All the Muppets Need Is Love

24-Dec-12 9:30 AM by
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Happy holidays from Showbits! It's been a full year since the most recent Muppets movie, but our favorite characters from Jim Henson are alive, well, and here to wish you a Merry Christmas in this holiday music video:

"All I Need Is Love" features not only CeeLo Green and Craig Robinson, but also Walter, the newest Muppet introduced in last year's film — a nice touch of continuity! Might we see these characters reunited in another feature film? We can only hope!

Until then, happy holidays — and mahna mahna!

(Hat tip to Annie Lynsen)

PBS remixes Reading Rainbow, Bob Ross

03-Dec-12 11:06 AM by
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Earlier this summer, non-profit public broadcasting television network PBS demonstrated surprising savviness when it recruited YouTube user melodysheep (musicalscience on Twitter) to create a remix music video of Mr. Rogers. With over seven million views, the video has been incredibly popular, proving an effective melding of nostalgia and modernity.

I should've realized PBS would know it had a hit on its hands and would follow up with additional hits. Today, PBS Digital Studios published its latest remix, a music video featuring Levar Burton of Reading Rainbow:

But wait, there's more! "In Your Imagination" wasn't PBS's second remix; that honor falls to this summer's publication of "Happy Little Clouds", a celebration of the soothing tones and happy little paintings of Bob Ross:

I love the themes that are present in all three of these shows and videos: creativity, imagination, and self-confidence. We can do anything we set our minds to, if only we believe in ourselves. It's a lesson that we need to hear as much as adults as we did as children. I'm just sorry none of the shows being celebrated are still on the air. Do we need to wait for a Sesame Street remix?

In celebration of her 100th birthday, Julia Child got a remix, too. See all four remixes in one playlist.

(more…)

Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind

08-Jun-12 7:46 AM by
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Like many kids my age — heck, like many kids any age — I grew up in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Paired with Sesame Street, the two PBS shows were not just entertaining; they also laid a subtle foundation for literacy, curiosity, and creativity.

In the past few months, I've encountered, both in-person and online, assertions that Mr. Rogers' on-screen character was very different from his off-screen personality. This belief is in sharp contrast to any first-person reports I've heard from individuals who had the opportunity to encounter this preacher and teacher. Stories that, in a previous life, Fred Rogers was a military sniper, or that he wore cardigans to cover violent tattoos, struck me as disrespectful. Sure, society likes to see its celebrities fall — but Mr. Rogers' star should be above such sullying.

So when I saw floating around Facebook a Mr. Rogers music remix that debuted on YouTube just yesterday, I was hesitant. What was next — were they going to turn my childhood hero into a gangsta rapper?

See for yourself:

This remix is officially sponsored by PBS Digital Studios:

When we discovered video mash-up artist John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, on YouTube, we immediately wanted to work together. Turns out that he is a huge Mister Rogers Neighborhood fan, and was thrilled at the chance to pay tribute to one of our heroes. Both PBS and the Fred Rogers Company hope you like John's celebration of Fred Rogers' message.

I think Mr. Rogers would be very pleased with the tasteful, respectful work this artist has produced, just as it made me happy and, at the same time, a bit sad. I can only hope our children have a Mr. Rogers of their own.

(Hat tips to Seth Weintraub and Brendon Chetwynd)

William Shatner Performs Bohemian Rhapsody

20-Oct-11 7:55 PM by
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As my friend Andy put it: that which is seen cannot be unseen.

William Shatner, who launched his musical career in 1968, has not let his lack of talent deter him from staying the couse. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is part of a twenty-track album that Shatner released last week:

Captain Kirk lives! With an eclectic set of songs about space, William Shatner continues his hilarious, touching, inspired, and insane approach to music. Since he isn’t really a singer, he surrounds himself with folks like Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, and Lyle Lovett to help with the heavy lifting.

Seeking Major Tom is currently available for $11.99 from Apple iTunes, $7.99 from Amazon, or $13.99 as a physical CD. Though before making an investment, you may want to consider how far Shatner's musical abilities haven't come:

(Hat tip to Roddenberry.com)

Summer Shorts: There She Is!!

16-Jul-10 11:00 AM by
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Today's summer short is another classic, this one from 2004. It's about finding love not only where it's least expected, but also when it's least desired. Please enjoy There She Is!!

This video by SamBakZa (English translation) is the first in a five-part series. I personally prefer the plot and soundtrack of the second video, "Cake Dance":

This continuation of the first episode shows how quickly a relationship can develop. When a romance is new, its participants feel like they're engaged in something that's never been experienced by anyone alive. They unabashedly dedicate themselves to celebrating this new experience, and "Cake Dance" demonstrates that level of devotion that trumps all societal pressures and norms, and that taboos often become less stigmatic as love becomes more prevalent — all while being a good music video, too.

In that this animated world is populated by bunnies and kitties, it reminds me of Bill Holbrook's Kevin & Kell, supposedly the first ever Web comic about a wolf and a rabbit who meet through an online dating service. I followed the dead tree edition of the strip for some years, and though it effectively focused its humor at Internet geeks, the characters' backstories and plots eventually grew too convoluted for me.

What short videos have you found that celebrate love?

White and Trekkie

31-Jan-09 1:00 PM by
Filed under Humor, Star Trek; 1 comment.

I've been a geek since birth, so when my father sat me down in 1987 to watch the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the character with whom I most readily identified was the android Data. Finally, there was someone on television who valued brains over personality! He was pasty white as me! And people laughed at him, and he didn't know why! It gave me hope that maybe someday I too could grow up to be, if not popular, at least important.

I doubt I was alone in such fantasies, though the form may've been different for others. Regardless of their particular obsession, geeks often overlap in their interests. Be it Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, or computer programming, there's just something about these hobbies that attracts similar mindsets.

When not just the fans but the interests themselves intersect, it is a cause for jubilation. Such is the case with musician and performer "Weird Al" Yankovic, who often performs parodies and spoofs of Star Wars, eBay, and more. Many of these topics feature in the music video for his popular song his song "White & Nerdy", which encapsulates all a geek's attributes into less than three minutes. Could it be any nerdier?

The answer: yes. This video takes the "White & Nerdy" audio and sets it to montages of my childhood hero:

This video's debut was preceeded a month earlier by a Spock version, which has some good chuckles. There's also a Deep Space Nine take, but it limits itself by being based entirely on the "Trials and Tribble-ations" episode. Finally, there's an attempt to set Weird Al's "The Saga Begins", which tells the tale of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, to video from Star Trek: Voyager. It's creative, but I'm not really sure it works.

What are some of your favorite Star Trek spoofs or Weird Al tunes?