YouTube Hall of Fame: Ashford & Simpson, Kicking and Screaming, and Ski Porn


Bill Simmons: “All right, Ashford — wait, which one are you? Simpson, sorry. OK, we’re gonna start the fake rain and have Simpson start singing. Ashford, you run into the tunnel and sing your part, but make it seem like you’re about to murder Simpson. Simpson, I want you to briefly seem scared like you’re about to be brutally assaulted. Then, I want it to seem like there was an inexplicable shift and suddenly you’re about to do the nasty right in this tunnel. Ashford, if you get a boner or discharge anything, don’t worry, we can edit around it. Be as creepy as possible. Be super-duper creepy. Dry hump Simpson’s hip like you mean it. From there, the bicycle guy is going to pedal by for no reason whatsoever — that’s the cue for the tough mugger guys to walk toward you and look like they’re going to murder both of you, so seem a little distracted as you’re singing, OK? But then we’ll just have them be your backup band for the chorus because that totally makes sense. Then we’ll bring in more and more people, including a deliriously happy drummer, and it’s just gonna get weirder and weirder. Background people, make sure you dance with no rhythm whatsoever. And Ashford and Simpson, don’t be afraid to put your arms around complete strangers as you’re singing. Remember, you guys are solid as rock. All right, let’s shoot this. Quiet on the set …”


Chuck Klosterman: A few weeks ago, I was talking to a handful people about the Timothy Olyphant/Steve Zahn film A Perfect Getaway, a movie that’s much, much more fun to watch than logic would dictate. This conversation evolved into a debate over twist-oriented movies and how satisfying it is to experience even a bad example of this genre, assuming the twist is well designed and authentically surprising. The next day, someone sent me a link to this clip: It’s the first nine minutes of a short film titled Bobby Loves Mangoes (the remaining two chunks are available nearby). This was originally aired on the Sundance Channel, so you first need to sit through a short, rambling explanation from Roger Ebert as to why this particular film was being broadcast on TV. But when you get to the actual low-budget production, it’s pretty decent; it won’t obliterate your mind, but it’s better than what you likely anticipate a 15-minute YouTube movie should be. And you can’t beat the price.


Katie Baker: It’s mid-September, which means it’s time to start doing wall sits and other exercises in preparation for ski season. It’s also time to start breaking out the ski porn — no, I’m not talking about Debbie Does Deer Valley, you sickos, but rather the Teton Gravity Research-type films that combine killer soundtracks with unbelievable footage of extreme big-mountain skiing. Pro tip: Do a DVR search for Warren Miller and record a few; they make excellent ambient programming during parties, at bedtime, or while you’re washing the dishes and wishing you weren’t.

If you want to go retro, though, and you definitely do, you can’t get any better than The Blizzard of AAHHH’s. (Another reason it’s called ski porn is that the puns are equally bad.) Greg Stump’s 1988 movie has all the day-glo colors and colorful characters of an Aspen Extreme, but it’s real, and sponsored by Swatch.

The Blizzard of AAHHH’s helped introduce the world to Glen Plake, the mohawked and hotdogging self-described “bad boy” of skiing, but more important, it brought us Rasta Stevie, the dreadlocked Telluride councilman representing the “Pro-Conscious Development Party.” It’s unclear what Rasta Stevie is up to these days — some say they’ve spotted him in Costa Rica — but given this footage I think I speak for a nation when I say that I hope he resurfaces in the upcoming primaries. Shred on. Is it winter yet?

Michael Weinreb (see video here): You may know Carlos Jacott as the hang-dog fellow who offed Mormon entrepreneur Bill Henrickson on Big Love, or, alternately, as that dude from that thing you watched one time when you may or may not have been high. His IMDb résumé is utterly spectacular, a Zelig-like tour through the past 15 years of popular culture: He played Ramon the Pool Guy on Seinfeld and Larry the Agent in Being John Malkovich; he had bit roles on Larry Sanders and Buffy and Ally McBeal and Frasier and The West Wing and Firefly and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Desperate Housewives. And yet to me he will always be Otis, the pajama-top wearing, remote-thieving goof from Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming, the finest movie ever made about post-college life, book clubs, sleeping with freshmen, broken glass, and men who would rather be bow-hunting.

Between the years of 1995 and 2000, I probably viewed Kicking and Screaming in its entirety 200 times. I have committed the entire film to memory; in other words, I probably have a more intimate relationship with these 10 minutes of footage than I do with most of my close friends. Most notable is the scene that begins at the 4:45 mark of this video (embedding disabled), known to archivists and curators as “The Cookie Man Sequence.” Several years ago, at a Legal Sea Foods in Harvard Square, a young lady noticed Carlos Jacott sitting at the bar with a group of friends, and, unprompted, sashayed over to him, whispered in his ear, “Go away cookie man,” then walked away. It should come as no surprise that I am now married to this woman.


Molly Lambert: J.B. Hendricks is really excited about the return of football.


Previously: YouTube Hall of Fame: Stevie Nicks Combs Her Hair, a Comedy Film From Nigeria, and the Least Sexy Video on the Internet
YouTube Hall of Fame: George Michael, a Knife-Throwing Mom, and a Space Armadillo
YouTube Hall of Fame: Sheep, Kurt Loder on the Internet, and Dating Advice From Dr. Paul
YouTube Hall of Fame: Tales From the NBA Lockout, an Angry Keith Richards, and Shark Week Memories From January Jones
YouTube Hall of Fame: Brawling Bruins, Marshmallow Tests, and the Latest Jamaican Dance Craze

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