We almost got an Elijah Wood vs. Daniel Radcliffe fight at Fantastic Fest

It would have been a battle for the ages.

Middle-earth vs. Hogwarts. Hobbit vs. wizard. Sword vs. wand. Frodo Baggins vs. Harry Potter.

elijah

Austin’s own Elijah Wood almost entered into Fantastic Fest fisticuffs with Daniel Radcliffe at this year’s event, Wood said on his “Conan” appearance last Wednesday.

Read more: Elijah Wood loves Via 313 Pizza

It all started when Conan O’Brien brought up the Internet fascination with comparing Wood to Daniel Radcliffe.

He showed the above GIF, and Wood said he was surprised at the longevity of the joke, which stared when he was portraying Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rigs” films at the same time as Radcliffe was playing Harry Potter, and the two would often get mistaken for one another.

“After a while, you think it hits the Internet and becomes a thing and people talk about it for a while, and you think, ‘OK, we get it,’ and the joke is over and it would die, but [the joke] has long legs…and it just keeps going,” he said.

Wood said the joke got so popular that it almost because the subject of a Fantastic Debate, where he and Radcliffe would have faced off in the boxing ring in full costume.

“For the longest time, they wanted to get him to do the fight, and it almost happened this year, but it got squashed at the last minute because I was like, ‘I don’t want to fight this guy,'” Wood explained. “I don’t want the culmination of the fact that we look alike to be us together in a boxing ring.”

O’Brien suggested that in the future, the two might duke it out through a Pay-Per-View match.

“People would go crazy!” O’Brien said.

Watch the full clip below, and keep your hopes up that “Elijah Wood vs. Daniel Radcliffe” will be a thing at next year’s Fantastic Fest.

Today is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day, because why not

Today may be National Pumpkin Day, but for Texans, Oct. 26 is much more important.

According to Texas House Resolution 1419, as of 2011, Oct. 26 is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.

Chicken-fried steak at Hoover's Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)
Chicken-fried steak at Hoover’s Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

That’s right. We made it a legislative matter. And, to borrow a bit from Aziz Ansari, that doesn’t mean we Texans think that low of our legislative process; that just means we think that highly of chicken fried steak.

Check out the language used in H.R. 1419 to describe this wonderful slice of culinary heaven:

“Whereas, Texans are renowned for their love of chicken fried steak, that exceptional dish that elevates the hearty flavor of beef to new heights by coating it in batter and breading and frying
it until the ingredients are melded in a blissful union…and Whereas, this signature dish occupies a special place in the culinary culture of the Lone Star State, and Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day provides a welcome opportunity to pay homage to that shared legacy; now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives of the 82nd Texas Legislature hereby recognize October 26, 2011, as Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.”

With that in mind, it is our right, nay, our duty, as patriotic Texans to hunt down the best Texas chicken fried steak we can find today, and feast.

To help you out, here’s a brief list of some good spots in Austin for chicken fried steak.

Threadgill’s

The bar area at the Threadgill's restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. ( Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.)
The bar area at the Threadgill’s restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. ( Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.)

Because it’s a tradition.

Hoover’s

Chicken-fried steak at Hoover's Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)
Chicken-fried steak at Hoover’s Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

You get more if you order the Hoover Size.

Hill’s Cafe

5/26/11 Mike Sutter/American-Statesman. For an Austin360 cover story on chicken-fried steak. 0609xlcover. Hill's Cafe on South Congress Avenue in Austin.
Hill’s Cafe on South Congress Avenue in Austin. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

You can choose either yellow cheesy gravy or white gravy, and it’s considered some of the best chicken fried steak in town.

Luby’s

 Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN; Carol Johnston is the only child of Luby's co-founder Charles and Gertrude Johnston and recently made a trip to Austin to promote her new book on the history of the cafeteria. Johnston makes her dinner choices with co-author Carol Dawson right behind her at the Luby's on Steck Ave. recently before a book signing. (Crider story)
Carol Johnston, only child of Luby’s co-founder Charles and Gertrude Johnston, makes her dinner choices at the Luby’s on Steck Ave. (Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN.)

Don’t laugh. You know you want to go back to those moments you had as a kid filling your cafeteria tray on Sunday post-church lunch stops with your parents.

Broken Spoke

The Broken Spoke on Wednesday October 22, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Broken Spoke on Wednesday October 22, 2014. (JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Chicken fried steak as famous as the music venue next to it.

Now, go forth and enjoy some chicken fried steak. Any questions?

 

Some Internet genius combined Childish Gambino and ‘Stranger Things’

Multi-hyphenate Donald Glover seems to be everywhere these days. The former stand-up comic, “30 Rock” scribe and “Community” actor is now on TV in his new FX show “Atlanta,” which he created, wrote, produces, directs and stars in. He was recently cast as a young Lando Calrissian in an upcoming standalone Han Solo “Star Wars” film. He’s also going to be in the new “Spider Man” movie.

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Donald Glover attends the Variety Magazine and Women in Film 2016 Television Nominees Celebration in West Hollywood, Calif. Disney announced Friday, Oct. 21, that Glover will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo “Star Wars” film. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Donald Glover attends the Variety Magazine and Women in Film 2016 Television Nominees Celebration in West Hollywood, Calif. Disney announced Friday, Oct. 21, that Glover will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo “Star Wars” film. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

But it’s his rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, who’s getting some Halloween attention.

You may have heard of a little Netflix show called “Stranger Things.” You may have also heard the theme song for that show, which was composed by Austin’s own S U R V I V E and features a ton of throwback synthesizers and spooky sounds.

Read more: Netflix made Halloween-ready, ‘Stranger Things’-inspired recipe videos

But did you know that the theme song is also the perfect beat for a Childish Gambino tune?

One SoundCloud user thought that was a great combination, and decided to mash up Gambino’s “Bonfire” with the “Stranger things” theme song.

The result is “stranger bonfires.” The caustic punchlines landing over eerie synths might be too NSFW for the “Stranger Things” gang, but it will sound right at home on your Halloween playlist.

Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) listens to brother Jonathan's (Charlie Heaton) records. (Photo from Netflix.)
Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) listens to brother Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) records. (Photo from Netflix.)

This isn’t the first time someone has thought to combine the “Stranger Things” intro with other music. Last month alone, Wiz Khalifa recorded a rap over the track, and Seattle band Prom Queen wed the song with the “Twin Peaks” theme for all kinds of spooky synths.

And now that we’re on the subject of “Twin Peaks,” Glover has jokingly called “Atlanta” “‘Twin Peaks’ with rappers,” so maybe everything’s related in the Upside Down.

via GIPHY

Check out the song below (NSFW lyrics, obviously).

https://soundcloud.com/kmlkmljkl/stranger-bonfires

30 years ago today, a tiny Drake was born

Started from the bottom now you’re 30.

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake is the leading nominee with 12 nominations at the Soul Train Awards. The show will air on BET and Centric on Nov. 27.(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)
In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake is the leading nominee with 12 nominations at the Soul Train Awards. The show will air on BET and Centric on Nov. 27.(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

October’s very own and Canada’s sweetheart (sorry, Shania Twain) has a reason to pop a bottle of champagne today other than, you know, it’s a day of the week. Drake turns 30 today, but it seems the rapper started the celebration a little early Sunday night.

You can watch a room full of people, including Drake’s parents, sing happy birthday to him at last night’s party below:

According to Hot New Hip Hop, Drake kicked off the big 3-0 alongside fellow famous friends Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Jamie Foxx and French Montana.

Happy birthday, Drake. May 30 bring you all the heartbreak and any turtleneck you desire.

Read some of our best pieces out of the Drake beat below:

Drake is opening a ‘classy’ strip club in Texas

Drake films music video in Texas before kicking off tour in Austin

An in-depth, emotional (imaginary) interview with Drake

Taylor Swift tweets ahead of COTA concert

It’s a date, Taylor Swift.

FILE - In this July 10, 2015 file photo, singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Swift leads the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards with eight nominations, followed by The Weeknd with seven nominations. The nominations were announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 by iHeartMedia and Turner. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
FILE – In this July 10, 2015 file photo, singer Taylor Swift performs during her “1989” world tour at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Swift leads the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards with eight nominations, followed by The Weeknd with seven nominations. The nominations were announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 by iHeartMedia and Turner. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

In case you had forgotten, Taylor Swift is set to play this year’s Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. And in case you still don’t remember, Taylor Swift is here to personally remind you.

https://twitter.com/taylorswift13/status/785508430999990275

The superstar tweeted out an aerial picture of the winding tracks of COTA with her signature scrawl promising to “See you here October 22!” That’s T-Swift-minus 12 days till we are graced with the short blonde hair and long list of ex-lovers of the squad-queen herself.

We’ll write her name.

READ: Taylor Swift to play this year’s Formula One Grand Prix

READ: Why you won’t remember that Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris even dated

Taylor Kitsch to star in series about Waco Branch Davidians and ranch siege

For his reported new role Taylor Kitsch will return to television’s depiction of Texas (forever y’all), but the Waco depicted in the upcoming Weinstein Company series couldn’t be farther from “Dillon.”

08/18/06- Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN: Actor, Taylor Kitsch works on a couple of scenes during the filming of NBC's Friday Night Lights television series filmed in Kyle, Tx., on Friday, August 18, 2006. Friday Night Lights was filmed in Austin and surrounding Central Texas based on the Peter Berg feature film and Buzz Bissinger's book, "Friday Night Lights," a look at Texas high school football.
08/18/06- Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN: Actor, Taylor Kitsch works on a couple of scenes during the filming of NBC’s Friday Night Lights television series filmed in Kyle, Tx., on Friday, August 18, 2006. Friday Night Lights was filmed in Austin and surrounding Central Texas based on the Peter Berg feature film and Buzz Bissinger’s book, “Friday Night Lights,” a look at Texas high school football.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kitsch is set to star as Branch Davidian leader David Koresh in a series about the FBI’s siege of the Waco ranch where the religious group was housed in 1993. Infamously, the weeks-long military standoff ended when a fire engulfed the ranch killing dozens of people.

It’s also reported that Michael Shannon of “Boardwalk Empire” and rapper Ludacris are set to star as FBI agent Gary Noesner and Branch Davidian Wayne Martin respectively.

WATCH: Canada vs. Texas According to Taylor Kitsch

With Kitsch’s forays into the big screen (see “Battleship,” “John Carter”) not faring half as well as Riggin’s high school running back endeavors, it’ll be exciting to see the actor return to the small, Texas screen on which he excelled.

There are currently few details on the show, which has yet to name a network, but, as the Hollywood Reporter notes, with similar true crime series like HBO’s “The Jinx” and Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” experiencing success, it’s sure to find a spot.

LISTEN: Taylor Kitsch on African Children’s Choir and post-‘FNL’ life

You can read the Hollywood Reporter’s full article here.

 

The Cassowary died 31 years ago today: The genius life and sad death of an Austin ornithologist

Edgar Bryan Kincaid Jr., a scholar who spent his life studying birds, is shown in a 1967 photo. Kincaid never went into the field without a tie. Photo by Rose Ann Rowlett.
Edgar Bryan Kincaid Jr., seen in a 1967 photo, devoted his life to studying birds. Some called him the Father of Texas Birding. Among his unusual traits: He never went into the field without a tie. Photo by Rose Ann Rowlett.

The man took the name of a bird. An exotic, large and flightless bird with terrible claws on its feet that could disembowel hunters, developers and trespassers of all kinds.

But when the intruders came, the Cassowary was helpless. Three men in masks and gloves forced their way into his cluttered home, tying him up and threatening him with a shotgun before stealing a watch, a radio, some cash, a car.

The Cassowary died a few days later — 31 years ago today. With his mysterious death, Austin didn’t just lose an eccentric 63-year-old man, but Texas’ leading ornithologist and a father figure to bird watchers and enthusiasts across the state.

Edgar Bryan Kincaid Jr. was born to a wealthy South Texas ranching family, but came to Austin to study at the University of Texas and never left. By the time of his death, he was recognized as one of the city’s greatest and most unusual minds.

Taking the name of a bird — and bestowing bird names upon his friends … Brown Pelican, Hermit Thrush, Western Grebe — was certainly unusual. But the Cassowary earned his reputation as a genius through his intensive study and photographic memory of birds.

Kincaid’s masterwork was to edit “The Bird Life of Texas” over more than a decade, which was no mean feat. Harry C. Oberholser had begun the work in 1901 and carried on for decades. By the beginning of World War II, Oberholser’s manuscript was more than 3 million words on more than 11,750 pages.

When Oberholser died in 1963, Kincaid was brought in to bring the work to light. He trimmed it by two-thirds — reducing the bibliography, for example, to 30 pages from 572 — and the two-volume work was published by the University of Texas Press in 1974.

Despite his fierce avian avatar, Kincaid was known to be a gentle, some say timid, aristocratic scholar. Supported, but unspoiled, by his family’s wealth, he lived with his aunt and uncle (Bertha McKee Dobie and famous Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie) in Austin until their death, then lived in their home until his. He would lead trips into the field dressed in an overcoat, tie and loafers. Kincaid was thoughtful and precise and his colleagues appeared to spare no praise when it came to his scholarship.

But as a scientific observer, as a bird watcher, perception was his genius — and Kincaid could see a future that he did not like. That future grew nearer with every highway, every paved development. Close friend and UT philosophy professor Charles Hartshorne remembered in his memoir one of Kincaid’s great quotes: “The two strongest forces in the universe are the condensation of things you don’t want and the evaporation of things you do want.”

That evaporation of bird habitat was too much for Kincaid to bear. He quit taking trips. He didn’t leave Austin. Finally, he became reclusive, afraid to leave the Dobie house, taking refuge in growing piles of clutter — notes, books, newspapers — and sleeping in a down sleeping bag on the floor.

Friends looked after Kincaid as best they could. But he was alone that night of August 9 when his worst fear was realized. He was not physically harmed in the robbery. Eventually, he untied himself and went to stay with close friends. A few days later he was found dead.

Kincaid had been in poor health for several months and the Travis County medical examiner’s office ruled that his death resulted from a fever. Officials abstained from connecting his death to the robbery.

Kincaid was buried beside his mother in San Antonio. His simple tombstone gives his birth name, the years of his birth and death and, at the bottom: “Cassowary.”

Happy birthday, Whataburger! Fast-food chain was born this day 66 years ago

This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, taking a stand against a new law legalizing the practice. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

On this day 66 years ago, the Texas staple behind the Patty Melt and the A.1. Thick and Hearty Burger was born. That’s right — we’re talking about Whataburger.

Read: Blind burger taste test proves Texas’ favorite still reigns

The fast-food chain got its start in Corpus Christi on Aug. 8, 1950  thanks to a man named Harmon Dobson. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, the Texas State Historical Association says the grand opening earned a total of $50.

Related: Meet the Texas man who has been to more than 700 Whataburgers

“Four days later they took $141.80 and sold 551 burgers. The word was out. Whataburger was a success,” TSHA says.

Today, Dobson’s family still owns the Whataburger company which runs more than 700 restaurants across Texas, Arizona, Florida and many other states.

Read: Whataburger’s Twitter is the celebrity accountability tool we need

Happy birthday, Whataburger!

Bradley Cooper: “I was not expecting” backlash over DNC appearance

AUGUST 3 UPDATE:

Bradley Cooper responded Tuesday to the media backlash aimed at him for attending the Democratic National Convention.

In an appearance on CBS’ “Late Late Show with James Corden,” Cooper talks about how he visited his hometown of Philadelphia to attend the DNC with his mother and girlfriend Irina Shayk.

He said he wasn’t expecting the reaction he got from conservatives.

“I wasn’t expecting that…The Republicans were up in arms because I was there listening to the president speak,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips then butted in, saying, “Yeah, but [that was] because you played Chris Kyle in ‘American Sniper,’ which is like the Mob being mad at [Robert] De Niro for being in ‘The Intern.'”

The two of them then regaled Corden with tales of meeting former president Bill Clinton while filming “Hangover Part II” in Bangkok.

Watch the full clip below.

EARLIER:

Bradley Cooper is not a genetically modified talking raccoon. Nor is he a scumbag schoolteacher with a penchant for hangovers. He is also not the deadliest sniper in U.S. history.

via GIPHY

No, Bradley Cooper is an actor, meaning he changes his appearance and demeanor to fit a character.

He’s apparently a very good actor, because he successfully fooled a lot of Republicans into thinking he shared their ideals because he portrayed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.”

Those Republicans were not amused when Cooper was spotted at the Democratic National Convention this week, appalled that their favorite actor would stoop to such low depths.

Bradley Cooper, spotted at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Bradley Cooper, spotted at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

However, Cooper has supported the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence in the past and has donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns twice.

That, and actors historically leaning to the left side of the political spectrum, apparently didn’t stop some conservatives from angrily decrying the actor who brought us Sack Lodge and Brian Gilcrest.

 

As is Twitter’s nature, many users made fun of the outraged Republicans.

 

Heaven help them when they find out that Scott Baio really isn’t Chachi.

 

5 Nancy Grace moments we’ll never forget

Television host Nancy Grace announced yesterday she will soon be ending her show. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
Television host Nancy Grace announced yesterday she will soon be ending her show. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

After almost 12 years, the Nancy Grace show will be off the air at HLN. #RiotsInTheStreets?

Yesterday it was reported that Nancy Grace would be leaving HLN to embark on a new journey. While this is surely not the last we’ll see of her, television is losing one of its most outspoken and controversial figures. Grace had a reputation for fueling the internet rage machine, but many times she was also one of the best sources of entertainment in the courtroom news business.

Looking back on her long career as a television judge, jury and executioner, here are five times Grace turned our rage into laughter.

1. There was that time Nancy Grace and 2 Chainz debated over marijuana legalization and rap videos.

2. There was also the time her producers staged a mutiny.

3. Every time Grace cut off the mic on a rowdy guest, we all cheered in our living rooms. Admit it. Here she is explaining why she does it:

4. Let’s never forget the bravery she showed in 2012 when she took on the women of The View over the controversial remarks she made about Whitney Houston’s death.

5. Pretty much her entire Twitter feed is pure hashtag gold.

It’s safe to say cable news will be less entertaining without you, Nancy.