Billionaire Pays off Over $40M in Student Loans for Morehouse College Graduates

(Twitter/Morehouse College)

It’s graduation season and college students across the country are having what is quite possibly one of the best days of their lives thus far.

It’s a hard feeling to beat, that is unless while in cap and gown, someone tells you that your entire student loan will be paid off.

That was the case for 396 seniors from Morehouse College this past weekend.

Billionaire Investor and philanthropist, Robert J. Smith, was finishing up his 2019 commencement speech at the historically black private college in Atlanta, Georgia as he asked all the seniors to rise and embrace one another.

After giving them a moment, Smith made an announcement that will change these men’s lives as well as the lives of those around them indefinitely.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who’ve been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus.”

He then challenged the alumni in attendance to step as he himself was about to do.

“This is my class, 2019, and my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

As the initially stunned crowd of graduating students began to realize what that meant, a roar filled the air.

While hundreds of students are now rejoicing, there has to be at least one guy that took a year off before going to Morehouse that is really kicking himself right about now.

According to a spokesperson for the school, Smith’s donation will likely pay off around $40 million worth of debt between all of this year’s graduating seniors.

While the donation is staggering in size, chances are the billionaire investor won’t need to eat ramen noodles to stay afloat. Smith’s Vista Equity Partners manages more than $46 billion, overseeing a portfolio of more than 50 software companies.

It’s technology Smith says that will keep creating opportunities for graduates moving forward.

“Technology is creating a whole new set of on-ramps to the 21st-century economy, and together we will help assure that African Americans will acquire the tech skills and be the beneficiaries in sectors that are being automated.”

Smith, a Cornell University and Columbia Business School graduate, received an honorary degree from Morehouse during the ceremony on Sunday.

In addition to his gift to the students of Morehouse, Smith has also signed “The Giving Pledge,” an initiative created by Bill and Melinda Gates wherein ultra-wealthy individuals pledge to give more than half of their estate to causes such as global health initiatives and eliminating poverty around the world.

Hats off to you, Robert J. Smith, and to all the Morehouse grads who will now enter their lives a little lighter on financial stress – hopefully someday getting the opportunity to pay forward this incredible gesture.

Live-Action Mulan Coming Straight to Disney+ in September – For a Price

Mulan Disney Plus
(YouTube/Walt Disney Studios)

A month after releasing Hamilton well in advance of their original intentions, both platform and timing-wise (it was originally set to arrive in theaters in 2021), Disney has announced that another highly anticipated movie will premiere on their service. But there’s a wrinkle.

The latest in the growing catalog of live-action versions of their animated classics, Mulan was supposed to debut in theaters this fall. Now, with the pandemic still keeping theaters shuttered and consumers stuck inside their homes, Disney announced to stockholders that Mulan will premiere on Disney+, but not for free.

Instead, subscribers will need to access the title via the forthcoming Disney+ premium feature, where Mulan will be available to stream for $30.

In a call with stockholders, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Mulan will arrive on September 4, for $29.99, via “premiere access” according to Variety.

On the call, Chapek, who also announced that Disney+ has over 60 million paying subscribers, informed stockholders and the media that the “premiere access” feature was to be a singular event and not necessarily a permanent aspect of their service.

“We’re looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off, as opposed to saying there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at,” he said. “We find it very interesting to take a premiere offering to consumers at that $29.99 price and learn from it.”

This may mean that the book is not closed on whether or not premiere access is here to stay. So long as the coronavirus limits out-of-home entertainment options – which, for Disney, includes their amusement parks, causing massive financial losses for the company – streaming may continue to be the best option for studios, many of whom have been experimenting with in-home releases for months now.

Chapek says this direct-to-consumer offering is “top priority and key to the future of the company.” Odds are, some version of it will exist even after the pandemic subsides, whether it’s via a premiere access feature like Mulan or not.

Here’s the trailer:

‘Who’s the Boss?’ Coming Back With Alyssa Milano and Tony Danza

Who's The Boss? is Back
(Instagram/milano_alyssa/tonydanza)

We’ve been living through the age of cinematic remakes, reimaginings, and reboots for years now, and finally, it seems like television is catching up.

Every day, another classic cartoon or sitcom or drama is being remade or relaunched for some streaming platform. Today we learned about Ren and Stimpy joining Beavis and Butt-Head and Animaniacs, among other 90s cartoons being revived, I’ve recently been watching HBO’s Perry Mason reboot, and last year Netflix hit gold with their Full House redux, which had a successful two-season run.

That is probably what Sony Pictures Television is hoping for with the announcement of another family sitcom that’s coming back: Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the Boss? was a high-concept sitcom from the 80s in which Tony Danza starred as a former Major League Baseball player who moves his daughter Samantha (Alyssa Milano) and himself into the Connecticut home of Angela and her young son Jonathan, to serve as their housekeeper. Eventually Tony and Angela fall in love because, obviously. It ran for eight seasons (196 episodes!).

The reboot will star Milano as a single mother living in the house she grew up in, and will co-star Danza as her now-retired father, per Deadline.

No word yet on whether Judith Light and Danny Pintauro, who played Angela and her son Jonathan, will appear, but according to Deadline, there’s hope. Unfortunately, Angela’s mother Mona, the show’s sharp-witted fan favorite, will not be able to appear, as Katherine Helmond passed away in early 2019.

Like the recent ‘One Day at a Time’ remake, there is ample opportunity for the new Who’s the Boss, which won 10 Emmys and was fairly progressive in its depiction of gender roles (even if it was mostly played for laughs), to transcend its sitcom trappings and deliver a product more in line with 2020 than 1985.

I just hope we get to hear Tony tell Samantha to get out of his kitchen.

7-Yr-Old Pleased With Recommendations by Restaurant’s “Nugget Sommelier”

7-Yr-Old Approves of “Nugget Sommelier”
(Getty/Maskot/HelpingHandPhotos)

TOLEDO, OH – Second-grader Jesse Landgraf hailed a local restaurant’s nugget sommelier as “sophisticated and insightful,” in a glowing review posted Tuesday.

“I have a sophisticated palate — I eat literally any kind of nugget,” the 7-year-old said in his review of Big Papa’s Diner. “Having a trained nugget professional to communicate with is really important to me.”

Many kid-friendly restaurants now offer a nugget sommelier — or “nuggetista” — since that is the only thing kids will eat.

More than simply providing options for different kinds of nuggets, the 7-year-old said his nugget steward asked insightful questions so he could find the right nugget style for Jake’s palate.

“I was initially leaning toward the beef nuggets, but he said that wouldn’t pair well with my chocolate milk,” Jake recounted. “I appreciate that kind of expertise.”

Ultimately, Jake said he opted for the chicken nuggets because they were shaped like dinosaurs.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Reimagined Ren & Stimpy Coming to Comedy Central

Ren & Stimpy Return
(Nickelodian)

Back in my day (the 90s!), there was some bizarre, and often groundbreaking animation floating around. From Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead to Liquid Television’s Aeon Flux on MTV to the meta Animaniacs and the just plain batshit Ren and Stimpy, animators were going off.

Now, 20+ years later, many of those shows are coming back. Animaniacs is returning to the airwaves this fall, Beavis and Butthead is being revived in a very different era (are they still going to make fun of music videos?), and now it’s been announced that Ren and Stimpy is coming back as well.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that 25 years after its initial run on Nickelodeon, Ren and Stimpy, an adult-focused cartoon featuring the misadventures of Ren, a manic, often exasperated chihuahua, and his dopey sidekick, Stimpy. The show ran for 5 seasons and 100 episodes and often featured content – about religion, politics, and more – that didn’t jibe with Nickelodeon’s kid-centric content. Still, it gained a cult following.

Now the show is being reimagined for Comedy Central, which will also air the new Beavis and Butthead and Jodie, a series based on MTV’s Daria.

“We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” said ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group president Chris McCarthy. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

The new, “reimagined” Ren and Stimpy will be made with a new creative team and entirely without the involvement of creator John Kricfalusi, who will also reportedly not benefit financially in any way from the new series. He’s been a controversial figure since Buzzfeed published a story about his relationships with underage girls.

Keanu Is Writing a Comic Book and the Main Character Looks Like Him

brzrkr Keanu Comic
(Boom! Studios/Alessandro Vitti/Bill Crabtree)

Keanu Reeves is a popular guy on The Dad.

Not only does he star in some of our favorite movies, including the John Wick Series, The Matrix (the fourth installment is due next year… we hope!), the Toy Story series, and Bill and Ted‘s (which hits on-demand in about a month), he’s an all-around good dude who is constantly behaving like a real-life version of the superhero-type characters he often portrays on screen.

For his latest project, Keanu is finally joining the comic-book game, but not in the way you might think. He’s not suiting up – yet; instead, he’s leaving acting behind for a minute and shifting gears into writing.

He is teaming up with writer Matt Kindt to pen a 12-issue limited comic book series called BRZRKR.

According to USA Today, BRZRKR is illustrated by Alessandro Vitti and is “action-packed and hyperviolent.” It’s about a warrior who has spent centuries fighting battles and in 2020 finds himself doing dangerous jobs for the U.S. government – to prevent them from exposing his identity. It sounds a little bit like Netflix’s recent The Old Guard, with former Keanu co-star Charlize Theron, which was itself based on a comic series.

“This character who was born 80,000 years ago, half man, his father’s a war god. It’s a little fantasy in reality,” Reeves explained. “I had this image in my head of a guy fighting through the ages because of his father’s compulsion to violence.”

The main character of BRZRKR resembles Keanu, so perhaps one day he’ll play his own creation on screen: “I’d love to play Berzerker!” he admitted. “It’s a really fun story so if it’s not me, hopefully someone can play it.”

For now, he’s enjoying being behind the scenes.

“I guess I’m in the writing room,” he told USA TODAY from Berlin, where he was prepping for “Matrix 4” and “Skyping pretty regularly” with his co-writer.

“We’re excited about what’s happening,” Reeves says. “The story’s taking some really interesting twists and turns.”

So has his career, which is entering its fifth decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Especially if he’s able to parlay his stardom into comic book success.

You can get the full sneak peek from Boom! Studios here.

The first issue of the comic hits shelves on October 7th.

Skydiver’s Lost Prosthetic Leg is Returned by a Local Farmer

Skydiver’s Lost Prosthetic Leg is Returned by a Local Farmer
(Facebook/Chris Marckres)

There’s a lot to think about (read: worry about) when going skydiving. Is your parachute going to open, or did you somehow accidentally grab a random backpack instead? Did you eat too much beforehand? Are all of your limbs going to stay attached while you’re flailing around in free fall? For most of us, maybe that last one is nothing more than a flash of irrational panic as your brain scans through every horrible possibility while coming to terms with the fact that you’re about to jump out of a moving plane. But for Chris Marckres of Vermont, being a double amputee meant that he was just slightly more likely than the rest of us to lose track of a limb mid-air. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened during his very first jump last Saturday.

Marckres was tandem skydiving, which means he was safely strapped to an instructor to ensure that his first jump went (mostly) as planned. Even the most experienced instructor probably wouldn’t have imagined that one of Chris’s prosthetic legs would have detached during the jump – in fact, Chris himself didn’t even realize that his leg was missing until he landed.

Prosthetics are expensive and take time to replace, so with fading hope, Chris put out a social media post explaining his peculiar predicament in the hopes that someone might stumble upon his missing leg. In a shocking turn of events, a farmer named Joe Marszalkowski messaged Chris with some incredible news – the missing leg had been found, New Balance sneaker and all.

In a Facebook post, Chris shared his good fortune. The post read, “Just got a message from Joe Marszalkowski that he found my leg. 9500 foot drop and it’s 100% intact. I can not even begin thank everyone enough that has been involved with the search. You all have shown me there are still so many good people. Thank you all again, especially Joe.”

Chris Leg
(Facebook/Chris Marckres)

Nobody was more surprised than Chris that, against all odds, his leg had been safely recovered. “About the time Joe messaged me saying he had located my prosthetic, I had been coming to terms with the fact it was most likely not going to be found,” Chris told The Dad. “I was beyond excited to have it returned, and equally surprised it wasn’t damaged at all.”

After seeing Chris’s post on Facebook, Joe discovered the lonely leg in his soybean field. Fortunately, he had diligently kept an eye out – had any machine come in contact with it, the leg surely would have been destroyed.

This experience hasn’t turned Chris off of skydiving. In fact, he told The Dad that he anticipates completing more jumps in the future. And if anything like this ever happens again, the people on social media are always willing to lend a hand – or in this case, a leg.

Ben Stiller, Jon Cryer Auditioned for a Very Different Back to the Future

Alternate Back to the Future
(Universal Pictures)

Near-miss casting decisions are a fascinating experiment in alternative history. What if Tom Selleck had been able to get away from Magnum P.I. and play Indiana Jones? What if Robert Redford had starred in the Graduate? What if Eric Stoltz had played Marty McFly.

Well, Stoltz actually did play Marty McFly for about three weeks, before the people behind Back to the Future realized it wasn’t working and Michael J. Fox stepped in.

Turns out that Stoltz wasn’t the only future star to miss out on one of the biggest movies of the 80s. The 35th anniversary of Robert Zemeckis’s time-travel-sci-fi comedy is approaching, and with it comes a Blu-Ray box set complete with deleted scenes and auditions from a variety of well-known actors, including Jon Cryer (Pretty in Pink, and Two and a Half Men) and Ben Stiller (of half of the biggest comedies of the past 20 years.

Amblin Road, a website dedicated to Steven Spielberg (who produced BttF), tweeted out the news about the box set and those auditions.

Stiller responded, having apparently forgotten about his audition, which came a few years before he broke out on Fox with The Ben Stiller Show.

Jon Cryer, who made his name in 80s teen comedies before having a hugely successful run on Two and a Half Men, also chimed in about his audition, which apparently also wasn’t great:

Cryer also divulged some info about the original script of the movie, it originally opened with Marty playing something different with his guitar and closed differently too. It also didn’t yet feature the iconic DeLorean but did feature a sequence that Spielberg later repurposed, to much notoriety, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Dad Shares 14-Yr-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them

Dad Shares 14-Year-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

It’s a proud moment for parents when kids develop a passion for their hobbies and work hard to improve their skills. Hanging their pictures around the house or sharing poems with family and friends is a great way to encourage and support them, but it’s not often that thousands of strangers also take an active role in cheering on a kid’s creativity. When 14-year-old Jake started drawing impressive and hysterical comics on the whiteboard on his bedroom door every night, Jake’s dad David thought that others might enjoy them too. David began sharing Jake’s comics online, and anyone who has ever thrown content into the abyss that is the internet knows it’s not easy to win over the self-proclaimed content connoisseurs – but Jake’s comics clearly struck a chord.

With nearly 15,000 Instagram followers and counting, Jake’s comics are a hit. The 14-year-old initially used his whiteboard to share a “word of the day” with his family, but soon grew tired of searching for interesting vocabulary. Jake’s whiteboard soon became a place for doodles and comics, which caught his dad’s attention. These comics were not the scribbles and questionable jokes one might expect from a teen – they were delightfully funny, impressively drawn, and highly entertaining.

Jake told Bored Panda about the origins of his Instagram page. He recalled, “My dad took pictures of them, and once we got around 50, my dad asked for permission to put them on an Instagram page. I was reluctant at first, but I gave my dad the green light to put the comics up. The page got 10,000 followers in two days, and I drew comics on the whiteboard more frequently. And that’s how it all began!”

The comics are entirely products of Jake’s active imagination, and while the drawing process is quick, the ideas themselves take time to develop. Jake explains, “I’ll have an idea for a comic, think, ‘Hey that’s actually a good idea,’ and write it down on a sticky note for future use.”

Jake’s dad has posted over 150 of his comics so far, and his daily drawings are added frequently. Check out Jake’s Instagram for his full catalog of work, and enjoy some of our favorites below!

On wishful thinking

Jake comic 3
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Finding loopholes

Jake comic 2
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Incredible advertising

Jake Comic 1
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

And questionable decisions

Jake comic 4
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Netflix Has a New Jurassic World Animated Show and Unsurprisingly, Dinos Escape

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous
(YouTube/Netflix)

The Jurassic World movies, much like its predecessors, may not be the easiest entry point for kids into dinosaurs. But Netflix is producing a new animated show aimed for the younger demographic that’s premiering this fall. “Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous” drops in mid-September but we have a trailer now. That trailer is…pretty badass, actually.

So maybe not aimed for the littlest of kids, as even the trailer seems pretty intense. But if you have tweens, this could be right up their alley. According to the Netflix release, JW:CC will follow a group of “six teenagers chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a new adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar.” And natch, because it’s Jurassic World, the dinosaurs that were very controlled became less so, and take over.

The formula may be a little standard but guess what, it’s worked for a whole bunch of movies so far, so there’s no reason it can’t work here. Let’s all forget the obvious shortcomings of the parents who would send their kids to an “adventure camp” that is not only full of dinosaurs, but that has also never been run before and only has a total of six attendees (so many red flags there you have to really hate your kids to ignore them).

Netflix is planning for 8 episodes of Camp Cretaceous and, supposedly, they are aimed at ages of all users. The show is set during the same time period as the Jurassic World movie and it marks the first TV series in the Jurassic franchise.