YouTube Hall of Fame: Tales From the NBA Lockout, an Angry Keith Richards, and Shark Week Memories From January Jones
Every week, Grantland’s staff watches all 200 million videos on YouTube and picks their favorites.
Bill Simmons: Here’s a special NBC pregame segment about the NBA lockout. You’ll learn that salaries have increased by 500 percent over the past 10 years … that owners believe the players have gained too big of a share of basketball-related revenue … that owners want to “control labor costs” and reinvent the system with “a hard cap” … that the players want no part of a hard cap and are vowing not to let it happen … that the deputy commissioner believes the “system we’ve created has worked too well for the players over the last seven years and not well at all for the owners,” and that he “hopes we can be a little smarter this time” … that Billy Hunter “doesn’t want to see a work stoppage” and was surprised that the owners rejected his “creative” offer made “early in the negotiations” … that a future-Hall of Famer-turned-executive believes “the owners’ problems are real,” and that Billy Hunter and David Stern need to get back to the table … and that NBC’s studio team thinks it would be terrible for the NBA to lose games during a time of such “prosperity” for the league.
Oh, and while you’re watching this? You’ll notice a skinny Antoine Walker bitching about his market value, Jayson Williams wearing workout clothes instead of orange fatigues and handcuffs, Isiah Thomas, Rick Pitino and Patrick Ewing spouting worthwhile opinions, Peter Vescey carrying a pregame show, and Hannah Storm inexplicably dressed up like Frau Farbissina … and you’ll realize that it’s a clip from 1998.
Chuck Klosterman: He deserved it.
David Cho: As a fan of the Harry Potter movies, I thought the recent final installment fell a little flat. There was just something missing that kept it from working for me. That’s when I found this YouTube video, which was edited to give homoerotic undertones to an otherwise innocuous scene. And voila, the movie was saved. You may not think the gag that the video creators employ here is one that works for a minute-plus, but you’d be surprised how entertaining a noseless wizard hugging an albino teen can be.
Sarah Larimer: Confession time: I like this video so much that I’ve written about it before. OK, I’ve written about it twice. I know that crime is not a laughing matter. It’s very bad! But seriously, this guy is robbing a convenience store with a big stick. Then this other guy defends himself with a hammer! Makes total sense, right?
I tell myself it’s OK to gawk at the security footage, because the clerk wasn’t seriously hurt (I think … yeah, let’s go with that). AND it looks the robber got to keep his big stick. So … you know … not exactly a win-win, but it’s close enough.
Katie Baker: There is a unicorn of an MTV game show called Trashed that was an angstier $10,000 Pyramid: As you got questions wrong, your favorite stuff would be ruined. Baseball cards through the shredder, surfboards meeting machetes, etc. Or, as one former contestant recalls: “After Round 1, they smashed my Simpsons video tapes with a bowling ball. After Round 2, they ran over my Yoda pillow with a lawnmower. After Round 3, they attacked Deron’s Birkenstocks with a chainsaw (he wasn’t wearing them).”
It’s as shocking to learn that this destructive show was short-lived as it is to find out that the celibate Shakers had trouble perpetuating their faith. So I was happy to find that reminiscence and this other one (which is worth reading just for the story of the contestants’ Girl Group Dilemma) as proof that the show really existed, as for years I’ve brought it up to the blank faces of friends.
And while you can find several examples of Trashed‘s contemporary, the Jon Stewart Show, on YouTube (Like this Conan interview, or this Claire Danes one), the only clear evidence of Trashed is this clip, which omits all the actual trashing but does feature Green Jellÿ, a band that right around that same time was terrifying carpool-driving mothers nationwide with the mainstream hit “3 Little Pigs.” Pretty fitting representation for the best weird game show that no one seems to remember.
Molly Lambert: In lieu of a sizzle reel for the new season of Mad Men, please accept this Shark Week-related clip of January Jones talking about swimming with sharks.
Previously: YouTube Hall of Fame: Sheep, Kurt Loder on the Internet, and Dating Advice From Dr. Paul
YouTube Hall of Fame: Crash Test Dummies, Cam’ron, and Tolstoy
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