Jr., before enumerating all the offices that his dad has “set up” in the Sunshine State (four, in case you were wondering).

The only thing that would make this story better would be live audio of Bush’s kid going off on Marco for being, “Like, so lame, dude” — right? So here you go! Live audio re-enacting how we imagine this historic meeting of Republican bros went down:

[DISCLAIMER: For the not insignificant number of people who manage to miss every joke on the Internet, this is a joke on the Internet.]

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Eddie Murphy Nails Bill Cosby Joke In Rare Stand-Up Set

Eddie Murphy delivered a rare stand-up set with the very thing he didn’t want to do a few months ago: a Bill Cosby joke. 

Murphy received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, where he took to the stage for his first stand-up performance in 28 years. Back in February, we learned via a tweet from former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm Macdonald that Murphy had declined to portray Cosby on the “SNL” 40th anniversary special, not wanting to “kick a man when he is down.”

But Murphy wasn’t holding back on Sunday. “Bill has one of these,” the Oscar-nominated comedian joked, referring to the Mark Twain bust that honorees receive. “Did you all make him give it back?” (Several universities have revoked Cosby’s honorary degrees in the wake of his numerous sexual abuse allegations.) 

Murphy then morphed into Cosby’s sing-songy lilt, saying, “I would like to talk to some of the people who feel that I should give back some of my motherf**king trophies.” Continuing in his best “Pudding Pop” voice, a callback to his Cosby impression from his famous 1987 stand-up film ”Raw,” Murphy reportedly said, ”You may have heard recently that I allegedly put the pill in the people’s stomach … If I ever see or meet this Hannibal Buress in person, I am going to try and kill this man!”

Days earlier, Murphy had explained his decision not to do Cosby at the “SNL” anniversary tribute: ”There’s nothing funny about it,” he told The Washington Post. “If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people.” But Arsenio Hall, who was at Sunday’s celebration, told the Post that Murphy discussed the potential Mark Twain bit with him and Chris Rock, eventually changing his tune. “[Murphy] said, ‘Because Cosby gonna get sick of this soon, he’s gonna get sick of people hating, and eventually he’s gonna have to say something,’” Hall said of Murphy’s decision. “And we were like, ‘That is funny, man. Are you willing?’”

You can see a snippet of the set around the 2:25 mark in this video from The Associated Press. A full broadcast of the event airs Nov. 23 on PBS. 

 

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Larry David Was Pretty, Pretty Good As Bernie Sanders, But This Comedian Is Even Better

The Internet agreed that “Seinfeld” co-creator and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David did a pretty, pretty good impression of Democratic presidential candidate (and fellow Brooklyn native) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on “Saturday Night Live.” Even Sanders himself loved it, joking that he’ll invite David to his campaign rallies because “he does better than I do.”

But here’s one that rivals David’s portrayal, from comedian James Adomian, who performed his own Sanders impression last week at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York.

Watch Adomian as Sanders in the clip above, participating in a “debate” with Donald Trump, played by comedian Anthony Atamanuik.

And here’s David again, in case you missed it.

 

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Tracy Morgan Brings Brian Fellow Back For Hilarious ‘SNL’ Sketch

Not only did Tracy Morgan give us a “30 Rock” reunion on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, he also brought back one of his most beloved characters: Brian Fellow

For the sketch, Fellow, “an enthusiastic young man with a sixth-grade education and an abiding love for all God’s creatures,” spoke to both a live beaver and a live camel.

As per usual, Fellow showed little interest in the actual animals on his “Safari Planet” show and tried to keep the attention on himself by repeating his signature line, “I’m Brian Fellow!” The camel did try to steal the spotlight, but Fellow wasn’t having it. 

“I can’t see, camel!” he said as he led the desert animal out of the frame. 

Brian Fellow was first introduced to the “SNL” audience back in 1999, and through the years, the sketch has included appearances by celebrities like Jason Sudeikis, Matt Damon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. 

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Why Do Women Spend So Much On Beauty Creams?

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De-Clutter

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What Did This Politician Say That Was Weird? Take The Fark Weird News Quiz

An Arizona politician said some things that were definitely weird.

If you know what he said, take the Fark Weird News Quiz.

Post your score!

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This Guy Planted Fake Halloween Costumes In A Real Costume Store

Jeff Wysasky of the site Obvious Plant had a great response to the ridiculous costumes you find at most Halloween shops. They’re cheaply made, they’re inexplicably expensive, and of course, there’s always a sexy option.

So Jeff added a few new costumes to the mix.

Check out out the rest if you want, but unfortunately, you can’t actually buy them. So your laughter will be followed by your tears.

 

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All This Pug Puppy Wants In Life Is To Go For A Ride On Tiny Scooter

We don’t think this little pooch will be owning a Vespa of his own anytime soon. 

A video uploaded to YouTube features a pug puppy in Udon Thani, Thailand, attempting to join his bigger pug friend on what appears to be a toy scooter. To make matters cuter, the scooter is being pulled by another small motorcycle, driven by an adorable boy is taking his ride very seriously. 

The clip was shared on social media by Viral Hog, but ended up generating quite a bit of attention across the Interwebs when it was shared on Unilad’s Facebook page, where generating more than 3 million views. You don’t have to do much analysis to see why the video is so popular. Adorable kid + chill dog + pug puppy = a serious recipe for success. 

Just observe the adorableness in action. The puppy tries and tries to get back on the scooter but the other dog is all DGAF. Meanwhile the child, who starts the ride off excited, quickly gets down to business, keeping his eyes glued to the road. 

We’ll never know if the pup ever gets to ride out his dreams, but we are sure that this little trio has stolen our hearts. 

If this video has inspired you to get a little ride-or-die pup of your own, consider adopting a rescue pet. The ASPCA is a great place to start your search! 

 

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See Long-Lost Animation From ‘Monty Python And The Holy Grail’

And there was much rejoicing. 

A video posted on Monty Python’s official YouTube channel this week shows 14 minutes of animation created by Terry Gilliam for the 1975 classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” that didn’t make it into the film.

The previously unseen clips will be included as bonus features in the upcoming 40th anniversary Blu-ray and DVD release. The video posted online features some narration by Gilliam, done in typical Python style: 


“This in fact is probably the only reason to buy this new Blu-ray version of the film, for the new animation. In fact it’s old animation, but it’s the animation that was cut out by the rather envious members of the group who were trying to restrain a young and talented animator — a man who could have gone on to be a great animator, but no, he was forced into live-action filmmaking to cover the scars.” 

Gilliam also talks about some of his influences and how the animations were created. He even takes a moment to launch a mock attack on the need for a re-release. 

“All you’re seeing now is a little bit more clarity,” Gilliam said. “Which in the case of my cartoons is fascinating, because I never understood what they were about until we’ve been able to sit down and watch in high-definition exactly the work we did.” 

He adds: ”Remember, I’m not getting paid for this commentary, so the low quality of the information you’re getting is a result of that.”  

Check it out in the clip above. 

The new edition of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” will be released on Oct. 27, including one that comes in a castle package, which doubles as a catapult for firing rubber farm animals. 

 

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Tom Hanks’ Brother Secretly Voices Woody When Tom Is Busy, AKA Your Childhood Is A Lie

If you’ve ever had a Woody toy, video game or — in a few cases — seen a “Toy Story” movie, you’ve assumed the voice you heard coming from the cowboy in the yellow-plaid shirt was that of Tom Hanks.

Well, reach for the sky, because there’s been a snake in your boot/ears this whole time. This town was big enough for two all along and the dual-sheriffs are actually Tom Hanks and his brother, Jim Hanks.

UK-based comedian Graham Norton used his show to confront Tom about this mystery back in 2011, bringing out a Woody doll and asking if he had provided the voice.

“No, it’s my brother Jim,” Tom responded smirking, and then continued on to explain, “There are so many computer games and video things and Jim just works on those all year long.”

Clarifying how this initial idea came about, Tom said that it had to do with him being too busy to handle all the extra voice work. He recalled to Norton, being asked rhetorically, “You don’t want to do this,” to which he appears to still respond, “No, get my brother Jim, he’ll do it.”

As my co-worker put it, this means “your child’s cute little Woody toys are a f**king lie.” Another surprised and uncharacteristically outraged co-worker added, “everything is bulls**t.”

How could this be?

Jim Hanks is an actor in his own right, with a long list of credits since 1992. One such recent role in 2015 was for a short titled, “The Other Brother,” where he plays the sibling of a famous Hollywood producer. His character’s job in the short is to give tram tours around Universal Studios, showing off the more well-known brother’s success.

Over a dozen credits are from his work voicing Woody in “Toy Story” properties. Many of these are for video games, but you’ve most likely heard his work in the popular doll versions of Woody (which Norton showed) or if you’re of a certain generation, perhaps in the 2000 movie, “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins.”

Jim can manipulate his voice to sound almost exactly like his brother’s, which is part of the reason why you’ve never noticed the difference. The other part, of course, being that you didn’t expect a beloved actor and Pixar’s first franchise to betray you.

In the video below, Jim shows off his relative talent, while also admitting what scares him about the level of fame that follows his brother.

The Huffington Post reached out to Jim Hanks’ representation, along with multiple producers from his early ”Toy Story” roles, but nobody wished to comment on the story.

With no further answers to console your shaken memories, it’s time to find your old Woody toy, pull its string and somehow accept that it has actually been pulling your string this whole time.

“You’re my favorite deputy,” Jim Hanks tells you in Tom Hanks’ voice as Woody.

You should have always known you were second string.

  

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Eddie Murphy Explains Why He Wouldn’t Portray Bill Cosby On ‘SNL’ Special

Eddie Murphy says he chose not to reprise his famous impression of Bill Cosby on the “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary special because he didn’t want to joke about the embattled comedian’s sexual assault scandal.

“It’s horrible,” Murphy told The Washington Post in a lengthy interview published Tuesday. “There’s nothing funny about it. If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming back to SNL for the anniversary, I’m not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.'”

Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 women.

Murphy, a former “SNL” cast member, almost appeared in the sketch before changing his mind and deciding to simply give a brief speech instead. He told The Post he “totally understood” why “SNL” wanted to do the bit, which ended up starring current cast member Kenan Thompson as Cosby. 

“It was the biggest thing in the news at the time,” Murphy said. “I can see why they thought it would be funny, and the sketch that Norm [Macdonald] wrote was hysterical.”

After the airing of the February special, Macdonald explained in a series of tweets that Murphy declined to play Cosby because “he will not kick a man when he is down.” In response, Cosby released a statement thanking Murphy for his decision. 

“I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” a Cosby spokesperson said.

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Donald Trump To Host ‘Saturday Night Live’

Donald Trump will host “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 7, NBC announced Tuesday.

The business mogul and GOP presidential candidate is a frequent target of the sketch comedy show’s skewering. He’s currently played by Taran Killam. 

 

While Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton made a cameo on “SNL” earlier this month, Trump will be the first 2016 candidate to host the show. 

Trump also hosted “SNL” in April 2004 during the first season of his NBC reality TV show “The Apprentice.” 

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Anything Goes

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Satirical Video Highlights How White And Male Dominated Hollywood Truly Is

These days, it’s easier than ever to make a blockbuster film, according to filmmaker Patrick Willems. That is, if you’re a white male. 

Willems, who is a white man, offers step-by-step video to becoming a star director in the video above. Prerequisites include passing a “white male check” and exploiting a “tortured” screenwriter in film school to write scripts. And when it’s time to make an indie film, the narrator reminds us, ”Just make sure it appeals to white people and includes the key ingredients: a heterosexual romance and a genre movie element.”

 Then, as proposed in the video, wait for a call from Hollywood and voila! You’re in the big leagues.

As for women, people of color and other marginalized communities,  landing these big positions in Hollywood is far more difficult. UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies report points out just a few reasons why in its 2015 Diversity in Hollywood report

“Because of the high risk associated with the typical project — most new television shows fail, most films underperform — individual stakeholders in the industry (typically white and male) look to surround themselves with other individuals with whom they feel comfortable, with whom they feel they have the best prospects for producing a successful project,” the authors of the report wrote. “These latter individuals, of course, tend to think and look like the former, thereby reproducing an industry culture that routinely devalues the talent of minorities and women.”

Though diversity has seen a few victories in Hollywood lately, the 5-step model in this satirical video still, sadly, the most effective method.  

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Greed Not Good

Get this. And get it straight. Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Greed is bad. Greed eats away the core of society like a golden parasitic leech the size of Manitoba. Or Saskatchewan. One of those Provinces or Territories or Protectorates or whatever they use in Canada to keep their license plates distinct.

And practicing and/ or defending greed makes you nothing but a blood-sucking tick no matter how fancy a suit you’re wearing. Or size of the diamonds around your wrist. Or how free-range the organic heirloom Chicken Florentine is on your plate.

The movie Wall Street came out in 1987. And after Vietnam and Watergate and an oil embargo and four years of scolding by Jimmy Carter, a little irrational exuberance may have seemed warranted. But that was 30 years ago. Too much is no longer not enough. Too much has gotten way out of hand. Today’s too much is much much too much.

In his UN address, the Pope said it best. “A selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged.” You know what; he’s right. Got to love Papa Frankie. The guy is like a slightly older more lovable Argentinian Bernie Sanders. With the crank dialed down to a manageable hum.

Let’s be honest; what we’re really talking about here is that idiot CEO, Martin Shkreli who raised the price of the life-saving drug, Daraprim, from $ 13.50 a pill to $ 750 each, because, and I quote, he “needs to start making a profit.” A 5,455% increase: which if produce distributors did to onions would make a side of rings about 3 grand.

This rapacious price gouge follows in the carnivorous footsteps of Gilead Sciences who developed a drug called Solvadi, a cure for Hepatitis C. The treatment regimen consists of 84 pills. Each one costing 1,000 dollars. That’s right. 84,000 dollars. But then you’re cured. And after all, how much is your life worth? Half of what you own? Everything? Your first born?

Gilead Sciences is publicly traded, but Turing Pharmaceuticals has no stockholders to report to. Just Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager. A group known for having the same conscience as starving hyenas in heat. These guys make a safari of lion-killing dentists look cuddlesome.

Remember the traders who advised clients to buy stocks that they themselves were getting rid of? Them’s our boys. The mindset of a hedge funder is whatever it takes to make the most money: lie, cheat, steal and worse. They rewrote the book on worse.

And now that worse includes letting people die for profit. We’ve moved beyond taxing hedge fund managers at the same rate as real humans and moved into deciding how long the season should be for hedge fund manager hunting. Bows? Shotguns? Anti-tank guided weapons?

What’s to keep these guys from creating diseases for which their companies conveniently have the antidote? Ethics? How often have Republicans lectured us: There is no ethical consideration, only business.

Speaking of ethically challenged, even Donald Trump called the price hike a disgrace and said Shkreli should be ashamed of himself. And when a man who sucks up to bigots and racists calls you shameless, it’s definitely time to rethink your priorities.

Copyright © 2015, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist and comedian. Go to willdurst.com for info about his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” and the documentary “3 Still Standing” premiering at a theater near you on October 9.

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The Idealist

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Hear 911 Call Of ‘Too High’ Guy Found Surrounded By Doritos

By now the nation is aware of the poor 22-year-old from Austintown, Ohio, who called 911 earlier this month to say he was “too high” and was later found by police surrounded by Doritos and cookies.

Now, his dankest hour has been made public.

In a 911 call obtained by WJW on Wednesday, the sad sap explains that he “can’t feel anything.”

A dispatcher asks, “OK, what’d you take?”

“Weed.”

The caller sounds upset, and the dispatcher’s tone changes from serious to comforting.

“OK,” the dispatcher says, “we’ll send an EMS right over to check you out, OK?”

“OK. Thank you,” the caller replies.

It turns out he was indeed OK. He refused medical attention, and gave responding officers the keys to his car so they could find his stash. Inside, they found a jar of marijuana, two joints and paraphernalia. Because he’s in Ohio, the caller now faces possession charges.

HuffPost Canada reported:


People who have smoked marijuana report an increased appetite because of brain stimulation from THC, one of the drug’s ingredients, Smithsonian.com reports.

The substance triggers the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is connected to memory, emotions and appetite.

In this case, it seems it was a little too stimulated for the user’s own good.

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Never Too Old

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Obama Gives Kanye West Some Advice About Getting Into Politics

President Barack Obama gave Kanye West some advice about getting elected on Saturday. 

The rapper recently announced he was running for president in 2020. Obama, alluding to the inability of House Republicans to find a new speaker, suggested Kanye could be a candidate for that position instead.

“You may have heard that Kanye is thinking about running for Speaker of the House. It couldn’t get any stranger,” Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco. He dispensed some tips ”in case Kanye is serious about this whole POTUS thing, or as Kanye calls it, ‘Peezy.'”

“Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the south side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the United States?” Obama said. “That’s cray.”

“Saying you have a beautiful dark twisted fantasy — that’s what’s known as ‘off message’ in politics,” he continued.

Obama also suggested that West’s appearances on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” might serve him well in politics.

“You got to deal with strange characters who behave as if they are on a reality TV show,” Obama said. 

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Funday Monday

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EXCLUSIVE: Tony The Tiger Victim Of Food Terrorist Plot?

Is someone kidding around with beloved breakfast cereal mascot Tony the Tiger with a series of viral videos showing him helping a sex worker, a suicide bomber and a police officer who savagely beats a female suspect?

Or is a food terrorist trying to commit a cereal killing by making Tony look bad?

Kellogg Co. said it had nothing to do with what it called “offensive” videos posted this week showing its Frosted Flakes mascot behaving badly. Evidence uncovered by The Huffington Post suggests a well-known food activist, Jani Leinonen, may be involved.

The latest video shows a battered woman named Anna seated inside a California cafe.

“Last night I experienced the worst physical abuse of my life, for no reason,” reads a description of the video at tonyisback.com. “I feel so humiliated, betrayed, my whole body is aching. I am angry but I have not found the courage to fight back. I was so lost, but Tony came and encouraged me to go ahead with my plan to show people.”

Tony the Tiger, in the video, encourages Anna to go through with her “plan” by eating a bowl of sugary Frosted Flakes — “They’re grrrrreat,” he says in his trademark shout.

After eating a bit of the cereal, Anna stands up and shows she has a bomb strapped to her chest, which detonates as the video ends.

Actress Gina Ferranti shared a video still shot from the film on Instagram, The Huffington Post’s investigation shows. Ferranti lists the role on her acting resume, which identifies the director and production company responsible for “Tony.”

Neither Ferranti nor her agent replied to HuffPost’s inquiries. 

A photo posted by Gina (@ginanyactress) on

Ferranti’s resume identifies the “Tony” director as Jani Leinonen, an artist from Finland who has been linked to a group of health-food activists called the Food Liberation Army.

The organization was responsible for the Jan. 31, 2010, theft of a life-size Ronald McDonald statue from a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in central Helsinki, according to NPR.org. The kidnappers threatened to decapitate Ronald unless McDonald’s answered questions about the quality of its food and its work ethics. Finnish police identified Leinonen as a suspect and  jailed him for 30 hours, according to a report on the art news website we-make-money-not-art.com.

 Leinonen didn’t respond to a request for comment from HuffPost on Friday.

In her resume, Ferranti identified the company that filmed “Tony” as Route 1, a Los Angeles-based firm that provides production services. 

Route 1’s website says the company has worked with a number of well-known corporations, including Kellogg. Route 1’s show reel includes two commercials for Kellogg’s Special K products.

Route 1 recently shared a photo on its Facebook page that shows its ”amazing crew” with Jani Leinonen at the Malibu Pier.

“Thank you Tero, Jani, Anti, and Jani #2 for trusting us with your amazing project,” the post reads.

Thank you Tero, Jani, Anti, and Jani #2 for trusting us with your amazing project…. and thanks to our amazing crew for your support!

Posted by Route 1 on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Route 1 didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from HuffPost on Friday.

A Kellogg spokesperson, who replied to questions without providing a name, said Friday that the company has no relationship with Leinonen, but didn’t say whether it had worked with Route 1.

“As a company grounded in the values of integrity and respect, we recognize people’s right to creative expression,” the Kellogg spokesperson said in an email. “We also believe these videos are offensive and make light of serious issues that deserve real dialogue. Tony is a beloved icon and we will protect the integrity of our brands and our characters.”

 

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These #WorstCollegeParty Tweets Are Guaranteed To Give You Flashbacks

College parties are the best. The beer is terrible, the cops show up, you wake up feeling like you got kicked by a horse … uh, wait, what were we talking about?

Jimmy Fallon‘s favorite #WorstCollegeParty tweets are guaranteed to give you flashbacks to your college days. Let’s just hope they’re better than these:

Party on, people.

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Money Is…

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Is Monogamy Dead?

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William Baude’s Times Op-Ed piece (“Is Polygamy Next,” 7/21/15) gives voice to a fear that legalizing same sex marriage has opened up a Pandora’s Box. If we allow people of the same sex to be married why should people who want to be married to more than one person be excluded from expressing their heart desire? Why should those who are genetically or culturally disposed to polygamy be prevented from expressing their true selves? Polygamy has been a part of the Mormon culture and since Mr. Baude believes Justice Kennedy’s line of reasoning in the same sex marriage decision (Obergefell v. Hodges) leads to the possibility that “future generations could read the language to include polyamory or plural marriage” it may be useful to look at some of the pluses and minuses. Says Baude,
“To be sure, there are many potentially sound legal arguments against plural marriage. It might be administratively difficult to modify some of our marital laws, currently designed for pairs of people, to handle large numbers of spouses. And if one thinks the well-being of children can justify restricting marriage rights, it is possible that plural marriages could present difficulties. On the other hand, it may turn out that plural marriages are very good for children, because more adults are available to share the physical, financial and emotional demands of caring for them.”

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Polyamory, polygamy, or whatever you want to call it, increases the number of naked bodies you’re legitimately going to be allowed to see and touch, whatever your sex or sexual orientation. The increased population of sexual partners is going to increase your chances for getting laid. It’s simple math. If you marry one person he or she can say no. But is it likely that all five of your husbands and wives will feel the same way by the time you’re ready for bed? Then there’s the question of shopping. Depending on whether you live in a matriarchy, patriarchy or transarchy someone is going to have to play the role once part of the job description for the average American wife. But let’s say you’re a matriarch with five husbands. Despite the fact that all five of your husbands may be involved in Robert Bly’s “mythopoetic” male self-actualization seminars, you can still divide up the dirty work with husband A getting the milk, husband B, the head of lettuce etc. If you have a fight with one of your wives, you still can cry on the shoulders of the other four. The advantages go on and on. Everyone takes on a serious juridical expression when the question of polygamy comes up and few people want to say it. But once the court rules in favor of polygamy, hubba hubba, let the games begin.

photo of polygamous Mormon Family by Charles Roscoe Savage

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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Comedian Who Lied About Surviving 9/11 Opens Up For The First Time

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi, in his first public comments since he was exposed for lying he was in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks, explained how he believed his deception protected him from “cruel” fellow comedians and defined his career.

Rannazzisi, star of “The League,” apologized Tuesday during a 40-minute interview on Howard Stern’s radio show and addressed last months’ New York Times story that revealed he wasn’t working in the Merrill Lynch office on the 54th floor of the World Trade Center south tower when the north tower was hit. Rannazzisi recounted the fake experience to interviewers for years and claimed the ordeal motivated him to follow his dreams of being an entertainer.

“Do you think of yourself as psychologically disturbed? How do you view yourself after doing this thing?” Stern asked.

“Psychologically disturbed — I don’t know if that’s the way to put it,” Rannazzisi said. “I do see someone and am starting to figure out more about myself: codependency and wanting people to like me and to make people happy.”

The “why” is still unclear, he said.

“It wasn’t calculated at all,” he said. “It was as simple as sitting at the Comedy Store and everyone being like, ‘Hey, you’re from New York?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Were you just there? You were around?’ ‘Yeah, I was downtown.’ ‘You worked there?’ ‘Yeah, I did.’”

Within seconds, Rannazzisi said he felt he couldn’t set the record straight.  

“You have like 15 seconds, I think, to kind of go, ‘Wait, hold on. Stop. I’m sorry. That’s not true.'” he said. “If you pass that 15 seconds … now, it becomes a thing where you’re like, ‘Now, I have to be the guy that’s very strange and weird and just said I lied about 9/11.’”

Once the fake story gained traction, Rannazzisi said the resulting sympathy gave him security in the brutal comedy community.

“I think it might have been like, comedians are cruel people, especially in the beginning,” he said. “And I kind of was like, well maybe people will not be as mean to me or not make as many jokes about me because they think that this is what I went through.”

When the Times confronted him last month with conflicting versions of his 9/11 story, Rannazzisi responded with a statement confirming that he had lied. The confession may be damning to his career, but he said he feels relief and is glad he can finally apologize.

“I know what I did was terrible, and I know that I hurt a lot of people — people that lost people, people that helped people survive — and those people, those are the people that I truly am sorry,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to come on here.”

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Watch 2 Guinea Pigs Recreate Iconic ‘Lady And The Tramp’ Spaghetti Scene

Sharing is caring, and these guinea pig sisters care about each other in the most adorable way. 

Guinea pigs Grace and Suzie were caught on camera sharing a single blade of grass. The teeny meal eventually results in a friendly game of tug-of-war, filmed in slow motion. 

The video, which was shared on Facebook earlier this month, has taken the Interwebs by storm. It’s racked up more than 40 million views as of Wednesday afternoon. But how could you not completely melt after seeing these two munch on their piece of grass? 

Just watch as Grace and Suzie civilly snack on their respective ends of grass. When they reach the middle, however, their meal becomes a harrowing quest for the last bit of grass, intensified by the slo-mo effect. Don’t worry, though! After the two split the food, they back to politely nomming on their snack like nothing ever happened.

The clip is pretty darn cute, and some social media users have even compared it to the spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp.” 

These guinea pigs are so precious that we totally understand if, after seeing the video, you have a hankering to get one of your own. But if you do choose to get a teeny furry friend, check out some of your local shelters and rescue organizations — many of which have rescue guinea pigs in need of a forever home. Petfinder is also a good place to start looking for that adorable grass-munching critter. 

 

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Cry Over You

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Double Fantasy…

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Why I Invited Marc Maron to Speak at Princeton University

Several months ago, I decided to invite the comedian Marc Maron, host of the popular podcast WTF and the star of the television show Maron, to speak at Princeton University. The popular stand-up comedian might not be the most predictable choice to deliver a lecture in our public event series. When I tweeted out that he will be speaking in McCosh 50, the same room where Albert Einstein delivered lectures about the Theory of Relativity, Maron himself seemed a little surprised, tweeting back: “Cool. No Pressure Man.” “Thanks for telling me that guy who’s running the lecture, oh man, not a lot of pressure,” he said on the October 5 podcast.

The truth is that, in my mind Maron, is a terrific and important figure who students and faculty should hear. The idea of inviting him to the university occurred to me before he announced that he was going to interview the president of the United States, a show that greatly bolstered his standing.

Besides the fact that stand-up comedy often provides some of the most insightful commentary about American culture, Maron is living proof of the great potential in modern communications technology. We have all heard the standard litany of complaints about what has resulted from the modern media world: the voices in broadcasting are increasingly shrill, quality control seems to have virtually disappeared along with tight production and editorial standards, and the hyper-fragmentation of broadcasting has made it difficult for any single voice to gain a sizable audience.

Yet since first airing in 2009, WTF has demonstrated that new technology has created important space for innovation.

Through his podcast, Maron has shown how the medium offers a type environment for conversation and discussion that was not always possible in the formal setting of traditional television and radio broadcasting. By literally conducting the interviews in his garage, Maron has convinced a huge number of guests — ranging from comedians like Robin Williams to public figures such as President Obama — to open up about their personal lives and their professional experiences in ways that have been absolutely riveting to listeners. The ease of contemporary technology helped him to create a “studio” space in which Maron nurtures a style of informal and intimate conversation that shatters the walls usually separating the listener from the show. As he told The New Yorker, “Guests sit within a history of me, artifacts from different times of my life.” Maron likens his interviews to the “ongoing conversations” that his grandfather (Grandpa Jack) had with the locals at a hardware store where he worked.

Without the large infrastructure of a network around him, podcasting also gives Maron the flexibility to move about and to interview a wide variety of guests, some of whom have proven to be extraordinarily interesting (such as a series of conversations with comedians about “borrowing” or stealing material from each other) that might otherwise not have found support in traditional broadcasting outlets. Indeed, he was able to follow his show with President Obama by interviewing comedians like Rich Vos.

Podcasts are also attracting younger listeners who are often turned off and tuned out to the traditional networks. Studies have shown that podcast audiences lean toward younger listeners, which creates an opportunity to provide quality shows to generations of Americans who are otherwise not listening. One can imagine how hosts interested in politics might take the Maron model to over political news in ways that attract disenchanted youth to this subject matter.

Part of the reason that they can do this is because podcasts embody the trend of narrowcasting that began back in the 1970s when the networks started to lose their monopoly. When shows can thrive within a certain niche and only have to appeal to certain audiences, they have the ability to refine their stylistic approach and substantive foci rather than feeling the need to do a little of everything but nothing with much depth.

Podcasts open up the constraints of time in a way that facilitates more open-ended and in-depth conversations. Podcasts can vary greatly in length. The host does not have to feel the pressure of finishing within a certain time frame imposed by commercials and radio or television airspace. The extra time, as well as the ability to go shorter, can liberate conversations to move in all sorts of directions when the host and producer don’t have to keep their eye on the clock.

So inviting Marc Maron was actually a no-brainer. Maron has done something truly spectacular with this new technological form. For those who constantly lament what each new innovation brings, they should download his app and listen to some of the exciting directions the media might take. Today, I’ll be enjoying what he has to say the old-fashioned way, sitting in my seat for his lecture right here at Princeton.

Julian E. Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin Press).

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Sucker!

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Feelin’ Groovy

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J.K. Rowling Shoots Down Your Favorite ‘Harry Potter’ Fan Theories

Sorry, Muggles. J.K. Rowling is going all Avada Kedavra on some of your favorite “Harry Potter” fan theories.

Up to this point, fans of the books and movies have analyzed the story so much that they’ve come up with a number of theories that are so crazy they have to be true.

As it turns out, nope, they’re just crazy. Here are the theories that must not be named anymore:

Ron Weasley is not a time-traveling Albus Dumbledore.

No! Not this one!

In the books, there are a number of physical descriptions and plot points that show major similarities between Dumbledore and Ron, but after a fan asked about it, Rowling confirmed they aren’t the same person:

Bloody hell …

Also, Draco Malfoy is not a werewolf and Snape is not a vampire. 

 

What? OK, she’s just pouring it on now.

Because of their physical descriptions and some peculiar activities in the books, Draco Malfoy and Snape were thought to secretly be a werewolf and a vampire, respectively. Draco’s physical changes that occur in the book are seen as the result of a werewolf curse by some, and Snape’s pale complexion was viewed as evidence he was in fact undead. Unfortunately, these are not the case either:

After that, Rowling was done crushing all our Muggle dreams for one day.

Don’t be too disappointed, though. Rowling has also confirmed some other fan theories, and with her new play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” coming to the stage, you can be sure more theories are on the way. 

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Why Does the NRA Have So Much Power?

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Starbucks Barista Completes Life Cycle, Becomes Pure Pumpkin Spice

On Thursday, at 3:44 p.m. ET, Ashley Polloway transcended her earthly corporeal Starbucks barista form to become a higher ethereal being composed of pure pumpkin spice.

Fellow employees wished Polloway good luck on her journey, waving somberly at the glowing pumpkin spice cloud as it breezed past the many lingering laptop users and disappeared into the unknown.

“It’s sad,” said co-worker Jeremy Mullen. “She was my ride.”

 

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Starbucks Barista Completes Life Cycle, Becomes Pure Pumpkin Spice

On Thursday, at 3:44 p.m. ET, Ashley Polloway transcended her earthly corporeal Starbucks barista form to become a higher ethereal being composed of pure pumpkin spice.

Fellow employees wished Polloway good luck on her journey, waving somberly at the glowing pumpkin spice cloud as it breezed past the many lingering laptop users and disappeared into the unknown.

“It’s sad,” said co-worker Jeremy Mullen. “She was my ride.”

 

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Trevor Noah Grills Chris Christie On FedEx Immigrant Tracking Proposal

When Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie recently suggested that U.S. immigration officials should monitor immigrants using the same technology that FedEx uses to track shipped packages, critics panned him for suggesting that people should be treated like packages.

Christie was forced to clarify that he meant a system in which the government could “use technology in order to be able to secure the border.”

“We can bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I don’t mean people are packages. Don’t be ridiculous,” he said.

Comedian Trevor Noah expressed more skepticism and pressed Christie on the specifics of his idea in a Wednesday interview on “The Daily Show.” Noah, an immigrant from South Africa, said that it felt “personal.”

“I was watching the debates, and you were talking about people and their visas. People need to have their visas, and they shouldn’t overstay their time in the U.S. I felt like you were talking to me personally because that happened to me one time,” Noah said. “But what I didn’t understand was the biometrics. You want people to get FedEx stamps?”

“No, no, no. You know that. You already have 10 FedEx stamps,” Christie responded, referring to fingerprints. “Hold up both your hands. You got 10 stamps already.”

Christie explained that if elected president, he would implement a system in which immigrants would be fingerprinted at checkpoints coming in and out of the country and added to a database. “With a fingerprint, you have a database, and if it says you overstayed, we tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Thanks for coming.'”

But Noah was not convinced, continuing to grill Christie on the logistics and cost of his proposal. Last month, a supply chain expert told HuffPost that the idea is impractical and raises concerns about privacy.

In addition, it would be costly: when a 2013 Senate immigration bill included a similar proposal, government officials estimated that such a system would cost about $ 7 billion, which Noah noted on Wednesday.

“That’s a lot less expensive than a wall across the entire southern border. How about that?” Christie said, a barb at reality television star Donald Trump’s plan to build a giant border wall to keep out immigrants.

The New Jersey governor has been consistently polling toward the bottom half of the crowded GOP field, and when Noah asked about what Christie plans to do to increase his low poll numbers, the candidate replied: “Come on the first week of ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,’ baby.”

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Classic ’90s Cartoons Get Remixed With This Hilarious Hashtag

Nickelodeon is bringing back several popular ’90s cartoon TV shows in a new programming block titled, “The Splat“ and everyone is rejoicing. It will feature 14 shows and is set to premiere on Oct. 5, from 10 p.m.- 6 a.m. Comedians , and  appeared on Tuesday’s episode of late night comedy show, “@midnight with Chris Hardwick” to celebrate the return of ’90s nostalgia to TV.

During the “Hashtag Wars” skit, with the theme #HipHopCartoons, the comedians fused the titles of classic TV cartoons with the names of famous rappers, hip-hop albums and lyrics. Check out the hilarious results below.

But the remixes didn’t stop there.

The Internet jumped in the on the fun, too, and #HipHopCartoons began trending on Twitter. Scroll down below to find out what happened when the titles of throwback cartoons got a hip-hop twist. 

 

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Planned Big Brotherhood: The Republican Doublethink Contradictions (Part 2)

Two major GOP cornerstones are family values and limited government, but limited government excludes providing Americans with a higher standard of living through investing in social programs, but is embraced when using the government as a tool to impose Christian morality on the daily lives of Americans.

This surge in Christianity within the Republican Party began as early as the 1960s, but largely escalated during Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980 as a means of attracting socially conservative Evangelical voters. The GOP successfully employs an ideology that supports right-wing Christianity as a basis of cultural norms, while dividing voters over social issues, under the guise of “morality.”

This segment of the American population has fallen under the pretense of “Slavery Is Freedom.”

Through the constant delusional fear of socialism and the “moral decay of America,” the conservative Christian segment of the U.S. is convinced that imposing their beliefs on others will save this country from being overrun by homosexual, transgendered, pot-smoking Whole Foods shoppers waiting to sodomize and abort freedom-loving Americans before converting them to communist Islamic terrorism.

During the second GOP debate, candidates clamored to display their insatiable compulsion to defund Planned Parenthood. Chris Christie, Walker, and Jeb Bush — all current or former governors — each bragged out about shutting down the women’s health organization in their home states.

Cruz called the group “an ongoing criminal enterprise.”

Mrs. Fiorina attacked the organization and its supporters.

“Liberals and progressives will spend inordinate amounts of time and money protecting fish, frogs and flies,” Mrs. Fiorina said, adding: “They do not think a 17-week-old, a 20-week-old, a 24-week-old is worth saving. This, ladies and gentlemen, is hypocrisy, and it goes to the core of the character of our nation.”

However, Planned Parenthood estimates 515,000 unintended pregnancies and 216,000 abortions are averted each year due to their contraceptive services while 4,665,000 men, women and young people worldwide are provided with sexual and reproductive health care and education annually.

The Republicans are so pro-life, they want to shut down the organization that actually helps reduce abortions and promotes reproductive health. Considering 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services aren’t abortion-related, and the Hyde Amendment prevents federal funding of abortions, defunding the women’s health organization doesn’t achieve the GOP’s intended goals.

Considering this contradictory approach to curbing abortion rates, shutting down Planned Parenthood makes about as logical sense as a nutritionist telling a Biggest Loser participant that a diet of Super Sized Big Macs will give them a Zac Efron body.

The Republicans are so hell-bent on protecting innocent lives, they blocked a bill that would restrict access to guns after 20 children and six adults were fatally shot in Sandy Hook Middle School. Mr. Cruz was the ringleader in filibustering such dreadful legislation.

Nine out of 10 Americans supported universal criminal and mental health background checks in the wake of this horrific shooting, but House and Senate Republicans didn’t hesitate to block proposals that would ban certain military-style assault rifles and limit the size of ammunition magazines and keep these weapons out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.

This is clearly because they care so much about freedom, democracy, representing the will of the people and the sanctity of life.

“Guns save lives” is a staple of Republican talking points, but the CDC reports roughly 30,000 annual Americans deaths caused by guns – 60 percent from suicide, a grotesquely overlooked statistic in the gun-control debate. This position essentially argues that any attempt at better regulating guns and bolstering mental health care would result in even more casualties.

In another attempt to mobilize Christian America, the arrest of Kim Davis for failing to uphold her duty as Rowan County clerk by refusing to issue marriage certificates to newly-wed gay couples because of her Christian faith, was a hot topic in the second debate.

Mike Huckabee is clinging onto Ms. Davis for campaign attention like a self-serving Facebook activist clings to a trending event to show the world how much they’re helping a cause by posting a status.

She has become a martyr for people who are unaware that a martyr has to die for a cause in order to qualify as one. Meanwhile, he claims that the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage has resulted in the “criminalization of Christianity.”

Huckabee sounds like your senile grandfather recalling America’s glory days when he asserts America is experiencing a widespread rejection of Jesus during a time when 70.6 percent of the nation is Christian and 43 consecutive presidents of Christian faith or Christian backgrounds have been elected to the Oval Office.

Moreover, 28 states do not have laws protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination or being fired for their sexual orientation. An additional three states lack laws that protect gender identity employment discrimination. There was also that Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case that granted businesses religious beliefs, because major corporations have feelings too.

Befuddling as it may be, the former Arkansas governor pleas for a national acceptance of Christianity through using Kim Davis as a beacon of tolerance.

Family values and morality don’t include improved access to education, childcare, health care and retirement benefits in the GOP agenda. Conservatives write these policies off as the promotion of a “nanny state” that imposes government on the personal lives of Americans.

Rather than promote Christian morals that makes child rearing and sustainable income easier for hard working American households, this concept has been manipulated to use religion to justify discrimination toward anyone who doesn’t conform to a “traditional” American lifestyle.

Republicans aren’t pro-life, they are simply pro-birth, as their policies ignore the well-being of millions of Americans and distract voters with social issues that cause them turn a blind eye to more grave, looming economic dilemmas.

The final part of this series will illustrate how many Americans have come to accept these illogical and contradictory statements.

Planned Big Brotherhood: The Republican Doublethink Contradictions (Part 1) can be seen here

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Matt Damon And Jimmy Kimmel Reveal The Reason For Their ‘Feud’ In Couples Therapy

The Martian” star Matt Damon has had it easier surviving on Mars than getting on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, so on Monday the pair finally tried to resolve their issues.

In couples therapy, Damon reveals he’s been trying to get on the show for about 12 years because he actually likes it. He has been on before, but apparently he’s now living there and still tries to get on it every night. In fact, Damon even admits Kimmel was the reason for some of his career choices, including the movie “We Bought a Zoo.” (Rough one, dude.)

Kimmel also talks about how he’s been trying to get Damon on the show, but it’s hard because, you know, it just is.

Will they ever work out their issues? Eh, probably not. But at least we should get another 12 years to watch the attempts.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Begone Bygones

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Hasty Generalization

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Bill Maher Thinks GOP Should Listen To Pope Francis On Climate Change

Bill Maher praised Pope Francis’ views on climate change on “Real Time” Friday night.

While admitting to have “mixed feelings” about the pope, the host did appreciate his views on this particular topic, especially in contrast to those held by many Republican representatives in Congress.

“I think it’s just awesome that this pope took on this issue,” Maher said. “I love that Boehner invited him to talk to Congress, and there he was the Grandmaster Flash of crazy non-evidentiary nonsense, lecturing the Republicans on reality.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Maher discussed British Prime Minister David Cameron, Kim Davis and Josh Duggar.

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Lucky Penny

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Tear Stocks Plummet After John Boehner Announces Resignation

Tear stocks and crybaby futures hit a record low on Wall Street Friday just minutes after Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he would resign from Congress.

Tears stalled and collected themselves briefly, but then fell gradually before losing all traction and plummeting to ground level.

Traders did all they could to hold onto the tears they still had. They smiled uncomfortably or did that thing where your lower lip quivers for a long time. 

When reached for comment, most traders told The Huffington Post that they had something in their eye and couldn’t “do this right now.”

Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together…

Not here. Nope, not here.

 [Exhales forcefully, clears throat.] 

 

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Donald Trump Just Won’t Give Up His Birther Fantasy In Colbert Interview

Donald Trump has been coming under fire for refusing to distance himself from the “birther” movement he helped fuel, which claims President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.  On Tuesday night’s “Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert offered the GOP frontrunner a chance to put the question behind him once and for all. 

“I’m going to throw you a big fat meatball for you to hit out of the park right now,” Colbert said. “This is the last time you’ll ever have to address this question if you hit the ball.” 

“I want to hear this one,” Trump said.

“Barack Obama, born in the United States?” Colbert asked.

When Trump hesitated, Colbert tempted him with the “meatball.”

“It’s a meatball, it’s hanging out there,” Colbert said, mimicking a batter’s home-run swing. “Right there — c’mon.”

But for Trump, it was a swing and a miss. 

“I don’t talk about that anymore,” he said.

“You don’t talk about it?” Colbert asked.  

Trump said he would rather talk about jobs and veterans, but Colbert cut him off. 

“The meatball is now being dragged down subway steps by a rat,” Colbert said, referring to the now-famous pizza-stealing rat. “You missed the meatball.”

The response is in line with what Trump offered on Sunday to a similar question on “Meet the Press.”

“I just don’t want to discuss it,” Trump told host Chuck Todd, calling it a “long, complex issue.”

After taping his Colbert appearance, Trump tweeted that the birther movement began with Hillary Clinton: 

FactCheck.org reports that while the issue was raised by diehard Clinton supporters in 2008, there is nothing to link Clinton, her campaign or her staff to the issue.

Trump is set to appear on national TV again on Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

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Miss Piggy and Kermit Call It Quits

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, or obsessing over the possibility of a President Trump, or the rollercoaster ride the stock market is taking us all on, I must inform you that Miss Piggy and Kermit have called it quits.

I know, I was just as upset. Sure they had their problems, but what passionate couple doesn’t? Sure he’s an Amphibian and she’s a mammal. Yes, he’s tailless, and she’s what the Jewish people might call, dirty, and non-kosher. But they were fun to watch, and they had that je ne sais quoi.

It seems that every other day a celebrity couple’s relationship goes into the crapper, or someone you know; a friend, or family member, is divorcing, but the Muppets? Why? Now where are my role models going to come from? Are my parents, whose 52 years and counting, (happy anniversary, by the way) are all that’s left?! Who’s next, Bert and Ernie?

I suppose we’re all the same, muppets and humans alike. The muppets are simply mirroring us mortals, and this could not have been truer when the entertainment rags reported that Kermit had already found a new pig — a pig with auburn hair.

Oh, Kermit, why so soon? Miss Piggy’s snout wasn’t even warm, and you’ve leap frogged onto another. Miss Piggy had barely left the barn, and Kermit had started dating Denise, a younger, 25, and thinner pig. Kermit is 60 years old, and Missy Piggy is only 41. I suppose 20 years just wasn’t young enough.

When Kermit sang, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” I fell in love with his vulnerability and sensitivity. I thought that he and Miss Piggy would be forever. What a hard lesson to learn.

I still have hope, however, because a life without it, isn’t a life worth living. Miss Piggy and Kermit have broken up before, so perhaps they’ll find each other again.

Lest anyone think that Miss Piggy is curled up in a fetal position on the kitchen floor of her sty, she’s not. She’s been spotted out with none other than hunky hunk, Liam Hemsworth. Croak on that, Kermit.

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Carol Burnett Is A Feminist Hero Whether She Knows It Or Not

Carol Burnett is a bonafide feminist hero. She rose up at the helm of her own variety show decades before the question of whether women are funny was somehow a thing. While her brand of humor never contained explicitly activist messages, the very fact of her presence during the women’s lib movement, of performing each night as the first female host of a comedy variety show, was a feminist act — whether she realizes it or not.

“You know, Carol, variety is a man’s game,” CBS told her at the time, trying to talk her out of creating what would become “The Carol Burnett Show.” She didn’t listen to them, of course; she just did what she wanted to do.

As Burnett tells it, her contract stipulating guest appearances on “The Garry Moore Show” contained a clause that allowed her to pursue a variety show within five years of her 10-year contract with the network. On the last day of that fifth year, she decided to push the button.

 ”They had forgotten about it,” she said, laughing at the implausibility of her rise to prominence on a technicality.

CBS initially asked Burnett to consider a sitcom instead, but she balked at the idea of doing the same thing each week. She wanted to play different characters. She wanted to have musical numbers. She was a Broadway baby, after all.

“The Carol Burnett Show” debuted in 1967 and ran for over 10 years. It was a ratings gem for the network, heralded as a good enough excuse to stay in on Saturday nights. Burnett made waves bringing in huge names for her musical acts and convincing them to participate in sketches, with the likes of Bing Crosby entangled in her physical comedy. She parodied entire movies, using the typically uneven genre of the variety show to deliver lengthy one-acts based on cultural staples. (See: That “Gone With The Wind” skit, in which Burnett emerges in the dress made of curtains, curtain rod and all.)

In 1978, Burnett ceased production on her own, having tired of the format in the shifting landscape of TV. “I’m sorry to see attention spans so short,” she said, when asked if the show could exist today. “You know, because we did longform. Sometimes, we had sketches that were 12 or 15 minutes. We took the time to build.”

Now, nearly 50 years after the premiere, Burnett is just as affable and giggly in interviews as during her famous question-and-answer sessions. On the phone with The Huffington Post, and in conversation with Ellie Kemper at the Paley Center, she talks about her impressive legacy with a sense of bemused incredulity. Her mode of looking back at “The Carol Burnett” show is perhaps best summed up by the shruggie emoji with a speech bubble reading, “I know, right?!” 

While speaking with Burnett about the release of her “Lost Episodes” DVD collection, she tap danced around the question of taking up space in a man’s world. I attended her event at the Paley Center, hoping she’d saved her discussion of women in comedy for Kemper.

The event was punctuated with clips from the show, most of which Burnett would chuckle at as though they had happened mere days before. She discussed her early years, of having first moved to Manhattan and working on “Once Upon A Mattress.” She remembered her time on “The Garry Moore Show” as the inspiration for her titular variety hour. She was as charming and wonderful as you would hope, but when Kemper asked about the current moment for women in comedy, Burnett giggled something like, “Oh, it’s all so great!” and waved her off.

Each question about the “current state of comedy” aimed at Burnett is a request for a mission statement, a call to action with hope that Burnett will urge the current generation to continue on the path she forged in Lucille Ball’s footsteps. But Burnett is elusive. She doesn’t overanalyze her impact or think about her career in such theoretical terms as “what she means” to the industry.

“My feeling is that if I had never been born, those women like Tina and Amy would still be doing what they’re doing today,” she said during our call.

Pushed to elaborate, Burnett shrugged again. “I never thought, ‘Oh gosh, I’m doing something only the guys could do or should do.’ I never felt that. Once we started the show I was the person who wanted to be funny and sing a song or two. I never analyzed it.”

At first glance, it might seem disappointing that Burnett doesn’t own — or maybe isn’t surprised by — her impact. But, on some level, her irreverent stance is even more defining than a fiercely defensive one might be. 

Whether the result of her whimsy or intention, there is power in refusing fearfulness, in combatting the obstacles by pretending they simply don’t exist.

When Burnett first started on the “The Garry Moore Show,” she leapt out a window during one scene and screamed with relief when she hit the mattress below. She had no experience with stunts and no idea it would be there.

“I was so naive!” she gasped. “I just thought, ‘Well, I’m just going to jump and land on the floor!’ I was never taught how to do it.”

Five decades ago, she broke down barriers with the same free-wheeling bravery she used to hurl herself off Moore’s set. In that skit and across her career, Burnett has never been totally sure that anything would be there to catch her when she fell. And it never totally mattered. She became a goddess of comedy by some mythical combination of transcending the sexist nonsense and not really worrying about it in the first place.

“You just have to go out there and do it,” she said, when asked what advice she’d give young comedians before hopping off the call. “I just went out there and did it. The more experience you get, the better you’re gonna be.”

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The 10 Stages of the Yom Kippur Fast, as Told by Amy Schumer

The Yom Kippur fast is a sneaky one. The Jewish people were smart and decided to ease us into it by celebrating Rosh Hashanah the week prior. It’s almost like they assumed the more food they could provide us with during that holiday, the less painful the lurking fast would be 10 days later.

Turns out it’s not really less painful, because, like the hangover you’re enduring in your 10 am lecture Friday morning after a Thursday night out, we all knew this was coming. How is it that just 10 days ago we were all blissfully enjoying endless amounts of challah, consuming more jars of honey than a drunk Winnie the Pooh and now we’re fasting for 25 hours?

Yes 25 hours — not 24, because the Jewish people weren’t satisfied with the limits of a “normal” day, and thus, the extra hour of “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” nonsense resulted in a 25 hour fast. Talk about going above and beyond.

If you’re looking for someone who feels your pain, I’m sure you have several friends enduring the same gnawing hunger inside of their abandoned abdomens. However, if you need a greater sense of communal misery beyond your usual circle during this hangry time, we turn to the only woman who can provide a voice of sanity and reason in crises like these: Amy Schumer.

Stage One: Extreme Confidence

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This is gonna be a freakin’ breeze. You’ve juice cleansed, cabbage dieted and gone an entire day eating only, like, one Chipotle burrito and four pretzels once, so you’re basically a pro. It’s hour one and with g-d’s blessing and your insane willpower, you are feeeeeeelin’ it.

Stage Two: Lying to Yourself

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GIF Courtesy of giphy.com

You’re totally fine. Like, seriously, totally fine. You’re not even hungry. Actually, you’re full. You definitely woke up this morning and had breakfast and not just gulps of air. You’re totally okay, you’re more than okay — you are absolutely great.

Stage Three: Irritability

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GIF Courtesy of giphy.com

You’ve been sitting in services listening to the rabbi drone on in a language you still haven’t mastered despite 13+ years of Hebrew school and being bar mitzvah’d. You thought perhaps ~prayer would save you~, but the food that should be satiating your craving is instead being replaced by the annoyance filling you up inside.

Stage Four: Exhaustion
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GIF Courtesy of giphy.com

You’ve stuck it out at synagogue for as long as humanly possible, and you’re finally headed home to LAY. You have no food, no energy and nothing keeping you alive at this point. You feel like a limp noodle. OMG noodles. The couch looks inviting. Ugh, but your bed is also your bed. Honestly, at this point, the floor will do just fine.

Stage Five: Hysteria
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GIF Courtesy of giphy.com

LOL THIS IS SO FUNNY IM SO HUNGRY AND LITERALLY CANNOT FEEL THE LIMBS OF MY BODY OR ANY PART OF MY FACE JUST LIKE THE WEEKEND SAID! LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT. YES, MY COFFEE TABLE IS DEFINITELY EDIBLE. MMMM THE TASTE OF MAHOGANY.

For the full list, click here.

Original post by Becca Soverinsky for Spoon University – Michigan.

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It Wasn’t Just A Hookup To Me, Miss Piggy

Monday morning.

People thinking about the mountain of work ahead of them.

Or the exact location of Kit Harington.

Or thigh-brows.

I can’t stop thinking about her. About Friday night.

I hooked up (twice) with Miss Piggy over the weekend. It’s the happiest I’ve been in years. And sure, she’s a pig. But she does people things, like acting in movies and getting jealous. She’s obviously not a pig like the pigs we eat. I mean, last I checked, people wear dresses and karate-chop their enemies. So, no, I don’t feel bad for taking a pig out for adult drinks.

The only thing that makes me feel bad is that Miss Piggy thinks it was a harmless hook-up. And that she’s still hung up on her frog ex-boyfriend, Kermit. I have to deal with that. I’m not mad. Just disappointed.

Everybody knows that Miss Piggy just got out of a very long relationship. And everybody knows that her ex is already seeing somebody new. So of course her emotions are raw, and she’s entitled to go out and hook up with dudes.

I’ve just never been a rebound. I’m usually the boyfriend. Or whatever it’s called when you get nothing and you just go home to watch “Seinfeld.”

Miss Piggy and I had been texting a lot toward the end of her breakup. I’m not proud of secretly flirting with a pig-woman with a boyfriend, but I never met Kermit so I didn’t care about his feelings. If I’m being totally honest, I think Kermit’s a coward and a loser and I was happy to take his girl. He’s obviously not good enough for Miss Piggy and he has no problem parading his younger pig around even though he knows it hurts Miss Piggy. Asshole tries to pretend like that’s an OK thing to do and he’s just this neurotic sweetheart. He’s not. And if I had it my way, Kermit would get eaten by a snake.

Anyway, Miss Piggy was feeling vulnerable about Kermit moving on so fast. So we met up at Night of Joy in Brooklyn. Great cocktails. Never gets crowded. Groovy tunes.

We had many tequilas and eventually started talking about whether this new pig, Denise, was hotter than Miss Piggy. I assured her that Denise is hot garbage. I told Miss Piggy, “You’re a catch! Any guy would be down to clown any time you wanted!” I told her that I totally would. I told her I think about it all the time. In the shower. On dates with other people. Most of the time, really. I told Miss Piggy that when I need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, I think about what it would be like to have sex with her on a hammock on Muppet Treasure Island.

That’s when I knew I had probably weirded her out.

Maybe it was the sexy lighting. Maybe the Cuervo. But instead of storming out, she put her hoof on my hand and gently rolled it around. It’s hard for pigs to hold things like people. Then she nudged her hoof underneath my hand. I looked up and we locked eyes.

John Trowbridge: “You’re amazing.”

Miss Piggy: “Who? Moi?”

Friendship be DAMNED! We Uber’d it back to my place. Out of respect for Miss Piggy, I wont go into too much detail about what happened next. But I will say this: I’m never having sex with a human woman again.

The next morning, I woke up to her staring in my eyes. Then we had sex again (for way longer).

Then I got up to shower, discovering she had left my place when I returned from the bathroom.

We haven’t spoken since.

Realistically, it wasn’t going to work for many reasons. She’s a cultural icon, and I’m just a comedy writer for The Huffington Post. Another big reason is that Miss Piggy is actually a pig-puppet controlled by a human person that I’ve never exchanged words with. Not a talking pig. I think I should’ve said that earlier. That’s a huge element to this story that deserves a lot more attention. It’s the main reason, actually. And it makes a lot more sense than me falling for a talking pig. A lot of expensive equipment was stolen from my apartment and I know that Miss Piggy couldn’t lift it by herself. I assume it was the person who was controlling the Miss Piggy puppet. I guess I let all this happen because I wanted to believe that Miss Piggy was a real person who had feelings for me. I’m so embarrassed that I bought $ 55 dollars worth of drinks for a random person with their hand inside an expensive sock.

Well, I guess that’s just what I get for falling in love. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s this: You love what you love — not what loves you back.

If you’ve ever been made a rebound, please leave your experience in the comments. As always, I promise to respond to each and every one of them. You’re not alone.

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10 Moments For Women At The 2015 Emmys That Had Us Cheering

Despite the fact that professional awards show hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey should host every award ceremony forever, the 2015 Emmys managed to deliver some greatness. Badass women took home awards (oh hey there, Viola Davis, Jill Soloway, Amy Schumer, Uzo Aduba and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, to name a few), and those women used their platform to draw attention to people whose voices are often not heard.

Here are 10 of our favorite lady love moments:

1. Andy Samberg called out Hollywood sexism within the first 10 minutes of the show. ”The wage gap between men and women hired in Hollywood is still an issue,” Samberg said in his opening monologue. “Wait, sorry, I misread that. The age gap between men and women hired in Hollywood is still an issue. Wait, I’m sorry I misread again. It’s both, still both.”

2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus celebrated “funny, powerful women.” “I love funny women. I love funny, powerful women,” the “Veep” actress said when accepting her Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy. All we have to say is Hell. Yes. 

3. We were all reminded that funny women are just — gasp! — funny people. “Amy Schumer is really, really funny. You know, for a person,” said Andy Samberg. 

4. Jill Soloway used the Emmys stage to bring attention to the discrimination trans people face on a daily basis. “We don’t have a trans tipping point yet. We have a trans civil rights problem,” she said. 

5. Taraji P. Henson and Regina King shared a moment of sisterly love. After thanking her mother for teaching her the “power and blessing of being a woman,” King got a “Yaaassssss!” and a huge hug from the “Empire” actress following  her Supporting Actress win. 


6. Amy P. and Amy S. teamed up to take over the world — and call out the bullshit female comedians face. #AmyAmy2016 “What an exciting two to four hours for women in comedy,” Poehler said. “Let’s not forget what tonight is about: celebrating hilarious women and letting the Internet weigh in on who looks the worst,” Schumer chimed in. Too real.

 7. Amy Poehler was a badass, even if she didn’t win the Best Actress In A Comedy Series award. She did not give a f**k. And we loved it. 

8. Richard Jenkins accepted his award for his role in “Olive Kitteridge” by thanking the “incredible women” who made it happen. “There were about a hundred thousand of them,” Jenkins added, before naming just a few, some of whom – Jane Anderson, Lisa Cholodenko, and Frances McDormand — also won awards for their work on the show. 

9. Amy Schumer beat out a billion dudes for Best Variety Sketch series. “This show fights for what we believe in,” Schumer said. 

10. Viola Davis’s acceptance speech for Best Lead Actress In A Drama Series was moving — and important. She reminded us why awards shows can be great sometimes. “The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for a role that isn’t there.” Amen. Give all the things to Viola.  

 

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Something in Common

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Fun With Gramps

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How Scotch, Weed and ‘The Big Electron’ Conspired to Make George Carlin My Dad

Excerpted from ‘A Carlin Home Companion.’

***

Carlin legend holds that all it took for me to come into the world was a little sperm, a little egg, a little weed, a little scotch, and something called the limbo.

“We’d been trying to get pregnant for months, but no luck,” explained my mom to me, seven-year-old Kelly, as I sat on the bed watching my dad pack for the road.

Just moments earlier he’d said to me, “When I’m down in New Orleans, I’ll get a postcard from the hotel you were conceived in and send it to you.”

Confused by the word “conceived,” I looked at my mom, and she quickly filled in the details. “We were down in New Orleans, must’ve been what, October of ’62? We were at a club hanging out with some musicians we’d met, when someone announced a limbo contest. Well, it sounded like fun, and so I did it. Next thing I knew, I was pregnant.”

Mom didn’t mention the weed or scotch in her telling of my fateful beginning because she didn’t need to. They were a given. Dad had been smoking weed and drinking beer since he was fourteen, and Mom started sneaking sips off her daddy’s drinks at around the same age. And as far as the limbo goes, I’m still not clear about the mechanics of it all, but that’s never mattered. It clearly worked. I am here.

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For the two years leading up to the night of the limbo, my mom, Brenda, and my dad, George, had been constant companions, starving artists, and comrades-in-arms, chasing my dad’s comedy dreams. They did hell gigs, packed and unpacked their suitcases hundreds of times, and traveled to almost every state in the country in their ’57 Dodge Dart. My mom loved playing the role of on-the-road partner in crime to my dad’s rebel artist on a mission. She was Dad’s lover, party girl, and press agent all rolled into one — his full partner in life — and always his best audience. You could always hear her great laugh above the din of clinking glasses and mumbling patrons in every club they visited.

Because Dad was a complete unknown, on some nights she was the only person in the audience.

One night in Baltimore, no one was in the audience, not even Mom. Dad asked the club owner, “So exactly why am I going on?” “Cuz if people come in, I want them to know we gots some entertainment,” he was told.

I hear Dad killed that night.

During those lean years, Dad paid his dues but also got lucky. One night Lenny Bruce caught his act in Chicago, loved what he saw, and introduced him to his manager, Murray Becker. This was huge. My dad worshipped Lenny.

Taking every opportunity to soak up Lenny’s presence, my mom and dad would often drive from New York to the Gate of Horn Club in Chicago, just to see him perform. One night while they were there, Lenny got arrested halfway through his set. This had become the norm. That night the cops did not like his use of the word “cock-sucker.” Looking to hassle the club, the cops began to ask everyone for their IDs. When they got to my dad, he defiantly told them, “I don’t believe in ‘identification,'” and the cops promptly threw him into the back of the paddy wagon with Lenny. When my dad proudly told Lenny what he’d done, Lenny looked at him and said, “What are you, a schmuck?”

My mom chased after their paddy wagon — on foot — all the way to the police station and bailed them both out of jail that night.

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Growing up surrounded by stories like these, and living through many others myself, I’ve always felt as if my family’s journey has un-folded like some kind of mythological legend. Our lives together have felt shaped by a force, threads of fate, or maybe even what my dad called the “Big Electron.” Something was calling us forth, and interweaving exactly the right people, places, and things to form one amazing life together.

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It’s just always seemed so destined.

My dad should never, ever have come to be.

In 1936, a year before he was born, his parents, Mary and Patrick Carlin, had separated. Not for the first time, but for the fourth. Patrick, as my dad would say, “couldn’t metabolize the ethyl alcohol,” which meant he was a mean drunk. No longer able to take the verbal and physical abuse he doled out to her or their four-year-old son, also named Patrick (who the fuck hits a child across the face with a slipper?), Mary left him for what she wanted to believe was the last time.

But Mary could never stay away for too long. When Patrick wasn’t drinking and raging, he was witty, handsome, and one of the top national salesmen of ad space for the biggest newspapers in the country. He had the Irish gift of gab and had even won a national Dale Carnegie speech contest. He was funny, smart, and charming — and irresistible. So irresistible that once again in the summer of 1936 Mary found herself in bed with him, at a motel in Rockaway Beach.

Six weeks later, at the age of forty, Mary realized she was pregnant.

She knew she didn’t want to bring another child into this already complicated situation, so she decided the best thing to do was to get rid of it.

But that “Big Electron” had different plans. While Mary sat in the waiting room of “Dr. Sunshine,” the Gramercy Park gynecologist who took care of such things for most ladies of import in New York City, she looked up at a picture of the Virgin Mary hanging on the wall and saw her own dead mother’s face. A good Catholic, she knew a sign when she saw one. She promptly stood up and declared to Patrick, “I am keeping this child.”

On May 12, 1937, George Denis Patrick Carlin was born. Eight weeks later, after months of trying to make the marriage work, Mary sneaked out the fire escape in the middle of the night with her two young boys, leaving Patrick Carlin and his rage for good. She’d seen the damage that her husband had already done to little Patrick, and she was not going to let sweet George be another victim.

This time it stuck. Even though Patrick tried to woo her back, she held strong. George never saw his dad again. In 1945 his father died of a massive heart attack at the age of fifty-seven. My dad was eight years old.

Without a man around to keep my dad out of trouble on the streets of the Upper West Side of Manhattan (or what he and his friends liked to call Irish Harlem), Mary took her job as both mother and father very seriously. She looked for ways to shape and control young George’s mind and life. She succeeded in only one area — a love of language and words.

Mary encouraged my dad to look up words he didn’t know in the dictionary, and then use them in conversation. One morning young George, wanting to show off a new word he had learned, excitedly asked his mother if she had “perused” the paper that morning. He anticipated her approval. Slowly she turned, sharpened her gaze onto him, and said, “I have not. Actually, I’ve only given it a cursory glance.” George, chagrined, turned around and marched right back to the dictionary to learn the new word, “cursory.”

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Ariana Grande Breaks Out Christina Aguilera & Britney Spears Impressions

We can’t feel our faces when Ariana Grande does impressions, but we love it.

The singer gave us a hint of her impression skills on the “Tonight Show” before, but on Tuesday she didn’t hold anything back. During “Wheel of Musical Impressions,” Grande broke out a little Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and even Celine Dion.

Ever since Grande’s celebrity impressions hit YouTube, we’ve been waiting for her to showcase them again, and now all our lives have one less, one less problem.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Hello, You Must Be Going…?

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Yes, They Do.

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Ennui for Two

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Donald Trump Finally Explains Why He Doesn’t Apologize

If any of the presidential candidates have something apologize for, eh … it’s probably Donald Trump. But don’t expect to hear a “sorry” anytime soon.

“I fully think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong,” Trump told Jimmy Fallon on his show Friday.

“This is unbelievable,” laughed Fallon. And it is. 

During his brief time campaigning, Trump has managed to mock fellow candidates about their looks, publicly attack Fox’s Megyn Kelly over “unfair” questions during a debate and incense millions with his polarizing views on immigration.  

Yeah, that’s pretty unbelievable. In Trump’s defense, however, he did say if he was ever wrong, he would apologize “sometime in the hopefully distant future.”

So, yeah, we’ll probably all be dead by then, but at least that’s something.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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The Pragmatic Thinker

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Whoa, Elsa Might Actually Be The Villain In ‘Frozen’

Remember how the people of Arendelle freaked out when they found out Elsa had ice powers in “Frozen“? And you’re all like, “Chill, people. She’s cool.”

Well, what if they actually had a point?

The latest video from YouTubers BloodBlitz Comedy imagines what it’d be like if Elsa actually was the monster everyone thought she was. And the girl is scary.

There’s definitely a lot more bloodshed in the vid than we remember in the movie, but the YouTubers also made a video turning Harry Potter into a villain, so at least Elsa has some good bad company.

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Joe Biden Speaks Candidly About Grief, Loss And Faith In Revealing Stephen Colbert Interview

In an emotional interview, Vice President Joe Biden spoke candidly on Thursday about the recent death of his son Beau, extensively discussing his grief and how it has made it difficult for him to commit to a potential presidential bid in 2016 despite growing calls for him to run.

“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president; and two, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion,'” he told comedian Stephen Colbert in an interview that will air Thursday night on CBS’ “The Late Show.” 

“I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest,” Biden continued. “Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.”

Biden has repeatedly indicated that his family is the primary factor in his decision whether or not to run and has said that he is unsure if he possesses the “emotional energy” to run.

He spoke at length about his grief on Thursday, recounting memories of Beau and frequently appearing close to tears.

“I was a hell of a success. My son was better than me. He was better than me in every way,” he said of Beau, who died in May after battling brain cancer.

The vice president also spoke about how his Catholic faith has helped him cope with Beau’s death, saying that religion gives him “enormous sense of solace.”

“I go to mass and I’m able to be just alone, even in a crowd,” he said. “It’s just a place you can go.” 

He revealed that he feels “self-conscious” about the outpouring of support he received, noting that “so many people who have losses as severe or maybe worse than mine and don’t have the support I have.”

“No one owes you anything,” he said. “You gotta get up. And I feel like I was letting down Beau, letting down my parents, letting down my family if I didn’t just get up. I marvel at the ability of people who absorb hurt and just get back up.”

 

Colbert eventually asked Biden about the mounting rumors that he may pursue a presidential bid.

“I want to talk about the elephant in the room, which in this case is a donkey. Do you have anything to tell us about your plans?” he asked.

“I think you should run for president again, and I’ll be your vice president,” Biden quipped, referencing the time Colbert briefly was a presidential candidate in 2008.

Biden also joked about his tendency to speak out of turn as vice president when his microphone suddenly shut off at the beginning of the interview.

“By the way, they do this to me at the White House all the time — shut my mic off,” Biden said.

But most of the interview covered serious matters. Colbert, who himself has experienced immense loss, losing his father and two brothers in plane crash when he was just 10 years old, seemed to support a Biden candidacy, arguing that Biden’s experiences would give him a unique perspective.

“It’s going to be emotional for a lot of people if you don’t run,” he told Biden. “Your example of suffering and service is something that would be sorely missed in the race.”

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Who Said it? Donald Trump or NBA Superstar Lebron James? The Answers Will Not Surprise You.

Presidential candidate and former Comedy Central Roastee Donald Trump has made multiple headlines this year for his repetitive racist and fascist-like remarks. His cartoonish rich-guy cliches have lent themselves to multiple satire articles. Some of them are better than others. What we’re getting at is that it’s harder than we had initially anticipated. Anyways, this is “Who Said It: Donald Trump or Lebron James?” You’ll probably get all of these right. They’re not that hard. Whatever. Here. Content.

“I will build the best wall, the biggest, the strongest, not penetrable, they won’t be crawling over it, like giving it a little jump and they’re over the wall, it will cost us trillions.”

Answer: Donald Trump

Pretty obvious right? Like it would be really weird for Lebron James to take such a radical stance on immigration during his run to 11 NBA All-Star selections. I guess it could feasibly happen, but it would be sort of out of character for him to actively try to appeal to the racist fears of Middle America out of nowhere.

“You know, God gave me a gift to do other things besides play the game of basketball.”

Answer: Lebron James.

Okay I guess technically Donald Trump could have said this. But realistically, the only time when this quote would make sense coming from him is if someone asked him “Donald, why aren’t you a professional basketball player?” Pretty specific question to ask him, given his reasons of notoriety, you know?

“Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

Answer: Donald Trump

Again, this shouldn’t really blow your mind. Lebron James himself is black, so it would be pretty nuts for him to say he’s super against black guys counting his money. I can’t say that I know he’s not an anti-semite, but I feel like he wouldn’t generalize all jewish people like that. It’d be pretty fucked up if he did. I mean he’s better than that, you know? You should be 3 for 3 right now.

“The Oscars were a great night for Mexico, and why not – they are ripping off the US more than almost any other nation.”

Answer: Lebron James. No just kidding it’s Trump again.

Can you imagine if Lebron James was the same guy, but just really hated Mexicans the same way Trump does? Like, a dominant point forward and NBA champion, but just REALLY fucking cannot stand Mexicans. That’d be so weird. Anyways, yeah, you should have gotten this one right too. Sorry. I wish this quiz could be harder. We just didn’t plan it out very well.

“I love Kobe. I love his competitive nature. I love competing against him. I talked to him before the season just to say it’s great to have him back”

Answer: Lebron James

Are we even fucking trying at this point? Yeah, obviously that’s a Lebron James quote. Okay well, we warned you. Article is over. Whatever. We tried.

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Here’s What Happens To A Go-Go Boy When He Has To Grow Up

What happens when a go-go boy ages out of his profession?

Actor and writer Jimmy Fowlie explores this idea through his hilarious project “Go-Go Boy Interrupted,” a web series born from his sketch comedy show of the same name.

The first season left us dying for more and now Fowlie and his team are engaged in a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second season.

“When I first moved to L.A., I worked as a go-go dancer and there were so many hilarious stories that I always wanted to write about them,” Fowlie notes on his Kickstarter campaign. “A year ago, I filmed seven sketches that followed the story of a go-go boy who turned 30 and then got fired from the club he worked at. I called it ‘Go-Go Boy Interrupted.’ It was part of a live show I was doing at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. Some friends encouraged me to put it online, and so I released it as a weekly web series last October.”

Check out the video for the “Go-Go Boy Interrupted” Kickstarter above or head here to visit the campaign itself.

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Imagine

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The Heirloom

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‘Family Feud’ Was Out Of Control In Steve Harvey’s ‘Tonight Show’ Return

Steve Harvey has encountered some wild contestants on “Family Feud” before, but on Friday’s “Tonight Show,” the craziness values were tripled. 

Harvey returned to the show to play another round of “Feud” with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, and things got out of hand fast. From the start it was clear that none of the contestants had any idea what they were doing. Fallon was answering like he was on “Jeopardy,” no one knew when to huddle up and The Roots even cheated.

This just proves that when it comes to amazing “Tonight Show” segments, Steve Harvey hosting “Family Feud” is always the No. 1 answer.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. EST on NBC.

 

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Think You Know Weird News? Take The Fark Weird News Quiz

Think you know weird news?

Maybe so, but you can’t prove it until you take the Fark Weird News Quiz.

We’re waiting.

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Don’t Be a Pill

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From a Times editorial, “‘Little Pink Pill’ for Women Comes With Risks,” (NYT, 8/21/15), “The most serious side effects include severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness.” Apparently the prospects of female Viagra, the drug flibanserin that is sold as Addyi, are so great that Valeant bought a small company named Sprout, which had invested 100M in the pill for a cool 1B. A 1000 per cent return on investment, not bad, huh? In the accompanying photo to another story in the Times (“Maker of Addyi,’Female Viagra’ Drug, Being Sold to Valeant for 1 Billion,” NYT, 8/20/15) , Cindy Whitehead, one of the comely owners of Sprout, had that look of self-satisfaction that we usually associate with post-coital human beings, even though the reason for her happiness would, unless she’s a satisfied customer as well as producer of the drug, seem to be mostly the result of the sale. Is a drug which causes loss of consciousness merely a placebo? Or is the negative side effect the Times talks about the beginning of a kind of out of body experience that may hold great promise for both men and women? The original “male” Viagra was discovered by accident when angina patients treated with it developed erections. Viagra doesn’t produce desire; it just helps men to keep their erections once they have desire. But loss of consciousness seems like small price to pay for the increased “consciousness” that comes from a heightened sexual appetite. The only real problem is two fold: those patients who take Addyi and lose consciousness are in danger of falling and hurting themselves and those who lose consciousness say in bed while they are having sex with their inamoratas are not likely to remember the act or even be cognizant of what has happened to them. Thus the new female Viagra sounds a little like slipping a Mickey into a drink.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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Escaped Wiener Dog WILL NOT BE STOPPED!

It’s not whether you wiener lose. It’s how you play the game. And if you’ve got dogged determination, you’re a wiener no matter what.  

Just check out this wiener dog race held by the El Paso Chihuahuas on Saturday night. Most of the Dachshunds ran for the finish line. But one determined little doggy made a break for it — eluding would-be captors, including some of the players, as he took a tour of the ballpark. 

 

The Chihuahuas are a AAA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. 

(h/t Jezebel)

 

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I’m With Stupid: How Do You Fire a Pistol With Your Feet?

As you’ll no doubt agree if you’re a regular reader of this column, I’ve been rather wrapped up in myself the past couple of weeks. I’ve been yammering away so much about my play — which has two more showings, by the way — that I’ve totally neglected my important role as arbiter of what is and what is not stupid in today’s society.

So self-engrossed was I, in fact, that I completely missed a story so dumb it couldn’t not be a column. Here’s the 2-week-old headline from the Trenton, New Jersey, Trentonian, just so you know what we’re dealing with: “Weapon charge dismissed for man with no muscle control in arms.”

I know on the surface that seems innocuous enough, but perhaps we could let the man’s attorney sum it up in a more straightforward way. As she said, “Really? It took this long to dismiss a case against a guy who can’t use his arms? It’s beyond belief. It’s the tip of the iceberg, but shows you what’s wrong with this system.”

Here’s what happened: A year ago, a man from Salem, New Jersey, who couldn’t move his arms due to a spinal injury was riding in a car with three other men. The car was pulled over for a moving violation, and in the back seat police discovered a bottle of prescription codeine and a 9 mm handgun that had been stolen in Anchorage, Alaska, of all places.

No one would admit to ownership of the pistol or the codeine, so the police charged all four of the men, including the guy who couldn’t move his arms, with possession of an illegal gun. I’m going to assume the cops thought the guy planned to fire the gun with his toes, because I’m not sure how else he could have manipulated a firearm.

All of the other men in the car told police that the gun didn’t belong to the man with no arm control — a fact that I would think would seem obvious — but the cops weren’t buying it, and the guy ended up spending four months in jail before common sense and public outcry prevailed. The charges were eventually dropped due to “insufficient evidence,” and the man was set free.

I found the man’s attorney’s comments about the whole affair interesting, but I think I disagree with some of her points. For example, whereas she says, “It’s beyond belief,” I would argue that it is entirely within the realm of belief. In America today, we are governed and policed in such a cockamamie fashion that the only surprising part of the no-arm-control man’s story is that he isn’t going to spend the rest of his life in jail.

But you still have to wonder what the point was of arresting the guy, putting him through a costly legal process and then paying to keep him in prison for four months when he was clearly not guilty of the crime. What did that accomplish?

The easy answer is to say that it was just a stupid procedural hiccup and a waste of time and taxpayer money, but I think there could be a more nefarious reason behind the actions of the police and courts. This is purely speculation, mind you, but I think the state of New Jersey might have actually done it to save taxpayer money.

My theory, which is unsupported by any evidence or research, is based off another ridiculous story I just read, although the issue has apparently been around for years.

Did you guys know that many states have contracts with private prison operators that allow the prison operators to sue the states if the prisons don’t stay filled? So even if crime goes down, as it has in New Jersey, the state is still responsible for incarcerating enough people to fill privately-run prisons, otherwise it can be sued for millions of taxpayer dollars.

Is that the worst idea you’ve ever heard of or what? How on Earth could any state sign a contract like that? Just so you know, I have no idea if New Jersey has signed such a contract, but it would help explain why the guy who couldn’t use his arms spent four months in the hoosegow on a weapons charge.

The no-arm-control man’s story is certainly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bureaucratic stupidity, but I have to disagree with the attorney’s final point: It doesn’t begin to show all the things that are wrong with the system.

Todd Hartley’s prehensile toes are further proof of how little he has evolved from our simian forebears. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.

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The 8 Stages Of Watching ‘Batman & Robin’ On Netflix

For whatever masochistic reason, the film “Batman & Robin” is trending on Netflix, and has been for a few weeks or so. Helmed and steered clear off a cliff by Joel Schumacher, “Batman & Robin” stars George Clooney as the caped crusader with nipples on his batsuit.

One of the plot points is that Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred is dying, and you see him in various scenes privately wincing from some unknown pain. Well, it’s clear now that just being in this movie was probably physically paining the actor who played Alfred, Michael Gough.

It’s an awful movie. And I fell for watching it.

It began like any other Saturday: no pants, a vague sense that I had embarrassed myself the night before, and the urge to drown my brain in some mindless Netflix viewing.

Thus began the eight stages of watching “Batman & Robin” on Netflix.

 


STAGE 1 – Optimistic Amnesia

Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I remember! I mean, it was goofy, I remember that much, but maybe it’s goofy in a “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” kind of way.

 


STAGE 2 - Regret

I’ve made a huge mistake.

 


STAGE 3 – Confusion

Who green-lit this? OMG, they just go-go-gadgeted ice skates from their boots. And now they’re fighting hockey team henchmen. Did Robin just pull out a laser gun? This feels wrong …

 


STAGE 4 – Uncomfortable Laughter

The only entertaining thing is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ice puns, because by comparison to the rest of the so-bad-it’s-funny film, those are high quality hilarity.

 


STAGE 5 – Pun Delirium

You no longer have a reasonable grasp on reality and your brain is quickly liquifying. 

 


STAGE 6 – Full-On Joker Dementia 

You’re a zombie. A jolly, smiling zombie.

 


 STAGE  7 – Discombobulation

The standard notions of direction and position have lost all meaning. You are lost in a multi-dimensional spacial hellscape for which there is no escape.

 


STAGE 8 - Death

There’s no chance of resuscitation at this point. Like telling your friends you’ll stop out for “just one beer.” Once you’ve begun, it’s already too late.

 

 

Anyway, hello from heaven! It’s pretty nice up here! It’s all the Arnie puns you can handle, you get to watch Joel Schumacher try to direct his way out of a paper bag for all eternity, and the batsuits don’t have nipples! 

PARADISE.

 

Huge thanks to fellow lover of puns Kate Bratskier for taking a flurry of photos for me and being so … cool.  She snows what’s up. (Also, apologies to Kate Bratskier for the previous sentence.)

 

 

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Couple Spoofs ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Star Wars’ And More In Nerdtastic Pregnancy Announcement

This couple’s pregnancy announcement is totally nerdtastic.

Excited announcers: PJ Tamayo and Allison Jones

Due date: January 2016

Announcement method of choice: The parents-to-be created an epic fake movie trailer, with nods to their favorite fantasy/adventure series like “Harry Potter”, “Doctor Who” and “Star Wars”

Ready or not?: PJ and Allison are already anticipating how their lives will change when they have a baby. They give parenthood a spot-on description: “the most epic adventure of all time.”

Added bonus: The baby already has some special big sibs — dogs Riley Kate and Ronan Dex.

 

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The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week

The ladies of Twitter never fail to brighten our days with their brilliant — but succinct — wisdom. Each week, HuffPost Women rounds up hilarious 140-character musings. For this week’s great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections. 

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Say No To Diplomacy!

Felonius Ax of the Billionaires for Endless War here to offer you an alternative view of this Nuclear Treaty with Iran that so many progressives are supporting:

Yes, it will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for the next 15 years, and yes, by ending the boycott of Iran’s economy, there’s a very real possibility that increased trade with Iran by the family of nations will create inroads for democratization of that country.

But no one is talking about the people who will be most hurt by this display of unfettered diplomacy: The weapons manufacturers! The arms merchants! I am here to speak for those of us whose portfolios contain a lot of shares in companies that build instruments of war.

War with Iran represents a great opportunity for us. For one thing, Iran is a much more powerful country than Iraq was when we invaded them in 2003 after bombing them continuously for the previous 10 years. Which means that any war we wage against Iran stands to become an even greater quagmire than what is currently transpiring in Iraq and Afghanistan! A longer war means more weapons needed and more of Americans’ tax dollars funneled into our coffers for many years to come!

If you own an ice cream shop, a heat wave is very good for business. Well for us, War is a heat wave, and tanks and bombers and missiles are sundaes, banana splits and egg creams!

Iran is a nation with a large population of young people who aren’t that enthusiastic about Mullahs that rule them. If this Nuclear treaty with Iran is allowed to go forward, there’s a good chance that over the course of 15 years, the government of Iran could start to change. They could become a democracy that won’t want to go to war willy-nilly. But if we reject this treaty and start dropping bunker-busting bombs on them, you’ll see all Iranians unite against the army reining down death from the sky upon them. They’ll fight more resolutely, which means that our upcoming war with them will drag on indefinitely.

I understand the reluctance to send young American men and women to die in an endless conflict with an intractable foe, but realize that they’ll be sacrificing their lives for the most important value that we have in America – the idea that Corporations should be able to profit from our military misadventures. They’ll be dying for Capitalism! What could be more honorable?

And without the Nuclear Treaty, and its regimen of inspections and the threat of resumed sanctions, Iran will surely develop nuclear weapons in the next few years, which means that America will need to upgrade our own nuclear stockpile, and we just happen to be the industry that will churn out all the warheads needed to make that happen!

Please don’t ruin this great opportunity for those of us in the Merchant of Death community! If diplomacy is allowed to work, our government might want to try it somewhere else and another war won’t be allowed to occur. Please don’t let diplomacy squelch our dreams of another great big long-lasting war in the Middle East!

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Trump These Thoughts

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I am the best. This is true because I said so. Even the sentences I write are the best except perhaps for the last one, which a teacher told me ended in a preposition, yet if I construct a sentence then whatever words I use are the best, because I said so and I went to Wharton which only accepts the best smart people.

Teachers are losers anyway. Imagine making less than one hundred thousand dollars a year and all you do is help kids learn? My grandchildren have car seats worth more than 100K. (I didn’t spell out the entire word again because so little money doesn’t deserve that many letters, not to mention the strain on my keyboard and typist, both of which happen to be the best.)

I don’t want stupid people like Charles Krauthammer working for me. I only recruit the best and biggest stars to work for me, like Gary Busey and Gene Simmons, instead of boring dopes like George Will.

I have a history of top people who have been winners on my shows. Remember Omarosa? Of course you do. She’s one of my best apprentices. I don’t hire stupid people that graduate from law schools, like Megyn Kelly. Dummies like that have opinions and think for themselves and that’s a dangerous problem when you’re a despot and only want to hear the sound of your own voice.

I will save money when I’m President. Why do we need two Dakotas? It’s stupid. I will combine North and South Dakota into one great state. It will be the best state without any stupid people like Jorge Ramos who has written a lot of books but they’re probably about drug dealers because some of the titles are Spanish.

I don’t like drug dealers and other bad people. I will get rid of them. Even the good ones if they are stupid. I will fix the economy too. I will build a counter featuring my top brand Trump items (did I mention they’re the best) in the White House and sell Trump ties, whisky flasks, cuff links and other really great items. Good foreigners, visiting dignitaries and people from Dakota who want to be and own the best will purchase them in such huge numbers that the sales tax alone will balance the national budget.

When I’m president if we go to war it won’t be a good war, it will be the best war, because Putin is stupid…

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We’ve Replaced Your Wife With Folgers Crystals

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Everything indicated that the American divorce rate would drop after the invention of Folgers Crystals. Research indicates, however, that in the early 1960s, when these commercials were introduced, divorce was at its lowest rate of the decade. Over the next ten years, the divorce rate doubled.

Maybe the right coffee would have cooled down Donald Trump.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
~Albert Einstein

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This Devastating Proposal Fail Has A Very Happy Ending

Matthew Picca was about to propose to girlfriend Kayla Harrity on dock in Southport, North Carolina on Saturday evening when the unthinkable happened: he dropped the ring into the ocean.

The couple of six years was vacationing with Kayla’s family when he popped the question at a waterfront bar called Old America Fish Co. 

“I turned around and he was getting down on one knee,” Kayla told WECT News. “As he opened the ring box, the ring fell out of the box and fell through the cracks on the deck and into the water. I didn’t even get to see it before it dropped.” 

“I was in total shock,” she told The Huffington Post. “I knew he had a great plan for the proposal and when the ring fell I was devastated. I knew we had to find the ring.”

Right away, family and a group of onlookers banded together to recover the ring. Some jumped in the water in their clothes, other locals helped by bringing flashlights and goggles. 

An hour and a half later, a man named Kyle Blusher found the ring. 

“We were ecstatic,” Kayla told HuffPost. “We couldn’t have been happier!”

Everyone began cheering, and Matthew got down on bended knee for the second time that day — this time with the ring firmly in hand. 

“It was the best feeling in the world,” she told WECT. “My fiancé, soaking wet, smelling like salty, fishing water, proceeded to get down on one knee and put the beautiful ring on my finger!” 

 

 

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Not Listen to Social Media Gurus

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TWITTER IS THE MANSON FAMILY I NEVER HAD

The social media Guru who said “Twitter should be used in moderation” could also probably stop at eating one Cheeto, or even open their eyes while sneezing. It’s a mindless addiction that screams “try and stop me!”.

Now, assuming you’re like most of us on Twitter, you live in a bunker, and manifest symptoms of mild autism and megalomania. You also have an abiding need to get something pointless and stupid off your chest.

So seriously, how do you start? Which key launches the nukes? It seems an endless salad bar without the spit guard. Somewhere you can come back for seconds, gloriously naked under that trench coat, and of course, wearing wet shoes.

THE GENE POOL COULD USE A DEEP END

Not to harsh your Twitter mellow, but what do you naturally aspire to? Ghost of soapy Tyler Durdan? Bikini Model spokesperson? Do you happily lick donuts? Well all you have to do is just close your eyes and click your heels, and take a shot of ether and get in touch with your weird side. It’s all waiting for you on the Internet’s wild wacked west.

You can be your own fantasy. The only thing limiting you are your limitations, and even that can snowball uphill on this thing.

HOW TO START

So for kicks, the first thing you do is follow some profoundly respected celebrity account, because by gosh, you’re both on Twitter and now practically related in an inbred way. You even feel kind of chummy, so you say ‘Hi’ to a Hilary or Katy or Kanye or Fitty, then wait for a response, and wait, all the while slipping deeper and deeper into Nyquil-tini haze.

The good news is you’re not alone — We all got our taste for Nyqil-tinis much the same way.

(At this point, most Twitter virgins experience Twitter fatigue, and must pop Twitter viagra. Just kidding, there is no Twitter viagra. Meth. We use meth).

THE SECRET TO LIFE IS KEEPING THE HOT FUDGE HOT

So now that you’ve been rebuffed, repulsed and repelled, any rational human, medicated or otherwise, would go for the pro-tip. Time to check in with the social media gurus. Y’know, the Swami guys with folded legs, sitting on mountain tops just typing on their laptops — right? Well, social media gurus are the Internet’s bottom feeders: they’ll just bite you on the butt, and feed on your bottom.

It’s the blind leading the blind into an open manhole. Bungee jumping into a burmese tiger trap. The Third base coach waving the runner into a snowblower.

I freely admit an unabashed lusting to become one of them. They’re like the High Priests of some primitive idolatrous cult. Hanging out on the deck of a Temple, just shooting the breeze after a hard day’s flinging sacrificial virgins into the volcano, and fertility rites. You just know you want into that action.

But let’s face it, Twitter is the dog run of social media. Land mines everywhere. You’re bound to step into a simmering pile of tweeting faux pas. Thankfully, with its attention span of a Jello shot, and collective memory loss, it’s always just like shaking the etch-a-sketch clean.

So it begs the question: Do you really need the social media guru sagacity and wisdom?

Here are some of my favorite rules not to follow very closely:

1. NEVER FOLLOW/FOLLOWBACK BLINDLY, IT HURTS YOUR BRAND

Because on Twitter, we aren’t people, we’re brands, and anything we post or do online affects the people following us. So be very careful not to give a sh**. Follow indiscriminately. Hit your daily following limit. Go directly to Twitter jail.

It’s a numbers game, and you only miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t drink. So bottoms up!

2.DON”T OBSESS OVER YOUR FOLLOWER COUNT

Seriously?

Your follower count is the dipstick of your relevancy — if you’re down a quart, you might as well leave it in the shop.

Again, Twitter is a numbers game — no one knows what’s really going on, so it’s the only indicator of your “eating at the cool table” factor. I can’t stress enough the importance of this, and it justifies its accomplishment by the most ruthless means possible. Attending Moabite fertility rites with stomach flu. Shipping off your in-firmed Eskimo grandparents on an ice floe as an amuse-bouche for polar bears. Promising you’ll call after a date and you don’t. It doesn’t matter. It’s for the greater good, your greater good.

And by the same token, if someone is not following you back after three days, unfollow them. If you have the time, block them. And if you have more time, also stick knitting needles into the ears and nostrils of their voodoo doll

Although personally, I start with the knitting needles on Day 2.

3. DIRECT MESSAGE:

OR:

TWITTER IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE DM’s

Whoa! Seriously? Never DM anyone! Never! Not even to poison control after Bill Cosby roofied you with radioactive Polonium 210.

Twitter is like self-medication for a broad spectrum of interesting characters, from the lithium-addled, insomniac vampires, to the bi-polar narcoleptic dominatrixes. No one wants to get a direct mail from a barnacle with suction cups, and a prescription for an electro-shock bite stick. The kind of stalkerish nut job who needs your opinion on what color thong is appropriate for an afternoon wedding. (Note to the style challenged: it’s all good).

Especially if you yourself have a nagging conscience. Blocking a Twitter crazy conjures up guilty visions of sugar plum fairies dancing on the subway platform, just before they jump. So avoid DMs as if it were the plague with bad breath.

3. DO FOLLOW PEOPLE YOU VALUE

OR:

MANY ARE CALLED, FEW ARE CHOSEN, AND EVEN LESS RSVP

Very few celebrities will send the elevator of success back down to the basement for us methane-breathing troglodytes. Unless they’re extraordinary human beings like Jim Gaffigan, who is quite literally the Dr. Albert Schweitzer of Comedians — just a kind, generous, giving human being and utterly hilarious — no wrong answers. But sadly, Jim can’t field everyone, so you have to blaze your own trail, while avoiding self-immolation like a Vietnamese Monk on a bender.

4. RETWEET REGULARLY

OR:

“WHEN PEOPLE TRY TO RAIN ON YOUR PARADE… PEE ON THEIRS

Again-Seriously?

There is no honor among thieves, and no respect between Twitterers. Trust me, you will inevitably be disappointed, and the “Block” button will seem so wussy and ineffectual, especially compared with what you really want to do to them. Instead of RTing, just hit the ‘I told You So’ button.

This is so high school, that is, if you graduated from John Wayne Gacy High with degree in clown costumes. It’s lousy with fond memories of anti-social non-reciprocation: The old: ‘I’ll scratch your back, and you excoriate mine with a raclette swivel’.

5. ALWAYS USE ORIGINAL CONTENT

OR

(to be continued)

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PETA To Make A Killing Off Dentist-Slaying Lion Costume?

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer has been chewed out since he killed Cecil the Lion in in Zimbabwe in July.

Now animal-rights group PETA has turned it into their own big game with a Halloween costume that depicts a dentist getting attacked and eaten by the king of the jungle.

The costume, called “Cecil’s Revenge,” sells for $ 139,99 and includes a bloody lab jacket with a stuffed lion pouncing on the back, according to a press release.

Customers can add to the effect by accessorizing with their own toothbrush, dental drill or bow and arrow.

“As animals continue to die in agony at the hands of trophy hunters, it’s only fitting for people to make fun of Palmer for his illegal, violent pursuit,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Ingrid Newkirk said in the release.

The carnivorous costume is a fundraiser for the organization.

A few days ago, Costumeish.com, a southern California-based costume company revealed it’s selling  an outfit depicting Palmer killing Cecil. 

Newkirk approves of that costume even though it depicts Palmer killing Cecil.

“Nasty little people try to make themselves feel good by killing wild animals who are minding their own business, so we at PETA think it most fitting that people make fun of the dentist for his sick, illegal pursuit by fashioning a hideous Halloween costume after him, as they would after Freddy Krueger or Jason,” she told HuffPost by email.

 

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Fastest Man On Earth No Match For Out-Of-Control Segway

Life comes at you fast, but Segways come at you faster. So learned Usain Bolt on Thursday just moments after winning the the 200 meters at the track and field World Championships in Beijing, China.

What’s that? You want an alternative angle? 


Pretty cool recovery, to be honest. 

 

Also on HuffPost:

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Netflix, Binging And Quality Control In The Age Of Peak TV

Matt Singer posed a timely question today: Why is it that the original programs made by Netflix — the place that perfected binge-viewing — aren’t necessarily all that binge-able? 


By downplaying the importance of individual episodes in favor of longform narratives, the company has also downplayed the propulsive storytelling style and shocking cliffhangers that define the best binge-watch shows. A television show structured as a one giant 13-hour story can be highly absorbing. But without those big hooks and twists at the end of every episode, it’s very difficult to make it addictive.

Singer’s onto something here: I’ve spent the summer rewatching “The X-Files,” and there’s something about traditionally made, pre-“peak TV” dramas that often makes them deliciously binge-able. Writers on the kinds of shows that eventually made binging a thing were often under pressure from networks to hook viewers, through juicy relationship arcs, propulsive stories, exciting mythology reveals and hints that something big was coming in the next week. Not all good “binge-ers” have those elements, but many of the good ones are very good at serving up self-contained episodes, distinctive characters and moments so entertaining that you just want another hit of whatever they’re selling. 

Obviously television’s ambitions have expanded since the heyday of binge-inducers like “Alias,” “Lost” and “24,” and Netflix is among the many outlets testing the boundaries of what kinds of television can sustain an audience for a binge or a leisurely stroll, even as TV redefines what success means in an era of micro-niches and all manner of nonlinear viewing opportunities.

That said, my first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

Singer’s theory is that Netflix executives don’t really care if it takes a few months to watch one of their original series; that’s actually a good thing, if the slow pace keeps a subscription active. That makes sense from a business perspective, but, based on statements Netflix executives have made and the shows they’ve released, I wonder if that’s their primary intent.

My theory’s different: I think Netflix and Amazon executives give their creative types a lot of rope, and I’ve often had occasion to wonder is they’re giving them too much rope. It’s common for their dramas to get tangled up and slow down, even at the pilot stage, and in the middle of seasons, Netflix dramas often sag and meander, and — as Singer notes — they take a long time to work up a head of steam. 


My first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

But this isn’t just the case at streaming services: It’s happening a lot in the more ambitious realms of television. Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to many shows, especially dramas, in the cable, pay-cable and streaming arenas, I see a trend toward laxness and a lack of energy and dynamic tension. There’s more ambition than in a derivative NBC or CBS procedural, sure, but there’s also often a lack of urgency within an episode and, most notably, over the course of a season.

It’s also fairly common to find that the character development is not strong and vivid enough to make me want to revisit these shows while they figure out how to crank up the narrative drive, as was the case with Amazon’s “Bosch” and USA’s “Complications.” I did finally begin to enjoy AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” especially in its second season, but most people had checked out well before it kicked into high gear, and that may have doomed the show (though I hope not). 

Of course, it’s unfair to cherry-pick the best examples, but let’s face it, this wasn’t too often the case with with the best binge-ers the Commercial Television Machine produced. Even in a bad episode of “The X-Files” or “Lost,” the Mulder and Scully banter or the Hurley quips make up for a lot. Hence my current obsession with what I call B-movie TV: Genre fare that is smart and subversive but also energetic and not overly concerned with being Important. (The two best new shows of the year, Lifetime’s “UnREAL” and USA’s “Mr. Robot” may not neatly fit in the B-movie TV category, but both were pleasingly knotty, had great characters and were suspenseful from the jump. They’re binge-ers, for sure.)  

Sag and drift problems have cropped up throughout TV history, obviously. But I think it’s telling that it’s cropping up a lot lately, often at places that could and should know better (despite its great cast and terrific moments, I gave up on the rudderless “Masters of Sex” near the end of Season 2 and haven’t seen a compelling reason to jump back on board). As Todd VanDerWerff has pointed out, TV is fumbling for direction in the age of binging and stacking and all episodes of television existing simultaneously everywhere (well, not really, but it feels that way sometimes). So as TV figures out the creative implications of the nonlinear era, some sloppiness and experimentation is to be expected.

But I think there’s more to it than that. The competition for talent and the huge desire lock down hot writers while also trying to create Signature Programs has led to situations where executives have let way too much bad writing slide.

There’s an enormous scramble for content at the moment, so much so that multiple seasons are being ordered at an accelerated pace and it’s almost normal for shows to be renewed before they debut. That was decidedly not normal only a few years ago. But Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and any number of other new players have changed the game, just as cable did a decade or so ago.

As I’ve argued elsewhere, this is a good thing, overall. Not every show in Ye Olde Golden Age was a keeper, but almost every network was forced to raise its game and give writers more leeway. Hooray!

But there was sigh-inducing side to that revolution: There was too much imitation and a blind pursuit of uninspired dramas about tortured white guys. These days, as TV expands into what FX president John Landgraf has called peak TV, there’s a lot of great TV, but the signal-to-noise ratio is not necessarily heading in a reassuring direction. As TV competes to keep eyeballs on its ever-expanding array of content, we’re being subjected to a lot of empty spectacle and rote brand extension. And it’s worth pointing out, as Linda Holmes does in her great essay series on TV’s growing pains, that the kinds of people who get to make TV now are usually the kinds of people who always have gotten to make TV. Diversity is a buzzword executives know they should throw around these days, but their commitment to it seems tenuous at best.

So this revolution has its frustrations, among them the problems Singer neatly delineates. And given that the issues he noticed and I’ve described are mostly taking place in the streaming, cable and pay-cable arenas, the following statement mostly applies to them: Maybe its because they have too many shows to keep track of, or maybe it’s because they’re working with writers they think might try to get a better deal somewhere else, but I get the sense that a number of networks and executives are not exercising the quality control they used to. It’s a problem.

Too many times lately, with too many shows that are well cast and clearly expensive, I’ve wondered why the people in charge appear to be asleep at the switch. “Fear the Walking Dead” is repetitive and boring, but AMC wants to keep “Walking Dead” mogul Robert Kirkman in the corporate family, so that show’s going to be what Kirkman wants it to be, for good or ill. The last two seasons of “American Horror Story” haven’t been very good, but they’ve been noisy enough to get a lot of eyeballs, and FX wants to be in business with Ryan Murphy, so that show will continue to be variable and frustrating (and maybe occasionally excellent, who knows). “Bloodline” assembled various prestige TV markers without going anywhere all that compelling with them, but it seems like the kind of show Netflix should be making — and if they didn’t make it, someone else might — so it got renewed. And so on.

The power dynamics in the industry are unstable — only in certain places, of course, and only for certain people. But the current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good. For one thing, in part due to talent flight, drama pilots on the broadcast networks have been mostly lame and terrible for years, with a few rare exceptions, because those who don’t want to deal with a lot of network interference are going elsewhere. (The CW, which has been on a roll, is the exception among the broadcast networks, but that’s a story for another day.)


The current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good.

As many writer/producers head to what they perceive to be greener pastures, executives are doing whatever they can to lock down talent, and the end result of this whole process can sometimes be self-indulgent and lazy television. Drift, repetition and laxness are things a good executive can spot, catch and help correct. With the good or improving shows, that’s likely at least part of what’s happening. Given the glut of bad, lazy or directionless dramas, that’s not happening enough, or some creatives just aren’t listening. When a drama like “True Detective” goes that off-course and wastes that much potential, it’s not just a chance to have fun with memes and hashtags, it’s a sign that something has seriously gone awry in the quality-control systems that helped TV get to where it is now. 

HBO, once the strutting king of the TV scene, can’t openly criticize newcomer Nic Pizzolatto, lest he bolt and the network’s reputation as a welcoming haven for top talent take a hit. Netflix and Amazon go further: They openly celebrate their hands-off approaches. Executives at both places have basically said that because they’re not married to the usual commercial television models, they’re letting their talent do … whatever. 

“We are not really in the solid outcome business, you know,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price said at an Amazon executive panel at the Television Critics Association press tour recently. “We are not really in the programming business.”

“It’s not the intent to draw the biggest audience from any single show,” Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said at TCA. “The shows are built and designed and we invest in them based on the audience that we believe the show can attract. And it’s successful if it attracts that audience segment.”

Joe Lewis, Amazon’s comedy chief, said somet