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Amy Poehler On Santa Claus' Open Marriage


Our December cover star, Amy Poehler, continues to prove just how wonderful she is IRL by answering the very deep, very important holiday question: Whom would you rather make out with -- Santa or Jesus? She has some real insight into the Clauses marriage, we'll tell ya that much.

See more videos from the series here!

Amy Poehler Gets Real About Holiday Food


Amy Poehler answers hard hitting questions about holiday food in our awesome ongoing behind-the-scenes videos series from our cover shoot. See all the videos by Elizabeth Hummer here!

Sesame Street posted this Vine of walking sun beam Ian McKellen chatting with a Gandolf muppet. Heart=warmed. [Jezebel]

ikeamonkey2013.png Never forget. [ImWithKanye]

W12F.jpgby SERIOUSLY. [Mlkshk]

Trailer for Love Actually 2 is so dark and so good. [HuffPo]

Free Christmas card idea! [Mlkshk]

Amy Poehler Chats With Mr. Mickey About Pornographic Pie


In our next installment of "Holiday Advice with Amy Poehler," our supremely awesome cover star reveals an eternal truth about cream pies: there's something pornographic about those things. Watch her chat with Mr. Mickey about other holiday food stuffs, above, and head HERE to watch more videos from our series, directed by Elizabeth Hummer.

An Emoji Art Show Heads to Eyebeam Art+Technology Center

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Shift Key by Maya Ben-Ezer

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.02.50 PM.pngTranslation: Head to Eyebeam Art+Technology Center on Friday for a new "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" group show centered on all things emoji. Featuring works by artists that include Genevieve Belleveau, Jeanette Hayes, Maya Ben-Ezer and Fahad Alhunaif that span mediums like digital prints, sculptures, video and performance art, the exhibit aims to address themes like "emotional ambiguity, symbology and visual communication," according to the press release. We got to peep a few pieces early -- check them out above and below and head over to Eyebeam before the show closes on Saturday, December 14. On the 14th, the show will also host a panel discussion titled "I Have No Words: Emoji And The New Visual Vernacular."

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.08.19 PM.pngEmojis by Kyle M. F. Williams

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.08.34 PM.pngTRANSICONMORPHOSIS by Emilio Vavarella Fito Segrera

Emoji Art and Design Show runs December 12-14 froom noon-6pm

Eyebeam Art+Technology Center is located at 540 W. 21st St., New York

Larry "Ratso" Sloman On Co-Writing Mike Tyson's New Memoir

2D9660495-9780399161285.blocks_desktop_vertical_tease.jpgMike Tyson's new memoir Undisputed Truth has been steadily climbing its way up the best-seller lists here and abroad the past couple of months. It's full of highs and lows, sex, drugs, celebrities, money, violence, jail, and pathos. But the man who shaped the raw material of Tyson's turbulent life and made it into a page-turner is Larry "Ratso" Sloman. A legend in his own right both from his youthful days at National Lampoon and chronicling Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Tour for On the Road With Bob Dylan to his most recent fame as a collaborator on the best-selling autobiographies of Howard Stern and Anthony Kiedis, Sloman is more than a hired hand brought in to "ghostwrite" a story. His true genius lies in his ability to get along with iconoclasts, listen to their stories and relate to their life in a non-judgmental way that allows them to open up. Having written biographies of Abbie Hoffman and Houdini, Sloman also does extensive research to fill in the blanks and round out the story. This time it's Mike Tyson, the youngest man to ever win the world heavyweight boxing title, now an actor, most famously in the Hangover, a Muslim, a bird lover and a family man touring a one-man show that recently aired on Showtime.

David Hershkovits: Mike Tyson has always claimed that he was innocent of the rape charges that landed him in jail for 3 years. Do you believe him?

Larry "Ratso" Sloman: Tyson is the most brutally honest guy I've ever met, and he's willing to cop to some bad things he's done his whole life. But one of them is not rape.

DH: Yet he says in the introduction to the book that going to jail saved his life.

LS: Well, yeah, he saved his life in that he was out of control. He could have easily been shot to death by some jealous husband in a confrontation. And it really caused him to kind of slow down. Going to jail was a double-edged sword. He came out more bitter and more political than ever. He was reading Marx and Che Guevera.

DH: How did you come to work on this book with Mike Tyson?

LS: I wrote him when he was in jail. I sent him a copy of Nietzsche's autobiography, Ecce Homo, and he read it.

DH: Why that book?

LS: I wrote him a letter [in 2004], and I said listen, you know, this book helped me get through a lot of tough times. I know you're going through a lot of shit. I don't believe you raped that girl, and if you ever want me to write your memoir let me know. Four years later I got on my agent to explore doing Tyson's autobiography because to me he's not only the most interesting sports figure of all time, but one of the most celebrated people of all time. The process of getting the book was hilarious. They interviewed about twenty people and they got it down to two. They flew me to California, and that's where I met Mike the first time, at the Four Seasons hotel. And I said, I don't know if you remember, but I sent you a book when you were in jail, Ecce Homo, Nietzsche's autobiography. He goes "yeah I read that book, Nietzsche was an interesting character. He died in 1900, he was insane at the end of his life." I described my process of working with writers, to get the best out of them, and the interview was over in about twenty five minutes. And  his manager said "anything else, Mike, any other questions?" and I'm about to leave and he goes, "Hey Ratso, why did you sent me that Nietzsche book, did you think I was Superman?"

DH: What is that process? How do you capture the essence of a person as well as you do.

LS: Tyson was unlike anybody I've ever worked with. Howard Stern, for example, at that time was a compulsive workaholic, who would leave his radio show, go to his house on Long Island, and we'd go in the basement, lock ourselves in and wouldn't even eat for fucking six or seven hours. I'd say, "Howard, I'm getting hungry, let's order some food," and he'd be talking the whole time. Mike talked for half an hour, and then asked permission if he could go play a video game. We'd talk for half-an-hour, and then he'd say "Come on, Ratso." We'd jump in the Escalade, and one of his aides would drive us down to the barber shop in the ghetto of Vegas, and we'd hang out there for a while. So with Mike it was on-the-fly recordings. We'd be in the Escalade and he'll start telling a story about his childhood that was so compelling and heart-rending. Thank God I was taping it. And once you have all that stuff, you just stay true to the voice.

DH: A big player in Tyson's life was his manager Cus D'Amato, a father figure who dies early in Mike's career.
LS: Everybody thinks of D'Amato as this sweet old guy who took this black kid in. It was not the case. Cus was a curmudgeon, an outcast in the boxing world. All he wanted to do was get revenge at everyone in the boxing world, and Mike was the instrument of his revenge. He died too early, but he basically turned Mike into this killer fighting machine. I think if he would have lived, Mike wouldn't have any of the problems that he had.

DH: Tyson had a massive alcohol and drug problem after getting out of jail. When you were trying to interview him for the book, what was his condition?

LS: When we first started doing the book in 2008, I went out to Las Vegas [where he lives] for two weeks, and interviewed him for about maybe six hours in those two weeks. Every day I'd wait for the call from his agent, "He can't do it today." I didn't know at the time, and he later told me, "I was too embarrassed to tell you but if you had come with me, you would have had some party." He was partying with coke all the time. He's an extremist in everything he does. So I had to wait four years to revisit the book when he was in a better place after he got together with a woman he had known since he was fifteen years old and they had two kids together.

DH: Tyson was in the news for his violent domestic altercations with his wife Robin Givens and his battles with her mother. Tyson's account of those years make them come out looking pretty bad.

LS: Robin wrote her own book, which was full of total fucking lies. I mean, it was infuriating reading her book for research, just to see lie after lie about Mike in that book.

DH: What are they doing now?

LS: You know, Robin always surfaces whenever Mike gets some big deal, like The Hangover. He goes on Oprah, and she then she comes out the next day and says, "Oh, he's lying." She's always piggybacking off of what he does.

DH: Don King, the famous boxing promoter who managed Tyson, is also singled out for some verbal abuse.
LS: At one point Mike finds out that he doesn't own his own likeness, that Don King was getting a lot of money to use Mike's likeness. Then Mike gets his financial statements, which he never looked at, he never had time for any of that shit, and he finds out that King's charging him $7000 a month for towels? And that was just the beginning, tip of the iceberg.

DH: Another aspect to the book which tells the story of what it was like to be poor and black in New York City in the '70s.

LS: He got out of Brownsville, Brooklyn right before the drug war started. There's a line in the book that's so poignant, where he talks about whenever he'd go back to Brownsville, he'd find out that another one of his childhood friends were dead because of shoot outs and the drug wars. And he said to me, "Yeah, I paid for a lot of funerals back home."

DH: From the book, it seems like Tyson gave away money without abandon.
LS: That was Cus again. You see, Cus was a socialist. He detested Reagan. Cus also had the same problem with money. But Cus saw money as a vehicle of social change. His idea of how to do that was the black churches. He said, "Just think, Mike, when you make all this money as a heavyweight champ, you can give the money to black churches, they're gonna help the people." Well, Mike went right to the source, after he was champion he'd go back to his neighborhood. He's the most beloved--you go to any ghetto in America, Mike Tyson is god. Because he'd go hang out -- every day he'd go with $200,000 in cash, and by the end of the day, he had given it all out to people on the street, or to a homeless guy he'd see. He goes back to his old neighborhood and looks for his mother's friends and would just "break off" money. He called it "breaking off."

DH: Can you estimate how much he gave away over the years?

LS: I would say tens of millions.

DH: Incredible.

LS: Well, he had that fatalism. People would say, "Mike, you've got to think of your future, why are you giving away all of this money?" And he would say, "What future?" All his friends were dying. He really didn't think he was going to live that long. He really thought that he was gonna wind up getting shot by some jealous lover because he was fucking the guy's wife. He was a late bloomer when it came to sex, but once he got into it, you know...

DH: Including Donatella Versace according to your book. How about today? Is he wealthy?

LS: He still owes money to the IRS. He's paying it off. He owed a fortune.

DH: Because he never paid taxes? Or what happened?

LS: Because the money that should have been allotted to taxes wasn't paid. He's the last guy who's ever going to look at an accounting piece of paper.

DH: I know he's basically sober, but once in a while he falls off the wagon.

LS: A lot of times when he would revert to that kind of behavior when things were going incredibly well, not incredibly bad. One of the things about Mike is that he had such a negative self-image. That goes back to his days as a kid, and one of the things as a writer and as a friend, he would freely talk about what a piece of shit he is, and all of the bad things he's done. And I'd say "Mike, look how you turned things around, look at your beautiful family now. You're a great father to your two little kids--look how you're reconnecting with your first child, she's living with you now. There's so much positive in life, why dwell on the negative?" He says, "Because I'm a dark person."

DH: He's gotta deal with his demons, they're not going away.

LS: The demons don't go away. It's a guy that you just want to befriend, because he's so charming. Deep down, he's such a decent guy. Nobody knows. We didn't even put it in the book. But so many people told me how Mike donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to this thing, to that thing. There was a women's shelter in Vegas that was going out of business, fuckin' Mike sent a friend of his over with a paper bag with $200,000 in cash and left it on their doorstep. Nobody knew he gave it to them.

DH: The face tattoo -- that was more recent, right?

LS: That was right after the Lenox Lewis fight. I asked him why he did the tattoo. He said first he wanted to just put a bunch of hearts on his face, he thought that would help him get women. The tattoo artist wouldn't do the hearts. Then he came back to Mike with this tribal tattoo, and told him it was a warrior's symbol. And of course Mike loved that. I said, "But why did you want a tattoo there?" And he said, "Because I hate my face."

DH: Given everything he's been through, what would you say was his lowest point?

LS: I think his low had to be after prison, after he stopped fighting and all of a sudden he's hanging out with people who are enabling him, giving him cocaine, and all that. Some celebrities, and kids that he knew coming up were now big drug dealers. And he would hang with these people to get free drugs. He couldn't afford them -- he had no money. After he finished fighting he was broke. When he quit fighting he had to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The guy made more money than anybody in a short period of time. He was the first person to trick out his entire house in Versace. The first one to buy Bentleys. And to put fax machines in the car. He had stretch limos with hot tubs.

DH: He was 28 when he came out of jail. How has he changed?

LS: He comes out, regains the title, but is disinterested in boxing. By then he had been going to therapy. In therapy, he really realized he wasn't Iron Mike -- he's not that vicious animal. That was something that Cus had programmed in him. The ironic thing is that he didn't even want to be a boxer. He saw Muhammad Ali when he was young in jail and Ali came and gave a very inspirational speech to the juvenile delinquents. But Mike said to me, "I didn't want to be a boxer, I wanted to be that celebrity. I wanted to be the guy on stage." So in a weird way, the fact now that he's in movies, he's doing his one-man-show, he's always been a ham, an entertainer. One of the things that Cus told him that set him apart from other boxers was that "You wanna be the greatest boxer, you have to be a vicious animal, for entertainment."

10 DVDs for the Cinephile In Your Life


All I ever want for Christmas are not my two front teeth, but a stocking stuffed with Blu-rays and DVDs. Here are some suggestions for possible gifts for the cinephiles in your life:

81CbmFcxAWL._SL1500_.jpgJames Dean: Ultimate Collector's Edition (Warner Brothers). $72.49.
A stunning box with remastered Blu-rays of the three films the talented, doomed, James Dean made. The set includes East Of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. It also comes with lobby cards, posters and a beautiful book and scores of documentaries on the supernaturally talented Dean.

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Shout Factory). $240.00.
An amazing box including all 325 episodes of Norman's Lear's satirical meta-soap opera (which ran from 1976-1977) starring the hilariously deadpan Louise Lasser as the troubled wife dealing with murder, infidelity, and assorted family tragedies all while worrying about yellow waxy buildup on her kitchen floor.


Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.02.26 PM.pngHouse Of Cards (Sony). $27.95. 
Now is your chance to dive into this brilliant DC-set series with a terrific Kevin Spacey as the House Majority Whip, who, when passed over for Secretary of State, begins a Machiavellian scheme for power. With Robin Wright as his Lady Macbeth-like wife and a powerful Corey Stoll as a tragic political pawn. Just riveting.

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Baron Blood: The Mario Bava Collection (Kino Classics). $21.60.
Thrilling, lovingly restored, Blu-rays of the Italian master of the macabre Mario Bava, whose gothic chillers have been wildly influential. Bay Of Blood, Five Dolls for an August Moon, Black Sabbath, Kidnapped and the underrated The Whip and the Body, starring Christopher Lee, are given the respect they deserve.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.11.32 PM.pngThe Films Of Chester Novell Turner (Massacre Video). $22.45.
Black Devil Doll from Hell, a fabulously crummy 1984 made-on-video oddity about a good Christian woman who buys a Rick James-looking ventriloquist dummy at a thrift store only to have the doll come to live and ravage her sexually. Your jaw will unhinge. The soundtrack is also unbelievable -- like someone leaning their elbow down on a synthesizer. Turner is championed for making horror films with all-black casts in a mostly white genre. His other film -- the omnibus Tales From the Quadead -- is also included.


Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.25.53 PM.pngMiss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (Acorn). $27.84.
A terrific series from Australia set in 1920s Melbourne starring Karen Greenwood as a crafty detective. There's a nice feminist temperament and the mysteries are wonderful. Acorn DVD has some other fantastic mystery series like Prime Suspect, Midsomer Murders, Falcon, and Vera with Brenda Blethyn as an enjoyably grumpy Detective Chief Inspector.

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Early Fassbinder (Criterion) $43.99
This set features a collection of the early films of the late, great German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Experimental, radical movies featured here include Love Is Colder than Death, Katzelmacher, Gods of the Plague, The American Soldier, and one of my favorites -- Beware of a Holy Whore, about a tempestuous movie crew stranded on location.


Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.43.45 PM.pngNashville (Criterion). $43.99.
Robert Altman's 1975 masterpiece. Nashville is a sardonic, freewheeling look at the state of the nation mixing politics and country music, with a staggering ensemble including Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, Karen Black, Ronee Blakely, Barbara Harris and Geraldine Chaplin.

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The Vincent Price Collection (ScreamFactory). $67.63.

Shout Factory has been on a roll this year with great releases but this, under their "Scream" label, is the finest. This set features six spine-tingling remastered Blu-ray tales of terror starring fright king Vincent Price. The Pit and Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Haunted Palace -- all directed by Roger Corman.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.49.04 PM.png My Mother the Car (TGG Direct) $22.46.
 This 1965 TV show may be one of the worst ever which makes for compulsive viewing. Jerry Van Dyke stars as a man who buys a 1928 Porter and when he turns on the car radio he hears the voice of his dead mother (Ann Southern). If that doesn't scream Christmas what does?

ICYMI: R. Kelly Likes Giving Oral Sex. A Lot.


R. Kelly's new song, "Cookie", is gonna make us never want to eat an Oreo again. The Black Panties track revolves around Kells' love of giving oral sex and features such turns of phrase as "I love to lick the middle like an oreo." The video, meanwhile, shows the King of R&B chillin' and partying in his lavish mansion filled to the brim with confetti, scantily clad maids, hot dancers in gold bikinis, and champagne baths. In other words, just a regular Wednesday.

Stella Rose Saint Clair On Being Mistaken For a Man and Her Tahini Addiction

STELLA2.jpgStella Rose Saint Clair

In our new series, Ladies Who Lunch, cook, co-founder of catering company bigLITTLE Get Together and Marc Jacobs' personal chef, Lauren Gerrie, will be whipping up lunch -- and conversation -- with some of our favorite New York City ladies

I first saw Stella Rose Saint Clair in a blown-out photo on my friend's refrigerator. Her doll-like beauty was so odd, yet captivating at the same time. At the time, my friend told me that she was somewhat of a Seattle celebrity and was best known for her blog "Confessions of a Female Drag Queen." It wouldn't be 'til a few years later that I would meet her in the flesh at another friend's concert.

Stella made the move from West to East two years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and, since the relocation, she's been snapped by Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist and had an unexpected modeling career take off.  Her outrageous outfits, most of which she debuts at various nightclubs and parties, have even been featured in the pages of, ahem, PAPER. "There are absolutely no limits to getting dressed for the club," she says. "The idea is to dress up so grandiosely that you enrich the experience of fellow club goers." I sat down with Stella in her Chinatown apartment to talk life and food and find out what dish always makes her nostalgic for her Seattle childhood.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hazelnuts
Warm Maple Spinach Salad with Pickled Cauliflower and Romanesco
Cranberry Orange Vegan & Gluten Free Waffles

If you could learn how to make an artisan food product what would it be and why?

Vegan macaroons! I've been vegan for almost 12 years but after 10 years I started cheating on desserts because I am a huge sugar-aholic. Though I love vegan desserts, sometimes they just aren't the same.

Do you have a breakfast routine?

Honestly, I really love sweet things in the morning. I usually make myself a strawberry peanut butter banana smoothie.

Your fridge is virtually empty, what is the one condiment that you eat like it was actually food?

Peanut Butter. Obviously. Other than that, I would say Tahini...you can use that to make chocolate chip cookies and it's so good.

What's the dish that reminds you most of your childhood?

When I think of home, I think of my mom's apartment in Seattle. I was a really picky eater when I was a kid and we never really had that much money so we would have pasta five or six times a week. My mom would always make the sauce from scratch.

If money is NO issue, where would you go eat?

I would probably go to Juice Press every day. I actually worked there for two days, but then they didn't need me for another month or so. I'm not sure if they didn't like me or not, but I still love the juice and food there.

LadiesWhoLunchSTELLArecipe.jpgAs a vegan this might be obvious, but what food scares you?

Definitely meat. Really weird foods, like aspic, scare me. My chef roommate told me about how he ate a still-born quail egg that had the fetus in the egg. Kind of like a soft boiled baby quail. That's just gross.

What foods comfort you?

I make myself macro plates like you can get at Souen. I make the same thing again and again, steamed broccoli/kabocha squash/carrots/kale and eat that with some peanut or tahini sauce and rice. Sometimes I'll add cayenne for heat or add tofu for clean protein.

What do you think the biggest misconception/stereotype about who you are or what you do is?

Well, a lot of people think I'm a man.

People online or in real life?

Usually online. I never give people a straight answer when they ask about my gender because I feel like it is odd to go out of your way to ask someone about their gender.

Also in the club scene, people that see me sometimes think I am on a ton of drugs because of how I look. What they don't realize is that if I was on drugs I wouldn't be able to look the way I do. It takes a lot of time and creativity to dress up and look the way I do.

If you didn't live in New York where would be your home base?

Paris. I was there as a kid for a day so I didn't get to really experience it. But one of my favorite time periods in fashion is the 1960's in France, the YéYé Girl Culture. There are so many iconic girly things identified with Paris that I relate to.

5 Future Fashion Predictions Based on the her x Opening Ceremony Collection

her.jpgHumberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony and their best bud Oscar nominated director and writer Spike Jonze have once again collaborated on a capsule collection. Based on the costumes from Jonze's forthcoming film, her, a love story set in Los Angeles in the not-too-distant future between a man -- Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) -- and an advanced operating system -- Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) -- the collection is comprised of button front shirts, panel blocked sweatshirts and sweatpants, patch pocket jackets, quilted shearling coats, printed tees and knits and Twombly's signature high-waisted pants.

Based on the the collaboration, we have five predictions for the future of fashion:  

1. Sweatsuits will have a comeback. Thankfully velour is not involved.   

2. With boys in high-waisted pants, moose-knuckle will become a common fear.  

3. Couples will dress the same. They'll be in basically the same outfits, but in varying colors or styles -- kinda like Mary-Kate and Ashley did in the '90s.  

4. As Amy Poehler observed, gender will be fluid. Boys, girls, menswear, womenswear -- let's call the whole thing off.   

5. Shearling jackets are timeless. 

The her by Opening Ceremony collection is available exclusively at Opening Ceremony boutiques in New York and Los Angeles and on openingceremony.us. It will be available by Opening Ceremony London the first week of January.

Watch a New Clip From the Broad City Pilot

bps_abbiandilana.jpg We've had our eye on Broad City creators and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer for a while now, and we're pretty damn pumped for their new Amy Poehler-produced show set to debut on Comedy Central in January. The cult web series, in which Glazer's Ilana plays the brash foil to Jacobson's more self-aware and careful Abbi, was developed into a half-hour comefy helmed by our Winter Issue cover star Amy Poehler this year. And judging by this newly released clip from the pilot below, it looks like it's going to be completely awesome. Per working with their comedy idol Poehler, Glazer told us back in April: "The dreaminess of it was too much for my heart to handle. It was like shooting stars in my eyeballs."

 Poehler offered this about Jacobson and Glazer: 

"I'm always asking Abbi and Ilana questions about their lives, because I'm fascinated," Poehler says. "I mean, everyone under 26 seems gay to me. Both men and women. I often ask myself, 'Is everyone gay?' There's this gender fluidity that I think is generational, and that's new. But young women now are so interesting and are taking full advantage of their opportunities. And Abbi and Ilana come from good supportive parenting. It's funny to see what comedy comes from those backgrounds because, historically, you have to come from a shitty background to succeed in comedy, but that was never really the case with the women I came up with."
Let's hear it for well-adjusted comedians, folks! January cannot come soon enough. 

Amy Poehler Tells Us About the Best Gift In the World


In our latest clip of Amy Poehler serving us some straight talk express about the holidays, our cover star tells Mr. Mickey about the most awesome present she's ever received. Head HERE to watch more videos from our series, directed by Elizabeth Hummer.

Big Freedia Rates 2013's Best Twerk Videos


Rapper and ass clapper extraordinaire Big Freedia stopped by the office recently and sat with PAPER's Abby Schreiber to rate some of the best booty popping videos birthed out on the Internet this year. Find out what the Queen of Bounce had to say about Harry Styles' twerk skillz, a Beyoncé superfan's hip popping and a certain over-exposed pop star's notorious award show performance.

Catch more of Big Freedia on her Fuse network show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce

Three Must-See Films This Month

Inside llewyn Davis
In the Coen Brothers' rapturous new movie, the velvet-voiced Oscar Isaac beautifully inhabits Llewyn Davis, a struggling folk musician in Greenwich Village in 1961. He is always scrambling for gigs, crashing on couches, fighting with his ex-girlfriend (a ragingly good Carey Mulligan) and racing around the streets looking for a lost cat. After a hilariously bizarre car ride to Chicago with a sullen driver (Garrett Hedlund) and a know-it-all junkie music legend (John Goodman) he's finally ready to walk away from his dream -- just as Bob Dylan arrives on the scene. It's a funky, furiously funny portrait of a loveable loser.

Set in Los Angeles, in the not-so-distant future, Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a lonely man still smarting from a marital bust-up, who works for a company where he writes personal letters for other people. When he gets a new artificial-intelligence operating system, he becomes smitten with its computerized voice (Scarlett Johansson). This may sound overly whimsical but the film's writer/director is Spike Jonze and his take on the techno-crazed culture is filled with wit and surrealism. But it's Phoenix's sweet, soulful, heartbreaking performance that anchors the film and makes it so deeply affecting.

August: Osage County
The film version of the caustic, darkly comic play by Tracy Letts about three daughters (Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis) who return to their Oklahoma home after a family tragedy, stars Meryl Streep as Violet, their bewigged, pill-popping, monster of a mother. The play was sardonic, but director John Wells goes for straight melodrama, with Streep injecting sympathy into venomously cruel jibes at her children. Fortunately Roberts, Nicholson and Lewis, along with Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dermot Mulroney and Ewan McGregor, are so criminally good that this corrosive family drama is absolutely riveting.

Oscar Isaac Photo by Alison Rosa ©2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

Mana Del Rey Stars In The Griswolds'"The Courtship of Summer Preasley"


Sydney-based dance pop five-piece The Griswolds have a cuckoo new video out for their single, "The Courtship of Summer Preasley" starring our favorite LDR drag impersonator, "Mana Del Rey." The tropicalia-tinged track also features an assortment of hot Aussies making out, smoking joints and running around outside topless (suck it up New Yorkers, yes it's frickin' cold here and it's summer Down Under). The song appears on the band's EP, Heart of a Lion, and, in the words of another well-known Sydney resident, we think it's pretty quiche.

Fashion Designer Chris Benz's Tips on How to Make a Hotel, Home

In-demand fashion designer Chris Benz -- known for his flair for color, including his signature, Pepto-pink hair -- is constantly traveling to various fashion-world stops. From Paris to Tokyo, the New York-based Benz has perfected the art of hotel homemaking. On his latest trip, PAPER and Canon equipped Benz with the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS camera so that he could show us how a veteran traveler creates a home away from home.

Benz gets comfortable on a bench in the hotel's lobby.
Organize, organize, organize!
"As a Virgo I like to organize everything. I line up my products in the bathroom and unpack my clothes on arrival --  It's all about settling in and getting yourself ready to live there. I usually have to call down for more hangers because I like to hang up everything. It feels extra luxurious, since my closet in New York is literally so small that I never use it."
Benz's Virgo tendencies at work in his hotel closet and bathroom.

Conquer Jet Lag
"Jet lag always hits me. I tend to get that hazy, watery eye. Waking up early is the horrible part, especially when you're in the Eastern hemisphere. You're lying there wide awake at 4:30 in the morning watching old episodes of Sex and the City, when all you want to do is sleep. One of the tricks I found for getting over jet lag is sweating in the sauna or on the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes helps reenergize the body. If you are able to do that, it's a game changer." 

Out of SATC episodes to watch, Benz attempts to sleep through his jet lag haze.

Eat in Bed 
"When you're staying at a hotel, the bed becomes center of everything. Creating a bedspread picnic is one of my favorite things to do. On a whole, room service is horrible, so I always order a la carte and pull from the minibar. You end up with a million little things and lots of plates and dishes, but that's the way you have to do it. I like to take the tablecloth off the room service cart and put it on the bed. Sometimes you can even lift the top of the cart off, which is ideal." 

canon_chrisGIF_resized.gifCB_blog1.jpgDinner is served! Benz shares his carefully curated bedspread picnic with friends using the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS with built-in Wi-Fi.

Host a Minibar Cocktail Party

I love minibars. After unpacking I always assess the minibar situation. It's like having a tiny grocery store or New York deli in your room. The Hazel Snyder's pretzel bites are always the first to go. To create a little cocktail party in your room pull everything out and set it up like you would a bar cart at your apartment. The tiny bottles are just so chic. Don't forget fresh limes and lemons! 

LJ7C0939.jpgcanon_chrisGIF4_resized.gifBar cart with a view. The window ledge in Benz's hotel room becomes the perfect cocktail prep zone.     

Don't Forget to Decorate
"Bringing personal items to decorate the room is an easy way to make your hotel room feel like home. One thing I always, always bring is the candle I burn in my house. Having it smell like home after working all day is comforting. It also wouldn't feel like home without all my electronics. I immediately find out where all the outlets are so I can figure out where my computer, tablet and phone are going to be. I like to arrange everything to be as close to the bed as possible. I always travel with a zipper pouch filled with every possible cord, adapter, earphones. Internet adapter...everything. You never know."

After brightening his whitewashed hotel room with decorative touches, Benz gets to work.

"I absolutely always bring my own products. It's important to maintain your routine. I love going to Duane Reade, my favorite store, and getting all the tiny bottles and filling them up with a week's worth of everything. I learned that the hard way. Once I had a big La Mer moisturizer, which I had just purchased, taken by security. She was about to throw it in the garbage, but I was like 'Please don't throw it away! Girl, you better take that home, it's expensive!' I wanted somebody to have it at least. Keeping your skin hydrated is key. The two products I always use when traveling is this Freeman's blue algae mask and a face oil by Eileen Harcourt, who is a facialist to the stars. Her face oil is a super jolt of hydration for your face. It's what Madonna uses in flight before she gets off the plane." 

Benz takes a personal serenity moment in the bathroom with his favorite hydrating mask. Om.

Socialize with the Staff

"Hotel bars always remind me of that scene in Lost In Translation with Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. Random people are coming together in one spot with varying degrees of jet lag delusion. I love observing and overhearing the bartenders talk to everyone around the bar. It has such a weird, wonderful energy. It's like a hyper version of what I love about New York. Plus, restaurant staff are the best people to make friends with because they know all the new, cool spots to go opposed to the concierge, who will send you to the same restaurant they've been sending people to for the last 50 years."

Cheers! Benz scoops the local nightlife scene from an in the know bartender.

Check back on papermag.com to see more BE READY moments with The Sartorialist, Johnny Wujek and Jenny Johnson!

100 Great Gifts for $100 and Under


MG_8343_dad05368-88e4-4055-ad17-d72951514636_1024x1024.jpg1. MilkFed Oui Sweater. $100 via VFiles

2. ALL Knitwear + BAGGU backpack. $48.00 via BAGGU

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 1.41.35 PM.png3. Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps. $24.48 via Amazon

4. Yayoi Kusama Puzzle. $75.00 via RxArt

5. Banana Bud Vase. $68.00 via Jonathan Adler

2144006_2571573_b.jpg2146783_14538134_b.jpg6. Bill Murray and David Bowie REPLACEFACE prints. $24.95 each via Society6

A0748_ED6465.jpg7. Lulu Frost x J.Crew earrings. $98.00 via J.Crew

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8. Mouse Ears. $60.00 via WELCOMECOMPANIONS.

HaringDek.jpg9. Keith Haring skateboard deck. $80.00 via Gagosian

kenzo.jpg10. Kenzo Tiger iPhone 5 case. $45.00 via Opening Ceremony

shiciana.jpg11. Leather card holder. $80.00 via Shinola

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12. The Best Cookbook Ever by Max and Eli Sussman. $19.26 via Amazon
brj-gift-guidenew1.jpg13. Pocket Squares. $35.00 via By Robert James

14. Submarine socks. $18.00 via Stance

15. Dotted crewneck sweater. $88.00 via Madewell

16. Wool Lumberlander Scarf. $84.00 via Best Made Co.

popedope.jpg17. The Pope Smokes Dope bag. $25.00 via A.P.C.
18. S'mores pie. $35.00 via Butter & Scotch

SodaStream_Genesis_550px.jpg19. SodaStream Genesis Soda Makers. $99.99 via Bed Bath and Beyond

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.00.21 PM.png20. Playing Cards. $95.00 via Lanvin

21. Camera Strap. $75.00 via Sarah Frances Kuhn



22. Inez van Lamsweerde/Vinoodh Matadin. Pretty Much Everything. $69.99 via Amazon
Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.40.25 AM.png23. Cocktail syrup trio. $35.00 via Morris Kitchen

A1785254O13BLWHI.jpg24. World Travel Adapter. $95.00 via Diane von Furstenberg

BeakerPomPomGroup_1024x1024.jpg25. Beaker Pom Pom Beanie. $66.00 via In God We Trust

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26. Scissors by CraftDesignTechnology via Vetted.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 12.45.14 PM.png25. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Embellished collar. $53.06 via Far Fetch


7565.jpg26. Mullet Coasters. $15.00 via Blue Ribbon General Store

27. 4-piece Turkish Towel Set. $99.00 via Etsy

28. WTF Letter Wax Seal. $75 via Terrapin Stationers

29. Zephyrus Terrarium. $85.00 via ABJ Glassworks
30. Leather Bucket Hat. $80.00 via SSUR

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 4.19.26 PM.png31. Whiskey and Rum Making Kit. $70 via Uncommon Goods


32. Tracks Headphones w/ Mic. $70.00 via AIAIAI

33. Blah Blah Blah Tee. $49.50 via J.Crew

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 4.11.18 PM.png34. Caterpillar Bud Vase. $18.00 via Uncommon Goods

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.48.20 AM.png35. Sour cream coffee cake. $40.00 via Zingerman's

36. Barry McGee X the Hill-Side bandana. $65 via ICA Boston

37. Le Labo Santal 33 body lotion. $65.00 via Le Labo.

38. Nike Free 5.0 Road-Running Shoes. $99.95 via REI

corky.jpg39. Corky Glassware. $55.00 Design Within Reach

acne.jpg40. Merino Wool Gloves. $90.00 via Acne

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41. Coop's Micro Creamery Hot Fudge. $11.00 via Dépanneur

crewneck.jpg42. Crewneck Cashmere. $69.90 via Uniqlo

43. Amber, Guinevere, and Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005. $100 via Amazon

cenotes_studs_black_grande.jpg44. Cenotes Studs. $77.00 via Cold Picnic

corey.jpg45. Corey Cap. $65.00 via Eugenia Kim

46. Zip Car occasional driving membership. $85.00 via Zipcar

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47. Tarot Cards. $40.00 via The Wild Unknown

herschelduffle.png48. Novel Duffle Tote Bag. $89.99 via Herschel Supply.

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49. Jane and Serge. A Family Album. $59.99 via Amazon

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.01.51 PM.png50. Ryan McGinley limited-edition beach towel. $95.00 via Artware Editions

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.00.59 PM.png51. Apple TV. $99.00 via Apple

52. VFILES x Bikini Kill Punk Rock Cheer Poster signed by Kathleen Hanna. $75.00 via VFILES

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.03.47 PM.png
53. Eraser Earrings. $90.00 via Artware Editions

thrasher-thrasher-flame-logo-beach-towel-black-p14435-32645_zoom.jpg54. Thrasher Flame Logo Beach Towel. $39.95 via Thrasher

55. Set of 6 Rainbow Mugs by Vignelli Associates. $60.00 via MoMA Design Store

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.06.22 PM.png56. Tech Turntable. $89.95 via Fab

57. Large Fancy Room Filled With Crap Tea Towel by David Shrigley. $50.00 via Artware Editions

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.07.46 PM.png58. Handmade Freddie Mercury Doll. $45.00 via Brooklyn Museum

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.08.57 PM.png
59. Enrico Natali: Detroit 1968. $49.95 via Amazon

60. Comme des Garçons PLAY CDG Black Cardigan. $89.90 via Chocolateteecrew
Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.10.27 PM.png61. Country Sun Tote. $36.00 via Mollusk Surf Shop

62. Beer can planters. $100 each at give-good-art.myshopify.com

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.12.06 PM.png
63. Michael Jordan tee. $60.00 via Deer Dana

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.14.09 PM.png64. Handmade iPad Sleeve. $54.00 via Gräf & Lantz

65. Bowery Crew Neck Sweatshirt. $98.00 via Saturdays NYC

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.43.13 PM.png
66. Martyrdom t-shirt by Cor Leon. $40.00 via Cor Leon

lashteegiftguide.png67. Lash Tee. $55.00 via Skot

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.15.25 PM.png68. Leslie Knope Scented Butter & Maple Syrup Waffle Necklace. $28.95 via NBC Universal

69. "Tall Drink of Water" Linen Tea Towel by Aurie Ramirez. $24.00 via Creative Growth

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.16.29 PM.png
70. Grey Gardens The Beales of Grey Gardens Box Set. $39.96 via Amazon

71. "Don't Give Up the Ship" Historic Flag. $48.00 via Best Made Co.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.17.22 PM.png
72. Projecteo Instagram Slideshow. $34.98 via Projecteo

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.17.54 PM.png
73. Wishbone Wall Hook. $30.00 via LEIF

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.19.00 PM.png74. BlinkerGrips Bicycle Grips with LED Indicator Lights. $66.40 via ebay

75. Unsubscribe Fountain Pen. $60.00 via Fuse Works

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.19.58 PM.png76. X-Girl Dinosaur Baseball T. $50.00 via VFILES

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.20.41 PM.png77. Friday Night Lights "Clear Eyes" Metal Sign. $59.95 via NBC Universal

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.21.30 PM.png78. Analog iPhone Holder. $35.00 via J. Crew

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 3.27.42 PM.png
79. Vintage Pendleton Blazer. $50.00 via Gypsy Warrior

80. Oy Vey Flask. $48.00 via the Jewish Museum

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81. Mickey T. $31.99 via Neff

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.25.33 PM.png82. Once Again Watch by Swatch. $50.00 via Swatch

83. Framed Divine poster via Allposters.com

84. 3-D Printing Pen. $99.00 via 3Doodler

85. Raymond Pettibon Tote Bag: Surfer. $34.00 via MOCA Store

86. Chairs Game. $75.00 via MoMA Store

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.34.07 PM.png87. Digital Wallet. $100 via Coin

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.34.55 PM.png88. Batik Serving Utensil Set. $40.00 via LEIF

89. AIGA/MY 30th Anniversary Poster by Maira Kalman via UncommonGoods.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.35.40 PM.png
90. Ottoman Candle by Cire Trudon. $85.00 via Cire Trudon

rabbitheadband.jpg91. Black Fur Headband.  $94.00 via Condor

92. Boob Pillow Case. $38.00 via Gravel & Gold 

93. Le Creuset 1.8 Qt Whistling Kettle in fennel. $85.00 via WhiskNYC

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 4.24.00 PM.png
94. Cashmere Knit Hat. $95.00 via Quinn

95. Membership to BAM Cinema Club. $70.00 via BAM
96. Submarino Bath Set. $70.00 via BEAM

katzoil.jpg97. Katz Olive Oil. $24.00 via Katz Farm

98. Stanley Kubrick Archives. $69.99 via Amazon

necklace.jpeg99. Selma Necklace. $70.00 via Wanderluster

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 11.02.48 AM.png
100. Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) Tin. $30.00 via Leckerlee

PAPER Multimedia LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Writer/Director James Lapine On His New Documentary, Six By Sondheim

Six by Sondheim, a new HBO documentary directed by Stephen Sondheim's long-time collaborator James Lapine, focuses on six of the musical theater legend's songs ("Something's Coming," "Opening Doors," "Send in the Clowns," "I'm Still Here," "Being Alive" and "Sunday") to tell the story of his life, from growing up with Oscar Hammerstein to his Broadway debut, West Side Story, to falling in love for the first time at 60 years old. We chatted with Lapine about making the film -- which includes new performances of the songs by the likes of Audra McDonald, Jarvis Cocker (pictured), Darren Criss and Jeremy Jordan -- and what it revealed about his friend.

How did you choose these six songs out of Sondheim's expansive catalogue?

It was really about what songs would best serve to cover the breadth of [Sondheim's] life, his work and his methodology. We had to have six that were chronological and were individual in different ways. They just sort of revealed themselves to us in time.

It was surprising to hear Sondheim say his most autobiographical song is "Opening Doors" from Merrily We Roll Along.

I agree. I think he means the [song is the] most literally autobiographical in terms of place and time, but of course so many of his songs are complete reflections of him. I can't lay claim to it but [I think] "Opening Doors" is based on very specific people and one of them is himself, so I think that's the other reason he looks at it as his most autobiographical.

There's some amazing archival footage in the film of Sondheim when he was just starting out.

We're so lucky to have a subject that has 50 years of archival footage available. He came of age when TV was born. Hearing him speak about times prior to when I met him was really interesting, like in that Hart Perry [1973 documentary] where he talks almost bitterly about his work and his life. It was good to see that part of him; when he was a little down in the dumps, and not so optimistic about the business and his place in it.

Oscar Hammerstein was such a big influence on Sondheim, but their music is so different. Were you aware of how close they were?

When I first started working with [Sondheim] I was kind of a musical theater dummy, so filming this documentary was kind of revelatory for me. After all these years, I started to understand what a complicated and interesting guy Hammerstein was, and how Steve has a lot of his same personality and professional traits.

He talked a little bit about his romantic life, but he didn't give too many details. Did you feel like he wanted to open up or was it hard to get him to talk about it?

I think he opened up as much as he chose to open up. Steve comes from another era of propriety and privacy -- a time when you just didn't talk about your life. Also, I think the work reflects his life...and I didn't feel in any way compelled to push him further.

Do you have a favorite Sondheim song (not including ones from the musicals you've worked on with him)?

I have a few favorites though I wouldn't say I have "one favorite." I love the song "The Road you Didn't Take" from Follies. It's not a showstopper, but I think it's kind of extraordinary. I also love "Anyone Can Whistle."

Photo courtesy of Six by Sondheim

"It's Harder to Work If You're a Total A**hole:" Outtakes From Our Amy Poehler Cover Story

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 4.04.04 PM.pngThere's more from where our Winter Issue cover story on Amy Poehler -- newly crowned Golden Globe nominee -- came from. Below, more outtakes from her interview with Paper contributing editor Alex Scordelis.


My parents have always gone to my shows. The UCB has very supportive parents. The four of us had parents who were together, which is strange, looking back. The audiences at our shows in the beginning were usually 10 people: two crazy people, two people that Besser helped get there, maybe three or four actual audience members, like friends or people who were interested in improv, and a set of parents. Usually it was mine or Ian's, because they lived a little closer. My parents watched every SNL live, and my dad even had a UCB license plate.


Here's an interesting fact that Old Lady Poehler learned the other day: most kids don't even have TVs in their dorm rooms! Think about that! Aubrey Plaza's sister just graduated from college, and didn't have a TV in her room. These kids are like I wanna watch whatever I wanna watch and I'm gonna watch it on my beautiful computer.


I remember when we were performing back in the early days of UCB, we didn't have... the Internet. The Internet was just starting. You could do a show and tape it and send it to people, but you couldn't say, "Check out my stuff online." Now you literally don't have to get onstage to be hired to do anything.

When UCB first got to New York, we got a job working on a show at Broadway Video called This Is Not a Test, hosted by Marc Maron. And it was "For the Internet" - in quotes. And someone told us, "Eventually, everybody is going to use the Internet." And they showed me the most rudimentary example of flashing text on a screen. And I remember saying, "This is never going to work." 


I have a younger brother, Greg. He's three years younger than me. He's 39, and he lives in Sweden. I'm working with him right now on a show that I'm producing called Welcome to Sweden, That we're shooting and airing on Swedish television, and hopefully NBC at some point.  He's a writer, and for many, many years he was a lawyer in New York. And then he met a Swedish girl and moved to Sweden, and he kind of taught law and wrote there.


It was strange a little bit because I'd been working with friends I'd known for a long time. And I'd done sketch for a couple of years, so you don't want to repeat yourself, you're worried about doing your tricks. But millions and millions and millions of people have no idea what your tricks are, or who you are. So sometimes you have to force yourself to play to your strengths, you know? I was already writing new stuff I wanted to do that I hadn't done before when I got to SNL. Or maybe do what you think you do well for a little while, till people get to know you.


Leslie truly believes that no problem is too big, and no person is too small. It's a very Horton Hears a Who kind of thing. But her goals have changed a little bit in that she's gone from believing she wants to be the next president of the United States to seeing how difficult it is to make change happen. Me and [the show's creators] Greg Daniels and Mike Schur talked about this long arc of a person who right out of Obama's 2008 Audacity of Hope times who has very little power and works as a deputy director of a parks department in a small Midwestern town, but believes that things can be better, and it's represented by idea that "I can build a park." And throughout the course of the seasons, she fights against rejection and apathy and cynicism and tries not to get infected by those things, but they do change her. That's the long arc. But really, the show's just funny characters doing stupid things.


Improv and sketch, inherently, are not a singular action. You have to depend on other people. There's an ensemble mentality. Even some of the language -- 'getting on an improv team' or 'working with an improv coach' -- references sports. As actors and comedians, we all secretly want to be athletes. Improv can be the closest we'll come to feeling like an athlete. We have to perform together, and we win or lose together. It's different than stand-up. You have to learn to work well with others. This is just my path and experience, but I've always loved collaboration. I feel like I learn so much working with good people, and often putting other people's ideas ahead of my own. That always has helped me. It's not the path for some people.
But you will realize that in this business, which frankly is shrinking more and more, it's harder to work the way you want to work if you're a total asshole. And at UCB, you have work well with others. I stake no claim in the talented people who are there, but the UCB Theater is my proudest career achievement


Amy wears a dress by Marissa Webb.

Conan O'Brien, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart Took a Lyft Car Around L.A. and It Was Awesome.


Conan O'Brien, Ice Cube and Kevin Heart drove around L.A. together using rideshare app Lyft and it was genius. These three need to make a buddy comedy, stat.

Here's Steve Carrell interrupting a weather forecast on a British news show. Is it just us, or did Steve Carrell get like 50 times hotter? [TastefullyOffensive]

tumblr_mwofsm4lgE1s71q1zo1_1280.pngSubscribe. [LiarTownUSA via Hexgirlfriend]

ICYMI: Billy Eichner was on Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night and showed a video of him and Amy Poehler walking around New York forcing people to sing carols with them. If they know the lyrics they get a dollar. Spoilers: New York really, really suck at singing Christmas carols.

Which leads us to our final (sob) Amy Poehler video of the week, in which she talks about fame and old people never knowing who the F she is. See all of our awesome holiday videos with Amy here.
molly04-e1386709121591.jpgMilwaukee artist Molly Evans has been sneaking around at night, putting Lionel Richie lyrics on people's discarded furniture as part of her "Lionel Stitchie" series. Come to New York, Molly! There are endless garbage canvases here that await you. [Flavorwire]

tumblr_mx2bkhS0TT1sw3htdo1_1280.jpg Free stocking stuffer idea! [AfternoonSnoozeButton]

Think we just found the crown jewel of our upcoming 50 under $50 gift list. [JuliaSegel]

tumblr_mxg77tq15Q1qg39ewo1_500.gifHave a great weekend, folks! [FYouNoFMe]

Beyoncé Released a Secret Album! And 17 Music Video Teasers!

Holy shit holy shit holy shit, Beyoncé released a secret album last night.

In an anti-marketing move that was the polar opposite of her husband's massive Samsung campaign to launch Magna Carta Holy Grail, Bey quietly released a self-titled record -- her fifth studio album -- late yesterday. She also gave the Internet an early Christmas present by simultaneously releasing 30-second snippets of all 17 music videos accompanying the album -- 14 of which appear as tracks on the record and three that, from what we can tell, are either bonus clips or will be released as singles down the road.

The videos are sumptuous glitterbombs that show Beyoncé frolicking in Brazil with Blue Ivy ("Blue"), hanging out in her native Houston ("No Angel") and, in a video directed by Terry Richardson ("XO"), riding around the Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island. But the videos aren't all just about The Fabulous Life of the Carter Family. Queen Bee gets a little more conceptual in clips like "Superpower" -- her track with Frank Ocean -- in which she leads a band of stylishly-dressed anarchic protestors through a dystopic city; "Mine" (featuring Drake), which intersperses clips of Beyoncé singing with futuristic-looking dancers swaying on a beach; and "Ghost," a minimalist video that looks more like it came from some high-fashion spread. Other clips show the singer dipping her toe into sexy Lynchian/The Box-type burlesque ("Haunted" and "Partition") or dancing around with supermodels Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman ("Yoncé). But, in what's probably our favorite clip (or at least Top 3), "Grown Woman," Bey's fallen down the Tumblr rabbithole. Highlights from the cuckoo video include an army of Beyoncés twerking in front of VHS-style cosmic backgrounds, an appearance by Kelly Rowland wearing an amazing wig and, at the very end, some wonderful House of Dereón realness with Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, sitting regally in front of a desktop wallpaper of flashing diamonds. Watch 'em all, below.

"Pretty Hurts"


"Drunk In Love" featuring Jay Z


"No Angel"




"Mine" featuring Drake


"***Flawless" featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"Superpower" featuring Frank Ocean


"Blue" featuring Blue Ivy

Extra videos:



"Grown Woman"