TIME celebrities

Katie Nolan on Bartending, Regis and ‘Tweeter’ and One-upping Bumgarner

21st Century Fox, Inc And FOX Sports 1 Rings The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell
Katie Nolan of Fox Sports poses for a picture after ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite on August 16, 2013 in New York City. Andrew Toth—FilmMagic/Getty Images

"I hate saying I’m a comedian, because then people stick their finger in your face and demand you tell a joke"

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A twentysomething Boston-based bartender of Italian and Irish heritage develops a cult following while riffing on sports and pop culture from some little-known corner of the Internet, then gets snapped up by a major sports media conglomerate for an unusual role. But this isn’t 2001, and Katie Nolan’s voice is an octave or two higher than Bill Simmons’s. In No Filter, her daily video series for foxsports.com, she’s saltier and saucier than cable sports’ usual fare. And the show’s D.I.Y. aesthetic — she works from a small studio, with two producers — would hardly fly on TV either. On a recent Wednesday we caught up with the 27-year-old Framingham, Mass., native at a bar near New York City’s Union Square.

Dickey: What do you usually tell people you do?

Nolan: I don’t know. I make funny videos. I hate saying I’m a comedian, because then people stick their finger in your face and demand you tell a joke. But the other thing people call me is “a YouTube sensation,” which is even worse.

Dickey:How’d you get started?

Nolan: I was bartending in Boston five, six nights a week, living in my grandmother’s condo. By the way, I’m a really good bartender — that’s the only skill I can confidently say I have. At the time I was really into Barstool [an aggressively impolitic Boston-centric sports and lifestyle site], and I thought I was good enough to write for it. So I started my own blog, called Bitches Can’t Hang, with my takes on pop culture and the news. It was so stupid. Have I mentioned it was so stupid? But somehow the blog Guyism found me and wanted to publish my posts.

Dickey: And how’d you get into video?

Nolan: Guyism wanted a daily video series. They told me they were planning on hiring a girl, and then hiring someone to write all her jokes. Then they figured it would be easier just to get me, so they offered me $750 a month to do it, which turned into an offer to move to New York and do it full-time for $30,000 a year. So I moved to Hoboken [N.J.] with two girls I found on Craigslist. Two or three months into that, one of my bosses came to me and said Fox wanted me for their new 24‑hour sports channel, and that if I went, the company that owned Guyism would get money. It was like a dowry. Oh, you’ll give us a cow, and we’ll give you Katie.

Dickey: Do you know how Fox found out about you?

Nolan: I have no idea. My YouTube videos weren’t even getting that many views. Maybe they thought, Oh, she’ll be cheap! Four different people at Fox have come up to me and said, You know, I’m the one who found you. And I think, Uh-huh, yeah, I’ve heard that. But you have to just smile and scream, “Oh, thank you! I owe you my life!”

Dickey: How’d your start go at Fox?

Nolan: They flew me out to L.A. for an audition, which I bombed. I had never read off a teleprompter, and I didn’t know I needed glasses. They told me I bombed it too. But they still wanted me. I had another screen test that went a little better. And then they told me they wanted to put me on a show with Regis Philbin. [Crowd Goes Wild, which ran from August 2013 until it was canceled last May.] I was like, What the f—? He’s still doing TV? I Googled him and found out he was 82. My grandmother is 82, and some days she doesn’t even put her teeth in.

Dickey: What’s Regis like?

Nolan: He’s exactly the person you see on TV. He came into my dressing room and said, “This tweeter you’re always talking about, what is it?” I told him it was on the Internet. He said, “Oh, they have it on there? How long would it take to teach me?” I said I could teach him, but it would take an hour a day for two weeks. He said, “Forget it, no thanks.”

Dickey: Any memorable interactions with athletes while doing the show?

Nolan: [Knicks guard] J.R. Smith was so nice. I’m a Patriots fan, so I wanted to hate [safety] Bernard Pollard and tell him he ruined my life. [Pollard’s hit in 2008 ended Tom Brady’s season.] But he was such a nice guy. The only guy who was really, really awful was [former NHL winger] Sean Avery. The most surprising thing was that I really never got hit on.

Dickey: What was it like when the show got canceled?

Nolan: The show had always been chaotic. On Mondays it felt like we were doomed. Tuesdays we felt we were getting the hang of it. By Wednesday we thought we had a hit. On Thursday someone was threatening to quit. And by each Friday, I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. The day we got canceled, I got three calls from Fox — they all went to voice mail — saying, “We’re picking up your option. We just want you to know we see a bright future for you.” I didn’t even know they had an option! I was flattered.

Dickey: Now you’re doing No Filter for foxsports.com, and you’ve had some hits, like the video you did about Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. How did you chug six beers?

Nolan: I saw some people write that the video was good up until I faked being drunk at the end. Boy, I wish. It happened so fast. We got the idea, and my boyfriend, Dan, brought the beers over, and in the 40 minutes it took me to drink them, I just kept looking at him off-camera, saying, “You’re so handsome, you’re so supportive. Am I slurring my words?” We were supposed to go on a date night. Instead he got me four pieces of pizza and put me in bed.

Dickey: You got a lot of pickup, too, for the serious piece you did about Ray Rice. Do you want to do more serious commentary?

Nolan: I make silly videos, that’s what I do. I don’t want people to get confused. But with the Rice thing, it had been on my mind. And I thought, as a woman in sports, I had to say something. I’m happy I got my point out there, that women should be represented more in sports media. They really should be. But some people thought I was saying I should be an analyst. And I can’t do that.

Dickey: So what do you want to do?

Nolan: I want to do something like what Jon Stewart does, for sports, something for college students to watch when they get home from the bars. They have shows like that in New Zealand and in England. But it’s never worked here — people take their sports too seriously. So we’re stuck with ESPN reacting to the news in the same five ways, all day, morning till night. But really, I’d just be happy writing jokes about sports and beer for other people.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

Correction: The original version of this story used an image of a different Katie Nolan. It has since been updated.

TIME Syria

French Citizen Identified in ISIS Execution Video

More than 1,600 French nationals are involved with ISIS

France identified one of its citizens Monday as an executioner in the latest ISIS video showing the beheading of an American hostage.

A prosecutor in Paris identified him as Maxime Hauchard, 22, a convert to Islam whom French authorities have been tracking for years. He recently posted pictures of himself in fatigues in Syria. He also gave an interview to a French television network in July and claimed part of the credit for ISIS’ capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Hauchard converted at 16 and has a felony conviction for driving without insurance, said the prosecutor, Francois Molins. He attended an…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Television

Lisa Kudrow on Her Comeback Comeback: “When I Put the Wig On, It’s Full Valerie”

Just don't call her "brave"

“We thought it was pretty humiliating at the time,” says Lisa Kudrow, about the first season of her series The Comeback (returning for a second season on HBO on Nov. 9). The show depicted Valerie Cherish, an actress marginalized by Hollywood who took to reality TV for attention, even as the camera’s glare exposed all her weaknesses. “But that was early on, so we didn’t even come close to how humiliating it was going to be.”

Since The Comeback was first aired and first cancelled, in 2005, the world has seen the rise of Bravo’s Real Housewives, a franchise whose myriad degradations made a second season of The Comeback seem well-timed. When The Comeback was first on, it seemed cruel to its protagonist, so vain about her elaborate red hairdo and her dreams of stardom; now, it just seems prophetic.

For her part, Kudrow told TIME she’s “fascinated” by Bravo’s stars, though it’s not necessarily a positive viewing habit: “They felt like a lot of Valerie Cherishes who had their own agendas and their own reasons. I don’t know — for me it’s kind of selling a little bit of yourself. I won’t say dignity — dignity. To sell a brand, cookbooks, restaurants they own or some business, or thinking this way they’ll start a career… for Valerie, it was really just to get back in the spotlight.”

And Kudrow yearned to bring the spotlight back to Valerie; she said she spent lunch dates with friend and Comeback co-creator Michael Patrick King plotting out what the actress would have been doing in the intervening years. And now that HBO’s provided Kudrow a second chance, she’s — ahem — cherishing every moment. “When I put the wig on, it’s full Valerie,” she said. “It’s fantastic how that happens. It’s great to see how other people start treating me!”

As for a potential third season — hard not to wonder about, given how unusual the Comeback comeback was in the first place — Kudrow isn’t making too many plans. “I think it’s worth thinking about, but we are waiting to be invited! That would be embarrassing, to say ‘And the next dinner will be at my house!’ And no one says they wanted it.” Then again, if anyone knows how to make something great out of mortification, it’s Kudrow.

See more of her conversation with TIME above.

TIME Science

Watch This Video of a Meteorite Exploding

This is definitely something you need to see to believe

lost-at-e-minor_logo

This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Photographer Wes Eisenhauer has taken some pretty extraordinary footage of the night sky you’ll want to see. While filming a timelapse of the Milky Way Galaxy on October 16, Eisenhauer captured a fireball in the sky that seemed to spontaneously explode.

This incredible phenomenon is actually known as a bolide (meaning missile in Greek), which is basically a meteorite that explodes, leaving behind a red dust trail.

But if you watch closely, after this fireball explodes, it leaves a heavenly halo in its wake—it’s definitely something you need to see to believe.

(via Twisted Sifter)

TIME viral

Watch the Danish National Chamber Orchestra Perform After Eating World’s Hottest Chili Peppers

The performance was, in a word, hot.

How do you get your orchestra to perform a more rousing rendition of Tango Jalousie? Force them to eat some of the world’s hottest chili peppers before placing lips to bassoon and bow to cello. In what appears to be either a playful marketing gag or the most sadistic tactics ever used by a conductor, the Danish National Chamber Orchestra attempted to hold it together while performing under the influence of chili peppers.

Led by conductor Claus “Chili” Pilgaard and concertmaster Erik Heide, the orchestra began the piece on empty stomachs and then, partway through, popped the peppers as if on cue. The next several minutes have them grimacing, crying, and steadily reddening until the final note, at which point they place their expensive instruments carefully on the floor and flee the stage.

To the musicians’ credit, the execution sounded flawless, at least to an untrained ear. You might even say they were on fire.

TIME

How to Draw a Perfect Circle Freehand

The technique is so simple

lost-at-e-minor_logo

This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

No one thought it was possible. Until now. In the tutorial video below, YouTuber Dave Hax shows us how to draw a perfect circle freehand. The technique is so simple, it’ll make you wonder why no one thought of it before: you use your wrist, knuckles, or fingers as your pivot. From there, you spin the paper around, drawing a perfect circle as you go. It takes a bit of practice, but when you get the hang of it, it feels like unlocking a new skill!

(Via APlus)

TIME video

Try to Survive This Virtual Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Haunted House

Because for some of us, the real thing is too scary

If you’re too lazy, busy, or afraid of wetting your pants to visit an actual haunted house this Halloween, YouTube has got you covered. YouTube Nation produced a Halloween-themed choose-your-own-adventure experience, making use of a set designed by director and horror aficionado Guillermo del Toro for maximum spookiness.

The adventure features several YouTube celebrities, including Tay Zonday (best known for “Chocolate Rain”) and web series host Steve Zaragoza. After “entering” the haunted house — from the comfort of your chair — and meeting the cast of characters, you’re periodically presented with options, which usually consist of bailing, partying or exploring the mansion’s creepy nooks and crannies. Depending on your choices, you may not make it out — virtually speaking — alive.

TIME viral

Grieving Dad Grants Deceased 13-Year-Old Daughter’s Wish to Be Famous

Listen to Anna van Keulen beautifully play Downton Abbey's theme on the piano

Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Anna van Keulen died from injuries she sustained during a bike accident on her way to school in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, her grieving father Niek van Keulen decided to do what he could to fulfill at least one of his deceased daughter’s wishes: To be famous. He tweeted out a video of Anna playing the theme song from Downton Abbey on the piano, and the heartfelt performance immediately went viral. Less than two days later, the video has been viewed almost 1.5 million times.

A day after the video went up, van Keulen tweeted, according to Google translate, “It’s overwhelming … thanks all. Anna’s goal is reached: she’s famous.”

But he wants to keep the attention directed to his daughter rather than himself. “Dear journalists: please stop calling,” he tweeted. “I do not want [to be] on radio or TV, it’s not about me, it’s about Anna. Thank you.”

(h/t: Mashable)

TIME video

Here’s What It’s Like to Walk the Streets of NYC as a White Man, According to Funny or Die

Hint: a lot of high-fives are involved

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man – watch more funny videos

On Tuesday, the anti-street harassment activist group Hollaback released a video of a young woman walking around New York City for a day, experiencing more than a hundred instances of harassment from men. Now, Funny or Die shows us the other side of the coin: what it’s like to walk the city streets as a white man.

The video serves as a reminder that the flip side of sexism is privilege, and as the video’s ample footballs and high-fives suggest, a very bro-tastic kind of privilege, indeed.

While the parody will ring true to any white man who’s fully aware of the privilege his sex and race afford him, it’s important to remember that not everyone’s in on the joke. Following the virality of Hollaback’s video, the woman in the video received rape threats, which serve only as further proof that efforts like Hollaback’s are sorely needed.

TIME Health Care

Terminally Ill Brittany Maynard May Not End Her Life, After All

Death With Dignity Advocate
This undated file photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life under Oregon’s death with dignity law. AP

The 29-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, explains her state of mind two days before her scheduled death

A terminally ill 29-year-old woman who has said she plans to commit physician-assisted suicide on Nov. 1 implies in a heart-wrenching new video that she may not go through with it in the end.

In the six-minute clip, released with advocacy group Compassion & Choices, Brittany Maynard says she may or may not choose to die on that date, People reports.

“So if Nov. 2 comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made,” says Maynard, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given six months to live last spring.

Read more at People

Read next: Dear Brittany Maynard: Our Lives Are Worth Living, Even With Brain Cancer

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