Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux is a stand-up comedian who has been featured on Fox and IFC and has made national radio appearances on The Bob and Tom Show, SiriusXM and BBC Radio. As a writer, Mark has contributed to ESPN.com, CBS Digital, The Baltimore Sun, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Chalifoux Family Christmas Newsletter. Mark is the father to a beautiful and amazing daughter and her sister.

‘Jeans Guy’ Is The Mandalorian’s New Breakout Character

Jeans Guy
(Twitter/SubCity_Comics)

Baby Yoda was the breakout star of season 1 of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+. He took over pop culture, becoming a cocktail and even a cereal, in addition to being a crazily in-demand toy. And now, season 2 of “The Mandalorian” has given us another breakout star: Jeans Guy.

Who is Jeans Guy? Where did he come from? These are stories we don’t have yet, that hopefully the rest of season 2 will fill in. The mysterious new character made his debut in episode 4 of season 2 and was spotted in the background of a shot of our heroes (the titular Mandalorian and his bounty hunting pals) shooting up an old Empire base. The crew member (or mysterious new character???) was spotted in the background of a shot and is clearly something that was missed in editing.

But the internet is having fun with it, as we should. Sub-city comics already turned the character into an action figure, which would probably be the hit of the Christmas season:

It quickly had fans reminiscing about perhaps the most famous editing snafu, the Starbucks cup that made it into an episode of Game of Thrones.

If you’re not an action figure collector, perhaps the Jeans Guy Lego set is more up your alley.

Jeans Guy quickly went viral, and as season 1, The Mandalorian would be served best by embracing it. They are currently working on the production of season 3, so hopefully, they are carving out a much larger role for mysterious Jeans Guy from the weird Empire base lab.

Also, having denim as official Star Wars canon opens up a ton of costume possibilities in future seasons.

And since we can’t see the face of Jeans Guy, it’s a possibility that it’s actually a character we’ve seen before in the Star Wars Universe.

With half of season 2 still ahead, we hoped to learn much more about Jeans Guy and how he fits into the Star Wars Universe. Sadly, it was recently announced that he was edited out of the episode.

RIP Jeans Guy, yet another casualty of 2020.

Alex Trebek Recorded an Inspiring Thanksgiving Message Before His Death

Trebek Thanksgiving Message
(Twitter/Jeopardy)

We lost a true gem in Alex Trebek’s passing, but the iconic Jeopardy host recorded an inspiring Thanksgiving message in one of the last episodes he recorded. Our collection of new Trebek episodes is quickly dwindling, but his witty outtakes will always be are timeless.

One of the episodes he recorded before his passing aired on Thanksgiving, and it included an uplifting message we all could hear right now (a few times).

“You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful. There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors, and that’s a good thing.

“Keep the faith,” Trebek concluded. “We’re going to get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it.”

It’s impossible to watch that without the room getting a little dusty, as we savor every last special message from Trebek, with each taking on new meaning and importance after his passing.

There’s a reason Trebek was so beloved, and there’s no question we could all take his message of helping one another, being thankful, and keeping the faith to heart right now, as we endure what’s supposed to be a difficult winter before turning the corner on our global pandemic.

Michael Jordan Donates $2 Million To Food Banks in Chicago and Carolina

Jordan Donation
(Twitter/FeedingAmerica)

It’s the season of giving, and Michael Jordan once again proved why he’s a GOAT by making a huge donation to Feeding America to help the nearly 80 million food-insecure Americans during the holidays. During Thanksgiving week, Jordan donated $2 million to the organization supporting food banks around the country.

Jordan has proven his charitable side during the pandemic, as he helped fund two health care centers for uninsured people in his current hometown in North Carolina. It’s a huge gift from the sports legend that made a tremendous impact on those at-risk communities. And now, Jordan is helping feed the hungry in Chicago and North Carolina by gifting the proceeds of the recent “Last Dance” documentary on his final season.

Feeding America announced the gift and described it as ‘an incredible gift to be thankful for’ and said it would help feed their neighbors. Jordan, for his part, released a statement acknowledging the donation.

“In these challenging times and in a year of unimaginable difficulty due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to pause and give thanks,” he said. “I am proud to be donating additional proceeds from The Last Dance to Feeding America and its member food banks in the Carolinas and Chicago to help feed America’s hungry.”

The NBA Hall of Famer is certainly trying to rewrite his next chapter, as he’s been on a major philanthropic phase in the last year, with this gift, opening two health care centers for the uninsured, and with a $100 million gift over 10 years to fight racial inequality.

Jordan continues to cement his legacy as the GOAT.

Tyler Perry Feeds 5,000 Families at Drive-Thru Thanksgiving Food Giveaway

Tyler Perry Thanksgiving Giveaway
(Getty/Albert L. Ortega Twitter/emilieIkedaFOX5)

When it comes to famous people, 2020 has shown us who the true GOATS are, the ones who help people in their greatest hour of need and go above and beyond in delivering that help. And it’s also shown us the ones who are astonishingly silent during this time or paying only lip-service when it comes to making a difference. You probably don’t need a reminder, but Tyler Perry is indisputably in that first group. That’s why he was recently crowned the people’s champ.

Perry has always had a philanthropic heart, giving to the people and charities that make a difference. But he’s kicked it up a gear during COVID times. He bought groceries for thousands of seniors during the height of pandemic paranoia, he went above and beyond to get his studio open safely so he could get people back to work, worked with local law enforcement to get gift cards to families in need, gave away $20,000+ in tips at his favorite restaurant, and is just an all-around good guy. Now, he’s helping feed people on Thanksgiving.

His studio announced the news of a giveaway of non-perishable food items and gift cards to the first 5,000 families who came by. The poster for the Thanksgiving giveaway said they wished they ‘could feed everyone’, but wanted to do what they could during a time when so many are food-insecure.

In a sign of how much it’s needed, cars started lining up THE DAY BEFORE the giveaway, like they were selling Playstation 5s. The long line even caused traffic problems.

Perry has given back during the holidays before, most notably a couple years back when he paid off $500,000 of layaway balances at Walmart for families. And this Thanksgiving give-away is another that will not soon be forgotten.

This should be the new barometer for charity work. If you’re causing traffic, it tells you what you’re doing is substantial, and it also tells you there are a lot of people in need, and hopefully his generosity inspires others to give back however they can during the holiday season.

Former NFL Star Gives Away 200 Thanksgiving Turkeys

Marshawn Lynch handing out turkeys
(Twitter/RobDeMelloKHON)

Once a famous athlete retires, the sports world is quick to forget them. If they suddenly pop back up in the news, it’s not usually a good sign, but Marshawn Lynch is a clear exception to this. The former All-Pro running back who led the Seattle Seahawks to a pair of Super Bowls made news this week for his charitable side, as Beast Mode handed out 200 free turkeys to families in Hawaii (where he lives).

Big charitable efforts from celebrities are usually PR stunts, tied into a vague sounding foundation without a clear impact on helping people (this isn’t to dog all charities, some obviously do major good). Then there’s the other side of it, where people give directly to those in need. Like Josh Gad giving money to laid-off Disney workers, or Tyler Perry buying groceries for senior citizens.

Beast Mode falls into that category, as he not only helped buy turkeys for 200 fams, he donned the PPE and handed them out himself.

Officially, he partnered with Young’s Fish Market and his foundation, Fam1stFamily, to pull off the Thanksgiving giveaway. Former star football player at Hawaii, Chad Owens, also helped pass out the turkeys, and said they were “blessed” to have Marshawn out there donating turkeys and that he was there ‘to help and support Marshawn in his wanting to give this Thanksgiving season.”

Lynch has always been a big force of giving back to the community, as he’s participated in numerous food drives, built a school in Haiti, bought a soul food restaurant so it wouldn’t have to close and much more. And he also does stuff like this, which will make a big difference for a few hundred families on Thanksgiving. In the spring, he drove around on a golf cart handing out face masks to people to help stay safe during the pandemic.

Lynch was a terror on the field (hence the Beast Mode nickname), and though he was never a big interview off the field, his actions speak much louder to his character than any words could’ve.

 

Seth Curry Traded To the Team His Father-in-Law Coaches

curry to father in laws team
(Instagram/sdotcurry)

No one wants to work for their father-in-law. I don’t care what the profession is, you don’t need that extra baggage. That relationship can be sort of fraught as it is, you don’t need to ramp up the level of difficulty another 10x by making it a boss-employee relationship too. That’s the situation one NBA player faces, as he was traded to the team his father-in-law coaches.

The NBA bubble, for all its faults and challenges to the players, was a terrific success. More than any other sport, they were able to have a safe season. There were also some players who were able to thrive, including Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry. His three-point shooting hit a new level, and he was enjoying his time as a key contributor on a fun Dallas team (at least when Kristaps Porzingis is healthy enough to help Luka Doncic).

All in all, Curry put together a nice season, averaging 12.4 points, with a fun future. All of that is gone now, as he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. Fine on paper (actually, still a problem on paper, the 76ers and “the process” are kind of a mess), but what makes it problematic is the 76ers new head coach; Doc Rivers. Rivers is also Curry’s father-in-law.


It sounds like the plotline of a failed sitcom. Basketball player marries girl, then has to play for her dad, follow along his zany adventure of keeping the peace on the court and AT HOME!! In September of last year, Seth married Rivers’ daughter Callie, which presented no workplace tension at the time.

Now, Curry gets the unenviable task of wading through possible family drama while also trying to right the 76ers ship (which is such a big task it would probably take Curry’s brother, NBA superstar Steph, to really solve).

At the end of the day, there are far worse jobs to have than an NBA player. But there aren’t many more awkward bosses to have than a father-in-law.

Jeopardy Resumes Filming With ‘Interim Host’, Jeopardy GOAT Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings is the GOAT
(Courtesy of ABC)

After the passing of legendary Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, the long-running game show will resume production with its first new host in 37 seasons. The baton is being passed to the greatest Jeopardy player ever, Ken Jennings, who will be the first ‘of a series of interim-hosts from the Jeopardy family.’

Trebek was beloved, and whoever replaces him long-term will have enormous shoes to fill. But, at the same time, Trebek frequently spoke about wanting the show to continue into a new era. Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards released a statement about resuming production with Ken Jennings at the helm. Jennings recently started an official role on the show, so the move makes perfect sense.

“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy and always said he wanted the show to go on without him,” Richards said. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”

Jennings said there will only be one Alex Trebek, but that he was honored to help out Jeopardy during this time.

Jennings was widely seen as one of the favorites to replace Trebek, as he’s the most recognizable name in the Jeopardy world and is also the greatest contestant to play the game. He owns the record for the longest winning streak (74 games) and won the Jeopardy Greatest of All Time tournament earlier this year.

Trebek had mentioned who he’d like to see as his replacement over the years, telling Good Morning America a couple of years back that he jokes with the audience about it. “I say it should be Betty White because they want somebody younger and somebody funnier than me,” he said.

While production resumes November 30th with Jennings, there’s no word about other hosts. Possibilities include James Holzhauer, another Jeopardy standout, or maybe LeVar Burton, if petitions count.

Either way, we’re getting more Jeopardy, and it starts with Jennings.

Tributes Pour in for The Undertaker Who Is Now Retired in Peace

Undertaker Retires
(WWE)

After 30 years of greatness, the Undertaker can finally Rest in Peace (from the professional wrestling world). The iconic WWE superstar made his official final appearance as a wrestler at Sunday’s Survivor Series and got a hero’s send-off as he enters retirement. rid

It’s easy to love the ridiculousness of pro wrasslin’, especially if you grew up in the 80s or 90s. And there’s a reason it was deemed an essential business during the dark early days of the pandemic. But the sad truth behind professional wrestling is very few of its stars get a proper send-off into retirement. There are far more tragic early deaths and bittersweet controversies than proper salutes to legends, which is why Undertaker’s final show was so great.

You know a wrestler has impacted the pop culture fabric like few others when even SportsCenter gives a nod to your retirement. The Undertaker, Mark Calaway’s character he’s embodied for three decades of ups and downs, gave one last heartfelt farewell speech, saying:

“For 30 long years, I’ve made that slow walk to this ring and have laid people to rest time and time again. And now my time has come. My time has come to let The Undertaker rest in peace.”

In an extremely touching twist, the WWE used a hologram of the late Paul Bearer, Undertaker’s longtime manager, recreating their old pose.

It was a fitting end to a career that started 30 years ago at a much different Survivor Series show, but his character impacted pro wrestling like few before or after. And many greats of the wrestling world were quick to highlight that, as The Rock quickly fired off a touching tribute.

Vince McMahon summed up Taker’s impact fittingly: “The measuring stick. The locker room leader. The Phenom. Three decades ago today, Undertaker changed the landscape of sports-entertainment. His legacy is incomparable, his impact immeasurable, ” he wrote on Twitter.

Soon, the #ThankYouTaker hashtag took off, letting other WWE stars chime in with the impact he had, with praise from John Cena, Shawn Michaels (they had some classic matches together), Triple H, Ric Flair, and more.

A truly legendary career, and a retirement tribute fitting of one.

Hibernate Through the Winter in Pizza Hut’s Weighted Pizza Blanket

Pizza Blanket
(Twitter/PizzaHut)

For all it’s faults, 2020 is coming to an end. And with it, 2021 brings the promise of vaccines and a much more normal world (without pepperoni shortages.) But, we still need to get through the winter, with many still stuck (mostly) at home. So if you’re going to be hibernating more than usual this winter, you gotta do it in style, like with a giant pan pizza weighted blanket. Pizza Hut is making the chill game even tastier with its new creation, part of a collab with the popular Gravity Blanket company.

The new Original Pan Weighted Blanket is modeled after the same exact pizza you remember wolfing down at birthday parties as a kid. It’s also the type of nonsensical brand product you just learn to accept these days. Giant pizza blanket? Sure. Waffle House Bacon Beer? Absolutely. And, to be fair, Pizza Hut has already earned our trust, especially after bringing back the Book-It program.

In a press release from the pizza maker, a spokesman said there was ‘no better way to close out 2020 than eating a Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza while wrapped in the warmth and comfort of the Original Pan Weighted Blanket.’

Honestly, I can think of worse ways to end this year, so yeah, sign me up for eating pizza and wrapped in the giant Pizza Blanket. The blanket is supposed to be a 15-pound weighted blanket (I’m not a Gravity Blankets guy, but their rep seems to hold up) and the blanket sells for cheaper than their normal products. It’s 72-inches in diameter and has a “luxurious” feel to it.

Weighted blanket people swear by them, so if you’re looking for that final touch to your Hibernation 2020 game, you can do worse than a giant pizza.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Bought a Soccer Team Together

Reynolds and McElhenney Buy Soccer Team
(Twitter/WrexhamAFC)

“The Gang Buys A Welsh Football Club.” It’s the Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode you never knew you needed, now that actor (and Sunny co-creator) Rob McElhenney and movie star Ryan Reynolds have teamed up to buy a Welsh soccer team. It’s one of those stories that only make sense in 2020.

Reynolds, aka Deadpool and home school gin connoisseur, can seemingly do no wrong, so we’ll get to see if his magic touch can extend to Wrexham AFC, one of the oldest professional soccer teams and one that’s currently entrenched in the fifth tier of English soccer. But the two are serious about turning the team around and plan to make it a “global force” around the soccer universe.

“This is really happening,” Reynolds said in a video released by the team. The club is fan-owned and approved the takeover by the two celebrities. Apparently, the duo did a lot of research after deciding they wanted to buy a soccer team and thought Wrexham AFC had the most potential.

Reynolds said he and McElhenney want to be at as many games as possible (once fans are allowed, post-pandemic) and ‘want to have a pint with the fans.’ They also plan to be ‘great ambassadors for the club’ and want to introduce them to the world.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board voted overwhelmingly to sell to the two celebs, as they have serious plans for community engagement and plans to improve their standing in the soccer world. Chief among them is a behind-the-scenes documentary to help bring more fans into the fold.

“You may never have heard of Wrexham, but you will. So to the Wrexham Supporters Trust, thank you for your faith and trust in us,” McElhenney said.

Reynolds added: “We are humbled and we are already getting to work.”

So now that two of our coolest and funniest celebrities have bought a soccer team, we all have a Cinderella squad to root for as Wrexham AFC works its way out of the cellar of the soccer world.

Thank a Teacher for Their Help in 2020 With a Free Card From Hallmark

Hallmark Teacher Giveaway
(Twitter/Hallmark)

Parents certainly understand the strain the pandemic has caused. Forget the professional costs (of which there are many), the added stress it’s caused for families as they navigate new school restrictions, and, in many places, remote learning has been intense. But we know that. One group feeling the other end of that strain this year? Teachers and school staff across the country.

Hallmark is honoring that group by giving away 1 million greeting cards to educators for the role they’ve played during the pandemic. We know how hard it is to get a kid to sit still for a Zoom class, imagine being the person responsible for actually teaching to 20+ kids via Zoom. And going just as hard in the paint as parents, teachers are going above and beyond to help kids through this weird time.

“For many parents, navigating their children’s education amidst a pandemic has been a difficult challenge,” a Hallmark spokesman told People Magazine.

“We’ve all seen so many teachers and school staff members rise to the challenge, working long hours and using their imaginations to deliver the best education possible from a remote, hybrid, or in-person learning environment. Despite these changes, one thing remains the same: the sincere connection between teachers and their students.”

Teachers, like parents, have had to get creative to connect and engage with little learners, and while the results may not always be pretty, WE ARE DOING IT. And it’s important to recognize everyone doing what they can to be as good to our kids as they can. If you’ve made your kid sit through a Zoom class, you know how much it sucks, and the endless patience required of teachers to completely re-learn how they teach and structure a classroom.

Is a Hallmark card (or, in this case, three) enough? Probably not, no. But it’s something you can do (for free!), by going through the Hallmark website, and sending some goodwill out to the educators and school staff helping us all through a schoolyear we would love to forget.

Deadpool Enters MCU, Sequel Moving Forward With Writers From ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Deadpool 3 entering MCU
(FOX Twitter/deadpoolmovie)

Deadpool is officially out of limbo. The kickass franchise, helmed by one of our favorites in Ryan Reynolds, delivered two fun movies while at FOX. Once acquired by Disney, many were left wondering if there would even be a Deadpool 3. And now, it is officially clear there will be, as Deadpool 3 is moving forward and has hired ‘Bob’s Burgers’ writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin.

Ryan Reynolds is great. He pulled Rick Moranis out of retirement, he relates to how all parents feel during quarantine life. But there’s no question the Deadpool movies have been his best work. And we weren’t sure what would happen once Marvel got its hands on the Merc with a mouth. Would they tame him? Bury the character? Replace Reynolds and go for a more family-friendly PG-13 approach?

Now, we have our answer, no and no. Deadpool is back, and he’s staying rated-R (where he belongs). There was even acknowledgment of the writer hire on the movie’s official Twitter page.

It’s a big move forward for the franchise, as Reynolds had said just months ago he ‘didn’t know what was happening’ in regards to another Deadpool, while still connecting with fans over the character. Supposedly, Reynolds and Marvel bigwigs had been interviewing writers to lock in to a great idea for the next movie and now that they have their duo, the project takes a big step forward.

So now Deadpool gets to officially enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe and gets to keep the edge that made the first two movies such a hit with fans. Will we see other MCU characters (or X-Men???) in the next one? Only time will tell there. Until then, fans can at least be relieved that the FOX-Disney merger didn’t kill the franchise, and they won’t be getting a Disney-fied sequel either.

But don’t get too excited, there’s a long way to go.

Matthew McConaughey Considering Future Career As Texas Governor

matthew mcconaughey governor texas
(Getty/Ray Tamarra)

Matthew McConaughey is a talented guy. The famed movie star now turned author, has proved it time and time again. He even had a stand-up tour planned pre-COVID. But now he’s toying with even more future career paths, including one taken by another movie star (albeit more than a decade ago). In recent days, McConaughey has talked again about possibly running for governor of Texas.

It was in an interview earlier this week to promote his new memoir that McConaughey revived talk about a possible political run in his future. When asked if he would be interested in running for the governor of Texas, he certainly didn’t say no.

“That wouldn’t be up to me, it would be up to the people more than me,” he said. Then he proceeded to make some very good Matthew McConaughey-ish points.

“Look, politics seems to be a broken business to me right now,” he said. “When politics redefines its purpose, I could be a hell of a lot more interested.” He then talked about the importance of personal values and rebinding social contracts between Americans. He later said in a separate interview that whatever leadership role he can be most useful in, he’ll ‘drink to that.’

That is what you want out of a leader. Someone who genuinely cares about people, and responds to a call to action with courage and a drink.