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Week in WTF?!

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By which we mean, of course, "Wow, that's fascinating!" Because during the last few days -- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -- what tom-foolery has taken place out on the Interwebs. Here's a look at the things that have caused us to say, "Whee! That's funny!"

Coo-Coo for Sponge Bob

Watch as these kids go absolutely bonkers over a Sponge Bob straw. I wish I could muster up half this much enthusiasm for anything in life.

Ricky Gervais' secret past as an '80's pop star

How is this only surfacing now? Am I the last one to find this out? Does this mean David Bowie has just been Gervais in disguise punking us this whole time? So many questions! My mind has officially been blown.

So if you are what you eat...

Then this woman will probably turn into a couch any day now. The show says she is addicted to eating couch cushions and has eaten seven couches and two chairs in her lifetime. Seven couches!? This makes my addiction to bacon suddenly seem healthy.

Terrified of pickles and mustard

So while one woman eats couches, this woman runs away from mustard. While you can't help but wonder what caused these women to have these fears, what I really want to know is how long it took them to squeeze all that mustard onto that plate.

012810wtf01.jpg

Finally!!!

You have no idea how long I have been wanting to make a Rahm/Ramen pun headline. Whoever made this Rahmen Emanuel website is my personal hero.

It's well-documented that Kanye West provides some of the best content that Twitter has to offer.

Now, when you add the music of Josh Groban, like Jimmy Kimmel Live did, well, Kanye's tweets get even better.

Week in WTF?!

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By which we mean, of course, "Wow, that's fascinating!" Because during the last few days -- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -- what tom-foolery has taken place out on the Interwebs. Here's a look at the things that have caused us to say, "Whee! That's funny!"

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
Donald Trump's toupe (er, hair?) blows rather unnaturally in the wind at a recent football game. That toupe is fired! I just can't seem to look away. It's so mesmerizing.

Not what Sting had in mind
Somehow I doubt the red light Sting was talking about was the same one Rudolph has for a nose. If it was then Roxanne has got some explaining to do.

Scientific fun
These scientists pull a prank on a co-worker that he will not soon forget. I'm sure his chiropractor is happy though.

If only our telemarketers were this dedicated to getting a subscription
So do I need a computer to see the graphics? No, they're in the newspaper! A man manages to keep a telemarketer on the phone for a ridiculous amount of time. Only her boss knows how many actual sales she could have made in the meantime.

George Costanza's hands were better
This hand model is freaking us out a little. She claims she doesn't cook, clean, pick things up, or do anything with her hands. Sounds to us like it's just a good excuse to lazily sit around all day waving her luxurious hands.

Well, hopefully we've left you wondering -- WTF!? Check back next week for more ridiculousness.

If this doesn't cause Luke to turn back on his targeting computer, what will?

Master Yoda is joining the gang from a galaxy far, far away (turn-by-turn directions there available) to voice direction for the TomTom GPS system.

Yes, this is shilling, but it's shilling at its Star Wars best. If all ads were this awesome, we'd need nothing but ads to pass the time.

In fact, the only way this doesn't make me want a TomTom more is that it doesn't include an R2 droid upon purchase.

Now the debate begins - who does the behind-the-scenes spots better? Yoda, or Darth Vader:

Again, why quibble? Just set up a cable channel and run them all 24 hours a day.

betty.jpgThe bleating of the Internets win again. Betty White will host "Saturday Night Live."

It's been the rage of Twitter and Facebook for some time, and now the veteran comedic actress has finally agreed to step onto the Rockefeller Center stage.

The 88-year-old has been a bit perplexed at the crescendo of support for the idea of her hosting, but finally relented, telling People.com that she's honored, if confused by the idea:

"I don't know why or how," she says, "but it's been wonderful."

Thing is, unless the writers screw this up, she'll probably be one of the better hosts this side of Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and Justin Timblerlake. Her comedy chops are top notch and timing is a thing of beauty. This will be 1,000 times better than any uninspired Michael Phelps choise could be.

OK Go are no strangers to innovative music videos done with a minimum, some might say shoestring, budget. And the band, formerly of Chicago but resettled in Los Angeles, has done it again, though this time the shoestring isn't just the budget, it might just a part of the shoot.

They tapped a group called Synn Labs to help build a Rube Goldberg machine, a device of overly complex mechanisms made to do relatively simple tasks, to not only provide a backdrop for the video or "This Too Shall Pass," off the new album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky," but also to play part of the tune.

And the task was anything but a walk on the Treadmill:

When the rock band OK Go, famous for their viral videos including the spectacular and award winning "treadmills video", wanted to feature a 4-minute long Rube Goldberg Machine in an upcoming video, they tapped Syyn Labs to build it. The requirements were that it had to be interesting, not "overbuilt" or too technology-heavy, and easy to follow. The machine also had to be built on a shoestring budget, synchronize with beats and lyrics in the music and end on time over a 3.5 minute song, play a part of the song, and be filmed in one shot. To make things more challenging still, the space chosen was divided into two floors and the machine would use both.

So, after several months of construction and planning, it all came down to less than 4 minutes of one-shot filming, some luck and a memorable premise to give OK Go another viral video effort. Amazing, there's even a blooper reel of sorts according to the band's Twitter stream, though how any mistakes could be squeezed into that production is a miracle.

And as for that treadmill video for "Here It Goes Again," there are two reasons you won't find it embedded on this post: A) If you haven't seen it yet, you're one of the three people left in the world with that distinction, so consider this an effort to preserve your unique status and B) Record companies are evil. But don't take our word for it - OK Go's Damian Kulash Jr. breaks it down nicely in this New York Times op/ed piece on the homemade delivery of their famous video onto then upstart YouTube and the ensuing scrum label EMI began over the unsanctioned posting of the work.

As the age of viral video dawned, "Here It Goes Again" was viewed millions, then tens of millions of times. It brought big crowds to our concerts on five continents, and by the time we returned to the studio, 700 shows, one Grammy and nearly three years later, EMI's ledger had a black number in our column. To the band, "Here It Goes Again" was a successful creative project. To the record company, it was a successful, completely free advertisement.

Now we've released a new album and a couple of new videos. But the fans and bloggers who helped spread "Here It Goes Again" across the Internet can no longer do what they did before, because our record company has blocked them from embedding our video on their sites. Believe it or not, in the four years since our treadmill dance got such attention, YouTube and EMI have actually made it harder to share our videos.

It went further. The original version of "This Too Shall Pass," shot with members of the Notre Dame marching band, also had embedding disabled by YouTube and EMU - you can see that effort here. The new video is embeddable only because a sponsorship deal was worked out with State Farm Insurance, reports Mashable.com.

UPDATE, MARCH 10: The creative tensions seem to have boiled over - OK Go has split ways with EMI, which released the following statement:

"OK Go, the band whose inventive internet campaigns and self-directed music videos have set records and won the band a GRAMMY® Award, and EMI Music's Capitol Records, the band's label since 2001, have agreed to part ways by mutual agreement. OK Go has formed their own independent label, Paracadute Recordings. They will take on all distribution and promotion functions for their latest album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, which was released in January. 'We'd like to thank the people at EMI Music who have worked so hard on our behalf,' said OK Go singer Damian Kulash. EMI Music said: 'We've really enjoyed our relationship with OK Go. They've always pushed creative boundaries and have broken new ground, particularly with their videos. We wish them the greatest success for the future.'"

But enough of sticking it to The Man. This is about the work. Enjoy the video - gloriously embedded here. And if you're so inclined, the boys will be back in Chicago for a show at the Metro on April 17 - and come ready to Tweet, pic and post.

'Foul-ups, Bleeps and Blunders' ... from 1936

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They made gag reels in the '30s?!

Warner Bros. apparently assembled one each year, complete with fart-noise transitions. And there's some adult language here, which is somehow surprising. But it's sure fun to watch Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and more flub their lines and remind us they're human, after all ...

Stephen Colbert IS cooler than you. Me. Jay-Z, even.

The Comedy Central titan announced the nominees for Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards on Sunday with a little help from the Great Silver Hype - an iPad.

After pulling the latest iWant device out of his coat, Colbert jokingly asked Jay-Z "did you not get one of these in your gift bag?" He also asks his daughter, Madeline, if she finally thinks he's cool. (The answer: No. She must be a PC.)

Colbert then presented the award to Beyonce for "Single Ladies," assuring that Kanye West will NOT be showing up on the "Threat Down."

For the record, Stephen, the iPad coup makes you cool, cooler even than the eaglet, baby turtle or NASA treadmill.

For all you Apple/iPad haters, let's see your Kindles do that.

More iPad fun: Pee-Wee test drives one

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And finds an innovative new use for it ...

Pee-Wee wears an abstinence ring. Giggle.

There are currently at least four Nazi and/or Adolph Hitler-themed iPad parody videos on YouTube. Four. True, the Hitler one is part of a recent craze, but still, what gives? It's a nifty device, not a destroyer of freedom.

Or at least we don't think so. But to be fair, it has yet to hit stores.

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Apple iPad: 'Don't make us explain how it works'

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Big news today from Apple. They announced another new super-cool gadget: the iPad!

But, guess what? The yuksters at "MadTV" thought of the iPad a long time ago ...

David Letterman, responding to a report in The New York Times that quoted NBC executive Dick Ebersol as calling him and ousted "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien "chicken-hearted and gutless" in their jokes about Jay Leno, the "Late Show" host told his CBS audience Monday night that Ebersol, a long-time sports executive at NBC, should spend less time weighing in on late night and more time picking out Bob Costas' sweaters and scarves for the upcoming winter Olympics. Letterman told a cheering audience, "I'm telling jokes and making fun of Jay Leno, over and over and over, relentlessly, mercilessly, simple for one reason and that is -- I'm really enjoying it. I don't know, it's just fun!"

Letterman, who has taken to referring to Leno as "Big Jaw," has been gleefully enjoying NBC's disastrous "Tonight Show" debacle, weighing in with the kind of stinging barbs (most of them directed at NBC chief Jeff Zucker and Leno) he was famous for directing at the peacock network in the 1990s, when NBC chose Leno over Letterman to fill Johnny Carson's chair. The then "Late Night" host bolted to CBS and created one of the first enduring franchises to effectively compete against "Tonight." On his way out, he took every shot imaginable at NBC, even calling out virtually anonymous executives by name, showing their pictures on the air and mercilessly making fun of them. Letterman rarely, if ever, took shots at Leno during that time and over the years, he has only mentioned Leno sporadically (and mostly positively) until now.

The two men have often characterized their relationship differently in public. For some time, Leno has maintained that the two are friends and have been since their stand-up comic days in Los Angeles, but Letterman told Rolling Stone in 1993, "I speak to Jay now with the same regularity that I have always spoken to Jay. Which is not much. There is no ill will personally." Given Letterman's notorious anti-social behavior, that might actually constitute a friendship. At any rate, the two did have some nice on-screen chemistry when Leno appeared on Letterman's old NBC show.

Ahh, intellectual property. Once again robbing the masses of the best and the brightest when big-name talent divorces monolithic media conglomerate. This time the unhappy couple is, of course, Conan O'Brien and NBC, embroiled in and ugly threesome of ego and ratings failure with Jay Leno.

And, as is often the case it's us, boys and girls, caught in the middle. What are we losing?

The Masturbating Bear.

Pimpbot 5000.

soundboard.com

No more Conando.

All wiped away forever in the deal that will give Conan his $30 million (reportedly) in alimony. He may move to Fox or HBO or the Internets or space, but it will be without the treasure trove of odd, sometimes even comic, characters and bits that have been part of his schtick since his incarnation of "Late Night" cranked up in 1993 until his eventual flameout after less than a year on :The Tonight Show."

But what about the dog? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, that is? The future is unclear for the smutty mutt, reports the Hollywood Reporter. The character was developed by O'Brien pal, and "Saturday Night Live" "TV Funhouse" genius Robert Smeigel, but there's no word on who actually owns the rights.

While the vast majority of the characters O'Brien introduced are said to owned by NBC, it's unclear who controls Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the crass canine puppet that is perhaps O'Brien's most popular recurring bit. Triumph was originated by writer and longtime O'Brien pal Robert Smigel, whose reps declined to comment on whether Smigel or NBC owned rights to the character.

Will mom or dad get the family pet? We'll have to wait to find out.

Of course, NBC has famously been down this path before, again with Leno playing a major role. When Johnny Carson hit the brick as the iconic hot of "The Tonight Show" in 1992, David Letterman and Leno were embroiled in a cage match to see who would inherit the seat next to Ed McMahon, both assuming the show was their birthright.

Leno won and Letterman bolted, at Carson's urging, for CBS. But not before NBC stripped him of several trinkets of intellectual property, including his old "Late Night" show name, which would become O'Brien's home, rebranded as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," until last year. Letterman couldn't even take Larry Bud Melman, the recurring cantankerous old man character - no, not his real father - though the actor who played him, Calvert DeForest did make the trek to CBS.

The famously acerbic Letterman found ways to sidestep NBC's intellectual tentacles - a loose renaming of his Top Ten list, for instance, being the most famous in the parting. And he came up with a whole new lineup of characters - Biff the Stage Manager - and skits.

Conan will be no different. The Harvard alum's start in the business writing for "The Simpsons" and "SNL," before becoming the controversial replacement for Letterman, will give him a leg up restarting the creativity gene. Some critics have complained that his move to the mainstream "Tonight Show" had softened the often unconventional humor than was his calling card on a later slot. Being forced to figure out a new format and content, while sitting on a boatload of NBC cash, may be just the clean start the brainy host needs to recapture his edge.

Can we laugh about R. Kelly's troubles now?

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Where was this guy during Chicago's R. Kelly trial?

More non-Conan-Leno late-night fun from last night: Aziz Ansari ("Parks and Recreation") reminisces with Jimmy Kimmel about R&B freakazoid R. Kelly ... and does a fine impression:

After the pants on the ground rush

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Amid all the madness currently steaming in late-night TV, enjoy this non-Conan-Leno bit of hilarity from last night's Jimmy Fallon show, in which "Neil Young" (yes, that's Fallon) sings the country's next big hit -- "American Idol" sensation "Pants on the Ground":

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