RIP Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers died on me—literally.
I’ve loved Rivers since I first saw her on Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List in 2007, the same year Britney Spears shaved her head and Lindsay Lohan posed for her first mugshot. Rivers lacked decorum, which is a fancy way to say she believed in cursing in public. For years, I’ve wanted to interview Rivers, and a few weeks ago, I learned I finally would speak to the grand dame herself. In between making fun of Fashion Week guests’ hideous outfits on Fashion Police, she would have sat down for an interview with me.
But then she stopped breathing during surgery on August 28 and died a week later on September 4 in New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She was 81.
Joking about Rivers’s death may seem tacky, but that’s what Rivers would want us to do. Shortly after her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, killed himself, Rivers went to dinner with her daughter, Melissa, at Spago. Looking at the prices on the menu, Rivers reportedly said to Melissa, “If Daddy were here and saw these prices, he’d kill himself all over again.” They burst into laughter, and the other customers looked at them like they were insane.
But as one of the first ladies of comedy, Rivers understood that humans—especially outcasts like women and gay men—must laugh at unfortunate circumstances if they want to survive.
"Three years ago, I released a video for every single track from Alpocalypse. I’m not gonna say I’m the first person to do that. I’m sure someone did it before me. But what irked me was, when I came out with this eight videos in eight days thing, people were like ‘Oh, you’re pulling a Beyoncé.’ and I have to be like, ‘No, actually Beyoncé was pulling a ‘Weird Al.’"
—Weird Al Explains How He Conquered the Internet
Weird Al Explains How He Conquered the Internet
When I said I was going to interview “Weird Al” Yankovic this past weekend, people asked me how he was going to find the time. The guy is everywhere right now. I was a little confused myself about how he could possibly squeeze in a casual conversation in the lounge at The Standard Hollywood, a hotel on the Sunset Strip.
It wasn’t until I actually saw him stroll into the lobby that I really believed the All-Time King of Song Parody, and reigning Emperor of the Internet could take a moment away from darting all over the digital landscape to talk to the likes of me. He had an entrourage of one in tow: Jay Levey, his manager, creative soulmate and director of UHF (a movie that was released 25 years ago yesterday). Jay is a small, taciturn, businesslike man who puts Al’s elastic, always-on persona in stark relief.
But when Yankovic sat down wearing low-key, normal people colors, it was clear that he wasn’t out of breath, and he was capable of devoting his full attention to an interview. I couldn’t help but ask how this was possible.
"I have to say, the synchronicity with the release of ["Mandatory Fun"] is pretty mind boggling even before we get into all that," he said. "I had been doing all sorts of promotional stuff, like, months and months before I even knew I had an album coming out, and everything started to happen right around the time of the release." He was referring to his recent appearances in other people’s work: "Epic Rap Battles of History,” where he rapped with animal agression while dressed as Isaac Newton, and Drunk History with Derek Waters, in which he played Hitler.
But he emphasized that some of his recent everywhere-ness was happenstance, his performance as Hitler being a prime example. “It tied into the whole totalitarian theme on the album art. And there are things that are coming out over the next few weeks, like ‘Hotwives of Orlando.’ I did a little bit on that show, and that came out the same day as the album. All this stuff is sort of happening, y’know, at the same time.”
FaceTime Girls Are the New Webcam Girls
The future of cybersex is in the palm of your hands.
A fashion shoot inspired by people taking photos of themselves when they shouldn’t be taking photos of themselves.
A Visit to the Town of Yolo, California
There’s a town in Northern California, about 25 minutes outside of Sacramento called Yolo. Last weekend, while driving to Reno, I took a detour to visit.
Yolo is located in Yolo County. According to the 2010 US Census, it has a population of 452.
It is home to the Yolo Community Center—a center for the Yolo community to gather. According to a sign in the window, it’s also available to rent for Yolo weddings and other Yolo events.
There is a Yolo County Library. Which is home to First 5 Yolo, a daycare service for Yolo under-5s. A Yolo County Library fax service is also available, for sending faxes from Yolo.
There were signs asking for you to vote for Janene Beronio. She’s attempting to become a judge for the Superior Court of Yolo. A title Lil Jon has probably given himself at some point.
Liquor is also available in Yolo. From a store that has a sign which reads “Liquor Yolo.” I spoke to the owner, and he said that, though he sometimes has people coming in to ask for it, he has no plans to make any kind of Yolo merchandise. He also admitted that he wasn’t totally sure what Yolo meant, but, knew “there was a song about it or something.”
The Police Raided My Friend’s House Over a Parody Twitter Account
Jon Daniel woke up on Thursday morning to a news crew in his living room, which was a welcome change from the company he had on Tuesday night, when the Peoria, Illinois, police came crashing through the door. The officers tore the 28-year-old’s home apart, seizing electronics and taking several of his roommates in for questioning; one woman who lived there spent three hours in an interrogation room. All for a parody Twitter account.
Yes, the cops raided Daniel’s home because they wanted to find out who was behind @peoriamayor, an account that had been shut down weeks ago by Twitter. When it was active, Daniel used it to portray Jim Ardis, the mayor of Peoria, as a weed-smoking, stripper-loving, Midwestern answer to Rob Ford. The account never had more than 50 followers, and Twitter had killed it because it wasn’t clearly marked as a parody. It was a joke, a lark—but it brought the police to Daniel’s door. The cops even took Daniel and one of his housemates in for in-depth questioning—they showed up at their jobs, cuffed them, and confiscated their phones—because of a bunch of Twitter jokes.
Now Daniel’s panicking.
“I’m going to fucking jail,” he told me yesterday when he was on a break from his job as a line cook. “They’re going to haul me away for this shit.”
Quick thinking and a community-college degree in automotive mechanics can work together to create a real “shocking” meal (if you know what I mean)!
—Food Pranking April Fools’ Day
Secretly preparing a brutal brew is a sure way to make sure your victim’s day is up in smoke before he even heads to work! Forget creamer for flavoring and just substitute a little menthol!
—Food Pranking April Fools’ Day