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Posts Tagged ‘Seth MacFarlane’

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Raises $6 Million Thanks to ‘Viewers Like You’ (and Seth MacFarlane)

When we first told you about LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow in a web-based format aimed at giving classrooms and kids everywhere access to an unlimited library, the fundraising goal was to reach $1 million by the second of July. Only a few days into the campaign, on May 29th, the campaign had already exceeded that goal. Overwhelmed and inspired by the support, Burton then decided to shoot for a “stretch goal” of $5 million.

As of this writing, with five hours left in the campaign, over $5,150,000 has been raised. Factor in comedian Seth MacFarlane‘s recent pledge to donate another million all by his lonesome, and Burton is looking at well over $6 million.

So what does exceeding the goal mean for Reading Rainbow?

A colorful GIF (below) explains exactly what the extra money will allow Reading Rainbow to do, including the creation of mobile apps and free subscriptions for thousands of in-need classrooms. And since there’s still time to donate, the Kickstarter page currently has this promise posted: “We have reached our $5M stretch goal and can help 7,500+ classrooms. Now, EVERY $100K helps another 500+ classrooms!”

Is it too early in the year to call this the greatest Kickstarter campaign of 2014? Possibly. But that’s not going to stop this PRNewser writer/bookworm/library enthusiast/childhood-Burton-admirer from declaring it so.

 

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The Internet Screams ‘Bring Back Veronica Mars‘ and the Public Listens

Confession: we’ve never seen Veronica Mars. Hell, we’ve never even seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so maybe we missed out on a few things. That said, we love the concept of the DIY “bring back our show” campaign. It’s no longer a joke: the makers and fans of beloved-but-low-rated shows like Arrested Development, Community and Party Down used word of mouth and the might of the Internet to give their projects second lives. (The last two are still a little iffy, but you get the point.) And in case anyone wasn’t aware, FOX cancelled Seth MacFarlane‘s shameless Simpsons ripoff Family Guy not once but twice before Adult Swim and the trusty Internet brought it back.

The PR message? Compelling content will always have an audience–the challenge is finding those fans, engaging them and driving them to take action.

Now tools like Kickstarter have made the DIY fundraising process easier than ever. Some enterprising guy (who we’ve been is show creator Rob Thomas, duh) decided to use the site/app/etc. to start a “let’s make a movie” campaign, and the numbers tell a very encouraging story: total backers rose by more than 2,000 in the time it took us to write this post! Forbes predicts that the sure-to-be-upcoming feature will be the first film funded entirely by Kickstarter, and we have to agree.

Here’s the video if you’re interested:

No, this isn’t professional PR, but it is a cool idea. And imagine what a campaign like this one could do with a few PR pros at the helm!

Taylor Swift Shows the World How Not to Take a Joke

Note to Taylor Swift: if you’re looking to improve/maintain your reputation or get more sympathy from the public regarding your perpetual boy troubles, engaging in bitchy spats is probably not the best way to go about it.

Responding to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler‘s (completely appropriate) Golden Globes joke warning her to “stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son” lest he turn up in thinly-veiled caricature on her next album, Swift dropped this bomb on her Vanity Fair interviewer:

“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people, because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”

Yes, those two are such Regina Georges, aren’t they? Oh, and that quote was from former secretary of state Madeline Albright, who doles out wisdom in between her free jazz drumming sessions.

Poehler and Fey’s responses displayed their superior media relations savvy.

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Most ‘Social’ Brands Missed Their Chance to Shine on Oscar Night

The media has rendered its verdict: Despite receiving the message that it’s all about Oreo-style “real time marketing“, brands promoting themselves during last night’s Academy Awards (or “The Super Bowl for women” if you’re a sexist) did not measure up to their Game Day peers, despite paying premium prices for 30-second ad spots. They didn’t quite rock social media either.

The problem? On Twitter, at least, the content felt more than a little forced. We get it: spontaneous humor and topical commentary is hard; you really can’t fake it. Some examples:

Samsung tried hard to be on top of things but mostly came up empty-handed.

Not quite relevant to the brand, is it? Read more

What Happened to The Onion’s Twitter Feed Last Night?

We generally love The Onion for its hilarious headlines and The AV Club‘s great arts coverage (no, we never actually read the articles, but we’re not the only ones). But in the midst of last night’s Oscars ceremony, between Seth MacFarlane‘s musical boob jokes and Jennifer Lawrence‘s wardrobe malfunction, the magazine’s Twitter feed dropped this stunner:

We don’t even know how to respond except to say: what the hell? Sure, MacFarlane was a little out of line when he said–about a nine-year-old girl, mind you–that “it’ll be 16 years before she’s too young for Clooney”. But this was just ridiculous. Was it supposed to be funny? We hope, for the sake of whoever posted it, that he was very drunk at the time (we’re about 99.9% sure it was a he, because no lady we know would ever use that word in public).

We can’t say that we’re offended on her behalf like Wendell Pierce, aka Bunk on The Wire:

But this was definitely the worst attempt at humor we’ve ever seen on behalf of The Onion. And we have a feeling they’ll be issuing an official apology by the end of the day.

SNL Can’t Seem to Make Obama Funny

Saturday Night Live” started its new season this week, using omnipresent “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean to boost viewership while showcasing a few new cast members—and a brand new president.

We never really understood where Fred Armisen wanted to take his Obama impressions. He was almost always stiff and uncomfortable in the role, playing the part of straight man while others set up halfhearted jokes around him. We’re glad that media personalities got over their initial aversion to making fun of Obama, but writers and comedians obviously still face a big challenge in trying to make the man funny.

New guy Jay Pharoah has a history of impersonating the president in his stand-up acts, so we’re not surprised to see that he is better when it comes to reproducing Obama’s tics, but on watching his debut we didn’t detect much in the way of, you know, jokes–and Jason Sudeikis’s moronic Mitt Romney is even worse.

Our verdict? It’s still a long way from funny. If Obama does manage to get re-elected, we look forward to four more years of avoiding SNL’s consistently lame impersonations. Agreed?

Random Guy Earns Celebrity Treatment

Today in It Actually Could Be You News: Some guy named Brett Cohen (who turns out to be a comedian and “web radio host”, surprise surprise) managed to pull a prank on Times Square tourists by convincing them that he was some kind of celebrity and recording their thoroughly embarrassing reactions with the obvious intention of creating a viral video…and we fell for it. The resulting 4:25 is worth a glance:

OK, we feel like we’re missing some crucial details from this story (and we can only hope that most of these victims were very drunk): Read more

Seth MacFarlane’s New Movie ‘Ted’ Has a Special Trailer for the F Word

Seth MacFarlane’s first movie Ted has two trailers, one that is liberally sprinkled with F bombs, and another, for wider audiences, that omits them. The promo approved for everyone still hangs on to scenes of the teddy bear (the Ted of the title) smoking pot and humping a cash register, but the language has been cleaned up.

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