Baldwin & Krasinski: Baseball Battles

I just want to take a moment to comment on how much I love the Yankees vs. Red Sox/Alec Baldwin vs. John Krasinksi commercials. These ads, while not overtly obvious, are actually for the New Era Cap Company.

Now, I have to admit that I’m not actually much of a sports fan. I like the Yankees, but that’s simply because I’m afraid that if I didn’t like them my family would have disowned me by now. Both my father and step-father are hard-core Yankees fans, not to mention my 91-year-old Grandmother’s team devotion (which I’m convinced is partially due to her crush on Derek Jeter). I have therefore grown up rooting for the Yankees, which according to these commercials makes me Team Baldwin– perfectly alright to me.

I love both the actors involved, and I love the whole campaign even more. Whether you’re a rabid sports fanatic, an occasional viewer, or a family-forced fan like myself, these commercials are hilarious and fun. Checking out the New Era Cap Company’s Facebook page, you can find even more information about the company and their campaign. You can even vote for which “team” you are on– and it’s quite a close race. At the time of this post, the loyalties were tied 50/50!

So maybe, like me, baseball isn’t exactly your thing. Well, lucky for the rest of us, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski, especially when put together, are quite fantastic. Here is the latest commercial, which prompted this post. Too perfect.

UK does Jersey Shore

As a follow-up to my last post,  Jersey Shore: How Wilde!, I received an email from a fellow blogger who informed me that if I want to see more crazy Jersey-Shore-esque shenanigans with British accents, I need look no further than UK television. In fact, MTV UK is launching Geordie Shore, a Jersey Shore spin-off, next month. Take a look at this video from newsy.com. Same ridiculous dialogue (and characters) as the original, but now with British accents.

I find the fact that Britain is making their own Jersey Shore especially interesting after having had studied abroad there last year. One night, as my flatmates and I sat around watching television, there was a commercial that came on for a bunch of American reality shows that have apparently made the hop across the pond. I believe the shows were The Hills (or one of those thousands of spin-offs) and the Jersey Shore itself. The commercial proclaimed them as something like “real America,” a thought that absolutely horrified me.

I understand that the British, even world perception of America isn’t exactly the most positive. I can even understand it in many cases. Therefore, I was appalled to find out that many of these negative opinions were based around “reality” television shows and their lack of actual “reality.”

Now, however, it seems like the tables have turned. I’m surprised about Geordie Shore, but in a way it’s a comfort to know that we’re not the only country who enjoy watching our citizens make fools of themselves in front of millions of people. I guess we all have guilty pleasures, let’s just hope stupidity isn’t contagious.

So what do you think? Will Geordie Shore be as ridiculous as its predecessor? Will it be as big of a hit? Or does none of this actually matter, and am I being a bit too harsh?

Jersey Shore: How Wilde!

While I personally do not watch Jersey Shore, I have unfortunately been subjected to a few episodes due to my friends’ obsessive fascination with the show. During the off seasons, I am treated to ridiculous phrases and catcalls, all said in a terrible fake jersey accent. I hate to admit it, but these ridiculous little sayings become quite catchy…annoyingly so.

The other day I stumbled across the following video. Playbill has created a hilarious short series called “Jersey Shore Gone Wilde.” To promote Oscar Wilde’s great play The Importance of Being Earnest, now showing on Broadway, these professionally trained actors can be seen reciting lines from Jersey Shore episodes in the style of the great playwright. British accents? Check. Cheeky conversation? Check. Pencil Mustache? Check. Outfits that Oscar Wilde himself would covet? Double Check.

I shamefully recognized many of the references, but I have to admit that the quotes didn’t seem half so terrible when spoken in a proper British accent. In fact, some of the sounded half-way intellectual– then again, I may just be going crazy.

So what do you? What would Wilde think?

And don’t forget to check out all of the videos in the series!

“Cars n’ Deals”: Pixar works the web

I absolutely love viral movie campaigns, and Pixar has yet to disappoint (see Toy Story 3 social media campaign. No, seriously– click the link and check it out. It’s great!).

The first Cars movie, much like all Pixar movies, received rave reviews and prominently displayed Pixar’s unique ability to simultaneously entertain both children and parents. It’s 5 years later, and expectant audiences are eagerly awaiting the sequels upcoming release.

Trailers have been showing for a while now, promoting the film in the regular way. Pixar, however, is anything but regular. After the success of the Toy Story 3 viral campaign, the company has turned once more to director Chris Cantwell. Together with Pixar, Cantwell has put together faux car advertisement to promote the new Cars film. The video is complete with corny sales pitches, editing gaffes, and cheap-looking production quality. This ‘ad’ makes all those other annoyingly tacky bargain car commercials look award-worthy– and I say that as a great compliment. The video is hilarious and well worth a watch, for Pixar fans or those just looking for a laugh.

Pixar and Cars fan, however, are in for a special treat. Hidden within the video is link to a site where you can watch exclusive footage from the film (hint: 57 second mark). Also, if I’m not mistaken, some of the actual cars seen in video might look a bit familiar to anyone who has seen the trailer…just saying.

Sprinkled throughout the video are also hints to the new movie’s plots. Make sure to watch it more than once to make sure you catch everything. Plus, apparently the phone number they give at the end of the commercial is a working line. I might have to pick up a phone and check this out for myself!

Cars 2 opens June 24, 2011.

P.S. My favorite parts: “Lion of a deal” as he wears a tiger costume and the jingle at the end (“but don’t go too far or you’ll miss it”).

The Media Does April Fools

I’m not great at pulling off April Fool’s Day Pranks. I’m the kind of person who starts laughing before I deliver the punch line of jokes. On the other hand, I am the sort of person who thoroughly enjoys a practical joke or two, especially when I’m not the only sucker. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best April Fools Jokes that have been pulled by the media. I mean, think about it– the power the media has over us and what we believe in incredible. Case in point: The War of the Worlds broadcast. A simple radio show sounded so real that people were running for their lives. I’m sure there’s a good media/psychology study somewhere in there, but this post is all about the fun. Enjoy!

1. YouTube is turned upside-down

  • In 2009, the whole YouTube website did an 180. The text, the videos, the everything– completely upside down. I can only imagine how trippy David Goes to the Dentist was then.

2. Nixon ’92

  • How on earth the broadcaster managed to do this without breaking into giggles is beyond me, but in 1992 NPR announced that former president Richard Nixon would be running for President…again. The radio station even had sound clips of his supposed announcement, featuring his new slogan: “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”

3. Burger King caters to Lefties

  • In 1998, Burger King dished out the money to buy a full-page color ad in USA Today, announcing their latest addition to the menu: the Left-handed whopper. So what would be different about this lefty-friendly burger? The ingredients would remain the same, the ad proclaimed, but the condiments would be rotated a complete 180 degrees. The results? The fast-food restaurant reports that they received plenty of “left-handed” orders, as well as requests for the typical “right-handed” whopper.

4. The Guardian, in 144 characters

  • In 2009, the British newspaper, The Guardian, announced that they were giving up the ink and going completely viral. Their website of choice? Twitter. The newspaper claimed that they would be tweeting all of the articles in the 144 character format that Twitter is so well-known for. I can only imagine how well that would go…Then again, maybe more people would subscribe to “newspapers.”

5. The BBC predicts a bountiful spaghetti crop for the Swiss

  • Picture this: It’s 1957 and your turning on your brand new television (or should I say telly?), when the BBC reports that the weather conditions are ideal for the Swiss spaghetti season. The report is followed by the discussion of the dreaded spaghetti weevil and accompanied by a picture of people pulling spaghetti off large trees– what else were people supposed to think? I mean, where else could spaghetti possibly come from? Several eager viewers even called in to find out how to grow spaghetti of their own. 

6. YouTube RickRoll’d the World

  • By now, all of us have heard Rick Astley’s classic “Never going to give you up.” Often, we have heard this song in a video when we were expecting something else. This phenomenon has been scientifically dubbed “RickRoll’ing.” In 2008, YouTube, as the ever clever pranksters they are, RickRoll’d the world. Each and every video on their site led to Astley’s cheesy 80s performance of his cheesy 80s song. Touche, YouTube.

 

Honestly, I could go on for hours with all the fabulous pranks that the media has pulled on us, their sometimes dimwitted audience. Instead, I’ve included some links below for you to check out and enjoy. So good luck this April Fools, either in your own pranking or in being pranked.

 

For more great media pranks, check out these links:

Posing Facts

Breit Bart

Huffington Post

Funny or Die: Keeping a Celebrity’s Career Alive.

Funny or die.

No, I’m not just saying the name of the website, I’m outlining the choices that crashing celebrities are given after devastating acts of career suicide.

They could be funny— make jokes about themselves, fully accept their ridiculous acts.

Or they could watch their careers die.

While the SNL monologue has always provided a great platform for a little bit of self-deprecation (see Miley Cyrus, last Saturday, March 5th), the internet makes that bit of necessary humiliation even more accessible.

For those of you living under a rock these past few weeks, Charlie Sheen has taken a swan dive straight into the pool of insanity. After his lawyers forbade him from any further interviews with the media, Sheen took matters into his own hands, creating personal video posts that were deemed less than interesting by tabloids and rabid fans alike. But now that Sheen has officially lost his job on the sitcom Two and a Half Men, Sheen needs to up his crazy to stay relevant (of course, that $100 million dollar lawsuit against CBS might help any financial loses he will experience after never being hired in Hollywood again…).

So how does a star both capitalize their madness while simultaneously working to gain back even a shred of respectability?

Funny or die. And this time I am talking about the website. Founded by famous funny men Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy, the FunnyorDie website is quite the viral sensation. While the title of the site actually refers to the viewers’ ability to vote a video as either ‘funny’ or deserving to ‘die,’  the name applies quite well to the options of some desperate celebrities.

Several celebrities, from Natalie Portman to Zac Efron, have starred in one of their exclusive videos. After all, a celebrity willing to laugh at themselves seems to denote a sense of grounded-ness. It’s positive for the individuals image for the audience to see that that person is down to earth and connected to the viewers; they are not divas who are above a bit of silliness for a laugh.

These exclusive videos are especially exciting when they feature the tabloid’s latest favorite screw-ups. About two years ago (yes, her “hot mess” status has been applicable for that long), Lindsay Lohan had just faced a very public break-up from girlfriend Sam Ronson. While going through a break-up in the eyes of the public must be devastating enough, the real scandal came when the Ronson family began issuing restraining orders against the apparently insane Lohan. The press had a field day– who can blame them. Lohan had always provided plenty of fodder.

To combat these negative issues, Lohan, or perhaps more likely her publicist, made a deal with FunnyorDie. Soon enough, Lindsay Lohan’s “eHarmony Profile” became a hit web video. With the tagline “Lindsay Lohan is newly single and ready to mingle!,” audience enjoyed laughing at Lohan as she, in turn, laughed at herself.

While that might not have saved her career, it certainly helped redeem her– at least until the next scandal.

Now Charlie Sheen can add an exclusive FunnyorDie video to his resume. “Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipes” incorporates all of Sheen’s spectacular (and wacky quotes)– from tiger blood, to Adonis DNA, and we can’t forget winning. Filmed as a “cooking show,” Sheen takes his insanity to a whole new level– and we love it!

Perhaps Sheen’s career isn’t completely revived, but it never hurts to laugh at oneself. Afterall, it’s easier than admitting defeat, which Sheen would never do– he’s winning. Or at least this video is.

While I couldn’t embed the video, I have provided the link: http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/5cwg

Side Note: where did they get the tiger hat on such short notice? Do they actually make those?

Check it out and tell me what you think.


Denny’s+DumbDumb= Arrested Development?

Jason Bateman? Yes Please.

Will Arnett? Of course.

Celebrity guests from their wacky group of friends? Give me more.

Apparently Denny’s has been reading my mind and, in light of no new Arrested Development movie, they’ve instead enlisted Bateman and Arnett’s comedic stylings for a new social media campaign.

A new web series put on by Denny’s has hit the web: “Always Open.” Playing off the idea of American diners, celebrity guests chat it up with host David Koechner (best known for his roles in Anchorman and The Office) in a local Denny’s as they polish off plates of the restaurant’s meals.

Denny’s, in an attempt to connect with the younger generation, hired Bateman and Arnett’s production company, DumbDumb, to write and produce these shorts for online viewers. The hope is to not only connect with the viewers, but to encourage a sense of openness and consumer feedback.

Explaining his interest in the project to Ad Age, Bateman said:

“It’s the most efficient way to communicate our tone of humor instead of trying to explain to another actor or write it down. It also shows our peers and our friends that we’re willing to put ourselves out there so when we ask some of our famous friends to come play with us we can say, ‘We did it, now we’re doing it with you.'”

And what a group of friends that includes! Upcoming guests are rumoured to include Kristen Bell, Will Forte, Sarah Silverman and, Arnett’s real-life wife, Amy Poehler.

The real challenge will come in getting a returning viewership. With short web series such as these, it’s difficult to guarantee that an individual will come back for more. Hopefully, however, with the above list of guest stars already announced, adoring fans will flock to the videos to see their favorite comedians enjoy a Denny’s meal and a little chatter.

After having watched the first video, I have a few opinions of my own. I am automatically enchanted by all things Jason Bateman. I love his humour and it definitely worked for the scenario. Host David Koechner is also a fine act, but for me Bateman steals the scene. There’s no real action– it quite literally is just these two individuals sitting down and having a rather comedic (and odd) conversation. I was left wondering how much was improvised and how much was scripted.

Denny’s was perfectly placed as the location without over-emphasizing their brand. There is brief mention of the name by the actors, and of course the restaurant is credited for the series, but I think they’ve done a good job of not inundating us with their involvement. This allows the audience to sit back and enjoy the wit, without being weighed down by commercialism. And yet, I never forgot they were in a Dennys.

I can personally guarantee them my loyal viewership, due largely to the names that have been attached to the show, but how long will other’s be able to sit through meal-time talk? I’ve embedded the video below and hope to hear some more reactions. What do you think? Am I just blinded by my Jason Bateman and Will Arnett love, or does this mini series have some actual potential?

The videos will be launched on both the Denny’s Facebook and College Humor.