Just An Online Minute... Yeah! Addicted Apes And Fist Pumpin' Like A Champ At MTV's Upfront
MTV: Behind The Screen, Hammerstein Ballroom, New York
February 2, 2010
Last night I attended a Social Media Week Panel at Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center. The opening keynote was delivered by hip-hop artist and fleet-footed dancer Usher, while his business associates displayed his social graph through leather-leotard-clad gyrations. Wait. What?
Still chewing on thoughts from the "Networked News Gatherers: Defining the Social Media Editor Role" at the Time & Life Building, I ran around town looking for free Wi-Fi. My search led me to a hotel that shall remain nameless because, as I entered the hotel, I recognized an employee as a close friend's brother (seriously, this is such a small town). It's all about who you know, so I got the hook-up, which enabled me to get my post out quickly. I had already missed an hour of the MTV Behind The Screen event (an upfront, to those of you in the television ad buying and sales situation. Heh, heh, Situation), so once again, I was running like Forrest Gump.
As I was checking in at Hammerstein, I thought I heard Usher. I'm no longer a closeted "Yeah!" fan. I entered the ballroom and became disoriented. Live music lovers will understand how odd it is to walk into a venue and see chairs set up conference style in the same area you accidentally got bludgeoned by some tortured emo thrash kid's pinwheeling fist. And yes, that was Usher, performing "Yeah!" to the seated crowd of MTV's potential ad space investors and big wigs.
What followed was a welcome break from the social media throbbing in my head. It was like someone pushed a button and my internal monkeys began leaping and screaming, as musical act followed new show pitch, followed by... a Finnish dude getting hit in the heehaw with a seesaw?
Welcome to the Dudesons, four blond extreme (EXTREME!) daredevils from Finland. Jukka, Jarppi, Jarno and HP seem to be on the ultimate dismemberment quest, which began overseas and has migrated to the good ole US of A, where they have found a home on MTV. To help promote the show, one of them dropped their drawers (pants on the ground, if you will) and straddled the lower end of a seesaw while the other, from a great height and with great dedication, leapt onto the opposite end of the same seesaw, forcing the other end square into the toilet parts of his partner with a sloppy whack. In my mental notebook I wrote, "team-building exercise?"
I was also introduced to Warren The Ape, a "fabricated American" puppet. "Danny Bonaduce meets 'The Muppet Show,'" declared one of the creators, who were the guys behind "Greg The Bunny." Warren is down on his luck, a D-list celebrity seeking redemption for his drug and alcohol problems with his therapist -- none other than Dr. Drew of "Celebrity Rehab" infamy. The blurbs that I saw were cleverly offensive. But even if you're offended, you can't help but laugh at this wooly brown monkey sporting a hat that looks like tighty whiteys, mugging with facial expressions reminiscent of the most repulsive friend in your life.
MTV wrapped up the event with a stage singing performance by winners of "America's Best Dance Crew" season three: Quest Crew. I couldn't sit still. They popped, they locked, they flipped, and they faux-socked. They leapt through the air as if weightless, spinning and tumbling before landing on one hand and scissor-kicking with legs firmly pointing to the sky. Take note, "Is The Future F*cked?!" panel - I'd like to see you guys arrange something like THAT.
As I was gathering my stuff to head out to the Social Media Week panel "Digital Cocktails: Keys To Social Media Success," MTV News anchor and emcee for the night Sway asked, "Are you ready for fist pumping!?!?" and I knew that I had just missed my chance to pat Snooki's poof. Yup, in addition to the "Real World" cast, The City's Whitney Port, and yes, Warren the Ape himself, the cast of "Jersey Shore" was on hand to party the rest of the night away. I'm sure it was quite The Situation.