The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
December 16th, 2014
Episode 23 of 201 episodes
It’s the end of the year and there are more “Best of” lists than there are people to read them, but we figured we’d add one that seems to be missing: the Best of the Internet. With the help of past sideshow guests, Sean Rameswaram attempts to compile a collection of the best videos, sites, songs, and memes that thrived online in 2014. Good luck, kid. Studio 360's Kurt Andersen - "Too Many Cooks" “The guy raised the stakes for himself, and then met them and upped himself,”Kurt Andersensays of the surreal send-up of cheesy TV sitcoms made by writerCasper Kelly. The 11-minute parody rewards repeat views. “It is literally the first viral video I have ever gone back and looked at again,” Kurt says. “And I am a notorious one-time watcher of things.” GIPHY's Tyler Menzel - SeeHearParty.com It wasn’t easy forTyler Menzelto pick just one thing that he loved on the internet this year because he spends his entire day deep-sea diving for gems as the editorial director atGiphy– a GIF search engine. He settled onseehearparty.com, a website that allows you to sync your favorite categories of animated GIFs to your favorite songs. “One of the best things is when you start adding multiple tags,” says Menzel. If you were gonnacut my head open and look inside, it would look like a seehearparty.com of ‘No Flex Zone’ andSailor Moonand cats on skateboards.” Jezebel's Jia Tolentino - ClickHole Jia Tolentinorecently became an editor atJezebel, but The Onion’sClickHole– which posts satirical listicles, quizzes, and celebrity quotations every day – is her favorite site. “All websites in comparison are absolute garbage,” she says. “Including the one I work for.” Funny Or Die's Jonathan Van Ness - Voguing Kid & Kim Jonathan Van Ness, host of Funny or Die’sGay of Thrones, couldn’t pick one thing he loved online this year, so he chose two. The first was the kid who interrupted a local Las Vegas news spot with refined voguing stylistics. “He was camera ready, he knew all of his angles, he did not get stale; it was amazing.” Kim Kardashian andPaper Magazinetried to “Break the Internet” by releasing a series of oily nude photos this year, but instead they created a monster meme. “When I saw the one where they replaced her bum with that Krispy Kreme doughnut, it was the same texture, it was the same shine,” Van Ness says. “I loved that.” But not enough to download her supremely popular game. Vulture's Margaret Lyons - "Transparent" Margaret Lyonsspends a lot of time watching TV for her job as a critic atVulture, but her favorite show of the year was only available online: Jill Soloway'sTransparent.“The show is amazing, it’s beautiful,” Lyons says of the dramedy about the patriarch of a Los Angeles family who transitions genders. It’s available on Amazon Prime, where Lyons also purchases her socks. Gallery 1988's Jensen Karp - "Run The Jewels 2" Jensen Karpwas a rapper in his teens, but now he mostly curates exceptional fan artwork. His love for hip-hop remains strong thanks in part toRun the Jewels2, the latest release from the rap supergroup of Killer Mike and El-P. “These two guys are on the third leg of their career each,” Karp says of the 39-year-olds. “And if you know hip-hop well, that’s impossible.” The success ofRun the Jewels 2beganonline where the singles for “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” and “Blockbuster Night Part 1” hit big before theentire album was made available as a free download in October. After its release came universal critical acclaim for two independent rappers who have seen their share of victory and defeat over the years. “The things that are happening for both of these guys, you just sort of have to applaud it.” Kutiman - "Symphony Orchestra Pachebel Canon Rehearsal" Kutimanwatches a lot of unknown musicians performing on YouTube. It’s kind of his job. Most of what he finds while scouting for his “Thru You” project is unusable, but some of that unusable stuff—like this video of middle school students annihilating Pachelbel’s Canon—is unforgettable.