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He's So Hot Right Now: New York Has a Will Ferrell-Themed Bar

A new Will Ferrell-themed bar would like to extend an invitation to their pants party. Stay Classy New York just soft-opened on the Lower East Side, and, well, this is like a yazz flute solo to our ears.

Owners Zach Neil and Brian Link opened the bar to pay homage to the endless supply of laughs they’ve had thanks to Ferrell’s career full of characters, from SNL classics like the Spartan cheerleader and Roxbury guy Steve Butabi, to his string of comedies including Talladega Nights, Old School, and Step Brothers. But their primary source of inspiration—and the movie that gave the bar its name—was Anchorman.

“That one was sort of like, he’s created something that’s absolutely ridiculous and I love it and I watched it five times a week for three years,” Neil told WPIX.

Their obsession with Ferrell quotables shows on the bar’s signature drink menu: you can order anything from a Smelly Pirate Hooker to a Mugatu Mule to a “We’re Going Streaking!” And, they take suggestions. (We’ll be putting in requests for a syrup-flavored “Smiling’s My Favorite” and a hangover-inducing “More Cowbell!”)

Since the duo seemed to know that there’s no better time to open a character-themed bar than just before Halloween, New Yorkers will have two chances to show off their best Ferrell character costumes. The official launch party for Stay Classy on October 23 is Anchorman-themed, and though the bar will likely be filled with very important people toting around leather-bound books, swilling scotch and spritzing rich mahogany cologne, feel free to bring your friends and dress as the whole lamp-loving, Sex-Panther-smelling Channel 4 crew. (Intrepid anchorladies are highly encouraged to keep those boys in line.)

If Talladega Nights is more your scene, the bar is hosting a similar night on October 30 for Ricky Bobbys, smokin’-hot blonde trophy wives, any twins who want to come as Walker and Texas Ranger, and haughty French racers. Shake and bake!

There’s no word on whether the man of a thousand characters will make an appearance, but considering his history of throwing down with lookalikes, we’ll keep our fingers crossed. There should be plenty of opportunities down the road—the bar hopes to eventually host movie viewing parties.

We're pretty sure this is a decision no one will regret.

[h/t: Gothamist]

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Pop Culture
An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

[h/t The Verge]

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entertainment
Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"
Netflix

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