Before you ask: Yes, props were used.
Atlanta newscaster Tony Thomas gave an inspired, prop-filled, on-air report last week about how a man robbed a waffle house with none other than a pitchfork. “It wouldn’t be an offensive weapon in your garden, but it was in a Waffle House,” Norcross police Chief Warren Summers told WSB-TV Channel 2. Watch Thomas take the “action” very literally as he reports the news in the way we imagine Ron Burgundy would.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water
Last month, while working in the Gulf of Mexico, a crew of fishermen accidentally caught a very rare (and very terrifying) beast.
The crew had cast a net 2,000 feet into the water just off the coast of Key West, Fla., and noticed a peculiar creature mixed in with their usual load of shrimp, the Houston Chronicle reports.
“I didn’t even know what it was,” lifelong fisherman Carl Moore told the Chronicle. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.”
This creature, it turned out, was a rare goblin shark, estimated to be about 18 feet long. Moore snapped a few photos before hoisting the creature back into the sea (yes, it’s still out there). Though More and his crew caught the shark on Apr. 19, they didn’t report it to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration until last week.
“This is great news,” John Carlson, NOAA shark expert, told the Chronicle. “This is only the second confirmed sighting in the Gulf, the majority of specimens are found off Japan or in the Indian Ocean and around South Africa.”
So when that razor-toothed pink monster haunts your dreams tonight, at least you can console yourself with a reminder that this is good news for science.
We interviewed pizza historians and experts to determine which pies made the biggest impact on the pizza industry—and the world at large.
And here they are:
One of pizza’s most divisive flavors, Hawaiian pizza (topped with pineapple and ham) was invented far from its namesake islands by a Greek pizza maker in Chatham, Ontario in the 1960s. Its popularity paved the way for future hybrid hits, like buffalo chicken and barbecue pizzas, now widely available on menus as mass-market as Domino’s.
This 17th-century pie, said to be named for Nicola, the Italian baker who made it, was “arguably the first pizza ever in existence,” says Scott Wiener, author of Viva La Pizza!: The Art of the Pizza Box, noting that what separates it from flatbread is the addition of toppings (in this case, pig fat and pecorino). Though humble in origin, it set the stage for the cheese- and sauce-laden pies that are so popular today.
A Brooklyn landmark since 1939, L&B Spumoni Gardens sells thick, Sicilian-style square-cut upside-down pizza—meaning the tomato sauce tops the cheese. Founder Ludovico Barbati “wasn’t the first to put tomato on top of cheese,” says Wiener, “but every time you see it outside of New York City, it’s a reference to that pizzeria.”
This pie—created by Frank Pepe at Pizzeria Napoletana in the mid-1960s—was the first to put a completely unconventional topping (seafood) on a sauceless pizza. Over time, so-called New Haven style pizza popped up at restaurants like Franny’s in Brooklyn, Salvation Pizza in Austin, Pete’s in Washington, D.C. and more. “So many people copy [clam pizza] across the country,” says Wiener, and every time, “the reference point is Pepe’s.”
A favorite at slumber parties, pizza rolls (originally produced in 1968 by Jeno’s, which was later sold to Totino’s) wrap traditional pizza ingredients inside a salty, chewy crust. They kicked off the pizza-as-snack craze that eventually spawned pizza bagels, pizza Lunchables, and even pizza-flavored Pringles.
Others have claimed they invented this novelty (cheesemaker Anthony Mongiello holds a 1987 patent for the idea), but Pizza Hut was the first to launch cheese-filled crusts on a national scale in 1995. Once it took off in the States, says Carol Helstosky, author of Pizza: A Global History, Pizza Hut developed regional versions overseas—from hot-dog stuffing in the U.K. to cheeseburger stuffing in the Middle East to Marmite stuffing in New Zealand. The hit has spawned copycats from Godfather’s Pizza, DiGiorno’s and more.
The iconic pie—which debuted in Chicago in 1943, at a restaurant called Pizzeria Riccardo, then Pizzeria Uno, and now Uno Chicago Grill—is widely considered to be the first-ever deep-dish pizza. The heavy, buttery crust was a complete departure from the standard Neapolitan and came to “define an entire city,” according to Wiener. The company rapidly expanded through franchises in the 1980s, and today deep-dish pizza is a staple on menus at Little Caesars, CiCi’s and more.
The first fast-food pizza debuted in 1954 in Sacramento, Calif., paving the way for joints like Pizza Hut in 1958, Little Caesar’s in 1959, and Domino’s in 1960—and helping pizza transition from an ethnic dish to a mainstay of American cuisine. Shakey’s remains in business, but it now has more locations in Asia than in the U.S.
Prior to the “California style” trend, pizza was a simple food meant to be enjoyed by the whole family, says Helstosky. But when chef Ed LaDou started making smaller pies garnished with more varied, non-traditional toppings, the dish became a foodie favorite. With help from Wolfgang Puck (who he met in 1980), LaDou developed the luxe pizza menu at Spago, and eventually the first menu for California Pizza Kitchen, which mainstreamed the gourmet pizza trend. His legacy endures today in trendy pizza spots like Roberta’s and Motorino.
Even if you haven’t heard of this pizza, you have tasted the fruits of its labor. As the first documented pizzeria in the U.S. (it was licensed in New York in 1905), Lombardi’s was the first step on pizza’s path from Neapolitan specialty to global mass-market obsession. To be sure, it had help; other early U.S. pizzerias included Totonno’s (opened by a Lombardi’s alum in 1924), John’s and Grimaldi’s, all of which blossomed after WWII, when vets returning home started craving the pies they’d come to love while stationed in Naples.
Pizza was still a relatively niche interest in American cuisine in the middle of the 20th century, but the introduction of frozen pizza helped put it on every table. Rose Totino was the first to do this in a major way (the Celentano Brothers beat her by several years with far less success), opening a factory in 1962 to market the pie recipes from her Minnesota pizzeria to a much wider audience. Now, consumers can defrost everything from simple DiGiorno’s to more upscale options like Newman’s Own and Kashi.
When Tom Monaghan took over the Ann Arbor eatery (known then as DomiNick’s) in 1960, he pioneered the delivery and takeout-only concept, making pizzas like this available on-the-go. (The chain would later be the first to use thermal delivery bags to keep the pies hot in transit.) The success of that model prompted copycats all over the world, and helped pave the way for food-delivery services like Seamless and GrubHub.
As legend has it, Queen Margherita of Italy wanted to try the Neapolitan flatbread she’d heard so much about during a visit to Naples in 1889. Of the three varieties she sampled, her favorite was her namesake: a Margherita pizza whose toppings mimicked the colors of the Italian flag: red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil. Whether the origin myth is true or invented, the Margherita pizza helped spawn almost every modern-day pie, and is now “the standard for what a good pizza is,” says Helstosky.
Here's the scoop on the ice cream chain's attempt to appeal to families and people hosting parties — an ice cream cake split into four different flavors: cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, pralines and cream, and strawberry
After launching its first Greek frozen yogurt flavor last week, Baskin-Robbins unveils a new ice cream cake Monday called the Piece Cake, made up of four different ice cream cakes for people hosting friends and family who cannot agree on just one ice cream flavor for dessert.
The four types in the six-inch round ice cream cake are:
- OREO® Cookies ‘n Cream with chocolate cake
- Mint Chocolate Chip with chocolate cake
- Pralines ‘n Cream with yellow cake
- Very Berry Strawberry with yellow cake.
The design, which is supposed to make the cake “easier to eat and easier to share,” has been tested in South Korea and in select stores in the U.S. for the past few years before debuting across the country today. “It comes in quarters, so it’s very easy if you don’t finish it to wrap it back up and stick it in your freezer,” says Bill Mitchell, President, Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada, and Baskin-Robbins & Dunkin’ Donuts China, Japan and Korea.
The company also hopes the new ice cream cake will draw customers to its new website for ordering ice cream cakes, which as Wall Street Journal reports, is a way to keep up with other major food chains that have or are testing mobile payment apps and “help its burgeoning turnaround, after a decade of store closures and strained relations with franchisees.”
Compared to the elaborate ice cream cakes on the specialty shop’s menu, like the one in the shape of a Thanksgiving turkey and the one that says “Over the Hill” above a R.I.P. tombstone, the Piece Cake looks pretty simple. But the four-in-one flavors concept is similar to the three-in-one flavors line “Cores” that Ben & Jerry’s debuted in February, which boasts two different flavors and then a fudge, caramel or raspberry jam section in the center. And arguably, the idea of big ice cream brands offering products that have several flavors in one could be a sign of the popularity of self-serve frozen dessert cafés where customers can sample as many different kinds of “FroYo” and toppings as they can fit in a cup.
The next new ice cream flavor that Baskin-Robbins hopes will wow customers: State Fair Fried Dough, cinnamon caramel-flavored ice cream with funnel cake pieces and a fried dough ribbon, available in stores starting in July.
A pink, black and white illustration honors the actress on what would have been her 85th birthday
Audrey Hepburn died of cancer in 1993, but her stunning visage lives on, primarily through posters in college dorm rooms. But today, on what would have been her 85th birthday, it lives on through a Google Doodle.
The image was adapted from a 1956 black and white photograph taken by Yousuf Karsh, artist Jennifer Hom explains in a Google blog post. The Doodle team rotated through several options (which you can see here) but ultimately settled on the above image because it showcases the actress’s beauty and grace along with her passion for humanitarian work.
“Finding the right solution for someone as timeless as Audrey proved a tricky task,” Hom writes. “Not only was she a classically beautiful actress, she also dedicated her life to philanthropy. I wanted to show both sides of her life’s work.”
During Saturday's sketch fest, host Andrew Garfield starred in a trailer for fictional movie The Beygency, about a man who every-so-slightly critiques Beyoncé. Needless to say, it doesn't turn out too well for him+ READ ARTICLE
In one of the best SNL sketches we’ve seen in a while, Andrew Garfield played a man who foolishly decided to critique Beyoncé. “She is so good,” he says. “I’m not a huge fan of that of one ‘Drunk In Love’ song though.”
Within seconds, the mock movie trailer takes a dark turn. Garfield’s character finds himself on the run from the Beygency, the group tasked with eliminating anyone who even slightly disses Beyoncé. Along the way, he encounters some fellow celebrity fugitives, one of whom made the fatal mistake of getting a tattoo declaring Rihanna #1.
The only thing that would have made this sketch better if SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata had gotten a little screen time as Beyoncé. She’s already proved she can play that role:
Now you’ll definitely think twice before calling Beyoncé anything other than the supreme, perfect, wonderful, amazing, legendary, beautiful queen that she is.
Get out your Princess Leia costumes and lightsabers and get ready to party
Today is not a regular day. Today is Star Wars Day!
Well, unofficially it is. Fans of the franchise adopted May 4 as the day to celebrate all things Star Wars simply because “May the 4th” sounds a lot like “May the force be with you.”
Apparently, we might have former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher to thank for this tradition. She was elected on May 4, 1979 — two years after Star Wars was released. Entertainment Weekly reports that an ad in the London Evening News read, “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
But it wasn’t until years later (you know, because of the Internet) that the phrase truly took off. In 2011, the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada put together an organized celebration with a costume contest and a film festival.
Now, businesses have caught on to this unofficial holiday by offering special deals and discounts on Star Wars-related merchandise. If you want to keep corporations from co-opting the day, then bust out your Princess Leia costume and let yourself get a little weird today. May the 4th be with all of you.
One of the highlights of the White House Correspondents' Dinner was this parody video starring the real-life VP and HBO's fictional veep, Selina Meyer+ READ ARTICLE
Vice President Joe Biden teamed with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (in character as Vice President Selina Meyer from HBO’s Veep) for what was essentially a typical buddy comedy, just with a lot less weed and a lot more political cameos.
This pre-recorded video, which kicked off Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, begins with the real-life veep calling up his fictional counterpart while sporting his signature aviators. Soon, he picks her up in an over-the-top yellow sports car and they set off on a night of debauchery that includes sneaking into the White House, binging on ice cream (guess which health-conscious White House resident busts them), getting matching tattoos and changing Washington Post headlines.
Bonus: Louis-Dreyfus manages to throw in a pretty excellent House of Cards diss. Additional bonus: we get cameos from Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner (or, as Louis-Dreyfus calls him, J-Dawg.)
Now, if only someone would turn this seven-minute clip into a feature-length film. Seriously, we would totally watch that.