Why SNL Will Be Funny Next Season

This keeps happening! A couple of years ago, my very funny pal Michaela Watkins joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. They only kept her for a season (sigh) but now I'll have to end my personal boycott of the show because another extremely funny and talented person I know, Heather Campbell, just joined the writing staff. Hooray Heather! This gives me a perfect excuse to post a couple of hilarious videos Heather wrote and stars in for the Upright Citizens' Brigade out here in LA. *Lots* of comedy groups make videos and try to get them to go viral, and let me tell you from experience -- because I have failed at this -- sketch comedy videos are very difficult to make funny, and even more difficult to get lots and lots of people to watch, partly because there are so many of them out there. Not only are these very funny -- and have been seen by lots of people -- they also showcase Heather's talent.

This video hawks an abstract and lamentably unbuyable product: rich parents. (Mildly NSFW.)

This video HAS SOME VERY LOUD SWEARING right at the end but it's only because the product it's advertising IS SO INSANE THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DESCRIBE IT. Immortal Dog!

Also, she can sing. Watch her freak out a mall full of unsuspecting strangers as part of an Improv Everywhere prank.

The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.


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