Today's pop-culture roundup includes the king of musical parody, the future of "24," Neil Young and Tel Aviv, the death of Jessica Simpson, our mystery music video and much more.
WEIRD AL: Pharrell's "Happy" becomes "Tacky,"per Us Weekly, "Weird Al has done it again! The king of parody, "Weird Al" Yankovic, released the first of eight new music videos on Monday, July 14, spoofing Pharrell's "Happy." Al's newest endeavor pokes fun at the tackiest of people, brought to life by a cast of comedy all-stars, Aisha Tyler, Jack Black, Eric Stonestreet, Margaret Cho, and Kristen Schaal.
"The bizarre music video begins with Weird Al, 54, wearing an incredibly loud outfit as he writhes and shakes inside a warehouse. "Tacky" makes fun of various types of annoying people: those who name-drop, Instagram too frequently, wear suspenders and belts, and other irritating traits attributed to "tacky" types." http://usm.ag/1qZFb5J
MEANWHILE: About the comeback, per the Los Angeles Times, "The success of any great piece of art is determined by a few key factors. Does it accomplish what it sets out to achieve? Does it illuminate some essential aspect of the human condition? Does it change those who are exposed to it rewire the circuitry, add new ideas that disturb the status quo? Does it build on the art of others, in the process crafting something profoundly new? Most important, does it advocate for the enduring relevance of tinfoil?
"Under these guidelines, Weird Al Yankovic's new "Mandatory Fun" is a stone cold masterpiece. Its goal remains the same since Yankovic changed the game with "My Bologna" and "Eat It": parodying hit songs to create gut-busting laughter. Thirty years later the Weird One hits every note." http://lat.ms/1oE6JZK
'24': That's a wrap - for now, per The Hollywood Reporter, "24: Live Another Day managed to unleash a finale even bleaker for Jack Bauer than his 24 series finale sendoff four years ago.
"Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is in custody of the Russians, Audrey (Kim Raver) is dead and poor President Heller (William Devane) doesn't have long before Alzheimer's leaves him unable to even remember Audrey. But is there still time to turn it around and get Jack out of Moscow? Showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto say more 24 is definitely a possibility." http://bit.ly/1tMEeRM
NEIL YOUNG CANCELS TEL AVIV GIG: Just the facts, per the New York Times, "Neil Young has canceled a concert scheduled for Tel Aviv this week because of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The concert, with Mr. Young's band Crazy Horse, was scheduled for Thursday at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. "It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we must cancel our one and only Israeli concert due to tensions which have rendered the event unsafe at this time," a spokesman said in a statement on Sunday by Mr. Young's label, Warner Brothers." http://nyti.ms/1mGFZeq
JESSICA SIMPSON IS NO MORE: Or something like that, per People, "A new husband. A new life of wedded bliss. An now, a new last name! Jessica Simpson has taken husband Eric Johnson's last name, posting an Instagram snapshot proudly proclaiming the moniker "Jessica Johnson" in its caption." http://bit.ly/UaRT4Q
HORNY POTTER: Of Daniel Radcliffe, per Celebuzz!, "Here is the first look at Horns, the horror film based on a book by Joe Hill. It stars Daniel Radcliffe as a man who, after being wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend (Juno Temple), grows horns, and develops an affinity for snakes and the ability to make people confess their sins. Ig, Radcliffe's character, then sets out on a mission to expose the true guilty parties, using his newfound power." http://celeb.bz/1jM5J9U
TRACY MORGAN: Feeling OK after limo crash, per The Insider, "Tracy Morgan is on the mend. The 45-year-old comedian who returned home on Friday was spotted outside of his house in good spirits on Monday morning. While leaning on a walker, Morgan appeared upbeat and flashed awaiting photographers a peace sign." http://yhoo.it/1ymik6x
BRIGHT EYES: Or not, per Rolling Stone, "Joanie Faircloth, who alleged that Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst had sexually assaulted her in the comments of an XOJane article, has now admitted that she made the whole story up. In February, Oberst had filed a libel lawsuit against her, calling her accusations "absolutely, unequivocally false." Now Faircloth is asking for forgiveness for what she wrote." http://rol.st/1qAOO8Q
'SNL' MAKES A CUT: Stunning news it's not, per The Wrap, "Brooks Wheelan will not return for the next season of "Saturday Night Live," the comedian announced on Twitter. The first year featured player had a standard one-year contract given to all "SNL" newbies, and Wheelan's contract was not picked up, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap." http://bit.ly/W74DdU
MEANWHILE: Of the probable holdovers, per Variety, ". . . Of course, it's the "SNL" freshmen who are going to be most susceptible to cuts. But it's a credit to "SNL" that most of the newbies seemed untouchable: Colin Jost is the head writer in addition to being the new face of "Weekend Update," so that was never going to happen. Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney got plenty of post-12:30 p.m. sketches to themselves, so they're doing something right. Sasheer Zamata also acquitted herself nicely in a midseason entry that kicked up some attention as the series' first female African-American cast member in ages. I'm willing to bet Noel Wells sticks around though she didn't do anything particularly memorable, just solid impression work." http://bit.ly/1qcgk0t
AND FINALLY: Today's mystery music video. http://bit.ly/1zFe6Zo