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As a part of the comedic response that has kicked into high gear over the last two weeks, Roy Wood Jr. has found a battle plan during the Coronavirus quarantine. He's making people laugh while keeping them informed as a part of The Daily Show's Social Distancing episodes, he's keeping his 3-year-old engaged, and he's writing.
To be sure, Wood's apocalypse game is tight. But while you can't do exactly what he's doing, the comic's battleplan is useful — specifically in how he's clinging to the normal parts of life and striving to not just do, but do good and be productive. Uproxx spoke with Wood about those efforts late last week, delving into how The Daily Show is putting the message above emotion, the need to move past anger, and what he's doing to help the comedy community.
I've got a dog and two roommates that are kind of hovering around so I'm just trying to rock the mute button if I need to. It's become an art form.
I apologize in advance for my son. He is three. They are loud.
How are you doing with everything?
Really good so far, really good. It's been chill so far. Surprisingly, in a weird way, as busy. It's just a different type of busy. I'm trying to fill the time writing a little bit, and not stand-up, but just more TV and film ideas that I have, and just still brainstorming a shit ton of Daily Show stuff. Just figuring out what's there. I think we're still getting our feet under us and figuring out the workflow of the day. And then figuring out what we can and can't get away with and what's the turn time, because the thing that sucks now, the thing that's more difficult to navigate, is that I think we went from a 12-hour news cycle, to now, with Corona, I feel like we're literally in a six-hour to eight-hour news cycle. Every six to eight hours, there's new information that makes whatever you knew this morning irrelevant.
Right now, the thing that I'm dealing with is a lot of outrage. It's a lot of fear and a lot of anger, and I'm wondering: how do you process the anger and the outrage over some of the government's response and is the show and your social helpful or a release valve for you?
I like what we're doing right now with our show because it gives people something to do other than be angry. We've given people ways to help. You know, hey stay home. Hey, if you want to donate supplies, go here. Hey just to track, here's how you can be part of contributing to the betterment of things. For me, I've never seen anger be a useful emotion when it comes to being productive. So, be angry. There's nothing wrong with being angry. But when you get past that, now what're you going to do? What's your next move going to be? What actions are you going to take? And more than...
Netflix and YouTube are both stepping up to help make sure the internet doesn't crash in Europe. Both companies have committed to limiting the streaming quality of content for at least 30 days amidst the growing server demand. Many people are working from home, and more people are streaming video as the coronavirus outbreak has left the country, much like the U.S., in a state of self-isolation with the masses practicing social distancing to help keep the virus in check.
This comes after calls from the European Union for Netflix to switch to standard definition streaming, as opposed to high definition streaming, which uses a lot more band and, at a time when more people are streaming video, can strain internet providers. Netflix announced that it will limit to SD for the next 30 days, with YouTube following suit. A YouTube spokesperson had this to say in a statement.'While we have seen only a few usage peaks, we have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity. We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators including Ofcom, governments and network operators all over Europe, and are making a commitment to temporarily default all traffic in the UK and the EU to Standard Definition.'
On any given day, Netflix and Google, largely through YouTube, account for about 25 percent of all internet traffic. So with both companies limiting streaming quality, that should help ease concerns of the internet crashing in Europe, at least for now. A Netflix spokesperson had this to say about it in a statement.'We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.'
One key with YouTube usage in Europe is that streams will temporarily default to SD, but users can manually change it to HD, if they so choose. Another key question is, will similar measures be enacted in the U.S. and in other countries as well? And will other streaming services such as Amazon and Hulu follow in these same footsteps? There have also been calls on video game companies should also consider putting measures in place to help limit internet strain, as online gaming is also a significant factor.
Internet demand worldwide is likely to increase as countries put increasingly strict measures in place to fight the spread of COVID-19. California recently issued stay-at-home orders, with other states expected to follow suit. With the masses cooped up at home, streaming services and other online content, such as livestreaming and gaming, are going to provide people with a much-needed escape. If that means having to deal with SD content for a while to keep the internet from crashing entirely, it may well be worth the tradeoff. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news was previously reported by Deadline.
It’s almost time for Adventure Time to return to our screens. The acclaimed Cartoon Network show is making a short comeback on HBO Max in the form of four animated specials that catch up with our favorite residents of the Land of Ooo. As we near the May launch of HBO Max, the streamer has released the first Adventure Time: Distant Lands teaser, along with synopses of the four exciting new specials.Adventure Time Distant Lands Teaser
Come on, grab your friends. The adventure continues with Adventure Time: Distant Lands, a series of four animated specials that will each focus on a different character from the disarmingly good Cartoon Network series created by Pendleton Ward. The teaser for Adventure Time: Distant Lands doesn’t show us much from the upcoming specials apart from some flashes of our favorite characters including Finn, Jake, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, BMO and Peppermint Butler, but it’s enough.
It feels like it’s been years since we’ve seen these characters, who all went through drastic journeys during the whimsical, surprisingly sad, original series. But the synopses for the specials hint at an exciting reunion for Finn the human and his best friend Jake the dog, after the ambiguous, bittersweet ending of the original series. The other specials focus on BMO, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, and Peppermint Butler.
Here are the official synopses for the four specials:
Episode 1 titled “BMO” – “When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!”
Episode 2 titled “Obsidian” – “Marceline and Princess Bubblegum journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom — and deep into their tumultuous past — to prevent an earthshaking catastrophe.”
Episode 3 titled “Wizard City” – “Peppermint Butler starts over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student. When mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on Pep, and his checkered past, can he master the mystic arts in time to prove his innocence?”
Episode 4 titled “Together Again” – “Finn and Jake [reunite] to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.”
Adventure Time: Distant Lands debuts on HBO Max soon.
Right now, everyone is looking for some kind of reprieve from being locked up at home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, but The Office executive producers Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman think they’ve figured out a way to make light of the situation by crafting a new workplace comedy series inspired by the sudden rise in employees working from home due to the outbreak of coronavirus forcing people to practice social distancing.
Deadline was first to learn of the currently untitled coronavirus comedy series, though it’s not necessarily about the pandemic. Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman, better known to The Office fans as the frequently maligned Toby Flenderson and one of Jim’s business partners at their company Athlead, are creating the series that is said to focus on “wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.”
The series is in the works at Big Breakfast, the comedy production banner Silverman runs, where he’ll executive produce the series along with and Luke Kelly-Clyne College Humor and Kevin Healey Scare Tactics. They’ll also be working with Howard Owens’ Propagate Content, which will have Rodney Ferrell serving as an executive producer as well.
Silverman, who was also once an NBC executive, explained the inception of the series and his hope for what it will become:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
While the prospect of trying to craft a series around the coronavirus outbreak sounds like a bad idea at this time, there’s no indication that the pandemic will actually play a part in the overall concept of the series. In fact, it would be easy to pull something like this off without introducing such a grim plot device.
What I’m envisioning with this series is a show with a format that echoes what we’ve seen accomplished with movies like Unfriended and Searching. Both of those films play out entirely on computer or mobile device screens and successfully tell a solid narrative. Modern Family did something similar with an episode that unfolded across the ensemble cast’s various screens, and it worked pretty well. But if that’s what this series will be like, can that concept be sustained for an entire series? Or will they need to take...