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.

In Some Much-Needed Uplifting News, Will Smith and Original Aunt Viv Reconcile

Aunt Viv reunites
(Instagram/willsmith)

Kids who took a lot of sick days in the 90s have some pretty vivid memories of The Banks’s, their second family up in Bel-Air. The Fresh Prince was iconic, not only because it helped launch superstar Will Smith to fame, but because it was a classic in its own right. It put a new spin on the family sitcom genre, and addressed serious issues that other shows steered away from.

There’s been a surprising amount of news about the 30-year-old show recently, from a dramatic reboot to a highly-anticipated 30th anniversary reunion. The original cast was set to return for the reunion special, with a couple exceptions. James Avery (Uncle Phil) tragically passed away in 2013 from complications after open-heart surgery.

The other cast member nobody expected to see was the original Aunt Viv, Janet Hubert, who was replaced three seasons into the show. Hubert claimed that Will Smith was to blame for her removal from the show, and went on to say some, uh, less than kind things about the actor for how he treated her.

Nearly a decade ago, in an interview with TMZ, Hubert adamantly expressed that she would never participate in a reunion for the show. She still harbored resentment towards Smith for whatever happened all those years ago, and seemed ready to put the whole thing behind her.

In the uplifting surprise we all needed (nobody likes to see their family fight), Hubert appeared in HBO Max’s reunion special. Smith explained, “As a family, we have our things that we talk about and then we have our things that we don’t talk about. We never really, together, publicly talk about Janet. And what happened. And, for me, it felt like I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of Fresh Prince without finding a way to celebrate Janet.”

Regardless of what happened between them, Will Smith felt that the Fresh Prince family wasn’t complete without his original Aunt Viv. The heartwarming reunion showed Will Smith and Janet Hubert embrace, a hug that replaced 30 years of resentment and pain with support and understanding.

Hubert explained that she had been in an abusive relationship, which led to her getting pregnant during the third season of the show. With decades of life experience under his belt, Smith realized he’d approached the situation without the compassion it deserved.

After reuniting with Hubert, Smith took time to reflect and spoke to the camera about some realizations he’d made. Smith explained, “I wasn’t perceptive, and now that I’ve had three kids I’ve learned some things that I did not know at the time and I would do things very differently. But I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet.”

After leaving the show (not because she was fired, but because she refused to accept an unfair deal), Hubert faced several difficult years. Being a Black female actress was difficult in the 90s, but after a star like Will Smith claimed she was hard to work with, it made pursuing her dream nearly impossible.

“And it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business,” Hubert explained, “But I felt that it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces.”

With all cards on the table, finally, the actors were able to put their difficult past behind them. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s 30th-anniversary reunion (which premiered a day early, another unanticipated gift) became far more than a chance for the cast to catch up – it became an opportunity for two important cast members to heal.

As if our hearts weren’t full enough, Smith offered the verbal equivalent of a peace treaty. He turned to his former co-star and said, “You’re still my Aunt Viv.”

Sequel to Keanu Reeves’ Constantine Is in the Works, Says Costar

Keanu Constantine Sequel
(Warner Bros)

We live in the golden age of comic book movies, which means that some that just missed the cut may get a second chance at relevancy. One possible film that could fit the bill is a rumored sequel to Keanu Reeves’ 2005 superhero movie “Constantine”, and that sequel looks like it could be happening. Peter Stormare, one of the co-stars of the film, shared on Instagram that the “sequel in the works.”

Keanu is in a much different place now than he was in 2005, having ascended to near iconic status in Hollywood. A man who can do no wrong, and he’s also shown he’s capable of delivering a sequel, having released another Bill and Ted movie while also working on yet another Matrix film.

Peter Stormare, who played Lucifer in the 2005 movie about Reeves’ occult detective John Constantine, who can communicate with half-demons and half-angels, recently shared a picture of him from the movie with a simple message about a sequel.

 

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The movie was inspired by DC Comics (particularly Constantine’s Hellblazer comics), but it landed without the fanfare of some of Keanu’s other franchises (cough cough ‘The Matrix” cough cough). It hovered around a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the movie has developed a cult fanbase over the subsequent years.

Reeves, hot off his John Wick-charged rejuvenation of his career, and working on his own comic book, could probably make another Constantine movie work. He said in an interview last year that he ‘always wanted to play’ the character again, and that he loved the world and the character.

The original director, Francis Lawrence, said previously the movie had been stymied by being PG-13, and that they would’ve loved to make a sequel to do the ‘really dark, scary version.’

With comic book movies having a much bigger audience in 2020 than in 2005, a darker ‘Constantine’ sequel with Reeves back as the main character would be a sure-fire blockbuster. Hopefully, in this case, Lucifer is telling the truth.

Leta Powell Drake’s Celebrity Interviews are “Between Two Ferns” In Real Life

Leta Powell Drake Interviews
(Twitter/JFrankensteiner)

Awkward moments make for great comedy. This is why shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nathan For You, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s shows and movies are so enjoyable. Of course, it’s easy to be awkward, it’s not necessarily easy to make that awkwardness funny.

A popular example of cringe comedy are Zach Galifianakis’ hilarious celebrity interviews on Between Two Ferns. He has made a career out of asking celebs strange, and even downright rude questions. Before him was Martin Short who fat-suited up as Jiminy Glick. But their interviews were staged and scripted.

Leta Powell Drake’s interviews are not.

Drake, now 82, was a local television personality in Nebraska. According to her Wikipedia page, she has “interviewed over 1,000 movie and TV celebrities, humanitarians and two presidents.”

On Thursday morning, old footage of her interviews with celebrities, including Kurt Russell, Gene Hackman, Tom Selleck, Roy Scheider, and Tim Curry, has been circulating on Twitter, and they are a sight to behold.

She asks strange questions, requests kisses (from Telly Savalas), insults her guests, and more. The celebrities respond with a mixture of bemusement, confusion, and embarrassment, and it’s pretty amazing to watch.

At one point she asks Elliot Gould, “You don’t consider yourself a great actor, do you?”

Check it out, and I guarantee you’ll be dying to see those presidential interviews!

Embrace Your Inner 90s Kid With Dunkaroos Cookie Dough

Dunkaroos Cookie Dough
(IG/Dunkaroos)

2020 being what it is, no one would blame you for wanting to escape to a more simple time (like 2019). We see it most with entertainment, as nostalgia has resurrected shows like Saved By the Bell and movie franchises like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and millions of others. And now nostalgia food is having its moment, with the charge being led by 90s kid snack champion Dunkaroos.

Dunkaroos officially came back to stores over the summer, then they announced a cereal, and now they have gone and upped the game even more. And we’re not even talking about the beer. The brand announced a new product, giving fans everywhere the opportunity to create a DIY Dunkaroo experience. They are now selling, for a limited time, the official sugar cookie dough along with the iconic vanilla frosting.

The comeback for the cookie is limited to that sugar cookie/vanilla combo, but this new dough does give you some flexibility of size. The packages give you enough to make 24 mini cookies (which is what we remember from our youth) or the ability to make six large cookies. The possibilities are endless (but, more accurately, fall somewhere between those two choices).

It’s a fun twist in time for the holidays, as now you can have a giant cookie Dunkaroo experience. When it comes to eating Dunkaroos, there are no laws anymore (and never were, officially).

A brand spokesperson said the new cookie dough packages are available to most grocery stores, including Walmart, Kroger, Wakefern, Albertsons, HyVee, and Safeway.

Disney+ Debuts New Trailer for Classic X-Men Cartoon Along With All Five Seasons

X-Men Animated Series New Trailer Disney+
(YouTube/Disney Plus)

Since the 2008 release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios has dominated box offices with 23 game-changing movies and counting. Before there was Robert Downey Jr.’s badass Iron Man or Chadwick Boseman’s unforgettable Black Panther, there was Fox Kids Network’s classic animated series.

Saturday mornings were already the absolute best time to be a kid, plopping down in front of the TV with a bowl of Sugar-O’s and the whole weekend ahead of you. From 1992-1997, it was also a time to get lost in the Marvel universe with the X-Men animated series. For five glorious years and 76 unforgettable episodes, the series cemented X-Men in our hearts forever.

For those lucky and committed enough to own the series on DVD, you’ve been able to enjoy perhaps the best version of X-Men ever created uninterrupted. For the rest of us, there’s been no (respectable) way to watch the nostalgic series, save for the episodes we watched so many times we could essentially watch them on-demand if we closed our eyes. That is, until now.

Disney+ is quickly making a name for itself as the streaming service that brings us back to simpler times. Though you can stream some incredible original content like The Mandalorian, Disney+ is also the home of nostalgia. You can watch classics like the 1973 Schoolhouse Rock series, the 1987 version of DuckTales, the OG Mighty Ducks, and now, the X-Men animated series.

All five action-packed seasons are available on Disney+ now, and to celebrate, Disney released a more modern version of the show’s trailer. The new trailer still contains the same wonderfully grainy animation, but the brand new transitions and added graphics give the whole thing a more contemporary vibe.

As if being able to watch the quintessential Marvel series isn’t enough good news, rumors are circulating that Disney+ may take things one step further and continue the series where it left off. I know we’ve come a long way since the 90s in terms of animation, but if the rumors turn out to be true, hopefully, they can find a way to make sure the character’s lips absolutely don’t match up with the dialogue. Something about the puppet vibe really adds to the 90s ambiance.

A First Look at the Gremlins Animated Prequel Series Coming To HBO Max

Gremlins Animated Prequel Series, Secrets of the Mogwai
(IMDB)

The past few years have been a time of enormous nostalgia, with TV shows and movies trying to recapture the magic of our childhood favorites. Some of the more well-received reboots have been of the cartoon variety, perhaps because it’s much easier to preserve characters in time when you get to draw them. HBO Max is taking the success of cartoon reboots to the next level by cartoonizing a franchise that was originally live-action (mostly).

In HBO Max’s upcoming Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai series, viewers are taking a trip back in time. In the early 1980s, we were first introduced to the adorable creatures known as Mogwai. The fluffy, curious critters served as extremely good teachers, reminding us just how important it is to both read and follow instructions.

The 1984 film has endured the test of time, with references still being made in pop culture nearly 40 years later. Though the movie was engaging and the storyline was brilliant, the film left a lot of questions unanswered. Where did Mogwai come from? How does daylight savings time play into the whole “don’t feed them after midnight” thing? We became absorbed in the saga of mitigating a Mogwai disaster without ever really understanding what a Mogwai was. Fortunately, the HBO Max series plans to take us on a journey to 1920s China and clear up some of the film’s many mysteries. The show will combine both Chinese mythology and Mogwai mythology, weaving together an entrancing and comedic storyline fit for the whole family.

According to IMDB, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai “Tells the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.”

HBO Max has yet to release an official trailer, and no date has been set for the series premiere. However, showrunner Tze Chun recently released a first look at the show’s concept art. A single artistically-stunning teaser photo showing little Gizmo walking alongside an unknown boy (though Chun previously stated that the show would follow a 10-year-old Mr. Wing, the elderly owner of the shop where Gizmo was purchased in the Gremlins film).

So far, the reception on social media has been extremely positive, with fans of the franchise looking forward to diving into the Mogwai world in a brand new way. Only time will tell what secrets of the Mogwai will be unveiled, and honestly, we can’t wait.

The Rock Posts Throwback Photo Wearing Dad’s Wrestling Gear

The Rock shares photo dressed in dad's wrestling gear
(Instagram/therock)

Kids get a kick out of imitating their parents. Whether it’s relentlessly parroting everything they hear or dressing up in their dad’s uniform 5 minutes before he’s supposed to leave for work, kids are tiny mirrors (for better or for worse). Recently, our favorite wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson shared an adorable throwback photo of himself at 11 years old, dressed up in his late dad’s wrestling gear.

It’s not uncommon for kids to dream of doing what their parents do, given that it’s what they’ve grown up seeing every single day. What is uncommon is for the child of a pro wrestler to actually freaking become a pro wrestler. It’s not the type of gig you can get through nepotism – if you become a pro wrestler through the connections you have rather than your skill, you will straight up die in the ring. Fortunately, The Rock grew from a tiny pebble to the absolute tank of a human being we know and love.

Rocky Johnson, the “Original Rock,” passed away this year at age 75. Rocky was a legend and a trailblazer in the world of pro wrestling, becoming the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. In 1983, he won the World Tag Team Championship making Rocky Johnson and his partner Tony Atlas the WWE’s first ever black champions. Those were no small shoes to fill, but Dwayne Johnson got it done.

The Rock honored his late dad in the throwback photo he shared on Instagram, reminiscing about the days he used to dream of following in his incredible dad’s footsteps.

The caption read, “A lil’ throwback action to 1983, when I was 11 years old – I used to LOVE putting on my dad’s wrestling trunks, boots, jacket and championship belts – dreaming of one day becoming a pro wrestling champion.”

Joking about his not-yet-ripped bod he added, “Only thing I forgot to wear was my training bra!! C’mon afro tits, you’re gonna be late for school!”

It’s no secret that Dwayne Johnson is a family man, so losing his dad earlier this year was an especially big blow. Johnson posted a beautiful tribute to his own personal hero, and continues to keep his memory alive.

“I love you,” Johnson captioned the video. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.”

 

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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

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The full caption is well worth a read, but ultimately, The Rock’s Instagram posts paint a picture of a boy who loved his dad. He admired him, looked up to him, and love him with all his heart. Looking back at the photo of The Rock as a small boy, we see a kid who wanted to be just like his dad – as so many do. And even though Rocky Johnson is no longer here, Dwayne is carrying on his legacy. And undoubtedly, Rocky Johnson was one proud dad.

Saved by the Bell Reboot Trailer: It’s 2020 so This Show Could Actually be Good

Saved By The Bell Trailer
(YouTube/ONE Media)

A lot of things have happened this past year that are simply unprecedented. From the global pandemic to murder hornets to water on the moon to Tiger King, 2020 has been full of unpredictability, but perhaps nothing has caught me more off guard than this:

Saved by the Bell is being rebooted, and it looks sort of… good?

Look, the bar is low. The original Saved By the Bell, which I watched religiously on Saturday mornings and after school, was a trainwreck of a show. The acting was bad, the humor was unbearably cheesy, and the entire thing was amateurish on every single level. The cast pretty much all went on to success of some kind, barring Dustin Diamond (Screech) who gained little more than notoriety for being a creep, and Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle), who basically disappeared from the public eye.

The rest of the cast, which included Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Ferris Bueller-type Zack Morris (who only recently started watching the first series), Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as cheeleader and girl-next-door Kelly Kapowski, Mario Lopez as jock A.C. Slater, and Elizabeth Berkeley as brainy feminist Jesse Spano (I hate myself for remmebering all of this), went on to successful careers of varying degrees.

Of course, they couldn’t have been too successful, because all four of them are back in the reboot!

The premise has been updated to fit modern times, with Bayside forced to welcome outsiders into its privileged confines (and Zach is now governor of California because rich white people always fail upwards!), Slater and Jesse working at the school where Zach’s son rules the roost, and the humor has been updated to maybe – possibly – have some actual laughs!

Of course, this being SBTB, there are plenty of indications that no, this will not be good, like the character of Zack’s son, who immediately looks unbearable. Also Max, the magician waiter (and owner?) of the local hangout, is back for some reason, as is the “Friends Forever” song from one of the original series’ most absurd episodes. So tread lightly!

It premieres on Peacock on November 25th:

30-Yr-Old Stash of Gum and Beer Leave Library Hopped-up on Nostalgia

Stash of old gum and beer found at Washington library
(Facebook/City of Walla Walla Government)

After having kids, you’re forced to start finding new and creative ways to stash your snacks. Whether it’s a box of Sugar-O’s or a cake that literally has your name on it, food seems to disappear without a trace overnight in a house full of kids (aside from anything that even resembles a vegetable). It’s like having a rat infestation, only the rats are extremely expensive and eventually ask to borrow your car. Whether you tuck them away in a closet full of holiday decorations or shove them in a box you haphazardly label “Math Books” and stash under your bed, The Good Snacks need to be hidden for their own protection.

Recently, someone’s well-hidden stash was discovered in an unlikely place after they presumably forgot about it like a squirrel hiding their nuts for the winter. Like many libraries across the US, the Walla Walla Public Library in Washington closed in March due to the COVID pandemic. To make the best of a crumby (wait for it) situation, the library decided to do some renovations.

When removing some 50-year-old paneling in the mystery section of the library, the demolition crew stumbled upon a sticky mystery of their own. Five unopened cans of Hamm’s beer and a bag of Godzilla Heads gum (which hasn’t been manufactured since 1988) was found tucked away in a falling-apart paper bag.

The City of Walla Walla Government shared the photo on Facebook, presumably prompting one dad (maybe grandpa at this point) to yell, “oh crap!

The caption read, “While moving the mystery collection to a more accessible place, a Facilities crew member uncovered a real-life whodunit when he removed a corner panel on some 1970s-era shelving with an open top. Along with the usual dust and dead bugs, he found five unopened cans of ‘the beer refreshing’ and some monstrously stale gum still in its vibrant packaging, along with a moldering paper bag. Someone had apparently taken a cue from ‘Treasure Island’ and stashed their booty behind the shelving, but then wasn’t able to retrieve it.”

As we all well know, beer tends to come in packs of six – so it’s entirely possible that whoever stashed their loot in this public library some 30 years ago wasn’t thinking with a completely clear head. The unexpected treasure was a blast-from-the-past for the 50-year-old library – we’re just glad that their snack of choice wasn’t yogurt.

Mel Gibson Confirms Lethal Weapon 5 ‘Absolutely’ Happening

Lethal Weapon 5
(Warner Bros)

I guess I should stop being surprised. After all, there are only so many franchises out there, and judging by the way things have been going the past few years, it makes sense that every single one – even the ones that seemed long dead – are getting resurrected one way or another.

The list is so long it’s not even worth typing it out. Suffice it to say that if there’s a series of movies you enjoyed over the past 30 years and it has yet to be revisited one way or another – whether via a sequel (National Treasure), a prequel, a reboot (Die Hard), or a TV series – just you wait. Odds are, it will be back soon enough.

Today’s example is the buddy cop movie that started them all: Lethal Weapon.

This is a rare case, because not only was there already a sequel that came too late and didn’t work, there was also a recent TV series. That sequel hit theaters in 1998, co-starred Chris Rock and Jet Li, and was not good. The TV show ran for three years, with Damon Wayans as Murtaugh and a couple of guys as his partner (after the first co-lead was a little too Riggsy for comfort). Not only that, original star Mel Gibson has had his fair share of issues in the 21st century, though he was at the Oscars last year, so all seems to be forgiven, somehow.

So much so that he and Danny Glover are supposedly being recruited for this new sequel by producer Dan Lin, who also hopes to get original director Richard Donner – who hasn’t directed a movie in 4 years – back on board. Lin recently appeared at a producer’s roundtable, where he spoke about his plans for the project.

“We’re trying to make the last Lethal Weapon movie. And Dick Donner’s coming back. The original cast is coming back. And it’s just amazing. The story is very personal to him. Mel and Danny are ready to go, so it’s about the script.” About which there are no details because it has yet to be written.

In the last few days Mel gave an update on that on Good Morning America where he said:

Absolutely. The man who was behind all of that, the man who brought it to the screen and gave it the goodies is working on it right now, Richard Donner. He’s a legend.

Not only is Mel Gibson a bit of a dicey bet to lead a wannabe blockbuster, Danny Glover is 73! I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he is definitely too old for this shit. And so, for that matter, is Chris Rock, who was positioned to potentially take over in Lethal Weapon 4, but the movie didn’t do well enough to revive the series. Previous cast members also included Rene Russo, last seen in Avengers Endgame, and Joe Pesci, who came out of retirement for Best Picture nominee The Irishman and is probably not too keen on playing fast-talking Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 5.

But stranger things have happened, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. To be honest, I’d rather see a sequel to My Cousin Vinny!