Wednesday, August 24, 2011
YouTube Hall of Fame: Stevie Nicks Combs Her Hair, a Comedy Film From Nigeria, and the Least Sexy Video on the Internet
By Grantland Staff
Every week, Grantland's staff watches all 200 million videos on YouTube and picks their favorites. Bill Simmons: Leftover Mailbag question from Ahmad in Chicago: "The sex scene between Walt and Skyler on last week's episode of Breaking Bad was the least sexy sex scene I've ever seen. What's your favorite 'least sexy' sex scene?"
Let's take it up a notch: What about a favorite "least sexy" 10-minute YouTube clip? I've never seen Moment by Moment in its entirety, just this 10-minute montage clip that accurately captures one of the single biggest bombs of the 1970s. Why did Travolta choose THIS MOVIE, of all movies, as his 1978 follow-up to Saturday Night Fever? I don't know. What possessed a studio exec to suggest, "Let's make a moody/erotic/weighty romance about an older woman falling for a younger man, only we'll cast John Travolta and Lily Tomlin as the leads, give them similar haircuts and really freak people out?" Actually, I know the answer there: Cocaine. Tons and tons of cocaine. (Fine, I'm guessing. You come up with a better explanation.) I beg you to waste 10 minutes watching this clip. It will fly by after the glorious first 90 seconds, which feature porn music in the intro, a bra-less Tomlin pretending to be a sexually frustrated Beverly Hills housewife, Travolta's come-on line, "I did valet parking for you at that big beach party you had a few months back," Travolta's revealing that his name is "Vic Sunset" (and his nickname was "Strip"), and such horrific acting that all copies of this film have apparently been destroyed because I have NEVER seen it on cable. Tomlin didn't officially come out of the closet until 2001, although you could make a pretty strong case that she did during this movie (directed by her real-life partner, Jane Wagner, by the way). Travolta's career survived, at least for a few years, although it really should have ended after the hot tub scene at 4:45. Only the Moment by Moment movie poster came out a winner: Its tagline was "The only thing they have in common is each other." That's a great point. Literally, it was the only thing they had in common: the fact that the other person also happened to be in the room. Try to find me a stiffer on-screen couple. You will fail.
Chuck Klosterman: Stevie Nicks combs her hair.
David Jacoby: Microsoft Sales Suit No. 1: "We should do something special for the company-wide sales meeting in Vegas. Maybe a video or something?"
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 2: "Good idea. Something that highlights all the features of Vista SP1 would be great. But how do we make it interesting?"
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 1: "I got it. We'll write an original song about hacker protection, diagnostic recovery toolsets, and secure networks, record it in a professional studio, then hire a Bruce Springsteen lookalike and shoot a full-on music video."
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 2: "I love it. An eighties-style rock song about a computer operating system. What could go wrong?"
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 2: "Genius. How much will it cost?"
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 1: "$500,000."
Microsoft Sales Suit No. 2: "Approved."
Molly Lambert: The trailer for Muniru Ati Ambali, "100% Comedy Film" from Nollywood, where digital movies are affordably made, distributed directly to DVD, and then to YouTube. I have been known to watch Nigerian film trailers for hours at a time. Check out the hipster at three minutes in.
Dan Fierman: Three things about this video:
1. We all lived with the "Hitler Reacts" meme for far too long. Meet its replacement.
2. I had forgot all about Hardcore, the 1979 movie this clip is from, which was Paul Schrader's big Taxi Driver follow-up. I went back and tried to watch it again this morning. Newish parents? You might want to steer clear of this one.
3. Holy balls does Jack and Jill look TERRIBLE.
Katie Baker: This is a delightful montage of a 3-year-old Peyton Manning playing football. Watch it to see the genesis of the Manning Face. YOU CAN'T GWAB BY THE NECK! (For comparison's sake: Here's dear Eli circa age 6. Who knew he was ever so mobile?)
Sarah Larimer: Honestly, I feel sorry for this reporter. So, so sorry. Is he trying to make this storm look worse than it actually is, as the title of this video implies? Or are these guys just showing off back there to ruin some dude's live shot? Tough question. But here's a little journalism secret: Covering a hurricane sucks. Seriously. It's the pits. You have to deal nonstop weather warnings, demanding coverage plans, and things that are actually known as CONES OF DEATH. And that's before the actual storm arrives. Then you have to leave your home, go stand in the rain, and to top it all off — there are usually one or two jokers like this who walk in the back of your live shot. Rough.
I often think of this clip during hurricane season, when my buddies back in South Florida are stocking up on Pop Tarts and OK, mostly just Pop Tarts. Well. That clip, and this one. Ugh. The worst.
Amos Barshad: Kristen Wiig’s manic take on Björk's twee eccentricity is an underrated tool in the comedienne’s arsenal — but even at its best it’s never touched the real thing. This is Björk, upon cracking open a TV — to figure out how it transports her to so many “weird situations” — and seeing the intricate wiring: “This looks like a ceeety like a little model of a ceeety. All the houses, which are heres, and streets. This is maybe an elevator to go up, up theres.” Nobody dare tell Björk that’s not a goddamn elevator.
Lane Brown: With Ryan Gosling breaking up street fights and Kate Winslet saving elderly people out of burning buildings this week, I figured it might be time to remember this awesome animated short film about the time Werner Herzog rescued Joaquin Phoenix from an overturned car. Also recommended: This TV interview during which Herzog gets shot and Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.