Content Section

LATEST COVERAGE

HIGH LIFE

Stars Who Smoke Weed

Watch This!

The Week in Viral Videos

From a Taylor Swift bridal shower surprise to a flight attendant doing stand-up comedy, WATCH our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

5. Rapping Staff Sergeant

Taking appropriate care of a broken leg in a cast can be a tall order for a young girl. But after this bumpin’ hip-hop lesson, remembering the protocol ain’t no thang.

The directors of the documentary ‘Tomorrow We Disappear,’ now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, on India’s legendary Kathputli slum, the last home to magicians, acrobats, and puppeteers.

“But no, I must stop all this, and tell the story as simply as possible: while troops chased arrested dragged magicians from their ghetto…while bulldozers moved forwards into the slum, a door was slammed shut…but not all the magicians were captured; not all of them were carted off…and it said that the day after the bulldozing of the magicians’ ghetto, a new slum was reported in the heart of the city.”

140417-tomorrow-we-disappear-article-tease

Joshua Cogan

It was these words in Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children that first brought us to New Delhi’s Kathputli Colony, the legendary slum of magicians, acrobats, and puppeteers. Midnight’s Children captured the first time the slum was destroyed, in the ‘70s during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency, but like a futile game of whack-a-mole between artists and the government, Kathputli popped up again just a few months later. 

Scandalous

Hollywood’s Worst Medical Errors

From doctors doing surgery without masks on to Wolverine’s true love dying via diuretic, TV and film are full of medical errors.

Oh, “Scandal,” you frothy mess of a show. Between your increasingly despicable characters and your ludicrous, often contradictory plotlines, I don’t know why I watch you. (That is not technically true. I watch you because my husband makes me.) That finale had me rolling my eyes so hard I think I pulled a muscle.

140418-saunders-tv-death-tease

Hulu

[SPOILER ALERT: I will not only be discussing the big reveal of the “Scandal” season finale, I will also be giving away plot points of an old episode of “Sherlock” and a particularly silly “X-Men” movie, as well as grousing about “ER.” Some of those things are so old in pop culture terms they’re practically Pleistocene, but if you’re touchy about such matters, consider yourself fairly warned.]

Food Mystery

The Search for General Tso

A new documentary premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival explores how and why General Tso’s chicken became a cultural touchstone.

It’s a taste both foreign, and familiar. Chicken is diced into square inches, marinated, and deep-fried in a wok, followed by a quick toss in brown sauce. The sauce is a mélange of flavors—tangy, salty, and sweet—lathered on a crisp shell encasing the warm, tender meat.

140418-stern-tso-tease

General Tso's Chicken (Ian Cheney)

General Tso’s Chicken has become a staple of American dining; a dish that, were it not for pizza, could be crowned the most popular ethnic food item in the country. And it’s a total cash cow. The dish is carried in most of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, produced very cheaply, and sold for about $10 a pop, resulting in billions of dollars in tasty revenue.

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Michael Tubbs, a 23-year-old councilmember in Stockton, California, and the star of the documentary ‘True Son,’ says that now is the time for young people to engineer social change.

“What are you going to do after you graduate?” was a question I grew to loathe during my senior at Stanford University. The pressure was immense as I was fully expected to add another prestigious institution to my resume, whether a high-profile company, a top graduate school, or a renowned fellowship.  For months, I struggled with the decision and after being rejected as a finalist from a fellowship I found myself at a crossroads.  Until that point, public service was the thread that tied my extracurricular and academic pursuits in college together, but it wasn’t something that I saw as a viable full-time pursuit. I struggled to make a decision, until I reflected on a traumatic experience from the year before.

140418-tubbs-stockton-tease

Stockton City Council District 6 Councilmember Michael Tubbs photographed at Stockton City Hall, April 24, 2013. (Robyn Twomey/Redux)

During the fall of my junior year, I interned in Intergovernmental Affairs in The White House with a focus on outreach to local elected officials. Although I hated the menial tasks the job required, it gave me a window into the power of local government.  During my internship, my cousin was murdered in Stockton, one of 50 homicides that year. In the midst of grieving, I began to feel that I had a special responsibility to use the resources I had been given to make the world a better place, although in which capacity was still unclear.  It wasn’t until a year later that I achieved clarity when I decided to run for city council in Stockton—with no money or political experience. The impetus behind this decision was a desire to change the odds for children like my cousin and me.

JUST FOR LAUGHS

The Brilliance of Billy Crystal

In his one-man show, ‘700 Sundays’, Crystal interweaves the bitter and sweet—growing up Jewish in Long Beach, being the token Munchkin on the school basketball team—and reminds us what great comedy is.

We were all born to tell the stories of our lives; the problem lies in scaring up an audience. Billy Crystal is one of an elite that can draw throngs just by talking, and he gets a chance to prove his story worth telling and worth hearing in 700 Sundays, the one-man show taped for HBO during its recent Broadway run. It premieres tomorrow night, and yes, Crystal’s life easily merits two hours of yours.

140417-shale-crystal-tease

Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays,” one of the most-acclaimed and highest-grossing plays in Broadway history, comes to HBO. (Carol Rosegg/HBO)

This isn’t a “my greatest hits” revue in which Crystal reprises his best-known comic inspirations, although he does note in passing his immortal tribute to cockamamie castings of Hollywood: Edward G. Robinson as a disgruntled Israelite in The Ten Commandments, invoked by Crystal with a gangster-ish growl of “So, where is your Moses now?”  It is legendarily funny.

‘Inspired’

How Hollywood Pirates Anime

Transcendence’s tale about cybernetic potentiality is ingenious, but it was also done 16 years ago. Hollywood has been borrowing liberally from Japan’s anime and manga past.

If you thought Spirited Away was as psychedelic and mentally stimulating as Japanese animation gets you’ve been missing something Hollywood has known for ages. Or so the plots of blockbuster sci-fi would seem to suggest: in the recently Christopher Nolan-ized genre there’s more Japanese influences than just the new Godzilla movie.

129914238

The Daily Beast

Especially in Transcendence, co-produced by Nolan, which continues the grand theme of suspiciously familiar plots. The story of a man who, in death, is granted immortality and omnipotence through technology, is the sort of thing Japanese anime and manga has done ad nauseam. Hell, even Digimon’s third season explored the dark reality of human computer programs finding sentience in the virtual world. But it’s not just Nolan who has been inspired by Japan’s animated pantheon.

Writers’ Room

How TV’s Best Shows Get Written

The writers of ‘Scandal’ almost did what!? ‘Community’ star Jim Rash takes us inside ‘The Writers’ Room,’ a behind-the-scenes look at how TV’s best shows are created.

You couldn’t write a bit that good.

Just hours after the up-to-there slit on her red-carpet gown made “Angelina Jolie’s leg” an Internet meme at the 2012 Oscars, Jim Rash (along with co-writers Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon) win Best Adapted Screenplay for their work on The Descendants, rush to the stage to accept their trophies, and Rash juts out his hip and sticks out his leg, the perfect mimic of Jolie and the perfect Oscar moment.

140417-fallon-rash-tease

Jim Rash from the film "The Way Way Back" poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at the Fender Music Lodge, on Tuesday Jan. 22, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Victoria Will/AP)

Open-Mic Night

Beck’s Musical Time Machine

Perhaps we’ve been undervaluing the very thing that made Beck such an exciting artist in the first place: his genre-defying sense of absurd, spontaneous fun.

“These lights and this stage are giving me flashbacks to open-mic nights in, like, 1988. Just so you know what’s going on up here.”

479916561KI00325_2014_Coach

Kevin Winter/Getty

Once upon a time—in, like, 1988—Beck Hansen actually played open-mic nights. Tiny stages. Sweaty spotlights. Intimate rooms.

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

  1. John Turturro is Just a ‘Gigolo’ Play

    John Turturro is Just a ‘Gigolo’

  2. Costner Wants the #1 Draft Pick Play

    Costner Wants the #1 Draft Pick

  3. An American Hero Returns Play

    An American Hero Returns

vulturelogo

wonderwall

Latest From

Book Beast