Watch Piers Morgan try to embarrass a reality TV star but make an ass of himself instead

Piers attempts to embarrass UK reality TV star Hayley of "Love Island" by asking her, "Do you know Pythagoras's theorem to the nearest five decimal place?" Um... wut?

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The Jerry Springer Show ends production

Since 1991, The Jerry Springer Show offered America an unevenly-distributed taste of its own future. But we're settled comfortably in, now, and the present has no need for its harbingers. So long, Jerry.

Syndicated talk-show staple The Jerry Springer Show has ceased production of new episodes, a source confirms to TVLine, and will only air pre-taped episodes and repeats when it moves to The CW this fall. (Broadcasting & Cable first reported the news.) The CW is still considering ordering fresh episodes of Springer down the line — the deal is for multiple years — but as of now, the show has finished filming.

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Watch Steve Martin do Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"

Steve Martin takes a walk in Michael Jackson's loafers for "The New Show," a 1984 sketch-comedy TV program from Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. The New Show only ran for one season but this clip lives for eternity.

(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks, UPSO!)

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Dan Harmon weighs in on Rick & Morty's most viral moments

What's Dan Harmon's secret to creating viral moments in cult hits like Rick & Morty? He and co-creator Justin Roiland have license to "take this really dumb thing incredibly seriously." Read the rest

Ambien maker Sanofi responds to Roseanne, who blamed drug for racist tweets

Ambien manufacturer Sanofi issued a masterfully worded public statement on Wednesday in response to recently-fired ABC TV star Roseanne Barr's latest Twitter meltdown.

In a series of wackadoodle tweets she posted late last night, 'Roseanne' blamed Sanofi's prescription sleep medication for the racist tweets that got her eponymous show canceled. Read the rest

Some Simpson jokes that go over kids' heads

Children's shows often include jokes to give a little "nudge nudge wink wink" to grown-ups. I mean, who could forget the subversive bits in Looney Tunes or, say, Pee-wee's Playhouse?

But this compilation by YouTube channel Best of Simpsons Characters is different, because The Simpsons isn't really a show for kids. It's just the Simpsons' jokes that they didn't get when they were little. Read the rest

Secret history of classic TV's laugh tracks

When I watched the Brady Bunch as a youngster, there was one particular deep guffaw that always caught my attention. I knew the laughs were pre-recorded but always assumed that there was just a laugh track tape and they'd press play at the appropriate times. I liked (and still like) the faux communal experience that laugh tracks provide when watching the Bradys, Bewitched, the Beverly Hillbillies, and other great vintage sitcoms from the 1960s an early 1970s.

Turns out, that the rise of the laugh track was due to Charles Douglass (1910-2003), a Navy-trained electronics engineer/maker who went on to build a custom "Laff Box" of several dozen tape loops triggered by keys and dials. After its initial use on the Jack Benny Program, the machine, officially called the "Audience Reaction Duplicator," took the TV industry by storm. Douglass "played" the Laff Box like a proto-sampler and for years had the monopoly on TV laugh tracks. It was a process that the TV show producers and Douglass himself liked to keep secret.

It wasn't until 1992 that Douglass and his pioneering work at the intersection of media, psychology, and technology was recognized with a lifetime Emmy award for technical achievement.

For the whole story on Douglass and the Laff Box, don't miss this episode of the Decoder Ring podcast.

And here is an Antiques Roadshow segment appraising a Laff Box.

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Infographic of each US state's favorite 1990s sitcom

USDish analyzed Google search data for the last 15 years to create this map of the United States showing each state's "favorite" sitcom. The Midwest loves Friends, four states and Washington DC prefer Friends, and (hooray!) California digs The Simpsons.

"Can You Guess Your State’s Favorite Sitcom from the ’90s?" Read the rest

The Simpsons overtakes Gunsmoke as America's longest-running scripted TV show

With episode 636 on Sunday, The Simpsons finally outran Gunsmoke as America's longest-running TV show, as counted by scripted episodes. It overtook it about a decade ago in terms of how many seasons it's been on TV. That said...

“Gunsmoke,” however, was an hourlong program for about half its run, while “The Simpsons” is half-hour, and so the former retains the record for most hours of television. As well, the Western series had begun on radio in 1952.

The closest other scripted prime-time series, the family drama “Lassie,” about an ingenious collie, ran on network and then in first-run syndication from 1954 to 1974, for 591 episodes.

In a welcome coda to the Apu imbroglio, Hank Azaria (who also voices other characters on the show) is planning to let a South Asian actor take over the role and help transition the character to a less stereotypical portrayal. Read the rest

Fantastic interview with the original Lost In Space's Dr. Zachary Smith, Jonathan Harris

As we make our way through the Lost In Space reboot on Netflix (or not), let's honor the late, great Jonathan Harris who stole the original series as the prissily menacing Dr. Zachary Smith.

"(Smith) was written as a deep-dyed, snarling villain, and he bored the shit out of me," Harris said.

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Rick Astley rickrolls unsuspecting weather reporter on air

Rick Astley was waiting to be interviewed in the studio for the Canadian morning TV show Your Morning and decided to rickroll Brandon Gonez, the show's weather reporter, on air. At first, the "Never Gonna Give You Up" video started playing unexpectedly during the forecast, then Astley himself appeared. Gonez is apparently a fan of Mr. Astley and kind of freaked when the pop artist started dancing with him.

Here's what it looked like from behind the scenes:

Astley is currently on a short tour.

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Weatherman angry that no-one appreciates being told about forthcoming Michigan weather

Some folks have a tough lot in life than this, but today let's offer a little sympathy for the bitter comfort of a man whose job it is to inform people what the weather's going to be like in Michigan. Think Sisyphus, but with a giant yellow snowball that keeps melting and refreezing in April. Read the rest

Watch countless American news anchors mindlessly intone the same propaganda script

"Extremely dangerous for democracy," is just one phrase in the uncanny propagandistic script that dozens (hundreds?) of news anchors "report" in this compilation video. The effect is creepy and surreal; the connection is that all the stations are owned by the same conservative corporation, Sinclair, which is where the marching orders come from. Read the rest

Watch the Slow Mo Guys smack James Corden in the face with a dodgeball

The Slow Mo Guys were guests on The Late Late Show and to show what they do, they filmed host James Corden as they threw a dodgeball at his cheek. The slow-motion instant replay shows Corden's face being warped by the pressure but, all in all, he took it like a complete champ. Read the rest

Watch Jim Nabors rap-sing his pitch for "Gomer Pyle, USMC" (1964)

"I'm better than any piss-ant who ever lived."

Jim Nabors, who died last year, apparently recorded this fantastic clip to promote his new television series, "Gomer Pylse, USMC," to TV execs and possible sponsors.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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You can own the actual furniture from Mad Men

Screenbid is holding an online auction for furniture, props, and other items seen on Mad Men. The high ticket items are Don's 1964 Chrysler Imperial (asking bid $40,000), Don's box of secrets from Adam Whitman (asking bid $2100), and the SCDP office sign (asking bid $1,900.) Don's office TV is pretty sharp though but apparently doesn't actually work.

Mad Men 2018 Auction

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Precocious 6-year-old Scottish boy can Irish dance like nobody's business

Dance like America's watching, Oscar! ('Cause they are!)

This is from the Steve Harvey-hosted show, Little Big Shots. Read the rest

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