Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Neil Patrick Harris to host the 2015 Oscars

The Smith Center For The Performing Arts Opens In Las Vegas - Show

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for The Smith Cente

Host Neil Patrick Harris speaks onstage during the opening night of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It's a big week for Neil Patrick Harris. The 41-year-old actor's kids had their fourth birthday, his autobiography hit stores — and now, he's hosting the Oscars.

NPH made the announcement in a video on Twitter. It was shot in the horribly gauche style of vertical video, but since he was scrolling down a long list in the video, we'll forgive him.

In  the video, he tells someone on the phone "I'm in," before the camera pans over to "NPH's Bucket List" and scans down items he's already checked off. They include the more serious ("Win a Tony Award"), less serious ("Rap with Snoop Dog") and just plain awesome ("Saw a lady in half"), before finally getting to the last item on his list: "Host the Oscars."

"It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s Academy Awards," Harris said in a Motion Picture Academy's press release. "To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true."

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Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian receives latest in series of death threats

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Trish Tunney / trishtunney.com

Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian receiving the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award.

Utah State University staff received an anonymous terror threat over a live event with Anita Sarkeesian, a vlogger who's angered some gaming fans with her feminist critique of sexism in video games.

The anonymous email sent to Utah State staff promised "the deadliest school shooting in American history" because "feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged," the Standard Examiner reports.

Despite the threats, Utah State is going ahead with the presentation by Sarkeesian, according to the Standard Examiner. The FBI says that the threat was similar to ones that other venues who've hosted Sarkeesian have received, and they don't believe it came from a student at the school.

Sarkeesian has come under fire from gamers who disagree with her critique, and Sarkeesian has also been caught up in the recent #gamergate controversy, which began this summer. It started when an angry ex-boyfriend accused female game developer Zoe Quinn of an inappropriate relationship with a reporter for video game news site Kotaku, and while evidence hasn't shown that this relationship affected any coverage, it ignited an online firestorm.

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Former 'Saturday Night Live' star Jan Hooks dies; watch 12 of her most memorable sketches

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Jan Hooks on "Saturday Night Live" as one of the Sweeney Sisters, with Paul Simon.

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Ali Goldstein/NBC

Jan Hooks on "30 Rock."

NBC

Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks on "Saturday Night Live" as the Sweeney Sisters.

"Jiminy Glick In Lalawood" Gala

Donald Weber/Getty Images

Tom Hooks and Jan Hooks arrive on the red carpet for the gala screening of the film 'Jiminy Glick in Lalawood' during the 29th Annual Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 18, 2004 in Toronto, Canada.

Toronto Film Festival Closing Party

Darryl James/Getty Images

Actress Jan Hooks attends the 'Lalawood' after party and festival closer during the 29th Annual Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 18, 2004 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Jan Hooks, who was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 1986 to 1991, has died, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She was 57.

Hooks first appeared on television in the late night show "Tush." She went on to join the cast of "Not Necessarily the News" before landing "SNL." Her celebrity impressions on "SNL" included Nancy Reagan, Sinead O'Connor, Kathie Lee Gifford and others. One of her most popular non-celebrity recurring characters was as one of the Sweeney Sisters, a pair of lounge singers, which paired her with Nora Dunn.

In addition to "SNL," she was also a regular on "Designing Women" and "3rd Rock From the Sun." She had a recurring role on "The Simpsons" and most recently appeared in 2010 on "30 Rock." She also appeared in films including "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," "Batman Returns" and "Coneheads."

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Donald Glover drops new Childish Gambino EP 'Kauai'; listen here

Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)

Childish Gambino's new mixtape/EP cover.

Rapper Childish Gambino, aka "Community" star Donald Glover, dropped new mixtape "STN MTN" earlier this week and then put out a new EP, "Kauai."

Like a lot of music today, the new EP leaked prior to its release (according to Glover on Twitter), but the full set is available now. Along with new material, it features a helium-voiced remix of his hit single "3005," labeled the "Beach Picnic Version."

It includes one high-profile guest star on a couple of tracks: Will Smith progeny Jaden Smith, doing spoken word. Glover also makes it a family affair with a guest appearance by his brother Steve.

The appearance by Smith continues the rap mythology Glover's started to build in his Childish Gambino persona, which has included a short film and even a 73-page screenplay designed to be read along with the album. Smith serves as a Glover stand-in, playing the character of "The Boy" which Glover has developed previously.

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Homestar Runner's Strong Bad returns in new music video 'Fish Eye Lens'

Fish Eye Lens

homestarrunnerdotcom (via YouTube)

New Strong Bad rap video "Fish Eye Lens."

If you were on the Internet in the early 2000s, the hot Web cartoon was Homestar Runner — particularly the series of cartoons featuring his nemesis, Strong Bad. Regular updates stopped about four years ago, but early 2000s Internet icon Strong Bad made a triumphant return this week with a new music video.

You can watch the video above or at this link — one bonus of watching at the Homestar Runner site has always been Easter eggs in the cartoons which you can get by clicking around, but if you don't want to bother, all that extra content is available at the end of the YouTube video above.

The video uses a trope that probably peaked a number of years ago too: the use of a fish-eye lens in a rap video. Strong Bad tackles a number of rap video tropes in the new video, like the use of low-angle shots.

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