Watch MSNBC's Chris Hayes unintentionally coin a new euphemism for masturbation

"Shaking the champagne bottle." Read the rest

J. Michael Mendel, producer of "Rick and Morty" and "The Simpsons," RIP

J. Michael Mendel, beloved producer of "Rick and Morty" and "The Simpsons," has died just two days before turning 55 years old. The cause of his death has not been made public. He is survived by his wife, casting director Juel Bestrop, and two children. From CNN:

Mendel worked on Fox's The Tracey Ullman Show, on which "The Simpsons" began its life as a recurring segment, before moving to the independent series.

He helped to create 207 episodes of "The Simpsons" over his time on the show, winning Emmys in 1995, 1997 and 1997. Mendel then produced 22 episodes of "Rick and Morty," winning a fourth Emmy for his work last year.

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Watch this Coleco Adam home computer commercial starring Lori Loughlin (1984)

In this 1984 TV commercial for Coleco's failed Adam home computer, Lori Laughlin observes a young fellow able to power through his school assignment thanks to the magic of word processing. Laughlin asks, "Is that legal?" Ahem.

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Gilligan's Island's S.S. Minnow was named as an insult to the chair of the FCC

Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz named the ill-fated S.S. Minnow after the then-chair of the FCC who Schwartz said "ruined television." Read the rest

'The Boondocks' is back! Coming to HBO Max in Fall 2020

The WarnerMedia streaming platform HBO Max has ordered two "reimagined" seasons of the cult favorite 'The Boondocks,' so we're getting 24 episodes of a new Boondocks show.

This is real. Read the rest

Japanese fabric softener commercial from 1988 is kawaii AF

In 1988, I worked in a toy store and quickly became annoyed by all the requests for the Snuggle bear. But this I can tolerate. For a moment anyway. Read the rest

'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek: chemo for pancreatic cancer 'over,' now 'on the mend' filming new season

The host of 'Jeopardy,' Alex Trebek, says he has completed chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and is 'on the mend' as he films a new season of the long-running and popular TV game show. Read the rest

Hawaii's action adventure helicopter tour company rings a bell

If you want more than just humming around the skies in luxury, Magnum has you covered.

This seems to strike some odd note of familiarity...

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This TV only looks old, it's really a 20" LCD with modern inputs

Leave it to Japan to design a modern television that's styled to look like it's from the fifties. That's just what Japanese electronics brand Doshisha has done with this fun, retro-styled cabinet that houses an LCD TV.

Technabob:

This ’50s-style TV has a wooden cabinet, real working volume and channel knobs on front, and stands on spindly wooden legs. While its facade looks a bit like the cool, but fragile Bakelite of the era, I’m betting it’s just cheap plastic that’s been colored that way. Inside, it’s got a 20″ LCD screen with HDMI, AV and USB inputs.

And, because the TV itself isn't hogging up space in the cabinet, the top opens and reveals a place to store things:

The bad news? This TV isn't going to work outside of Japan. Bummer. For ~$786 plus shipping, it better be able to do a lot more than look pretty.

(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest

The Simpsons' Apu isn't going anywhere

At yesterday's D23 Expo, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening put an end to speculation that the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is going to disappear. Apu's future has been publicly questioned since comedian Hari Kodabolu's 2017 documentary "The Problem with Apu" argued that the character is a racist caricature. From Variety:

When asked by a young fan whether Apu would remain on the show — following reports that the character had been written out of the show — Groening said, “Yes. We love Apu. We’re proud of Apu.”

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Boar on the Floor

I haven't been watching HBO'S Succession, but I will be now after watching this clip from last night's episode. Assuming the clip is representative, it's a show about a King Lear-esque millionaire (played by Brian Cox) who is sick of hearing bullshit from his sons and executives. In the clip, he improves a fancy dinner by ordering some of them to get down on their knees and pretend to be boars fighting over a sausage. Read the rest

Watch the wonderful Adventure Time "pilot" short from 2007

One of the greatest cartoon series of recent years, Adventure Time ran for ten seasons on Cartoon Network. Created by Pendleton Ward, the original short above was produced for Frederator Studios' Random! Cartoons show and aired on the Nicktoons network on January 11, 2007. Finn was named Pen.

More at the Adventure Time Wiki.

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DIY funtime: This 1949 Zenith vintage TV restoration is incredible

“Finally working again at 70 years, happily playing Casablanca.” 📺

Wow. Read the rest

Watch Walter Cronkite and CBS News report from Woodstock (1969)

"The sponsors said it was going to be three days of peace and music. It was that alright, and much more." Read the rest

The first and last time Mister Rogers sang "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Mister Rogers sings "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" on the February 19, 1968 debut of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and then on the final episode August 31, 2001.

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ABC "fined" $350k, among others, for using presidential alert tone on TV

It is "illegal" to broadcast the presidential alert tone on network television, and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live will pay $350k for doing so in a comedy skit, reports the BBC.

By simulating the alert tone, the Jimmy Kimmel Show! breached broadcasting rules, said the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates television in the US. Under FCC rules, broadcasters are barred from mimicking the warning system "to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation". ABC admitted to broadcasting the alert on 3 October 2018, but said it did so under the impression that "use of the tone was permissible".

This is the so-called "Trump Alert" sent to cellphones in the event of an "emergency".

AMC Networks, Discovery and Meruelo also agreed to pay out for broadcasting the presidential alert tone, with payouts between $67k and $107k. These are described as "fines" by the BBC, and as "settlements" by the FCC. One of the offending uses was in a scripted TV drama, The Walking Dead.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced settlements reached with a TV broadcaster, cable TV networks, and a radio broadcaster for misusing Emergency Alert System (EAS) or Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tones. Episodes of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law,” as well as promos aired by Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC’s Los Angeles-area KDAY and KDEY-FM’s morning radio show, all aired actual or simulated alert tones in violation of the Commission’s rules.

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Meet HBO's sex scene coach

Alicia Rodis is HBO's "lead intimacy coordinator." This means that she choreographs and coaches actors in sex scenes. In The Atlantic, Kate Julian profiles Rodis and shares the, er, intimate details of the work. Here's a description from the set of The Deuce:

Ahead of the shoot, the episode’s director, Steph Green, explained her vision of the scene to Rodis, who called the actors to run through a proposed plan. Afterward, Rodis made sure that each actor’s contract had a rider stipulating that (Ryan) Farrell would touch (Emily) Meade’s clothed breasts, and Meade would grab Farrell’s crotch through his pants, under which he’d be wearing a prosthetic penis. The day of filming, Green, Rodis, and both actors met in private to prepare. (Green has long run trust- and chemistry-building exercises before intimacy scenes.) Before rehearsing the scene, she and Rodis asked the actors to hold each other’s gaze for a long interval. The actors also took turns inviting each other to touch agreed-upon body parts: hand, knee, thigh, and so on.

When it was time to shoot, the aforementioned prosthetic was produced. “It was an actual fake penis that they use in some of the scenes,” Farrell said. “I was like, ‘That’s pretty extreme!’ ” He put it in his pants. “Emily got to actually feel it when it was on top of me,” he said, “and when things like that start happening, it’s an icebreaker, and everybody loosens up a bit.”

Farrell and Meade got in the back of the limo, together with a cameraperson, while Rodis and Green watched the scene via monitor.

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