One Last Time: Obama and Celebrities

It’s been an emotional week, and tomorrow’s going to be even rougher. That’s why today we’re taking a break for a bit of fun. We always get a kick out of celebrities meeting a well-liked president, if only because sometimes it’s hard to guess who’s more excited. Getting to meet the president can be a major perk of success in athletics or the entertainment industry, but it’s got to be a blast for the president, too: you signed up to lead a nation, but you also get to meet all of these varied, talented, fascinating people. Whether he’s cracking up with Olympians or welcoming Broadway actors into his home, it’s a real ‘presidents – they’re just like us!’ feeling. Get ready to smile and relive some of the fun times from the past 8 years!

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

President Obama, Amy Poehler and Saturday Night Live – talk about three beautiful, cherished American institutions, all in one picture.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

There were a number of early Obama adapters during his first presidential campaign, namely because he had a lot of buzz as a senator in Illinois. Among them were Usher and pre-Scandal Kerry Washington, who campaigned for him in 2008. These folks ain’t bandwagon supporters.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Oprah is all of us. Also, remember that shining era when we had Obama in the White House AND Oprah on TV? I swear these are the things we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Two days before the inauguration in 2009, musicians and actors came together for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, performing songs and reciting pieces for the Obamas, Bidens and 400,000 people in attendance. Among those who took the stage were U2 (as seen above), Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as collabos between James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Heather Headley, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C.,Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow, and Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira. Not to mention the other stars like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Luther King III and more reading historical passages. You can watch the two hour concert here!

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, 'Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

For the actual inauguration, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill collaborated on a piece by John Williams called Air and Simple Gifts, and although that was lauded, it was Aretha Franklin who really stole the show as she sang My Country, ‘Tis if Thee. Sure, we all know how great of a singer she is but it was the hat – a grey, Swarovski crystal-studded bow hat, that sparked conversation and memes all over the world. Also getting to see the hat IRL at the ceremony were

That night, the Obamas attended 10 official inaugural balls, where even MORE celebrities attended like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Will Smith – legit the list is too long to type out so read all of them here – and Beyonce showed up again in her iconic romantic serenade of At Last.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

This is just a sample of their annual holiday concert. Just imagine this times 8.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

My favorite is that Will Ferrell and his wife – a person who lives with Will Ferrell – appear to be laughing at whatever OBAMA said.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

Usually the President’s activities during a trip are explicit, but there was no mention of this secret meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Barack asked 25 of Hollywood’s hottest stars to get involved in his re-election campaign. Among them were Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff, Jeremy Renner, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush. Obviously, these folks put their photos on social media later for all of us to be jealous of.

May 11, 2012

President Obama takes a break during a basketball game in Los Angeles with some A-list teammates and competitors – Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney. Plus two of Clooney’s long-time friends and now ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler. September, 2012.

Find yourself someone who looks at you like George Clooney is looking at POTUS.

November 15, 2012

President Obama poses with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. November, 2012.

I love that Obama fangirled over the 2012 Olympics as much as the rest of us, and also that he’s clearly up on his memes.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Obama’s second inauguration was a star-studded event, and by this point Beyonce was an established White House favorite. Really makes me proud to be an American!

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

Like we said, really fun inauguration. In this photo, Kelly Clarkson is looking at Obama exactly how I would, AND Obama is looking at Kelly Clarkson exactly how I would.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

The Obamas danced to Stevie Wonder at their wedding and all these years later he’s a regular guest in their home, playing POTUS’s birthday party and getting awards from him. If you look closely you can see all of Barack’s dreams coming true.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

JT posted the above photo on Obama’s birthday and captioned it “Just showing The Prez how I made a half-court shot on his hoop while he was leading the free world and stuff… No big deal. Happy Bday, Mr. President!!”

They have inside jokes, it’s fine.

This is an Emmy-winning video.

The President and the First Lady meet the President and the First Lady. White House Correspondents Dinner. May, 2014.

Mellie/Michelle 2020?

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how happy Barry looks? That is pure joy right there.

After Cecily Strong's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

After Cecily Strong’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

Remember how Cecily Strong absolutely crushed it at the WHCD?! Then, even though he was the butt of some of the jokes, POTUS also acknowledged that she was absolutely hilarious and all of the hits were totally fair. Also, this happened to be the same WHCD where Obama’s Anger Translator Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) showed up.

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I like to think that this is how everyone looks at you when you get to heaven.

We consider Hamilton a true musical of the Obama era and we get such a kick out of the mutual love between the cast, creatives and POTUS.

Dec. 7, 2015 “Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the window of the Oval Office. December, 2015.

I’m not one who particularly *loves* Jerry Seinfeld, but I do enjoy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and this one with President Obama is no different. Well, actually it was. Since the Pres has limited ability to drive around in a vintage car with a guy who makes jokes for a living, they could lit’rally only make a loop in front of the White House and the coffee was in some WH bunker. That’s exaggerating – just watch it.

President Obama joined Jimmy Fallon for a second installment of Slow Jam the News. June, 2016.

Since Jimmy had a talk show, the Obamas have been happy to play along with his bits, including Slow Jam the News, which is another reason why President Obama is the coolest. Slick Willy Clinton could probably get away with doing this but can you imagine Dubya saying “Oh yeah” then dropping the mic?

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with 'Happy Birthday.' July 4, 2016.

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with ‘Happy Birthday.’ July 4, 2016.

The 2004 films Chasing Liberty and First Daughter taught me that it can be hard to be the child of the American president … but if your 18th birthday involves Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae singing you Happy Birthday on the White House lawn, it sounds pretty OK.

Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

George and Barack back on the basketball court after they met to discuss some human rights policies. September, 2016.

This is also the poster of the 2018 film where Clooney & Obama lead a rag-tag group of international figures in some kind of witty heist.

Oct. 21, 2016 “Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Bill Murray shows off his putting skills in the Oval Office while filming a PSA to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. It was also just before he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. October, 2016.

Just two Chicago boys casually putting into glass in the Oval Office.

Nov. 22, 2016 “Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Bruce Springsteen before he received the President Medal of Freed. November, 2016.

I don’t think you know how many Bruce Springsteen pictures we had to choose from. There’s probably a small, dedicated guest room where Bruce stays and they’ll have to forcefully remove him on 1/20.

Rather than a photo, just watch the whole video of Obama awarding Ellen Degeneres the Medal of Freedom. It’s definitely a two-kleenex moment.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

Octavia Spencer, somehow simultaneously so adorable you could imagine being BFFs with her and so talented that it’s intimidating, is the face of America.

WHEN THE WHITEHOUSE BECAME THE BLACK HOUSE. #THEUNION #ORGANIZE

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

When your favs are each others favs: I’ve heard that Janelle Monae has been invited to/performed at the White House more than any other musical artist. Also just this whole crowd, in general.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Do yourself a favor and run a search of Kendrick Lamar and President Obama at the White House. All of the photos are absolutely delightful.

President Obama teaches Steph Curry a few things about shooting. April, 2016.

 

Y’all – do yourself a favor and watch this entire concert of BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration. Partly because BET isn’t going to present a damn thing for the next administration, but mostly because there are star-studded performances from Jill Scott, BFF Janelle Monae, smokeshows Common, Usher and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Bradley Cooper is also there to fill a quota.

Going away party. January, 2017.

What better way to end eight years in a mansion than with your famous friends? The Obamas held one last bash at the White House earlier this month, with a bunch of celebrities who have supported the administration throughout their tenure. Guests weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the party that lasted until 4am, so all the available photos are from the outside, or in performer Solange’s case, during soundcheck. Among those who danced alongside Barry and Michelle were Amal and George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Chance the Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Usher and Billy Eichner. AND MORE.

Finally, cry your eyes out as you watch celebrities thank the Obamas for their years of service.

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ICYMI: Give Me Just One Night Changes

Did anyone else watch the ridiculousness that was Dead 7 on Friday (don’t worry, I’ll get to it tomorrow)?? Of course it’s not the first time we’ve seen boy banders try their hand at acting…

Boy Band Babes Breaking Onto The Big Screen

If you’re wondering where Harry Styles has been since One Direction began their indefinite hiatus in December, he’s been (maybe) dating Kendall Jenner, tweeting about burgers and moved to Hollywood in an attempt to start an acting career. Luckily for him and for all of us, he is kicking it off with a legit movie. Harry recently got cast in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action thriller called Dunkirk, which is about “the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940.” It also stars no-names like Tom Hardy, Sir Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance, so, NBD. There hasn’t been much detail on what Harry’s role is, but I’m assuming it’s a soldier of some sort, and he could either be on the same level of Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan or Jimmy Fallon in Band of Brothers. EXACTLY.

But obviously this is nothing new. Harry isn’t the first boy band hunk to break into acting. There have been many in our generation alone, so let’s revisit some of their great and no so greatest hits in film and TV.

Justin Timberlake {‘N Sync}

Arguably one of the best boy band alums to have the most success as an actor, JT has won four Emmys, been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in a movie that was nominated for 8 Oscars (The Love Guru haha jk). Among my personal faves are Inside Llewyn Davis and his first big TV movie in DCOM Model Behavior (<-that is the full version!), as seen above. Classic, just a classic. But we all know he excels the most in comedy, thanks to every single one of his Saturday Night Live episodes. Remember when he hosted for the first time and you were like, ‘Oh shit. He’s really funny and talented and a natural’? It was magic. Even Lorne Michaels has said he would hire JT if being a comedian was his number one priority. I wouldn’t be mad at that.

Donnie Wahlberg {New Kids on the Block}

Let’s face it, Donnie Wahlberg is a more successful actor than Justin Timberlake. He may have been doing it longer, but he’s also had steady acting jobs and won acclaim for his roles over the years. He’s been on a steady CBS drama, Blue Bloods, for the past six seasons, and also starred in Boomtown and Band of Brothers. Not to mention his movie roles in Saw II through IV, and of course, The Sixth Sense, a role which I think collectively blew every viewer’s mind after realizing the dude in the bathroom was the bad boy in NKOTB. PS: the clip above is horribly dubbed en espanol but it is still so good.


Maybe just stick to their day jobs??

Unintentionally Disturbing Boy Band Lyrics

Time for a confession: although I was of prime age during the boy band golden era of 1997 – 2002, I was terribly disinterested in them. It was all too manufactured! Find 4-5 young men between the ages of 15 and 27. Make sure they can all sing. Choreograph dances that make heavy use of folding chairs. Try to ensure that key “types” are present: the cute one, the older one, the funny one, the weird-looking one with stupid hair, the sporty one, the ginger one, the posh one. Some of those might just have been Spice Girls or Disney dwarfs. All that’s left is finding songs for them to sing…. but that’s where things really fell apart. In a rush to move up the TRL charts as quickly as possible, some songs got released with lyrics that were sort of awful. Terrifying. Disturbing as heck. Now that we’re all adults here, I think it’s time to admit that these were very, very bad.

We Got It Goin On by the Backstreet Boys

“Well I’m creepin’ up on your left

Straight up funky when I get with you

Keep it ruthless when I get wet”

Did anyone else know about this? Because I sure didn’t until right now. I think they hid this creepery in the middle of the song and figured nobody would notice. You know what actually sounds like the worst thing in the world ever? A wet gentleman creeping up on my left and then being ruthless at me.

As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys

“Every little thing that you have said and done

Feels like it’s deep within me

Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run

It seems like we’re meant to be

I don’t care who you are (who you are)

Where you’re from (where you’re from)

What you did

As long as you love me”

This song takes codependence to new and terrifying lows. It sounds a lot like BSB is definitely singing about someone with a criminal record here. “Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run?” “Don’t care what you’ve done?” Maybe I’m just hard-hearted, but I care A LOT whether or not you’ve committed murder, stolen from a church, or have to put one of those signs on your door telling trick-or-treaters that you’re a registered sex offender. As if that weren’t enough, BSB doesn’t care “as long as you love me.” That’s what low self-esteem will do to you, kids. You’ll go out with someone who isn’t allowed within a half mile of an elementary school, as long as they say they love you.

God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You by NSync

“The heart of a child

That’s deep inside

Leaves me purified”

Dude, no. You have to date GROWNUPS, though.

Most of NSync’s 1997 Self-Titled Debut

Individually, none of the songs are too bad. But taken as a whole:

  • Drive Myself Crazy
  • Crazy For You (“wherever I go/ Whatever I do/ I’m crazy for you”)
  • I Just Wanna Be With You, which includes the words “you’re driving me crazy,” “my love is insane/ pleasure and pain,” and then an unsettling repeat of “I just wanna be with you” and “you and me gotta stay together”
  • I Want You Back (“I’m going crazy without you”)

We’re looking at a whole lot of crazy. Right? These are… not healthy relationships. If there are a lot of 20-something ladies who think that the ultimate in romance is somebody declaring that they love you so much that they are mentally unstable, I blame this album.

Can I Touch You There by 98 Degrees
Literally this whole song. I feel like if I type out the lyrics my very hands will catch an STD, but just trust me. Still, props for getting permission instead of just creeping on my left, I guess (looking at you, Backstreet Boys).

 

Boy Band Babes Breaking Onto The Big Screen

If you’re wondering where Harry Styles has been since One Direction began their indefinite hiatus in December, he’s been (maybe) dating Kendall Jenner, tweeting about burgers and moved to Hollywood in an attempt to start an acting career. Luckily for him and for all of us, he is kicking it off with a legit movie. Harry recently got cast in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action thriller called Dunkirk, which is about “the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940.” It also stars no-names like Tom Hardy, Sir Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance, so, NBD. There hasn’t been much detail on what Harry’s role is, but I’m assuming it’s a soldier of some sort, and he could either be on the same level of Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan or Jimmy Fallon in Band of Brothers. EXACTLY.

But obviously this is nothing new. Harry isn’t the first boy band hunk to break into acting. There have been many in our generation alone, so let’s revisit some of their great and no so greatest hits in film and TV.

Justin Timberlake {‘N Sync}

Arguably one of the best boy band alums to have the most success as an actor, JT has won four Emmys, been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in a movie that was nominated for 8 Oscars (The Love Guru haha jk). Among my personal faves are Inside Llewyn Davis and his first big TV movie in DCOM Model Behavior (<-that is the full version!), as seen above. Classic, just a classic. But we all know he excels the most in comedy, thanks to every single one of his Saturday Night Live episodes. Remember when he hosted for the first time and you were like, ‘Oh shit. He’s really funny and talented and a natural’? It was magic. Even Lorne Michaels has said he would hire JT if being a comedian was his number one priority. I wouldn’t be mad at that.

Jesse McCartney {Dream Street}

Technically Jesse began acting before he was in Dream Street since he was in All My Children, earning those young actor trophies soap opera awards shows are wont to dole out. But he became a teen idol with one-hit wonder Dream Street and the huge, mega popular, number one song all around the world, It Happens Everytime. Jesse was smart by using the group as a platform for solo work and it’s the reason we’ve been #Blessed with songs like Leavin’ and Bleeding Love. Anyways, he’s consistently worked on either music or acting ever since, starring in shows like Greek, Army Wives, Young & Hungry and of course, a “Fresh New Summerland” with future hunkasaurus Zac Efron. In full disclosure, I am a legit Jesse McCartney fan – like the kind that has paid money to meet and greet him fan. As a result of this, I have voluntarily seen a handful of movie’s he’s been in JUST because he’s in it. Like teen drama Keith and Lifetime original movie Expecting Amish, which was so ridiculous and good as any Lifetime movie usually is that I’m surprised I didn’t write a live blog about it. But you know where he’s really getting the cash money from? All FOUR of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

Nick Lachey {98 Degrees}

After 98 Degrees, Nick mainly transitioned into a successful TV host, serving as the emcee for shows like The Sing-Off, Big Morning Buzz Live and The Winner Is, and if we’re not counting acting on Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, he’s also appeared on Charmed, One Tree Hill, and Hawaii Five-O. Least we forget his unforgettable film, Rise: Blood Hunter, a horror film starring Lucy Liu, Matt Saracen, Marilyn Manson and Tawny from Even Stevens. Yeah.

Joey McIntyre {New Kids on the Block}

If there’s any boy band who has a high ratio of successful actors, it’s New Kids on the Block. Joey’s done TV (Boston Public, The McCarthys), film (The Heat), and theatre (Wicked, The Fantasticks). He’s obviously typecast as a dudeked from Boston with a super thick accent, but hey, don’t fix what ain’t broke, yanno?

Donnie Wahlberg {New Kids on the Block}

Let’s face it, Donnie Wahlberg is a more successful actor than Justin Timberlake. He may have been doing it longer, but he’s also had steady acting jobs and won acclaim for his roles over the years. He’s been on a steady CBS drama, Blue Bloods, for the past six seasons, and also starred in Boomtown and Band of Brothers. Not to mention his movie roles in Saw II through IV, and of course, The Sixth Sense, a role which I think collectively blew every viewer’s mind after realizing the dude in the bathroom was the bad boy in NKOTB. PS: the clip above is horribly dubbed en espanol but it is still so good.

Joey Fatone {‘N Sync}

As a Backstreet Boys fan, I was allergic to anything ‘N Sync. But I guess one day I decided to screw it and watch On the Line, a romantic comedy featuring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone and I genuinely loved the movie a lot. It was a classic 1990s teen romcom that most people probably thought sucked, which is why I loved it. Then Joey showed off his comedic chops in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (and the sequel) and perhaps we all realized he was much better as a funny TV personality and comedic actor than a boy band heartthrob. Speaking of which, he, along with fellow 90s boy banders Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Chris Kirkpatrick, most of O-Town and more are starring in a zombie western, Dead 7, which premieres on SyFy on Friday. Guys. I hate zombies. I hate westerns, but I am HERE for my boys. And I will be presenting a full recap on Monday.

The Woman Who Wrote Sisters Is Your Favorite Person You’ve Never Heard Of

We’ve written about our comedy deity numerous times on the blog before – the queens that are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of writing about how much we adore and look up to these wonderfully smart, talented, confident women before their BLOCKBUSTER movie Sisters comes out on Friday (against Star Wars – #YouCanSeeBoth), let’s talk about the person who is responsible for bringing our First Ladies back together, the writer of Sisters, Paula Pell.

totally normal, casual photo

For comedy nerds, Paula and her impressive career shouldn’t be news to you. But for those who aren’t as geeked as us, here’s a brief intro to this hilarious human. Paula’s first big break was in the mecca itself, Saturday Night Live. She started as a writer in 1995 and continued working there until 2013, but she occasionally writes a few sketches here and there (and rumor has it she might be returning this weekend when Tina & Amy double up as hosts!). But more on SNL later.

Paula’s writing has spanned into her own webseries Hudson Valley Ballers, and she was hired by Judd Apatow to tweak, or “punch-up” the scripts for Bridesmaids and This Is 40. Plus she’s a great follow on Twitter.

On screen, you might remember her as Ron Swanson’s mom, Tammy Zero, on Parks and Rec:

or Pete Hornberger’s problematic wife Paul on 30 Rock:

But back to SNL. In her nearly 20 year tenure at the show, she wrote some of the most iconic sketches in the show’s history, and you’ve probably quoted her lines at least one point in your life.

Starting with the most recent, she returned for the SNL 40th Anniversary special, joining forces with longtime SNL writer/producer & Tonight Show announcer Steve Higgins and Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake for the musical journey through SNL history in the cold open:

And Paula’s work was mentioned multiple times throughout that song, since he work is so prevalent in SNL history. Here are just some of the sketches she’s written throughout the years. If you like any of these, you’ll probably like Sisters too. #YouCanSeeThemBoth.

Bobbi and Marty Culp

I remember truly getting into SNL when I was in 6th grade, when the main players included folks like Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, etc. Needless to say, it was a solid time for the show. During this era was a sketch featuring The Culps, a husband and wife team of music teachers and frequent random school assembly performers. Their shtick was to cover “hip” pop tunes but still sing it in a ridiculous way, and still to this day, sketches like The Culps and a few below have special places in my heart that feel like a warm hug.

Spartan Cheerleaders

<<click here to see a classic Spartan cheerleader sketch!>>

Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s over enthusiastic and under qualified Spartan cheerleaders are two of the most recognizable and beloved characters to come out of SNL, and Paula helped bring them to life. She and Will and Cheri would write all the sketches together, and Paula has even said their late-night sessions even led to Will taking off his shirt in delusion. Oh to be in those offices. For the genius in the making – not shirtless Will Ferrell. To be clear.

Debbie Downer

<<check out the epic Lindsay Lohan Debbie Downer sketch here!>>

Paula helped create possibly Rachel Dratch’s most memorable role as the depressing Debbie Downer who just could not catch a break. Years later, I feel like the term “Debbie Downer” is still used in regular vocabulary to describe anyone who is just downright miserable. Which I think is ironic, seeing as how Debbie Down only brings us joy to our lives. Plus, I will still watch that classic Lindsay Lohan episode every few months.

Omletteville

<<Watch Paula’s work in the sketch that helped JT become SNL royalty>>

In 2003, Justin Timberlake was coming off ‘N Sync and setting himself apart as a solo artist. But when he signed up to host SNL for the first time, he also had to prove his acting and comedic chops. Little did we know he blew us all away and went on to become a member of the prestigious Five-Timers host club. In that very first ep he hosted in ’03 when he knocked it out of the park, he did a sketch called Omeletteville, in which he dressed up as a giant omelette in order to promote a nearby breakfast restaurant. His rival? Chris Parnell, dressed as bacon and eggs and also keen on getting customers into his diner. The sketch was such a hit, that JT has gone back to do it five more times, including visits to Homlessville, Wrappinville, Veganville, Liquorville, and more.

Appalachian Emergency Room

 

<<The genius continues with this Christmas-related clip>>

Paula’s sketch featured the emergency room where redneck folks who got into redneck medical issues would go to be healed. I feel like this sketch was so odd and obscure and weird and off-kilter that it was brilliant.

Gilly

<<Click to watch SORRY! from Gilly & Paula!>>

Paula continued her streak of writing iconic characters for cast members with Gilly, A mischievous schoolgirl with an afro and questionable facial expressions played by Kristen Wiig. The initial unassumingness of Gilly, the use of repetition, and Kristen’s natural comedic talent make this such a great character, and Paula is the one to credit.

Love Is Dead: A Look At Our Obsession With Celebrity Couples

Yesterday, we got confirmation of the rumor we hoped wasn’t true – after almost exactly 10 years of marriage, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, aka Bennifer 2.0, announced they are getting a divorce. They had been dodging gossip for a while, but like any good American, we denied it was happening until it was slapping us across the face and posing as an actual problem.

Celebrity relationships have always been fascinating to me/the world, and in more recent years, specifically the psychology of why we, as a culture, are so obsessed with celebrity couples. Is it because they are the seemingly ideal, picture perfect, couple where nothing could possibly be wrong? Yes. Is it what our own #relationshipgoals aim to be? Yes. But despite all of that, why does it always feel like we are the ones ‘dying’ when it has absolutely nothing to do with us?

Today I’m looking back at some of the celebrity breakups that shook us to the core, proclaiming in all caps that LOVE IS DEAD and ‘IF THEY CAN’T MAKE IT, WHO CAN?’ to all of the Internet.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

BAEs for: 10 years of marriage

RIP: June 30th, 2015 (One day after their 10th anniversary)

OTP Moment(s): The moment when Jen fell in love with Ben, last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Why are we upset: Ben & Jen were like the All-American couple with the three cute kids, who were Hollywood enough that made them unattainable, but had a certain level of relatability. When they first met, he was engaged to another Jennifer, but ultimately, as we know, Jen G. won his heart in the end. Or not, I guess.

Over It Meter:  It just happened, so it’ll take me a while –

5 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston

BAEs for: 5 years of marriage

RIP: January 2005

OTP Moment(s): The One With Brad On Friends, any time either of them were on Oprah, that super secret wedding, all their red carpet moments

Why are we upset: Jennifer is and was the beloved star from Friends, and he was the hottest Hollywood hunk that made them the golden couple of the early 2000s. They were a couple everyone was rooting for, so when they split, it was as if an actual person had died from their break-up. Not to mention, it all went down as Brad and Angelina’s onscreen chemistry was palpable in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, leading many to cast Angie as the villain in the scenario and tabloids STILL try to Pitt (pun intended) these women against each other. But the one thing we’ve learned from all of this: we just all want to see Jennifer Aniston happy.

Over It Meter: It’s been 10 years. We’re still a little hurt.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens

BAEs for: 3 years of dating

RIP: 2010

OTP Moment(s): All the High School Musicals, when they were on the beach, Vanessa’s Say OK video, the last time they walked a red carpet together

Why are we upset: I was in college when the first High School Musical came out, and I’m not ashamed to say I loved it. And I totally stanned for Troy/Gabriella, but more so Zac/Vanessa. I thought they were going to be together forever, TBH. I was Zanessa for life. Then they broke up, and I broke up too. It was sad, and if they ever get together again in the future I WILL NOT BE SURPRISED.

Over It Meter:  Like I said, it won’t surprise me if they fall back in love when they’re 35.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

BAEs for: 3 years of dating (why does it seem like so much longer than that?)

RIP: 2002

OTP Moment(s):  Mickey Mouse Club duets, all the denim, Justin surprising a (genuinely shocked) Brit on an MTV special, accepting the Teen Choice Award for Choice Hotties, this whole photo shoot

Why are we upset: I am a Backstreet Boys fan, but also a Britney fan, so when she started dating Justin, I was at a *Crossroads*. Luckily, this was around the time JT was about to do his own thing, so my love for him as a solo artist grew from there, but my love for them as a couple was unquantifiable.They were the prince and princess of pop music, and their coupledom is hard to beat. When they abruptly broke up (What Goes Around Comes Around), not only was it the first celeb breakup (in my lifetime) that was devastating, but it was the first time I thought ~*tRuE LoVe*~ really didn’t exist.

Over It Meter:  Both JT and Brit have clearly moved on, so we should too. But they get 2 rain GIFs only because they were iconic.

2 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon

BAEs for: 7 years of marriage

RIP: 2006

OTP Moment(s):  Cruel Intentions

Why are we upset: Cruel Intentions was one of the best cult movies of our generation. I remember secretly going to see it with my friend, whose dad bought the tickets for us because it was rated R and we weren’t 17 yet. I think I told my parents I was going to see Robin Williams’ What Dreams May Come. Anyways, Reese and Ryan were like the younger version of Jen and Brad, and we were rooting for them because their onscreen love was real offscreen too.

Over It Meter:  The best part about them as a couple is their two adorable kids, including Reese’s doppelganger Ava. It’s clear they were just really young when they got married, and Reese has another cute kid with her hubs while Ryan has another kid with the girl from Pitch Perfect.

1 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel

BAEs for: 10 years of marriage

RIP: 2014

OTP Moment(s):  All of Rent, when he played Fiyero to her Elphaba, just any time they sing together, the time I saw her in concert and I’m pretty sure she was a little tipsy and verrryyy horny for Taye, any time they hang with their cute kid Walker

Why are we upset: This is so cliche, but Rent is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and I spent a lot of my youth listening to the OBC (Original Broadway Cast, for you non-nerds) soundtrack. When I found out that these two met, fell in love, and got married all because of the show, it made me love them even more. I was working when the news of their divorce dropped, and I had to compose my emotions for a few minutes before writing it up because I was THAT emotionally attached to these idiots.

Over It Meter: I. STILL. SHIP. IT.

5 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses
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Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

BAEs for: 3-ish years dating

RIP: 2008

OTP Moment(s):  All of The Notebook, The Notebook audition video, and the ultimate OTP vid: The 2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss acceptance speech

Why are we upset: Obviously The Notebook is considered one of the best romantic films in recent history, and the onscreen/offscreen love story between Ryan and Rachel just made it that much better. We’re gonna dismiss the fact they may not have gotten along on set and just remember that they made an amazing couple. But that Best Kiss tho.

Over It Meter:  This would be 5, except he has a baby with Eva Mendes now, so I guess that trumps this reunion.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Will Arnett and Amy Poehler

BAEs for: 9 years of marriage

RIP: 2012

OTP Moment(s):  Blades of Glory, Parks and Rec, Arrested Development, this Gap ad, their “Double A Batteries”, general red carpet merriment

Why are we upset: Oh man. This one hurt. This one hurt real bad. If you’re new to our blog, Amy is deity around here, and just one of the many reasons we love her so much is because, as you know, she’s funny. Will is equally hilarious and can actually keep up with Poehler in the comedy department (watch that Blades of Glory clip). They were up there with like, Stiller and Meara or Lucy and Desi (I just picked refs for 70 year olds). When they announced their separation, I was much like those Twitter users, declaring LOVE IS DEAD. But in the end, like Jennifer Aniston before her, we just want Amy to be happy.

Over It Meter: Amy started dating Nick Kroll about a year after separating from Will, and at the time, I thought it was a downgrade, but I’ve really come to like their relationship, and where she’s at in her life in general – with or without a man. So she and Will get:

3 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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ICYMI: Zayn Left 1D Everything Hurts And I’m Dying But Get Over It

Unless you have been living in a cone of silence or given up all news outlets for Lent, One Direction is down a man as Zayn Malik officially quit this week. Which means you only have a few more days to mourn his loss.

Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

Are you a person over the age of 21, or a teen who isn’t into One Direction? Come on over. The internet is getting scary, and you’re in a safe place.

I’m much, much too old to actively dislike One Direction. I’ve heard probably three or four of their songs on the radio, and I could name three of the boys by first name without looking it up.

Well, two of them. Because this week, Zayn left the group, and now big chunks of the internet are going nutso.

Okay, adults and teens who aren’t into One Direction, I’m still talking to you. We need to give these kids five or so days to sort out their feelings. You hear that, Directioners? You have the better part of a week to deal with this.

Here’s my thinking. I was never the boy band type, but I know what it’s like to really love a pop culture phenomenon. I cried during the Friends finale, and I still miss Parks and Recreation. If a celebrity has a baby, I probably know what that baby’s name is. I can still tell you what day Bennifer was supposed to get married (I remember because it was my birthday, but still). So while I can’t directly relate to posting tear-streaked selfies because Zayn isn’t in the band anymore, I do get where these kids are coming from.

This is why we have to let the One Direction fangirls make a fuss now, as long as they don’t drag it on forever. It’s easy to laugh at teenagers for caring so much about things that don’t really matter. But how many times have you gotten upset or cried about ridiculous things? Probably quite a few, if you’re being honest.


Of course, a member leaving a boy band is nothing new, but the way folks react now is way different than in the 1990s, aka the boy band hey day.

Battle of the Boy Bands: 90s vs. Now

I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur of boy bands. While the height of my knowledge was reached somewhere between the years of 1998-2004, I’ve tried to keep abreast of the young artists these days and their teenybopper fans.

As a self-professed Backstreet Boys fan, I know what it’s like first hand to be in the ‘fandom’, and in just 10 years, the way boy bands and fans themselves has changed drastically. While at their core, boy bands in 2013 still aim to titilate tweens the same way they did in 2003, here are some main differences between the fans of today and the fans of yore. Also, it’s a handy guide to feel old/in the know when you talk to someone under the age of 18.

Fashion

One thing that has stayed the same throughout the years is a group’s stylist’s need to coordinate every member’s outfit with the others. For some reason, in the 90s, this meant getting the absolute most ridiculous clothes and fabrics and forcing the guys to wear them in photo shoots. Bless.

Then

You know what’s tearin’ up my heart? The fact that *Nsync is wear short sleeved lycra shirts and no one questioned Lance Bass’ sexuality from this picture alone.

“Hey girl. We know the way to your heart. Hockey. And just to cover our bases, we’re reppin five different teams. Quack Quack, baby.”

The only thing that could make this more 90s is if 98 Degrees was covered in slime. Matching red jumpsuits, sitting on a big orange couch at Nickelodeon’s The Big Help? I can smell the gak now…

Now

These days, boy bands stray away from the themed photo shoots, and go for more of a coordinated look, like One Direction.

The Wanted’s jacket, jeans, sneaks look is so much better than the lycra shirts.

By boy band rules, the Jonas Brothers are technically just a band of boys, but they’ll suffice for this post.

Girlfriends/Love Lives

Then

With the exception of this epic couple, boy band members in the 90s had to hide their relationships. Britney + Justin were the exception because they were perfect and then B had to go and ruin it with her cheating. Oh what could have been. ~*NVR 4GET*~

“When they first started out, “Managers were like, ‘Everybody’s single,'” recalls Brian Littrell. Adds Richardson’s wife Kristin: “I had to say I was his sister!” – People Magazine Interview September 2013 (Please note the source of this picture – the Angelfire page is STILL UP.)

Now

While there are still jealous girls out there screaming ‘OMFG ZAYN AND PERRIE ARE ENGAGED MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY OVER’, I feel like there is a large majority that are “Zerrie shippers” and appreciate the 1D and Little Mix members’ love like we did with Britney and Justin.

IDK if it’s because Kevin is the least adored Jo Bro, but it seems like every fan was on board with his relationship with Danielle since it started. The two even have their own reality TV show, for goodness sake.

Dedication

Then

At the height of the 90s boy band days, the internet was a fairly new thing. Everyone’s e-mail was @AOL.com, AIM was for stalking your crush and talking to SmarterChild, and Geocities and Angelfire were web hosting sites for your favorite bands. The fact that we could even get pictures and talk to fellow fans seemed incredible, and it was our way of showing our dedication to the world.

I used to live by this site, since they updated it so frequently (like twice a day), and it legit has looked the same ever since 1998.

Now

  • Tumblr Directioners: Holy shit, a Larry Stylinson sex tape better leak soon or I will light myself on fucking fire
  • Twitter Directioners: Omg, Follow me xx I love you so much
  • Youtube Directioners: This is like the best song ever, partyin harrdd
  • Facebook Directioners: Haha oh my goodness look at this, you are like my like bff for eva Harry. Omgomg I love you sooooooooooooo muchhh :))))) lololol rofl

Today’s kids turn to all forms of social media, and I feel like it’s reached a whole new level of obsession. Because you can now reach out to your idol – and even possibly get a reply – fans think they form this bond with the celebrities, which ultimately makes them even more devoted and obsessed. I was going to find examples on Twitter and Tumblr, but honestly, it’s a scary, scary place, and I want no part of that.

Rivalries

Pop Quiz:

BSB : *NSync :: One Direction : ???

Then

I admit, I was totally a *Nsync hater – or as I used to call them, *NSTINK. My “hatred” for them ran deep. So much so that I refused to listen to their songs (save for like maybe 5 of their hits). I’ve probably only heard Bye Bye Bye all the way through less than 10 times in my life. One time in dance class, my teacher put on the new *Nsync cd during warmup and I was SO pissed. Like so mad that my teacher could tell that I wasn’t happy about it, and continued to remind me of it until the day I graduated high school. Get a grip.

But the more I think about it, it was never because I hated the group itself. In fact I agree that they were good singers, were probably the better dancers of the two groups, and of course, like any grown ass woman, my love runs deep for Justin Timberlake. My hatred for ‘*NSTINK’ was for their fans. I loathed the annoying way that they always thought BSB sucked and *Nsync was better – and they wanted to prove it. Constantly. I’m sure you can say the same for BSB fans, but obviously I’m picking sides here. And as an adult, I think we can all recognize that it was totally spurred on by the media. If that one journalist didn’t pit the two bands together, there probably wouldn’t be an entire generation of girls who judge each other in their 20s by which boy band they liked better.

The best example of the fan rivalry is in the video clip from TRL below. I remember watching this live, and being so pissed off at the *Nsync team that I was almost as mad as Tiffany. Creeper alert: I somehow got a hold of Tiffany’s AOL SN and stalked her on AIM, in awe of her BSB dedication.


Now

I suppose the correct answer to the analogy above is Justin Bieber. Which might not make complete sense, since he’s not a boy band. Today’s kids are more fandom vs. fandom, rather boy band vs. boy band (or artist in this case). And since kids don’t have the luxury of having TRL, they take to social media yet again, specifically on Twitter. Case in point:

The second thing you need to know is that Directioners don’t like Beliebers. The conflict began (where else?) on Twitter. “The Beliebers trended #HitDirectionersWithAShovelDay” for no reason explains Holly, a 16-year-old 1D fan from Chicago. She says the war has raged on ever since. “When they won at the TCAs instead of Justin Beiber, they started making fun of Harry’s acne. They’re just trying to make us angry.” {x}

Of course Biebs had to say something to stop the madness and the the constant Twitter trends, but that didn’t really stop the fans from being cray online…

 

So whose side are you on? BSB or *Nsync? One Direction or Justin Bieber? Do you even care? Do you just want to reclaim your youth now? Yeah, probably the latter.

 

What to Expect at the VMAs

The 31st annual MTV VMAs are this Sunday, and as the years go on, the older I feel and the less I care about who wins. When I was growing up, I feel like the VMAs was the biggest award show of the year. Like the Oscars for teens, if you will. This might have been partly to do with the fact I was obsessed with BSB and needed them to win every award over ‘N Sync (for the record, this is the third time this week I’ve mentioned BSB. I’m not usually this hardcore). But it was also the days of Courtney Love throwing things, Britney & ‘N Sync performing together, and Diana Ross giving a love tap to Lil Kim’s one boob. Now it’s all about twerking and meat dresses. Ugh I’m starting to sound like Drunk Uncle. But I’m assuming the main reason a lot of people tune in to the VMAs is just to see what ridiculous things could possibly happen. So what’s in store this year? Probably a lot of things that will make you question where your youth went. If you’re thinking of tuning in on Sunday, here’s a few things to look out for so you know what you’re in for.

Girl Power

Everyone’s favorite female Australian rapper whose name sounds like a flower, Iggy Azalea, is tied for Beyonce with the most nominations at eight, and there’s no doubt Iggy will be walking away with at least one of them. It’ll also be a big night for Ariana Grande who is nominated for four VMAs – all of which are for Problem with Iggy. You know who doesn’t have a problem? These two. GET IT??

Crying, because, Sam Smith

All hail the male Adele! I’ve loved Sam Smith ever since the first time I heard Latch last year, and I’m so glad he’s doing so well for himself. Performing on the VMAs is big for any artist, but when you’re a British nobody one year and 365 days later you’re on stage for one of the most talked about awards shows of the year, it’s a big deal. I’m probs going to cry because I have a soft spot for success stories. Also, I have a lot of feelings.

Something Ice Bucket Challenge Related

Apparently there’s no host for the main show this year, but someone is bound to make some kind of reference to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Perhaps Nicki Minaj challenging Iggy? Demi nominating Taylor Swift? Every celebrity in the audience should just pull out $10 bucks and a giant bucket of ice water should just pour over them from the rafters.

Already Being Over Taylor Swift’s Pop Phase

Taylor is performing on Sunday, and one can only assume she’ll be debuting her new single Take It Off for the first time live. I already divulged my thoughts about her new pop record, but seeing it in all its glory will take T Swizzle to a whole new level. That level is not necessarily good.

Referencing Miley’s Twerking

Miley is officially confirmed to return to the VMAs after her shitshow of a performance last year, because MTV bosses are gluttons for punishment. It doesn’t really matter if she’ll be performing or presenting – either way, Miley is going to make her presence known and make sure you don’t forget it – just like her twerking.

Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda Don’t Want None

If the Television Parents Council or whoever always gets their panties in a bunch over the oversexualizing of celebrities onscreen need something to complain about this year – it will probably be over this. Nicki’s video for Anaconda is already risque, so imagine it on the stage in front of a live audience. Butt. There will be a lot of butt.

Bey Being Bey

The Queen is receiving this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. If you recall from last year, Justin Timberlake won the same award, with a 15-minute medley of his best songs, including that epic ‘N Sync reunion. So will Bey be able to top it? I believe B is able to do anything she puts her mind to, but it’ll be a close call. If you watch anything from the VMAs, watch this.

Still Figuring Out Who 5 Seconds of Summer Are

So they’re a real band? They’re not even that cute? But the tweens love them? IDGI.

Playlist Of The Month: Summer Jams

We’re well into the summer season when visits to the beach are mandatory, weddings are aplenty and we spend our days counting down until vacation. And of course none of these activities would be enjoyable without a good summer soundtrack. More than any other season, I feel like songs help mold the three or so months where the sun (theoretically) shines bright every day, and you’re naturally in a good mood. So here’s a list of our favorites for this year’s summer playlist that will hopefully make your summer days as bright as they do ours!

Check out the entire list on Spotify:

Traci’s Picks

Day Drinking – Little Big Town

In like 2007 or 2008 I saw Carrie Underwood in concert and Little Big Town, a then relatively unknown band (to me at least) opened up for her. My friend and I were like who da fuq are these people? And what’s with the name? Well clearly they’ve since become huge in country music and I am so obsessed with this song. Who doesn’t love day drinking on a hot summer’s day?

Boom Clap – Charlie XCX

Like most people, I became familiar with this song from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. There are a lot of great songs on the album, but this one has the perfect feel of young love and makes me want to let down my hair and slowly sway back and forth on a rooftop patio during a cookout.

Restart – Sam Smith

Last week I was in the car for approx 20 minutes and heard two Sam Smith songs on two different radio stations. Boy is blowing up! I fell in love with him when I first heard Latch using during auditions on So You Think You Can Dance last year and immediately needed to find out what the song was. It has since become one of my most played songs on iTunes and made my 2013 Summer Jams list too. Even with his EP released earlier this year, I was dying for Sam’s full length album. As soon as I heard Restart, I knew it was going to be one of my new fave tracks and I have since done the thing where as soon as it ends I just listen to it over and over again, or restart, rather.

Brand New Pharrell featuring Justin Timberlake

Pharrell basically makes megahits with everyone he works with, but when he gets together with Mr. JT, it’s like next level, Michael Jackson shit. I can’t help but move around and dance to this song and I may or may not have found myself in a YouTube spiral of watching people’s choreography to this song.

Rather Be – Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne

Like Sam Smith, Clean Bandit is another British import. This song has been at the top of the UK charts for months now, and after seeing them dominate across the pond, I had to check them out. Rather Be has a contemporary feel – like they should be playing at the Gobi stage at Coachella – but at the chorus it switches up to a 90s dance vibe – like the opened up for a tour with Real McCoy & La Bouche. I can’t get enough of it.

Honorable Mention: Paris – Magic Man

In full disclosure, my good friend’s brother is in this band. But I legitimately like this song a lot and think they’re going places. In fact they’re literally going places when they open up for Panic! At the Disco this summer, so check them out, if you’re into that!

Molly’s Picks

Water Fountain – Tune Yards

So, here’s the deal with this year’s “songs of the summer.” Every song that seems like a contender also feels like it’s been out forever. It just doesn’t feel like a “summer jam” if I listened to it while driving through snow four months ago. So, most of my picks will be jams that for whatever reason haven’t made it to top 40 radio yet. First up: this song that is more of an earworm than half of the creatures featured on Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me.

ChiRaq – Nicki Minaj feat Lil Herb

Okay, if this one isn’t on the radio as much as it should be, it’s only because there is no way to take out all of the swears and have it even somewhat make sense. I’m sure that won’t keep Kidz Bop from trying, though.

Drive-In Movies – Ray LaMontagne

I always love a good country song about the joys of summer, but I just haven’t found any I love this year. However, Ray LaMontagne’s tribute to the drive-in — one of my favorite summer staples — sort of fills the same niche topically, albeit without the twang of actual country music. What can I say, I love when LaMontagne gets a bit Springsteen-y.

Chandelier – Sia

Sia: not just for making you crying during TV montages anymore.

Jealous – Chromeo

Like Haim and Yelle, Chromeo makes me feel like I’m experiencing the best parts of the late 80s-early 90s and the present day, all at the same time.

Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

You can tell me that we graduated 10 years ago, but I still have a difficult time convincing myself that that much time has passed since I last used a locker and attended a gym class (note I didn’t say ‘participated’). And when looking back at pop culture a decade ago, it’s hard to believe that some of these things happened so long ago. Here’s a list of just a few things that happened in 2004 that will make you want to pull out your Sony Discman and blast Blink-182 in an attempt to reclaim your youth.

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.

Nipplegate/Boob Bowl

February 1: Ah yes, the floppy breast that all Americans young and old were exposed to during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As we know, JT ripped off a piece of tear away material covering Janet’s (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) right boob, and in their defense they deemed it a “wardrobe malfunction”, but conservatives called it “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”, while others just said to “calm the fuck down”. The legal ramifications from the FCC and subsequent lawsuits seemed to be never ending – in fact as recent as 2012, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the FCC over the $550,000 fine on Nipplegate.

Kanye Drops College Dropout

February 10: Kanye West releases his debut album, The College Dropout, which hits the top of the charts and receives critical acclaim. It’s hard to believe there was a time when we ALL liked Kanye because his music was so good, but then he started talking too much and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift, etc. and he became one of the most polarizing artists in music. But no one can deny just how freaking good this record was. Even the weakest track on the album was better than most of the rap songs released that year.

You Go, Glen Coco

February 20: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was the first of two leading roles Lindsay Lohan had in 2004, which is considered her breakout year. After appearing in Freaky Friday in 2003, Linds landed another Disney movie with the teen musical that pitted her against a young Megan Fox.

April 30: You know it, you love it, you wear pink on Wednesdays. Mean Girls was released and became a defining teen comedy of the 2000s and launched LiLo into superstar success.

May 1: Luckily, Lindsay had connections at Saturday Night Live thanks to Tina Fey/Mean Girls, and hosted the show for the first time, AKA the show with the most epic (and first) sketch of Debbie Downer.

June 5: Linds becomes the youngest host of the MTV Movie Awards at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, I think I was busy “studying” my Sparknotes for my AP English exam.

December 7: Lindsay’s first album, Speak is released and surprisingly gets certified platinum. I’m not going to lie to you, she has some pretty catchy tunes that may or may not have been downloaded via Napster. But seriously though – Over?!

Jimmy Meets World

May 15: Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, closing out his six-season tenure with a rousing all cast musical rendition of Grease’s Summer Nights, with his leading lady, Tina Fey.

You Can’t Be Sirius

May 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban hits theaters. I admit, I was such a late bloomer to HP. Like I didn’t start reading until the day the 7th book came out :\ I hang my head in shame (And I also blame my parents who I’m convinced believed that reading the books legit made you some kind of witch frreal). Anyways, the Alfonso Cuaron-directed installment grossed a total of $796.6 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing in the whole HP film series, but still ranks it the 44th highest-grossing film of all time. Whatever. This was my favorite movie up until the last one, and arguably my favorite book.

I Believe In Miracles

May 26: Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol in one of the most memorable and dramatic reveals in all of television history. Reminder that this is the same year Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson placed seventh and Diana DeGarmo was the runner-up. (Sidenote: I just saw Diana and hubs season 5 Idol alum Ace Young in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tour and like a fine wine, her voice has just gotten better with age. Ace, maybe not so much. They’re cute tho. Go go go Joe!)

Closing Time

Our beloved Friends came to a close (which you can reminisce over at our Friends 10 Week tag), while shows I was too young to watch (Ed, Sex and the City, The Practice) and shows I was too old to still be watching (Lizzie McGuire, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog) also met their demise. RIP Lizzie + Gordo, forever in our hearts.

Meet Michael Phelps

August: The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece and the main takeaway is that America came out with a new sports legend in Michael Phelps. At just 19 years old, he won 8 medals, 6 of which were gold, the other 2 bronze, well on his way to becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history. In the video above, Michael wins his 5th gold of the games in the 4×200 relay, helping his team edge out Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe and the Australians by a hair. UGH I miss the Olympics.

Pieces of Me

October 23: Ashlee Simpson gets caught lip synching on Saturday Night Live and I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.

Beyonce Realizes Her Full Potential

November 16: Destiny’s Child releases their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. This record is not as solid as The Writing’s On The Wall (but really, which DC3 record is?), but it has one of my all time favorite Destiny’s Child Songs, Girl, as well as Cater 2 U. It’s fine, they all did well after the breakup. Right, Michelle?

Ken Jennings Makes Jeopardy! Event Television

November 30: Ken Jennings’ 74-consecutive win streak finally ends at the hands of competitor Nancy Zerg. He’s won a total of $3,196,300 from the show, which is… a heck of a lot of money and knowledge. Question: Where is Nancy Zerg now?

BriWi Takes Over

December 2:  Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News after 22 years at the desk and is replaced by Brian Williams. Love ya Tommy B, but if you didn’t retire, we would have never been able to get MC BriWillie out of his shell.

 

Class of ’04: Celebrity Superlatives

Wasssuupppp?! This week we’re reflecting back to 2004 – aka the year Molly & I graduated high school. It’s been exactly 10 years this month ::insert quarter-life crisis freakout here::  since we received our diplomas and officially became “adults”, and while it seems like it happened just yesterday, it equally feels like lifetimes ago. All this week we’re looking back at pop culture, fashion, and all things early 2000s, but also fast forwarding a decade and reflecting on our 2004 selves with our 2014 selves. We’re putting it all out there, folks.

Today, I’m kicking it off with one of my personal extracurricular activities in high school: Yearbook. I know, hard to believe right? ‘But Traci, you’re so cool and hip, it’s hard to imagine you were in something so academic and somewhat nerdy like the Yearbook Club!’ You’re right, reader. Not only was I in choir and did theatre, I ALSO was part of putting the yearbook together.

In the spirit of my infinite coolness, here are some superlatives from a faux celebrity yearbook for the stars who took over Hollywood between 2000 and 2004 when we were impressionable teens and TRL ruled the world. Put on your sparkly flare jeans and let’s get started!

Best TV Host

Carson Daly

If there’s one show that will define our generation, it’s TRL. I rush home every weekday and obviously vote non-stop for BSB to be number one on the countdown. True story: I was the TRL fan of the week in 2002 and Carson showed my picture on TV AND he said my name!!! So maybe I’m a little biased, because we’re best friends, but whatevs.

Best Dressed

Paris Hilton

 Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!

Most Likely to Succeed

Beyonce of Destiny’s Child

Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!

Biggest Prankster

Ashton Kutcher

The guy from That 70s Show has his own TV show about pranking celebrities, so basically nobody else deserves this title but Ashton. I mean, he got away with punking Justin Timberlake – that’s epic enough.

Best Couple

Britney and Justin

Speaking of Justin, I’m still not over the fact this perfect couple broke up in 2002, so let’s just pretend they’re still together, okay?

Favorite Celeb Couple On & Off-Screen

Adam Brody & Rachel Bilson

If Seth and Summer isn’t your favorite couple just turn around right now. The geeky loner guy gets the popular girl? That never happens. AND IN REAL LIFE TOO?! Stop it. (PS that pic is from a Halloween party where Adam was an astronaut and Rachel was a martian (?) and they’re with The OC creator Josh Schwartz & Summer Cohen’s mom, played by Melinda Clarke. I mean…)

Best Hair

Chris Kirkpatrick

Obviously.

Class Clown

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy is totally hilarious on Saturday Night Live. Even though he’s leaving the show (which will never be the same without him) I know he’s gonna be a huge movie star. He even has a movie coming out with Queen Latifah that’s supposed to be really funny!

Most Athletic

Apolo Anton Ohno

Molly & I are probably a little too obsessed with America’s golden boy. Literally golden boy because he’s physically incapable of not winning gold medals at the Olympics. Also he’s so dreamy. Who knew short track speed skating could be so exhilarating (not me. didn’t even know it was a sport)?!?

Most Attractive

Heath Ledger

With The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale, Heath and his flowing hair are the stuff dreams are made of. And to top it all off – he’s Australian!!! That means he says things like G’Day and Vegemite!!! I’m not even going to admit how many posters I have of him on my wall…

Most Changed

Lindsay Lohan

lilo pt to mg

From Parent Trap to Mean Girls, I can’t believe Lindsay Lohan has grown up so much! It’s also hard to believe we’re the same age. But remember how cute she was in The Parent Trap and now she’s hanging out with Tina Fey and Lacey Chabert from Party of Five (still one of my fave shows). Hopefully this is a rollercoaster that only goes up for Linds!