Is Anne Hathaway Still Annoying? An Investigation Betches

Just a few years ago, Anne Hathaway was one of my least favorite celebrities. Sure, she had acting talent, but everything about her persona as an actress was so over the top, and she often came across as a total try-hard. The other day I was watching The Princess Diaries, and I had an important realization: I think I like Anne Hathaway again. What has changed? Is it me? Is it her? To find out, let’s go back to the beginning, and see what really happened. Today also happens to be Anne’s 36th birthday, so I’m really giving her a chance to redeem herself.

In my estimation, Anne Hathaway’s career can be split up into five rough phases. A lot has changed since the days of The Princess Diaries, so let’s take a closer look at Anne’s trajectory, and how we feel about it. Back in 2002, 20-year-old Anne didn’t suck. She wasn’t ever like a Hilary Duff-level of lovable or anything, but she was quirky, cute, and–most importantly–not pretentious. She knew how to do family movies without seeming dumb and annoying, and she perfectly pulled off the balance of clumsy but poised and mature. She also avoided any of the scandals that befell other young stars of her generation.

The second major phase of her career was when she really focused on becoming a ~serious actress~. This included movies like Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada. Both of these are classics, but it’s easy to see where Anne’s annoying streak started to come into play. Anyone who takes themselves too seriously gets old really quickly.

The period from 2009-2011 was where things really got rough. At this point, Anne was a big name star, but some of her movie choices were seriously questionable.  She took off her clothes a bunch in Love and Other Drugs to show us she’s a grownup, but let’s be honest, we were all busy looking at Jake Gyllenhaal. Also, Alice in Wonderland is so f*cking weird and I’m still mad I had to watch it once when I was babysitting.

Looking at the whole timeline, 2012 is where the sh*t really hit the fan.  In the same year, Anne ruined the last Batman movie and cried way too much in Les Mis, for which she somehow won an Oscar.  On top of thatAnne managed to give the most eye roll-worthy Oscar speech in recent memory while showing us all her nips in her gown. Her pretentious-ness was a lot to handle, and it was hard to take her seriously.

So where are we now? After winning her Oscar, Anne laid low for a few years, putting out some projects here and there, but taking a break from really being in the spotlight. Honestly? It was the best decision she’s ever made. Now, she’s back on the scene, but she seems way more self-aware about basically everything. Her role in Ocean’s 8 this summer was totally hilarious, and we haven’t seen her do comedy like that in a very long time. She’s also gotten into the big business of celebrity commenting on Instagram, and she had a really lovely Insta exchange with Lady Gaga after she saw A Star Is Born.

View this post on Instagram

I keep thinking how we move through things so quickly these days (how could we not?); I know my personal capacity to absorb something new is often maxed out. For example, a movie opens, we are “obsessed” for a weekend, we move on. I do this too: even when I really love something, I get distracted by the next thing, don’t fully digest the experience and I quickly move on, like the world exists only to entertain me, like great art is unlimited, that my consumption of it as an everyday all-you-can eat buffet is acceptable. We are so fortunate- a ton of worthy, excellent movies are going to come out between now and the end of the year, and our plates are going to become increasingly full. That said, I think A Star is Born is so special, so ambitious, so audacious and so brilliantly human that it shouldn’t just be a news story for one weekend. Even being so excited about what’s coming out, I want to really luxuriate in appreciation for A Star is Born. I saw this film back in August at the Venice Film Festival and I still walk around feeling lucky I was in that audience. This film surprised me in the best possible way; it even killed some cynicism that I didn’t know had snuck into my heart. I loved it. I hope you see it. Bravo @ladygaga. Bravo #bradleycooper. Thank you. Encore 🌹

A post shared by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) on

So basically, Anne Hathaway is doing great right now, and I’m excited to see where this takes her. Hopefully she can keep things normal and down to earth for as long as possible, because she really is a great actress. Happy birthday Anne, keep up the good work!

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy; @annehathaway / Instagram

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5 Unsung Heroes Who Made Your Favorite Movie Fight Scenes

Not unlike any given trip to IKEA, action movies are chock-full of fights, the difference being that someone has to choreograph all those epic punches and spin-kicks. And since most of us don’t sit through a film’s credits without the promise of, say, Captain America staggering in front of a green screen to advertise a movie that won’t be out for three years, we’d like to take a moment to highlight a few of the cinematic artists who crafted some of our favorite movie fight scenes. Such as …


Thank Jonathan Eusebio For John Wick, Black Panther, The Avengers, And More

Loosely based on the story of everyone who watched Marley & Me and then angrily punched a hole in their drywall, John Wick (aka Scruffy Matrix) finds Keanu Reeves hitting and shooting his way to get to the baddies who offed his puppy dog. The fantastic action scenes were choreographed by Filipino American martial artist Jonathan Eusebio, who also worked on the sequel (titled John Wick: Chapter 2, perhaps in an effort to make literature seem more action-filled and exciting).

Summit EntertainmentThis time, he’s killing people for ruining all his shirts in the last movie.

Eusebio has done lots of great work, even in movies hardly anyone saw. Like Hitman: Agent 47, an adaptation of the successful video game series in which Mr. Clean has a midlife crisis, becomes a contract killer, and ransacks Donald Trump’s suit closet. Take this scene, wherein the titular Mr. 47 gets knocked onto a subway train, then rolls onto the tracks …

20th Century Fox“Aw, that was my tra-” “Don’t worry, I’ll help you catch it!”

… leading to a deadly bout of hand-to-hand combat that also involves navigating speeding trains and puddles of urine.

20th Century Fox

20th Century FoxAt least, we hope that’s only urine …

Eusebio has also worked extensively as either a stunt or fight coordinator in Marvel movies such as Deadpool 2, The Avengers, Doctor Strange, The Wolverine, and the cultural juggernaut that is Black Panther. The latter featured giant battles, an extended car chase, and the only casino brawl in history not caused by booze, money, or Celine Dion tickets.

Marvel StudiosPlus the deadliest use of a wig in a non-Steven-Seagal fight scene.

He also worked on the Expendables series, which is presumably the usual process, albeit with more Metamucil breaks. Perhaps most impressively, he was the uncredited fight coordinator in the obligatory “that escalated quickly” sequence in Anchorman 2. Give this dude his Lifetime Achievement Award already.


The Guy Who Did They Live Also Turned Matt Damon Into A Badass In The Bourne Series

They Live is John Carpenter’s classic 1988 film about a pair of shades that allow a drifter to see the secret skeleton-faced alien overlords controlling our planet, and until they make a biopic about Bono or David Caruso, no pair of sunglasses will be so damn important in a movie. Perhaps the most memorable part of They Live is an extended fight scene between star and professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David, in which they punch each other in a filthy alley for roughly the length of The Eagles’ “Hotel California.”

Universal PicturesThis is your periodic reminder that Piper thought all of this happened for real.

Carpenter delegated the choreography of the scene to his frequent collaborator Jeff Imada, with only the request that “three specific wrestling moves” be a part of it. He doesn’t say which ones, but they probably didn’t involve slamming your opponent into concrete littered with candy wrappers and used condoms.

Universal PicturesIf you go frame by frame, you can see a full pack of bubble gum falling out of his pocket.

But Imada didn’t dissolve into a puddle of water like the aliens at the end of that movie (we think, it’s been a while). His name is on a ton of classic films before and after They Live, including Lethal Weapon, Rambo, Blade Runner, and Charlie Sheen’s magnum opus Hot Shots! Part Deux. More recently, he was the fight choreographer on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum — two of the ones starring Matt Damon, not his understudy Jeremy Renner.

Universal PicturesAlthough it’s hard to tell who it is with that camerawork.

Imada even did stellar work on otherwise-forgettable movies, such as this epic fight in The Book Of Eli, in which a post-apocalyptic Denzel Washington battles a horde of chainsaw-wielding madmen …

Warner Bros. Pictures

… or the critically panned but occasionally kickass Green Hornet remake, featuring scenes seemingly meant to gaslight audiences into thinking their popcorn was laced with PCP.

Columbia PicturesOr something else, considering Seth Rogen is in this movie.

A way better fight coordinator than a script picker, Imada has also worked in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, After Earth, the Total Recall remake, a couple of Fast & Furious movies, and the Twilight franchise. So if you notice any especially skillful angst-filled werewolf-on-vampire punches, that’s probably due to his expertise.


The Transporter‘s Corey Yuen Has Been Kicking Asses For Almost 50 Years

The Transporter sounds like a Star Trek spinoff about the exciting lives of those poor saps who spend eight hours a day standing in a windowless room waiting for someone to decide to beam somewhere. But no, it’s a 2002 action movie starring Jason Statham, Qi Shu, and Jason Statham’s bare chest.

20th Century FoxAnd bare head.

Statham stars as Frank Martin, a guy who transports packages somehow even too shady for UPS. Of course, this allows for a multitude of scenes wherein he kicks the crap out of bad guys, and by metaphorical extension, male pattern baldness as a whole.

20th Century FoxThe famous scene where he interrupts a breakdance competition.

The Transporter was co-directed and choreographed by Corey Yuen, who has a laundry list of martial arts movie credits. Or rather, the laundry list of a hotel hosting a bedwetter’s convention, because this guy’s been making movies since the late ’60s, working with luminaries such as Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Sammo Hung. Yuen’s American directorial debut was No Retreat, No Surrender, which was also the first movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme (unless you count his performance as “Gay Karate Man” a few years earlier).

Behind the scenes, Van Damme was apparently straight up knocking the other actors unconscious. When Yuen chastised him for breaking character to check whether his scene partner was, you know, still alive, they shot a second take … whereupon Van Damme proceeded to knock him out yet again.

Also in Yuen’s filmography are the ’70s kung-fu flick 7 Grandmasters, featuring glorious swordplay like this …

Tokyo Shock

… and the friggin’ nuts Badges Of Fury from 2013. Sadly, it isn’t about anthropomorphic badges (or badgers) that are super angry.

Easternlight Films

Easternlight FilmsThough that wouldn’t be any less believable than the other scientific laws that govern this movie’s universe.


Yayan Ruhian And Iko Uwais From The Raid Also Popped Up In Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Like the frustrated daydreams of your apartment building’s super, the Indonesian action hit The Raid (subtitled “Redemption” in the U.S. so audiences wouldn’t think it was about bug spray) found a cop ass-kicking his way through a filthy high-rise — like Die Hard, if John McClane wasn’t a middle-aged former sitcom star. The movie concluded in a monumental fight scene only made better by grabbing a Nintendo controller and hurriedly mashing the buttons.

Sony Pictures Classics*play for full effect*

Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the fight choreography was done by stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian — who were so unknown at the time that Uwais was working as a “delivery guy for a phone company” when he met Evans. Of course, after the movie’s success, they soon followed it up with The Raid 2 (Re-Redemption?). It too was full of one insane action scene …

Sony Pictures Classics

… after another …

Sony Pictures ClassicsThose walls were originally white.

The pair’s post-Raid careers haven’t been as plentiful as you might think. While both of them appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they disappointingly merely showed up to verbally threaten Han Solo, presumably because Harrison Ford is far too old to get kicked in the face.

Lucasfilm“Hi, we’re here to deliver your space phone book.”

But it turns out that wasn’t the only highly-anticipated sci-fi sequel the Raid guys worked on. They also showed up in Beyond Skyline! You know, the sequel to that alien invasion movie so low-budget that it was filmed in the director’s apartment. But with Uwais and Ruhian on board as actors as well as choreographers, Beyond Skyline has some surprisingly badass scenes …

Vertical Entertainment

… including one where Ruhian gets his arm ripped off by a damn alien and keeps fighting.

Vertical Entertainment“What’s the sound of one hand hacking?”


Road House Was Authentically Nuts Thanks To Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

Road House is a bonkers ’80s action movie starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer who works to clean up a corrupt town while also roundhouse-kicking anyone under 21. In one of the most memorable fight scenes in any movie, Swayze has a beachside brawl that ends with him ripping out the other guy’s throat with his bare hands. Warning: The following clip is NSFW, unless you work as a bouncer in Missouri, in which case we have to assume this is business as usual.


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer“Come again!”

This cinematic gem was partly the work of fight coordinator Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, a champion kickboxer who somehow managed to forge a career as a tough guy even with an Elton-John-inspired nickname. Urquidez once claimed that he was challenged to a fight to the death in a Hong Kong warehouse. He also claims to have won the fight, but refused to kill, leading to an audience riot. Those deathmatch patrons can be real jerks.

Urquidez did the choreography for many more Hollywood movies, even managing to make Lou Diamond Phillips and Marky Mark seem like martial arts masters in The Big Hit, which concludes — in the most ’90s of fashions — in a fight inside a giant video store.

TriStar PicturesThe fight ends with Wahlberg using AOL disks as ninja stars.

Urquidez also performed in some movies. Here he is tussling with Jackie Chan:

Golden Harvest

Golden HarvestHow many of you can say you’ve had your nipples twisted by Jackie Chan? No more than 20.

And you might recognize him from Grosse Pointe Blank as rival hitman Felix La PuBelle, who tries to murder John Cusack at his high school reunion.

Touchstone PicturesWhich, if you’ve ever been to one of those things, would frankly come as a sweet release.

Urquidez landed that gig because he’s John Cusack’s kickboxing teacher, which is apparently a thing John Cusack does to say in shape so he can carry around all his boomboxes.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter, or check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Get to writing your own fight scenes with a beginner’s guide to Celtx.

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For more unsung heroes in the entertainment industry, check out 5 Big-Time Players In Your Fav Movies (Who Got NO CREDIT) and 5 Unknown People Who Secretly Made All Your Favorite Music.

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5 Stupid Things We Need To Stop Clicking On

We are living through the final gasps of the Information Age. Experts estimate that 62 percent of all information we now receive is deliberately false, and that includes the percentage and experts I made up at the start of this sentence. The sad truth is, most of you will never have the critical thinking or research skills to know what’s real, and that will only make you more sure about the wrong things your stupid ass believes. The good news is that this article isn’t about that shit. The fake news fight is over, and stupid won. No, this article is about the dumb things we all keep falling for — even you, the genius who chose the right political side and religion.


Pointlessly Insane Products Are Not That At All

Last year, Tiffany & Co. started selling the Sterling Silver Tin Can, an empty can that costs $1,000. You’ll notice that this is far more than you’d normally pay for soupless garbage. To be clear, this wasn’t some tin can that once held Prince’s final green beans. It’s only a can. As an artistic statement, it was 50 years stale, and as a money-making scheme, it was somewhere between a portable diarrhea box and that same product without a lid. It’s the kind of idea that would make the other Saved By The Bell writers say, “Look, if you’re not ready to come back to work, take more time off to deal with the death of your son.” The point I’m making is that it’s hard not to comment on Tiffany’s silly can, and that’s more appealing to Tiffany & Co. than when we comment on how the people who mined their products all died of slavery.

“Darling, I was part of many souls transcending penetration to transform a utilitarian men’s room into an installment of signature Tiffany oeuvre.” — this Tiffany copywriter explaining to his wife why there are seven colors of pubic hair in his underpants

And it’s not only tin cans and Wu-Tang albums that are marketed in intentionally strange ways. Food advertisers have figured out that they can get more attention by being ridiculous than by being delicious. Remember when KFC used fried chicken as sandwich bread in the Double Down? Or when Chick-Fil-A announced that their fried chicken hated gay people with the Cajun Titty Jiggler? We all made fun of them, but they absolutely did not care. These are people turning pigeon meat and “deported” foreign nationals into nugget shapes. They’ll take any press they can get.

We need to stop doing this. It’s very possible the only conversation any of us had or will ever have about Dr. Pepper came when they released a special version of their soda for men only. We all went on Twitter to say things like, “Forbidding women from tasting Dr. Pepper Ten will only delay the discovery that it’s made from semen, not stop it completely.” We asked questions like, “Why would you make a soda for men only? Are you trying to find the perfect drink to pair with losing custody of your kids?” Or maybe you simply speculated, “Dr. Pepper Ten sounds like the refreshing treat you reach for when defending an accused rapist you haven’t met.”


Products should make the customer happy, not be so deliberately dumb that the customer hears about them during a Jimmy Kimmel monologue. You shouldn’t make every tenth new Oreo out of cat suppository in the desperate hope that cookie influencers tweet about it. And pizza, you especially need to get your shit together.

In 2012, a Pizza Hut employee happened upon the idea of a hot-dog-stuffed crust, quite by accident, when his manager caught him fucking a pizza and demanded an explanation. This marked the last time there would ever be a non-insane pizza invention. Today, pizza marketing is a series of deranged innovations, like a serial killer’s journey toward becoming the Minotaur. For instance, Pizza Hut created “smart” shoes that place an order for you. Aside from getting the elderly to wonder what they’re going to come up with next, what the fuck good do pizza shoes do anyone? If you have a use for ordering Pizza Hut via shoe, your foot is going to fall off from diabetes long before you get to do it a second time.

And did you know that Domino’s spent millions of dollars promoting something called “carryout insurance?” It’s what it sounds like — a financial guarantee that when your sloppy ass drops a pizza, they give you another one. Aside from getting us to mention how dumb that is, what’s the point? Was there a community of fat idiots eating pizza off the ground and demanding their representatives do something? Let’s say it’s just to set your mind at ease. Let’s pretend you’re thinking about ordering Domino’s, but decide against it because you’re always dropping pizza. Will this convince you? Of course not. You’re not even here. You were taken in the night by mad scientists, and now you’re a lump of brain tissue labelled “HISTORY’S SADDEST FUCK.”

“CARRYOUT INSURANCE!? Hey, boss? Yeah, I just found a loophole that gives me unlimited floor pizza. So what I’m saying is you can kiss my ass.


All Things “Of The Year” Are Arbitrary Decisions Made By Small Teams Of Random Assholes

We are living in the darkest of times. Our current sexiest man alive looks like a rectangle who makes its living hustling milk-drinking contests.

“I’m digesting four gallons of Half & Half. Hi, I’m Blake Shelton, your sexiest man alive.”

When People magazine announced hoedown music standout Blake Shelton as the sexiest man alive while Casper Van Dien was still not dead, it hit like a bomb. Every Twitter account and Safeway express lane had a hot take on it. It wasn’t merely controversial; it was a direct challenge to what vaginal lubrication even meant. What will it do to society if passably handsome NASCAR dads are the new standard of sexy? Do we need to stop doing sit-ups? Will there be enough denim?

What will Casper Van Dien do with this boner?

You know what we should have been doing that whole time? Not giving a shit about how handsome Blake Shelton is. Don’t get me wrong, Blake Shelton is alright. His condoms probably don’t expire, and if he was arrested for sodomizing a dairy cow, you’d think “Him?” But let’s not play games. He’s not the sexiest man alive. At best, he’s “Oklahoma’s Hottest Mostly Ham DNA.” But we should remember that this isn’t some great honor decided by measuring the gonad stimulation of test subjects. “Sexiest Man Alive” is picked by four or five editors desperately trying to hang onto print media jobs, and every now and then one of them is smart enough to say, “What if we trolled everyone?” With all respect to Blake Shelton’s fuckability, if you died trying to teach a prosthetic arm how to give a handjob, the People staff would write your name up on the “Sexiest Man Alive MAYBES” board.

It’s important to keep in mind how meaningless these titles are before we get outraged. Before Donald Trump, Time gave its 2006 “Person of the Year” title to You, as in the second-person pronoun. And in 1938 they gave it to Hitler, the Donald Trump of 1938. These are meaningless choices meant to inspire terrible conversations between uninteresting people. Did you think LaTonya from Fayetteville was chosen as Jet ‘s “Beauty of the Week” because of her winning tits and smile? Wake up. It’s because her face tattoo says “Abortion is Bae.” Please, all of us, we have to stop getting outsmarted by the Jet magazines of the world.


It’s Not An Event When Fictional Characters Die

In 1992, DC Comics killed Superman — an invincible ventriloquist with laser eyes, frost breath, and chronosphere-bending flight speed — with a rock monster who was pretty good at punching. Despite it being the third time he had died, the country went into mourning and the story was picked up by the actual news. Which was weird, because if the media wanted to cover upsetting Superman stories, where were they when his girlfriend got turned into a pony and fucked his horse?

I think about this every day. Every day.

Why are we so obsessed with fictional deaths? Most of the time, they’re not even real in the make-believe universe in which they happen. Captain America and Batman die around 20 times a year, each in different combinations of fake-outs, resurrections, and universe reboots. If a dead guy’s best friends own a time machine and the Eye of Agamotto, you can probably hold off on making funeral plans. And if your favorite character dies on The Walking Dead, maybe don’t waste an hour watching Chris Hardwick cry until you see the body.

It should help you relax knowing that most fictional deaths are only abusive pranks, but the “real” ones are about as meaningless.

I mean, you knew there wasn’t going to be any more Firefly. This death cost us maybe two wisecracks.

Remember when Han Solo died? He was a 73-year-old laser gun fighter scheduled to get his own movie in three years. His death was both long overdue and completely inconsequential to the amount of Han Solo you will continue to see on your TV. His father-in-law, Darth Vader, was on screen for about 36 minutes before he died in 1983, and since his death, there have been more Anakin Skywalker stories than anyone could ever want. Anakin Skywalker is the Nicolas Cage of outer space. He stopped making good movies three decades ago, yet he’s still everywhere and radiating inexplicable cosmic energy.

If George R. R. Martin went on TV to announce that a meteor hit Westeros between books and everyone in A Song Of Ice And Fire is gone, how is that different from the world you’re living in now? The guy has clearly wanted to focus more on snacks for about four books. You know what’s sadder than seeing Ned Stark get his head chopped off? Watching some fragile-hearted slob go through the stages of grief in a YouTube video afterwards. Parents, if your child is filming themselves weep over a make-believe death, that’s a bigger failure than if your child is filming themselves pee into a tube sock for Patreon supporters. I mean, you can do whatever you want, but when you cry over fake people whom you can still see every day for as long as you want, you’re only sending a message to the people around you that you’re a dramatic piece of shit. But I know something that will cheer you up!


Being Special Is Free

That’s right, I said it.

You’re welcome.

It’s pretty easy to sell someone nothing more than the idea that they’re special or important for actual money. For example, somewhere right now, a Todd is looking through a rack of keychains to see if they have one with his name on it. “I hope they have a Todd,” he might announce as he thumbs through dusty garbage. “They do! And it’s spelled right!” So Todd will buy it, a cute reminder of the worst store in the least interesting part of a city he once visited, and it will never occur to him that an Indonesian factory gambled and won that a completely shitty Todd would one day pay money to remind himself of his own name. This next part is way off-topic, but not even the Indonesians could have foreseen that this keychain would one day be used to frame Todd …

… for Toddslaughter.

Back to the point I was trying to make: We are all susceptible to this crap. Coke had its first sales increase in more than a decade when it introduced the idea of adding the customers’ stupid fucking names to their cans and bottles. And the internet has been haunted by ego-stroking personality quizzes and IQ tests since before we used it to pay girls peeing into tube socks. We are so desperate to be told we’re special that we will suspend all disbelief and critical thinking to hear it. You should know that answering a few simple personality questions does not make you the coolest ninja turtle, and you shouldn’t trust the scores of an IQ test that you watched yourself cheat on which also advertises free Slavic women and four new pounds of dick girth.

One of my favorite examples of this, and favorite things in general, is an online community called Intertel — “An International Society of the Intellectually Gifted.” It’s very difficult to get in. You can only join if you score in the top 1 percent of any self-administered intelligence test and mail in a $10 application fee. You may have considered that this in fact checks to see whether you’re stupid enough to mail in a test with a 98 percent score or less and nothing else. If you get accepted, you then pay a $39 annual fee to be a part of a genius club for people who are very specifically not. What do you get? I’m so glad you asked. For the annual fee, you get unlimited pity and the right to post a photo and bio about your unusually gullible self. It has created an avalanche of unearned ego that looks like a late ’90s Casper Van Dien fan page whose webmaster went mysteriously missing.

Image courtesy of the estate of the Casper Van Dien Fan Page & Genius Community webmaster.

OK, no, but seriously, this next image is a real screenshot from the Inertel (An International Society of the Intellectually Gifted) website. This is a real person who really thinks he’s in the 1 percent of intellectual elites, and this is his real profile.

I didn’t doctor this. This is what an actual genius named BigJim369 pays $39 a year to display. Fuck! This world is magic and you get to live in it!

Another business that exploits your love of yourself on a massive, sprawling scale is the pop-up museum industry. The name implies that there are things to do or learn inside them, but they’re more like oversized photo booths than art galleries. For instance, if you take a trip to the zany, world-famous Museum of Ice Cream, you will learn zero to one things about ice cream and eat ice cream worth $45 less than the entry ticket. What you will do is wait in line to take photos of yourself next to what you’d describe in any other context as “nothing of interest.” So to be clear, we are so self-obsessed that it’s now an effective business model to charge us money to take pictures of ourselves so we can promote you online.

You didn’t fool ME, Museum of Ice Cream. But my family loved it. Five stars.


Stop Making It Seem Like There Are Nazis

OK, so the world has enough idiot racists to elect Donald Trump president, but not all of those voters were full white supremacists. Some of them were simply too religious to know when someone is lying or too old to change their mind about politics. And yes, a troubling number of them were Nazis. But in a lot of ways, most things are fine and the world isn’t as awful as you think.

You’re welcome again.

Impossibly shitty people, like the Trump supporters who took that Garfield mug personally, seem like they’re everywhere. A lot of that is our fault — the decent people making fun of them. They use us to amplify their voices, like Han Solo (R.I.P.) convincing a hallway of Stormtroopers that he’s way more people than he actually is. Every few minutes, a website publishes a variation on the article “These Miserable Fucks Said Something Racist About A Thing And Got Annihilated By Twitter.” They’re fun and vaguely heroic, but if you read more than one, you’ll start to see that they all share the same content. It’s the same three or four racist tweets quoted in every article, tweeted by the same three or four racists who “attacked” the Star Wars with the Asian girl and “staged boycotts” of the all-lady Ghostbusters. We need to stop treating these three or four people like they’re a threat to anything other than skewing PornHub’s algorithm to favor mother-son incest.

BREAKING NEWS: Local high school’s least-likable prick still making quite a spectacle out his irrelevant awfulness.

Here’s a reassuring fact: A study of Reddit found that 1 percent of communities were responsible for 74 percent of all conflict. We are taking the intentionally ignorant comments of a Kia’s worth of debate club hobbyists and pretending they’re a tidal wave of hate we must stand together against. The “alt-right” movement is 30 boys too cranky to date and too slow to learn Dungeons & Dragons. Their supporters are a toxic group of gamers who will disappear once they turn 17, and their media outlet is a cable network whose entire audience will be dead in two more flu seasons. All these people want is for the other side to get upset, so if we stop writing thinkpieces about the rise of dapper white nationalism and focus more on how liberals hate suicide cults, we can be rid of them almost immediately.

BREAKING NEWS: C-word who only tweets C-wordy antisemitic things DOES!

Ann Coulter is a good example. She’s the skeletal remains of antique intolerance, and she has about as much cultural influence as Corey Feldman’s band, Oral Thrush and the Yeast 2000s. Has she ever done anything other than hiss wrong things at impatient TV personalities or pretend that clinical antisemitism is antisemitic comedy? She only seems like she is a thing because 10,000 of us dunk on the bitch every time she blames her oral thrush on the Jews. Without all of us explaining to each other how wrong she is, Coulter would just be wandering through Home Depot to see if there are any white employees she can ask about the toilet safety rails. And soon she would be hatching spider eggs in her mouth while her parakeet watched her body rot. “Rawk! The Jews are at it again!” it would repeat to her undiscovered corpse. “The Jews are at it again!”

We all seem to get how dumb it is when the news says “teens” are doing a comically apeshit thing like human centipede parties or detergent eating. Why can’t we use those same giant brains to figure out how one Nazi nerd looking for attention isn’t “the Right”? I know it’s tough to resist trolls, but Kim Kardashian owning all the world’s money should have taught you that there is virtue in shutting the fuck up about some things. We need to stay strong not in the battle against the “alt-right,” but in the battle to ignore them. The next time you see another column about how women won’t date conservative men, leave it alone. Let those dickless Nazis keep writing versions of that article into the empty void until they learn evil causes women to dry up. And the next time someone on your Facebook thread defends their Second Amendment rights after a school shooting, don’t validate their child murder fandom with attention. Move your cursor to the left and click on their mother’s profile. Pose as Blake Shelton, win her moist trust, and quietly destroy that child-murderer’s family. Every one of us can shut up and make a difference.

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The ‘Infinity War’ Trailer Is Great, So Were These 6 Others

The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War just came out, so let’s rejoice about that for a bit.

Come to think of it, the superhero genre has gifted us with a few great trailers over the years. So since we’re in the Marvel/Christmas season, let’s celebrate what’s truly important: kickass trailers for films that might have been good.


Batman Returns

The original trailer for the 1989 Batman was a bunch of clips from the movie hastily pieced together to let people know that there was a Batman movie, and yes, Batman was in it. Luckily, the trailer for Batman Returns, aka Catwoman Begins, is a little more fluid in its construction. Danny Elfman is blaring, and the trailer really makes sure to accentuate the fact that Catwoman and Batman are totally doin’ it — a romance that has yet to be topped in any superhero movie. Also, it makes you miss the era when Danny DeVito could get second billing in the biggest superhero blockbuster of the year and people were like, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”


Spider-Man 2

The opening 35 seconds of the trailer for the best Spider-Man movie are spent listening to Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst quietly talk to each other in a coffee shop about love and smooching. I don’t know if that feels dated or ahead of its time, but in an age when most trailers are “LOUD FUCKING SOUNDS! ALL THE TIME! GO! GO! GO!”, it definitely showed that Spider-Man 2 had guts. Guts enough to say, “Hey, I know that you’re really interested in seeing Spider-Man punch, but I’m equally interested in seeing Tobey Maguire flirt. And you’re just gonna have to deal with that.”



The first Watchmen trailer is still the greatest thing ever put on screens. The movie looked stylized, thrilling, and philosophical. It seemed perfect to 2008’s “Bioshock is so fucking deep, man” college Daniel. And the trailer had the Smashing Pumpkins in it! Remember when that was a good thing?! If The Dark Knight was the left jab, Watchmen was going to be the right cross when it came to the fight to establish superhero films as “legitimate” cinema and not just popcorn entertainment. And then the actual movie came out, and that didn’t quite happen. But the trailer is still great.


Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy spends about 30 seconds as a normal superhero movie trailer. A handsome dude walks into a gigantic, mysterious set and finds some object of power and stuff. And then the tone of the actual movie kicks in, and it’s glorious. The Guardians of the Galaxy were immediately established as the funk music to the Avengers’ dad rock. And its use of “Hooked On A Feeling” would inspire the trailers for films like Suicide Squad. Sadly, rather than take the lesson of Guardians and find a song that perfectly fit the atmosphere of the movie, Suicide Squad seemed to pick “Bohemian Rhapsody” because you like that song, right? You like it? Please like it.



I’m not gonna cry. I’m not. I swear I’m not. Don’t look at me.


Black Panther

We’ve been at this big-budget superhero movie thing since 1978, so it’s hard to find a trailer that feels fresh. A trailer that reminds you of exactly why you love these characters and their stories. A trailer that makes you giggle with “Holy shit!” glee. Black Panther does that. Every day, we read a new piece about why the superhero genre may or may not be dying. The Black Panther trailer proves that it has so, so much life left in it.

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This Week In Pop Culture (9/29/17)

9/29/2017: How Standalone Films Will Actually Save The DCEU

By Luis Prada

Batman Forever sucks. But there was one moment in it that made kid-me so happy. During a conversation with Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne casually mentions Metropolis. With one word, the standalone Batman movie lets us know that it takes place in a larger universe, one which includes Superman, without a distracting cameo. It looks like DC and Warner Bros. are going back to that tactic. In news that should surprise no one, they are having some reservations about the DC Extended Universe. This kind of thing happens when only one of the four movies in the series doesn’t require fanboys to talk themselves into thinking it was good.

The new strategy is to eliminate unnecessary crossovers between characters and focus more on standalone stories that each nod at the larger universe. Or, as DC President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns put it: “The movie’s not about another movie.” And with that, those of us who’ve written angry walls of text lambasting DC and Warner Brother’s insistence that their cinematic universe try to accomplish everything Marvel’s did in a fraction of the time can give our weary keyboards a rest. Just over a month away from the release of Justice League, they finally get why Marvel’s interconnected universe works so well.

Marvel’s success isn’t lightning in a bottle. It’s the work of careful planning by people like Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios and the guy who, in essence, acts as the director of the entire MCU. His overarching vision for the cinematic universe gives every movie and show a sense of organic cohesion. In his system, each filmmaker is allowed to put their own spin on a property without too many instances of jamming in references because they need an Avengers movie ten minutes ago.

The news pairs well with Warner Bros. wanting to put DC properties in the hands of “master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other.” That’s exactly the strategy that Marvel used to establish their universe before they earned the right over a dozen movies later to have the Hulk costar in Thor: Ragnarok. A few well-placed references in a standalone movie go a long way.

9/28/2017: 17.2 Million People Watched Young Sheldon. What?

By Lydia Bugg

Look to your left. Now look to your right. Statistically speaking, one of the people you just looked at watched the premiere of Young Sheldon last night. 17.2 million viewers tuned in to the series’ premiere. It was the biggest comedy premiere in four years. Roughly all of the pop culture thinkpieces this morning were about Young Sheldon, but I have to wonder: Who is the audience for this show? Did anyone who doesn’t write about pop culture for work actually tune in?

I know how important it is to have a dialogue with people, so I tried to reach out to a Young Sheldon viewer. But I couldn’t find a single human person who watched the show. Here is a real conversation one of our writers had with a Big Bang Theory fan about Young Sheldon:

Do any of us want to see the child? If so, why? Can this show surprise us in any way if we already know so much about how it ends? I personally would love to see a twist ending wherein Young Sheldon murders someone. It would add a dark undertone to all the episodes of Big Bang Theory, as we watch Old Sheldon and silently contemplate the fact that he’s a murderer who has escaped justice. If I knew that was coming, I would totally watch Young Sheldon.

As it is, I have not seen the show, but 17.2 million other people apparently did. Doesn’t that number just seem a little bit baffling? 17.2 million people? Are we sure it wasn’t 17.2 million dogs whose owners left the TV on while they were out? Was it maybe 17.2 million televisions that were hooked up at CBS’s Chuck Lorre watch-farm? Was it 17.2 million children who were being forced to watch the show as a cruel and unusual punishment?

Where did these 17.2 million people come from? What are their stories? Can someone please contact This American Life and ask them to do a Young Sheldon segment? I need more information on these people, and why they want to see the child. Is the child really a thing that needs to be seen? Apparently if you ask 17.2 million people, they will say yes.

9/27/2017: This Reaction To The Harry Knowles Scandal Is Everything Wrong With Nerd Culture

By Mark Hill

Harry Knowles — the film critic who described Blade II as a movie that “starts with long licks with a nose bump on the joy button slowly” and Guillermo del Toro as a director who “takes the audiences’ clit in his mouth and just licks it like crazy” — has, shockingly, been accused of sexual harassment and assault by five women. The accusations, as detailed by IndieWire’s Kate Erbland and Dana Harris, include that he repeatedly grabbed a woman’s ass and thighs without her consent, that he responded to requests for screening tickets by promising them in exchange for a kiss or nude photos, that he grabbed an Alamo Drafthouse employee and told her he wanted to see her naked, and that he told a woman who was trying to network that “you can have my vienna sausage anytime.”

Naturally, some people have heroically leapt to Knowles’ defense. One woman was accused of lying and fabricating evidence, and told that she didn’t deserve to be a writer in the film community. That, of course, is a reference to Jean-Luc Godard’s famous belief that a woman can’t truly appreciate the art of cinema until she’s groped by a famous fan, then dutifully ignores it because they’re told that’s just part of the creep’s wacky personality. And film writer Scott Weinberg found this defense of Knowles by Louis Black (not to be confused with famed comedian Lewis Black), the co-founder of The Austin Chronicle and SXSW. Black wrote:

“My Harry Knowles Story: I watched as Harry through his leadership brought film nerds together, completely changed and expanded their impact on film and their standing in the industry, while making stars and giving power to geeks who for generations before had found their greatest fame in limited circulation fanzines. No one wrote for AICN for the money, the [sic] wrote for the power and prestige and the sheer joy of communicating with an audience of like minded film enthusiasts who had never come together before. Film nerds though their status changed, are still film nerds. The moment the opportunity presented itself they turned on Harry with a ruthless vengeance.”

I could hire an elite team of academics to formulate a more tone-deaf answer, and they wouldn’t be able to top that if they dedicated their entire lives to the task. For readers who are wondering why so much fuss is being made about a man whose profound thoughts on Heroes were dedicated to obsessively analyzing a high-schooler’s hymen and virginity, Knowles launched the film-focused Ain’t It Cool News in 1996. The site became huge thanks mainly to the fact that it was one of the first websites where anyone could discuss movies (and, of course, the nipple-pinching “rampage of orgasms” that might be contained within one). That’s hard for anyone who’s had internet access since birth to appreciate, but to a certain generation of nerds, getting involved in a large, like-minded community was revolutionary. It was proof that they weren’t alone in the world.

Despite a writing style that could best be described as “hypersexual ape taught English in a futile attempt to cure its attention deficit disorder,” Knowles went on to launch an influential movie festival, become prominent in the Austin film scene, and generally make himself kind of a big deal. He scored plenty of mainstream media attention, to the point where he appeared on Roger Ebert’s show. Some of the women accusing him viewed him as a gatekeeper who could help them break into film writing — or ruin them if they dared to speak up. So Black’s not wrong when he says that Knowles brought film nerds together and changed the landscape for fans. He’s just misplaced his priorities so badly that scientists will need to invent a telescope more powerful than any which exists today in order to locate them.

Black’s response is the perfect summation of the attitude that creates shitty people who doubt women when they accuse icons of harassment. There’s this persistent idea that nerd culture is a fragile thing that must be sheltered from reality at all costs, lest an army of bullies straight out of 1980s stereotypes wash it away in a flood of swirlies. The “power and prestige” of nerds is more important than any silly little complaint some woman might have about being “assaulted.” Look how he phrased his comment. It’s “My Harry Knowles Story,” as if his story is just as relevant as those of women who didn’t like getting grabbed by a man whose very first thought on actress Hayden Panettiere was “born August 21, 1989, now 17 (legal in Texas, which is important, because her character is in Odessa, Texas).”

People who are like Black — and you only have to spend a few minutes online to find a lot of them — believe it will be 1996 forever. That they’re part of those “generations before who had found their greatest fame in limited circulation fanzines.” That it’s somehow still shameful to, gasp, like geeky movies, and that anyone who admits to doing so is the real hero. But 1996 was a long time ago. Black is right about Knowles helping nerds get power. But once you have power, you’re not an outcast anymore, and you can’t keep acting like one, no matter how much you think you identify with the movies about them. That’s how people like Knowles get away with abusing their power, and why when the truth finally comes out, people rush to their defense. The allegations suggest that Knowles’ response to finally getting power after being the underdog has been to become a sexual bully. Meanwhile, defenders like Black try to pretend he is still a victim, even while he victimizes others. It’s a pattern we’re going to see until either we collectively stop believing that people who have geeky interests are somehow still wacky, misunderstood outcasts in this day and age, or the Universe grinds to a halt. You know, whichever comes first.

9/26/2017: James Cameron Has A Billion-Dollar Problem

By Daniel Dockery

James Cameron is finally making a sequel to Avatar, the 2009 landmark film which introduced us to a new era in special effects filmmaking and blue animal-people sex. And by “a sequel,” I mean that he’s making four sequels, one after another, with the first projected to be released in 2020. And together, they will cost a billion dollars. This is the worst thing that could possibly happen to James Cameron.

It’s not the worst thing because Avatar, for all of its achievements, is just kind of a bland bonanza of CGI and tired themes, and the next four films in the series will probably be more of the same. That lack of a reliance on anything resembling a fresh story will probably help it in overseas markets, which gobble up stuff like this and The Mummy and Pirates Of The Caribbean and Transformers — franchises which eschew traditional elements like “adequate dialogue” and “consistent narratives” for two-hour strings of chases and explosions.

No, it’s the worst thing because it forces Cameron to hit the impossible revolutionary standard that he’s set up for himself. Anything less than the next big trend in movies is a failure. The Terminator and Aliens are seminal ’80s horror/action classics. Terminator 2 was part of a generation of films that included Jurassic Park, which ushered in a blend of CGI and practical effects that filmmakers still struggle to top to this day. At the time of its release, Titanic was the highest-grossing movie ever, and also looked damn impressive. Avatar pioneered new motion capture techniques and stereoscopic filmmaking. Hell, the only Cameron film in recent memory that didn’t serve as an overthrow of the previous era of movies was True Lies, and even that thing cost about $100 million.

Where do you go when you’ve defined your career through being the man who pushes us into the future? Sure, Cameron is a bit of an insufferable douche, but I’m not sure that he deserves the title of “That guy who sucks now because he didn’t blow our minds that one fucking time.” Which he will inevitably be if each Avatar sequel doesn’t out-gross the last one, and doesn’t present us with some new technique in shooting film that’s made completely out of moon dust and dreams or whatever. But he’s got nowhere left to go. With James Cameron, it’s either Pandora or retirement.

9/25/2017: Supersize Me 2: What The Chicken?

By Ian Fortey

Following the huge success of his massively debunked sorta-documentary Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock is back with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, a film more important today than at any time in history, if for no other reason than that “supersizing” hasn’t been an option at McDonald’s in 13 years. Way to stay relevant, Old Man Spurlock.

This new film, which YouTube Red snatched up for $3.5 million, carries the abominable subtitle of “Holy Chicken!” because that’s a thing people say somewhere? “Holy cow!” is a thing people say, so maybe “Holy Chicken!” grew from that? Anything from “What the Cluck?” to “Motherclucker!” to “Cock-a-Doodle-Don’t” would have clearly been superior titles for this movie, unless it turns out it’s about the zany misadventures of a rooster who was somehow elected pope. Sadly, it’s not, as the doc will focus on giving “insights into the food industry of today — an industry which uses trigger words like ‘all natural’ and ‘free-range’ to sell people on the illusion of health and self-improvement.” So we can see how “free range” chickens aren’t actually free, and not a single chicken is allowed to be pope.

As our earlier article shows, almost nothing in Spurlock’s original documentary made sense, and was widely shredded from numerous sources for being, to put not too fine a point on it, a pack of shady, shitty lies. But surely this new film will provide an honest portrayal of fast food, right? According to Deadline, the sequel follows Spurlock as he opens a restaurant to “attempt the same deception of consumers that so many restaurants pursue, all to demystify an industry that prefers to keep consumers at a remove.” So a pack of shady, shitty lies, but this time on purpose!

If the first movie was Spurlock on the receiving end of the fast food industry’s nefarious and liver-destroying victuals, and this movie sees him turning the tables as a purveyor of wicked and ill-conceived delights, expect that we’ll be seeing people eating what they think is free-range, non-GMO, organic chicken, but what is actually the severed foot of a hobo on bath salts. But in a way that teaches us a valuable lesson about consumer culture and nutrition, and not how to lie to people for money.

For more, check out This Week In Pop Culture (9/22/17) and What Stupid Thing Is Trending Now? (9/24/2017).

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7 Demented Tales Of Rock Star Sex You Never Heard Before

The world of rock ‘n’ roll isn’t a place for the fainthearted. It’s full of emotional turmoil, violence, addiction, and just, like, a shitload of hardcore fucking. And often, the gods of rock like to swirl all of that mess together, creating sexual exploits so weird and sordid that even Larry Flynt would look away.


David Bowie Banged Slash’s Mom

Of all the possible reasons for musician rivalries, David Bowie and Slash might have a unique one. It’s not that Slash ever called Bowie a has-been, or that Bowie accused Slash of ripping off one his lesser-known alter egos (The Sunglass Wizard). All Bowie did was have tons of sex with Slash’s mom when he was a kid.

During the making of The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie — vagabond and satanic sperm incubator — began a passionate affair with his costume designer. The lady in question was Ola Hudson, a world-famous designer responsible for the looks of other rock luminaries like Ringo Starr and John Lennon. She’s also the mother of some guy named Saul Hudson, although we know him better by the punctuation sign he now goes by.

via The Daily Mail
You’re face to face, With the man who boned your mom

During an interview in 2012, Slash finally admitted that he absolutely despised Bowie for being his mom’s boyfriend. And while their relationship was very mysterious to the press, Slash saw it all. The Duke was all up in their domestic life, including tucking the future hellraiser into bed like he was his eyepatch-wearing stepdad from space. Slash even saw Bowie’s Major Tom when he walked in on them during, um, naked wrestling. The guitarist does admit that he always thought Bowie was cool, just not in the “it’s cool to bang my mom” kinda way. Admittedly, that was probably a package deal if you wanted to be friends with David Bowie.

Although the whirlwind romance only lasted three years, Ola remained close with Bowie, even asking him to sit down with Slash and give him advice on overcoming his drug addiction early in his career. We’re not sure how that conversation started, but it probably ended with some door-slamming and Slash yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my real dad!”


Motley Crue Rubbed Egg Burritos On Their Dicks To Mask The Smell Of Groupie Sex

According to pop culture, hiding an affair is a complex plot involving secret phones, meaningful glances, and constantly sniffing and re-sniffing your clothes. It’s a high-stakes game, and if you don’t want to lose, you better be willing to do anything. Just ask Motley Crue.

In the early days of the band, most of the members had girlfriends — which is problematic when your job kind of insists on you sexing groupies. Not wanting to break up with the loves of their lives, but also wanting to constantly be boning other people whenever they weren’t home, the Crue came up with a plan. After every piece of backstage or recording booth tail, the band would take Tommy Lee’s van to a place called Naugles. There, they celebrated their infidelity with a round of egg burritos — one to eat, and one to slather all over their dicks and balls.

Now, rubbing Mexican food on your junk isn’t some old-fashioned cure-all for groupie-related STIs — this ritual was all about the smell. The band figured that the smell of egg burrito would overpower even the most pungent of backstage favors. And before you ask “Couldn’t they just shower?” remember that this is Motley Crue we’re talking about. Look at them. Taking a shower would raise more suspicions than coming home smelling of strange vaginas. As Vince Neil described it, “We would tell our girlfriends, ‘Oh, we dropped the burritos in our laps.'” Every day of the week. Maybe their girlfriends were too worried about them dying of high cholesterol to be thinking about them cheating.

As we know you’re dying to find out, they used the burritos like washcloths, not like fleshlights. The Crue didn’t ram their members into piping-hot eggs. At that point of the evening, their dicks were already burning plenty.


Limp Bizkit, ICP, And Korn Made Pornos Of Their Own Lives

As music historians can confirm, the angsty and angry nu-metal sound was developed as a coping mechanism for the great tragedy that was Batman And Robin. Naturally, bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Insane Clown Posse were immediately accused of corrupting young minds. Not with their shitty music, but because of all the hardcore porn they were producing.

Zane Entertainment Group
You can get herpes just by looking at that cover.

On the backs of their reputations as barnstorming hooligans, these bands were offered starring spots in the soon-to-be-bestselling series Backstage Sluts, wherein famous rockers recount their wildest sexual moments — which totally happened, bro — while actual porn stars acted them out.

So what sort of antics are we talking here? Well, there’s ICP’s Violent J trying to cajole one of the performers into having sex with him because he’s got the world’s biggest penis (a line which we’re sure she’s never heard before). Or how about watching a reenactment of El Duce — of the charming “rape rock” band The Mentors — having sex with homeless women? Or watching another singer have the world’s least passionate threesome with his girlfriend and another woman? Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister even shows up to talk about the terrifying hour he spent laying some supremo pipe on Wendy O. Williams, lead singer of The Plasmatics.

The piece de resistance, however, is watching Insane Clown Posse reminisce about a time they witnessed their roadies throwing lunch meat at naked groupies … only to become so sexually excited by the re-enactment happening in front of them that they can’t help but burst into frame and start lobbing some bologna themselves, like barely sentient Barbary apes breaking the fourth and fifth walls.

Spin Magazine
The fifth wall is the lunchmeat industry.

Backstage Sluts can be found for sale at your local garage sale, alongside other tit-for-tat niche porn like What Can I Do to Get Out Of This Ticket, Officer? and I’m Rich, Blow Me Vol. 9. Alternatively, you can join a church or something.


Nick Cannon And Mariah Carey Did It To Her Music

At some point in their lives (16-24), most people will make a sex mixtape — a collection of songs to set the mood during lovemaking. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey had a playlist like that, only theirs was nothing but a loop of Carey’s song about how real heroes never go soft halfway through.

In 2012, during an interview with chain smoking grandmother Howard Stern, Cannon revealed that when the then-couple had lovin’ on their minds, there was nothing that got the bodily fluids pouring like queuing up a couple of her tracks and going to town on each other. Their favorite Carey anthem? Her soft and sweeping “Hero.” Maybe it’s because of encouraging lyrics like And then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on. Or maybe it’s because Cannon doesn’t have any music of his own worth listening to while you’re trying to bump uglies. Either way, this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Mariah Carey, who insisted on giving birth while listening to a recorded live performance of her own song, “Fantasy,” so she could hear her fans clapping for her.

But unlike most of us, Cannon was getting off on his wife’s singing long before they were married. In the same interview, he also told the world that he jerked it to the very same song, which might be the most loyal version of masturbation anyone has ever admitted to. After their divorce, Cannon admitted that sharing those tidbits had gotten him into trouble with Carey. Maybe telling the world that he needed two Mariah Careys to whisper in his ears might have contributed to their split. At least he has her music to keep him company at night.


David Lee Roth Paid His Road Crew $100 For Every Woman They Brought Him Backstage

We’ve already written about the sex tents that Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar had installed wherever he performed so that he could disappear mid-solo and indulge himself in a groupie or nine. But that’s not the only way Van Halen was entrepreneurial with his young fans. Let’s take a minute and discuss how original frontman David Lee Roth amused his roadies by sending them out on groupie scavenger hunts.

From his lofty position on the stage, Roth would instruct his roadies to dive into the crowd and collect very specific girls for him to have sex on. The lucky girl would be given a special backstage pass with the initials of the roadie who approached her written in the top corner. If that pass was then among the ones strewn on his floor the next morning, Roth would reward the roadie with a $100 bonus at breakfast the next morning, because exchanging money for sex works up an appetite.

But that’s not where Roth’s impressive management methods ended. Once he’d chosen his girls/targets, he would often inform the crew that once all of the equipment was packed into the trucks, they were free to pick up the leftover groupies. And while it must have been unpleasant for the hotties who flocked backstage to get the runner-up prize of being felt up by a mustard-stained teamster, using women as currency did cut pack-up times in half.

Seeing that so much of his backstage dealings revolved around Roth banging groupies, it makes sense that he insured his wang. After all, if something ever happened to it, the backstage work would have ground to a halt. But everywhere else, women would rejoice at no longer being herded into Roth’s fuck pen by his sound-checking border collies, and men would rejoice for never having to hear “Jump” again.


Marilyn Manson Has Too Many Sex Rules

Marilyn Manson might be the wildest rocker in the business. Looking like Jared Leto having a psychotic break during the filming of Suicide Squad 2 and acting like an Ozzy Osbourne who can remember how to be metal, you can only imagine how the sex is, right? Very bureaucratic, it turns out.

Manson likes his rules, particularly when they concern boning, or “splicing the Cthulhu with two backs.” If you want to get down to goth business with him, for instance, the lights have to be off. Not because he thrives in darkness and shit, mind, but because he’s really shy.


It’s hard for Manson to concentrate, which is why he also only has sex while keeping his underwear around his ankles, in case he needs to flee the room. Makes sense, it’s really hard to find black silk in total darkness.

Manson’s peccadillos wouldn’t be such an issue for his queens of the dead if they didn’t come up so frequently. The minimum number of times per day he has to engage in “sexual congress” is five, with ten being the ideal goal. So imagine having to punch in five times a day, waiting for Manson to squeeze out of seven layers of latex, and then stumbling around in the dark, knowing that if you accidentally make his underoos slip off, the whole carnival starts all over again. Add an antique abortionist chair covered with a bear rug, which is Manson’s favorite sex surface, and now you know what it’s like making love to the goth supreme: like trying to play an Edgar Allan Poe board game with a 100-page rulebook and a separate pamphlet full of footnotes.


Cynthia Albritton Made Plaster Molds Of Every Rock Star’s Dick

Often, fans want to commemorate seeing their rock gods by buying some merchandise — maybe a T-shirt or some rad collectible dishes. Really big fans hang out by the backstage, hoping they might get their hands on a guitar pick or a towel drained in frontman sweat. But the biggest of all fans won’t go home unless they get a plaster cast of their beloved musician’s penis. Meet Cynthia Albritton, aka Cynthia Plaster Caster, aka the “Super Groupie.” Cynthia spent the ’70s and ’80s making sure future generations would know how endowed the musical legends of the day were. (In the case of composer Clint Mansell: “very.”) She got her start after being given an assignment in art school to plaster cast “something hard,” which she interpreted as her art teacher telling her to go out and ask Jimi Hendrix if she could grab his dick.

After doggedly stalking Hendrix, she found herself invited up to his hotel room, at which point she pulled out her equipment, told him to stick it in, and made sure it stayed hard — a description which covers 99 percent of all rock star / groupie interactions. Being new to the taking-plaster-casts-of-musician-penises game, however, Cynthia made a mistake: She forgot to lube up Hendrix’s pubes, which led to an agonizing 15 minutes of his short and curlies getting yanked out of what must have felt like cooled adamantium. By the looks of it, maybe she didn’t forget to lube the base so much as run out of it by the time she got there.

Over the next few decades, Albritton would go onto plaster-cast members of bands such as MC5, Journey, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Lovin’ Spoonful, and the Dead Kennedy’s (Jello Biafra!). Then, in one of the most bizarre heists in history, Frank Zappa’s manager tried to steal her collection. Not because he wanted to protect Zappa’s choir-boy-like reputation, but because he wanted something interesting on his coffee table. And copies of his clients’ dicks definitely count.

When Adam isn’t killing rock music, he tweets on Twitter and faces on Facebook.

If you want to mask the smell of groupie sex with egg burritos, here’s a very affordable egg burrito maker!

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8 Hilariously WTF Times People Did Cosplay In The Real World

Cosplay — we’re used to seeing it on Halloween, at comic conventions, and of course in the filthiest recesses of the internet. But while most cosplayers are content to just chill at conventions as Stormtrooper #8, some eccentric pioneers are trying to discover new ways to play their cos’es. They’re no heroes — they just dress like them.


Lottery Winners In China Accept Their Checks In Costume

In China, lottery winners have to appear in public to accept their giant novelty check. Many are uncomfortable doing so, as most people like to avoid letting every criminal and deadbeat cousin know they’re rich as fuck now. This results in some people who show up looking like a poltergeist in an L.L. Bean catalog:

via EgoTV
If you’ve ever wondered how Cobra Command makes their money.

But others decide to go a little crazier. After all, money’s about to become a non-issue for them. Case in point, one guy showed up as Baymax, the inflatable robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. Either that or he’s cosplaying the Michelin Man after losing some weight.

via The Daily Dot
“I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion. Please don’t rob me.”

Another lucky winner showed up as Mickey Mouse to collect his cheddar:

And two guys came dressed as those two Transformers trying to start up a Daft Punk cover band.

One person showed up in this baffling bear costume, which looks more like the love child of Pikachu and that blowjob-ghost from The Shining.

Though we must admit, our lives do feel richer knowing that, once upon a time, Winnie The Pooh’s meth-head cousin held a press conference to claim his gambling money.

And they say millionaires never do anything for the little people.


Batman And Robin Battled Spider-Man In An MMA Fight

It took longer than expected, but someone finally tried to put an end to the age-old playground debates of which superhero could kick which other superhero’s ass. Recently, a superhero-themed MMA fight from the U.K was unearthed, showing a kickboxing match between a ’60s-style Batman and a molten action figure-style Spider-Man, and the result is less of an epic war between gods than a lackluster Halloween-themed Fight Club.

In the right corner, Batman — who, being a gentleman, doesn’t dip into his utility belt, but, less gentlemanly, did bring along his youthful ward to gang up on the web-slinger.

In the left, an alternate-dimension Peter Parker who kept on wrestling after Ben’s murder and is all in on kicking some serious billionaire ass —

— destroying the Dynamic Duo almost as badly as Joel Schumacher did.

Of course, it’s a pretty sad sight to see our beloved childhood heroes brawling like common pee-wee hockey parents — so it’s important to remember that all of this isn’t real, a fact that is abundantly clear by the time a half-dressed Riddler shows up to save Batman’s bacon.


A British Man Had A Costume-Filled Funeral

You know what’s really depressing at funerals? Everyone’s wearing black. In 2013, a Newcastle man overturned that depressing dress code by posthumously requesting that everyone come to the funeral in costume. Meaning Batman, Super Mario, and even some Imperial goons showed up to pay their respects.

Not to mention Fred Flinstone, a strip of bacon —

— and this guy …

… who is apparently a U.K. cereal mascot called the Honey Monster and definitely not a PCP hallucination willed into existence.

All of which led to a distinctly unique and memorable funeral — and presumably a waking nightmare for any intellectual property lawyers coming to pay their respects.


A Shop Owner Forced Teen Thieves To Dress Like The Flintstones

With the exception of forcing sports mascots to gyrate under a scorching sun for the audience’s apathy, costumes are usually not used as punishment. That wasn’t the case for the owner of World’s Best Comics And Toys, who dealt with a gang of shoplifters so hard it knocked them back to the Stone Age.

It all started when a group of teens stole a replica of Fred Flintstone’s car from the shop — either because they were big cartoon fans or they were so wasted they thought they’d just boosted a brand new Tesla. The culprits got remarkably far, seeing as their getaway car was powered by their feet, but were eventually thwarted by police. But in lieu of criminal charges, the teens accepted the store owner’s unorthodox alternative punishment, a long and humiliating ordeal that started with him uttering “Oh, so you like The Flintstones, do ya?”

Yup, to teach these kids a lesson, they were forced to dress up as Flintstones characters and stand out front of the store trying to lure customers for Free Comic Book Day — menial work the real Flintstones would have entrusted to some poor, abused-yet-sassy animal.

The thieves didn’t even seem to mind their punishment too much, gladly seeing their prank resolved without getting a criminal record. For a story of grand larceny and technical grand theft auto, this light-hearted caper harkens back to a simpler time. A daba doo time. A gay old time.


A Guy Jogs Through Death Valley While Dressed As Darth Vader … Every Year

Surely, if there’s one thing you can take away from the original Star Wars trilogy, it’s that Darth Vader never runs — he menacingly walks towards you with the calm perseverance of a freight train. Runner Jonathan Rice didn’t come away from the movies with the same impression, as he became the founder of the Darth Valley Challenge, in which he runs a mile in Death Valley at the hottest possible time of year, dressed in full Darth Vader get-up.

While Rice (AKA Vader) has described the run as “pointless,” it has set the Guinness record for the “hottest verified run.” Though, to be fair, once you’ve had several limbs burnt off by the fiery molten lake of Mustafar, a light jog through a dry heat must be like a walk in the park.

The decision to cosplay as Vader was less a calculated decision to harness the powers of darkness to boost his athleticism than it was the only Halloween costume in his house. So let’s be grateful it is the Sith apprentice running a hot mile in Death Valley, and not Rice dressed like a sexy nurse.


Canadian Teens Dress As The Justice League To Catch Internet Predators

It’s not totally surprising that a group of people would dress as superheroes and take the law into their own hands — but a group of Canadian men did so in a surprisingly non-violent fashion. The group, who dubbed themselves The Justice Trolls, dressed up as The Justice League, but rather than dumping a ton of money into Batman-like gadgets, or throwing up their internal organs trying to run like The Flash, these guys just bust out their laptops and bait sexual predators.

In fact, they don’t just wear superhero costumes, they improve them. We bet stupid old Barry Allen never even considered slapping a fake handlebar mustache on his Flash outfit. Or holding a press conference at a McDonald’s.

The group would pose as underage girls online to lure potential child sex offenders to a rendezvous — so instead of a minor they could take advantage of, these guys instead found themselves face-to-face with Batman — or at least a guy in a Batman rental costume with sewn-on abs. Either way, you have to imagine it’d be pretty jarring.

They would film the encounter, then post the video online. Like true comic book vigilantes, they caught the attention of the police and were told to back off. Then, again like in the comic books, the cops still took credit for arresting a bad guy who they found through the super-group. At least these cops have a good explanation for why they suck — it’s all part of a narrative that will spur on our heroes to do even more good.


A Juror Wore A Starfleet Uniform To The Whitewater Trial

Our older readers may remember the Whitewater scandal, a real estate fraud investigation with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Not really a scandal a lot of people know about, because it didn’t involve emails.

But back in 1996, the Whitewater trial was a big event, so it’s only natural that some members of the media took note of alternate juror Barbara Adams, probably because she was the one dressed in a Starfleet uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If you saw the documentary Trekkies then you remember Adams’ story; she wasn’t wearing the uniform for kicks, she wore it “just as any other officer in the military would wear theirs.” Pretty intense for a Trekkie, but before the internet, these guys were like the Crips of the nerd world.

Adams ended up being kicked off the jury — but interestingly enough, it wasn’t for her get-up, which everyone involved with the trial actually seemed pretty okay with. No, what landed Adams in hot water was violating a gag order by talking to the media — though you have to imagine the judge knew he was going to get annoyed by her making the “whoosh” sound every time the courtroom doors opened.


Quite A Few Rock Bands Shred While Cosplaying

Ever since KISS accidentally wandered into a child’s birthday and had their faces painted by a black-and-white French clown, elaborate costumes have been a staple in certain subsets of rock. But these costumes can go too far, especially when bands starts dressing up in ways that prevent them from doing sex, drugs, and even rock and roll.

Canada’s Cybertronic Spree is what you might call a Transformers tribute band, covering the soundtrack of the original Transformers movie while dressing up like said Transformers. Which is way better than just getting one Transformer to turn into a crappy boombox.

And keep in mind, this is back when the Transformers soundtrack consisted of jaunty Stan Bush and Weird Al Yankovic riffs, not the Linkin Park and trace amounts of Michael Bay’s hostility psychically burnt into the audio nowadays. And this is just the tip of the cosplay band iceberg; there’s a Klingon band that plays death metal:

And of course, there are a crap-ton of Harry Potter wizard rock bands, like The Blibbering Humdingers, The Moaning Myrtles and our favorite, As I Lay Dobby.

But winners of “Best Dressed” must be the metal band made up of Ned Flanderses. They’re pretty-diddly-iddly hardcore.

Not to mention how many Korean cosplay bands exist, but there really isn’t a part of Korean culture that hasn’t completely been taken over by geekdom, so these might just be regular bands.

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Also check out Cosplay Porn Is An Industry: We Talked To Its Titans and Why There Are No Winners When You Wear A Sexy Cosplay Outfit.

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