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12 Reddit AMAs Worth Revisiting

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Photo courtesy Snoop's Instagram

Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion) recently claimed in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) that he smokes a lot of marijuana. And I mean, a lot. As in hundreds and hundreds of joints every week.

This somewhat dubious claim reminds us just how amazing the Reddit AMA can be. If you aren’t familiar, AMAs happen on a subpage of Reddit.com, where people from various walks of life (from major stars to ordinary people with extraordinary experiences) invite the site’s readers to ask any question they’d like. The discussions are wildly popular and often produce hilarious/intellectual/sobering/uplifting exchanges.

Here are 12 Reddit AMAs worth revisiting.

(As a note, all grammar and spelling has been left as it appeared in the original post, and some of the AMAs linked below may contain NSFW content.)

1. Louis CK

This writer-director-actor-stand up comedian has seemingly taken over the world the last few years by launching his own critically-acclaimed show, hosting SNL, and implementing his own experimental ways of connecting with his audiences by selling them content directly through his website and refusing to let Ticketmaster have a role in selling tickets to his shows.

Snippet of AMA, discussing a really bad fan:

i was on the subway once and this old lady came up to me. she pointed right in my face and screamed and diarreah started just gushing out of her onto the floor. I'm not sure she was a fan but it was pretty awful. Also it never happened. But it will...

2. Ken Jennings

This 74-time Jeopardy! Champion (that is still amazing to read) won $2,520,700 over his record-setting run, and $3,172,700 in all, once all of the special Tournament of Champions appearances were factored in. Jennings is not only smart, he’s funny (a combination that made him a great contributor to mental_floss magazine). His sense of humor was on display during his Reddit AMA when he lampooned his destruction at the hands of the IBM Super Computer Watson by adopting the internet handle “WatsonsBitch.”

Snippet of AMA, discussing the host of Jeopardy!:

Trebek takes a lot of heat for being sort of smug and starchy on camera, but that's just for TV. In person he is sort of a nut, always doing goofy jokes and accents and little bits of soft-shoe and stuff. He's like your good-natured, slightly-losing-it grandpa.

3. A Columbine Survivor

The author of this AMA was a student at Columbine High School in 1999 when two gunmen opened fire, killing 12 students, a teacher, and themselves. According to the claim, the author is the one individual told to “get out of here” by one of the the killers just before they began their attack.

Snippet of AMA, discussing his “rocky” relationship with one of the killers, Eric Harris:

He chipped my windshield with a chunk of ice, I told im he needed to pay for it, told his mom, he got angry, we had a falling you. We started talking again, then another fight, then I ratted to him mom where he kept his booze (yes, I was an a**hole), so he threatened to murder my family. You know. High school stuff.

4. Bill Nye the Science Guy

William Sanford Nye, better known by his catchy, rhyming stage name, was an edutaining part of the childhood of so many.

Snippet of AMA, in which the Science Guy lists the things that he and Neil deGrasse Tyson chat about when they get together:

Astrophysics, the business of television, baseball, wine, and women.

5. A McDonald’s Employee

It takes a lot of employees to serve Billions and Billions, as McDonald’s signs used to boast about doing. That means there are probably a lot of people out there willing to spill the beans on working in one. This AMA delivers a hot, delicious serving of just that.

Snippet of the AMA, detailing an unpleasant cleaning experience:

Every few months, the restaurant undergoes an inspection from a McOpCo consultant. This is called an FOR. Before the FOR, the owner gets everyone to clean, paint,, brush up on their skills/habits, etc. On one of these occasions, I was tasked with cleaning behind the vats and the grills. The accumulation of grease, dropped, rotting meat and chicken products that were festering underneath was enough to give me nightmares. The grease was pooled on the floor and there were grease stalagmites on the ground. Trapped in the burnt and encrusted filth were hundreds of flies.

6. A Former Religious Cult Member

The subject of this AMA describes herself as having grown up in a “small communal Bible-based cult” where “children were raised to be workers in the church and to give their lives for what the leader wanted.” The answers shared in the post are shocking, eye-opening and thoroughly interesting.

Snippet of AMA, discussing how she left the community:

I had to sneak out. If you told anyone you were leaving they would throw you out on the street with nothing and not allow you to get your things. Also, I knew my family would try really hard to talk me into staying, and because I love them so much, it would be hard to resist their pleas.

7. A Nickelodeon Artist

This subject actually did two different AMAs (Part 1 & Part 2), both times taking drawing requests from readers and delivering awesome sketches. Click on any of the links at the top of the two posts and you’ll see drawings of Freddie Mercury, Bill Cosby’s Reaction to the Mars Landing, Lindsay Lohan Getting Punched By A Monkey, Complicated Fight Scene, and many more.

Snippet of AMA, drawing of Batman and Bane Playing Rock’em Sock’em Robots

8. An Amnesiac

The bio at the start of this AMA explains that Benjamin Kyle woke up outside a Burger King in 2004 with no idea who he is, how he got there or pretty much anything else. The Wikipedia page he links to says he’s “the only American citizen officially listed as missing despite his whereabouts being known.”

Snippet of AMA, answering a question about whether he is a time traveler:

Everyone is a time traveler. They're born, they live, and they die.

9. Ira Glass

The awesome host of the brilliant This American Life talks openly about how they miraculously create radio’s most phenomenal show. Can you tell I’m a huge fan?

Snippet of AMA, discussing what they’re looking for on the show:

A great story is like a great melody: it announces its inevitable greatness and you recognize it the first time you hear it. Most stories aren't that. They do not announce their obvious greatness. 60% are in the limbo region where they might GET great or they might flop, and the only way to figure it out is to start making the story. So you launch in, hoping for that winning combination of great moments, charm, funny, and X factor.

10. “Needle Nose” Ned Ryerson

Actor Stephen Tobolowsky has been in a ton of different movies, but he is perhaps best known as Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day. Bing!

Snippet of AMA, discussing a scene fit for a movie that unfortunately actually happened to him:

A man saw I had mangos in my shopping cart. He pulled out a .45 and stuck it into my head, and said "I don't know why I picked you today." The only thing I could think of for some reason were scenes from the TV show medical center.

I ended up talking to the man about my father, Chad Everett, and eventually I invited him over to my house for dinner. Unfortunately I gave him my real address. Fortunately the swat team intervened and dragged him out kicking and screaming.

11. A Real Life Superhero

Phoenix Jones is a real person that puts on a real superhero outfit and tries to fight real crime in the real city of Seattle. He is a member of the Rain City Superhero Movement.

Snippet of AMA, explaining a time that made him question his crime-fighting career:

AFTER I GOT SHOT THE FIRST TIME AND WOKE UP UNDER A DUMPSTER

12. Two Falsely Imprisoned Men

Clarence Harrison and Robert Clark spent a combined 42 years falsely imprisoned, until the Georgia Innocence Project helped them win their freedom.

Snippet from AMA, Harrison discussing a conversation he had with the man who put him away:

I spoke with the DA but I am still angry with the DA because he is still patting himself on the back for having a "fair trial" and "doing their best." How can they still pat themselves on the back when I was innocent?

See all of our 12 lists here.

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8 Gonzo Facts About Hunter S. Thompson
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Hunter S. Thompson in Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
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Like any real-life legend, there are many myths surrounding the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson. But in Thompson’s case, most of those stories—particularly the more outlandish ones—are absolutely true. The founder of the “Gonzo journalism” movement is one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. In celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday, here are some things you might not have known about the eccentric writer.

1. HE WAS NAMED AFTER A FAMOUS SCOTTISH SURGEON.

Hunter S. Thompson was reportedly named after one of his mother’s ancestors, a Scottish surgeon named Nigel John Hunter. But Hunter wasn't just your run-of-the-mill surgeon. In a 2004 interview with the Independent, Thompson brought along a copy of The Reluctant Surgeon, a Biography of Nigel John Hunter, a biography of his namesake, which read: "A gruff Scotsman, Hunter has been described as the most important naturalist between Aristotle and Darwin, the Shakespeare of medicine and the greatest man the British ever produced. He was the first to trace the lymphatic system. He performed the first human artificial insemination. He was the greatest collector of anatomical specimens in history. He prescribed the orthopaedic shoe that allowed Lord Byron to walk."

When pressed about what that description had to do with him, Thompson responded: "Well, I guess that might be the secret of my survival. Good genes."

2. HE MISSED HIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION … BECAUSE HE WAS IN JAIL.

Just a few weeks before he was set to graduate from high school, at the age of 17, Thompson was charged as an accessory to robbery and sentenced to 60 days in jail. 

“One night Ralston Steenrod, who was in the Athenaeum with Hunter, was driving, and Hunter and another guy he knew were in the car,” Thompson’s childhood friend Neville Blakemore recalled of the incident. “As they were driv­ing through Cherokee Park, the other guy said, ‘Stop. I want to bum a ciga­rette from that car.’ People used to go park and neck at this spot. And the guy got out and apparently went back and mugged them. The guy who was mugged got their license number and traced the car, and within a very short time they were all three arrested.

“Just before this Hunter had been blamed for a nighttime gas-station rob­bery,” Blakemore added, “and before that he and some friends got arrested for buying booze under­age at Abe's Liquor Store on Frankfort Avenue by the tracks. So Hunter had a record, and he was already on probation. He was given an ultimatum: jail or the military. And Hunter took the Air Force. He didn't graduate with his class.”

3. IT WAS A FELLOW JOURNALIST WHO COINED THE TERM “GONZO.”

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While covering the 1968 New Hampshire primary, Thompson met fellow writer and editor Bill Carodoso, editor of The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, which is where Thompson first heard him use the word “Gonzo.” “It meant sort of ‘crazy’ or ‘off-the-wall,’” Thompson said in Anita Thompson’s Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson. Two years later, in June 1970, Thompson wrote an article for Scanlan’s Monthly entitled “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” which became a game-changing moment in journalism because of its offbeat, slightly manic style that was written with first-person subjectivity.

Among the many fellow journalists who praised Thompson for the piece was Cardoso, who sent a letter to Thompson that “said something like, ‘Forget all the sh*t you’ve been writing, this is it; this is pure Gonzo.’ Gonzo. Yeah, of course. That’s what I was doing all the time. Of course, I might be crazy.” Thompson ran with the word, and would use it himself for the first time a year later, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

4. HE TYPED OUT FAMOUS NOVELS TO LEARN THE ART OF WRITING.

In order to get the “feel” of being a writer, Thompson used to retype his favorite novels in full. “[H]is true model and hero was F. Scott Fitzgerald,” Louis Menand wrote in The New Yorker. “He used to type out pages from The Great Gatsby, just to get the feeling, he said, of what it was like to write that way, and Fitzgerald’s novel was continually on his mind while he was working on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was published, after a prolonged and agonizing compositional nightmare, in 1972.”

"If you type out somebody's work, you learn a lot about it,” Thompson told Charlie Rose in 1997. “Amazingly it's like music. And from typing out parts of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald—these were writers that were very big in my life and the lives of the people around me—so yeah, I wanted to learn from the best I guess."

5. HE RAN FOR SHERIFF IN COLORADO.

In 1970, Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado on what he called the Freak Power ticket. Among his political tactics: shaving his head so that he could refer to his opponent as his “long-haired opponent,” promising to eat mescaline while on duty, and campaigning to rename Aspen “Fat City” to deter "greed heads, land-rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name 'Aspen.'" Unfortunately, he lost.

6. HE STOLE A MEMENTO FROM ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

In 1964, three years after Ernest Hemingway committed suicide at his cabin in Ketchum, Idaho, Thompson traveled to the late author’s home in order to write “What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?” While there, according to his widow, Hunter “got caught up in the moment” and took “a big pair of elk horns over the front door.” Last year, more than a decade after Thompson’s death, Anita returned the antlers to the Hemingway family—which is something she and Hunter had always planned to do. “They were warm and kind of tickled … they were so open and grateful, there was no weirdness,” Anita said.

7. HE ONCE USED THE INSIDE OF MUSICIAN JOHN OATES’ COLORADO CABIN AS HIS PERSONAL PARKING SPACE.

Magnolia Pictures

Earlier this month, musician John Oates—the latter half of Hall & Oates—shared a story about his ranch in Woody Creek, Colorado, just outside of Aspen, which is currently on the market for $6 million. In an interview with Colorado Public Radio, Oates recalled how when he first purchased the cabin, there was a red convertible parked inside. “I happened to ask the real estate agent who owned the convertible, and he said ‘your neighbor Hunter Thompson,’” Oates said. “Why is he keeping his car in a piece of property he doesn’t own? The real estate agent looked at me and said ‘It’s Woody Creek, you’ll figure this out. It’s a different kind of place.’” After sending several letters to his neighbor to retrieve his vehicle, Oates took matters into his own hands and deposited the car on Thompson’s lawn. Oates said that the two became friends, but never mentioned the incident.

8. AT HIS FUNERAL, HIS ASHES WERE SHOT OUT OF A CANNON.

On February 20, 2005—at the age of 67—Thompson committed suicide. But Thompson wasn’t about to leave this world quietly. In August of that year, in accordance with his wishes, Thompson's ashes were shot into the air from a cannon while fireworks filled the sky.

“He loved explosions," his widow, Anita, told ESPN, which wrote that, “The private celebration included actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, rock bands, blowup dolls and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself six months ago at the age of 67.”

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15 Memorable Quotes from George A. Romero
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Hollywood has lost one of its most iconic horror innovators with the death of George A. Romero, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 77. “He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time,” his manager, Chris Roe, said in a statement.

Though he rose to prominence as the master of zombie flicks, beginning with Night of the Living Dead, Romero honed his filmmaking skills on a far less frightening set: shooting bits for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

“I still joke that 'Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy' is the scariest film I’ve ever made,” Romero once said. “What I really mean is that I was scared sh*tless while I was trying to pull it off.” (Rogers returned the favor by being a longtime champion of Romero’s work—and even called Dawn of the Dead “a lot of fun.”)

It’s that high-spirited sense of fun that made Romero’s work so iconic—and kept the New York City native busy for nearly 50 years. To celebrate his life and career, here are 15 of his most memorable quotes on everything from the humanity of zombies to the horror of Hollywood producers.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOR

“For a Catholic kid in parochial school, the only way to survive the beatings—by classmates, not the nuns—was to be the funny guy.”

ON THE HOLLYWOOD WAY

“If I fail, the film industry writes me off as another statistic. If I succeed, they pay me a million bucks to fly out to Hollywood and fart.”

ON BEING PIGEONHOLED

“As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I'm trapped in a genre that I love, but I'm trapped in it!”

ON ZOMBIES AS A METAPHOR

“I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.”

ON FINDING OBJECTIVITY AS A FILMMAKER

“There are so many factors when you think of your own films. You think of the people you worked on it with, and somehow forget the movie. You can't forgive the movie for a long time. It takes a few years to look at it with any objectivity and forgive its flaws.”

ON THE REAL VALUE OF THE INTERNET

“What the Internet's value is that you have access to information but you also have access to every lunatic that's out there that wants to throw up a blog.”

ON THE HORROR OF DEALING WITH PRODUCERS

“I'll never get sick of zombies. I just get sick of producers.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION

“Collaborate, don’t dictate.”

ON THE BEAUTY OF LOW-BUDGET MOVIEMAKING

“I don't think you need to spend $40 million to be creepy. The best horror films are the ones that are much less endowed.”

ON HUMANS BEING THE REAL VILLAINS

“My zombies will never take over the world because I need the humans. The humans are the ones I dislike the most, and they're where the trouble really lies.”

ON BEING IMMUNE TO TRENDS

“Somehow I've been able to keep standing and stay in my little corner and do my little stuff and I'm not particularly affected by trends or I'm not dying to make a 3-D movie or anything like that. I'm just sort of happy to still be around.”

ON THE HUMANITY OF HORROR

“My stories are about humans and how they react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I'm pointing the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathize with the zombies as much as possible.”

ON THE ENDURING APPEAL OF HORROR

“If one horror film hits, everyone says, 'Let's go make a horror film.' It's the genre that never dies.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SURROUNDING ZOMBIES WITH STUPID PEOPLE

“A zombie film is not fun without a bunch of stupid people running around and observing how they fail to handle the situation.”

ON LIFE AFTER DEATH

“I'm like my zombies. I won't stay dead!”

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