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Rob Huebel cast in CBS pilot "Jacked Up"

Mar 27, 2015

Childrens Hospital's Rob Huebel is set to star opposite Patrick Warburton in CBS/Sony TV's comedy pilot Jacked Up. Written by Greg Malins and directed by Fred Savage, it centers on Jack (Warburton), a beloved, recently retired baseball player who sets out to find a new purpose in life-starting with finding a wife with the help of his energetic and lovable best friend Barry (Huebel), the divorced owner of the local sports bar. This marks the second pilot for Huebel, repped by UTA, Principato-Young and Karl Austen. He also has a guest star/potential recurring role in ABC's comedy Bad Management. On the feature side, he starred in Hell Baby, which premiered at Sundance and was sold to Millennium Entertainment.
LA General

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Joe Mande attempting to buy one million Twitter followers

Mar 27, 2015

The comedian and Parks & Recreation writer Joe Mande has been a hellraiser on Twitter for as long as I've been following him. He has feuded with oblivious celebrities, causing at least one to delete his account; tweaked self-important politicians, gaining infamy as a troublemaker in Washington D.C.; and called out those absurd mega-corporate accounts who act like humans, by retweeting, en masse, their strange, cloying attempts to ingratiate themselves to us. 

Now, however, Mande is on a new, weirder quest: to acquire -- yes, acquire -- one million followers by purchasing "bots," or zombie accounts created in the tens of thousands by murky, far-flung hacking companies. Last week I talked to Mande over the phone about the project, which seems to have consumed him in the way the White Whale consumed Ahab. He has become, by the sound of his voice, somewhat batty, a tad obsessed with bots. 

I suppose his bot-fueled mania is to be expected, however. You know what they say, after all: The first million empty husks of Twitter followers is always the hardest.

What's the inspiration behind your quest to reach a million followers by means of illegal bots?

I guess it's because - it started with the fact that I had been stuck at 80,400 for months. And I realized that, at this point the number you have on Twitter is the number you're at. I don't think a lot of new members are joining, nor do I think they are following as many people as they do when they first sign up. I was just kind of getting bored with the fact that I was stuck at this number.

So I read an article a couple of weeks ago saying that for Justin Bieber and Katy Perry and all of these people, over half of their followers are fake. And I was like, "Well, I want in on that." So I found this shady website that sells Twitter followers, and I was talking to this guy in Moldova in broken English, and I asked him how much it would cost to get to a million, and he said $300. 

So I said, "Well, I have $300, and a dream. So let's do this."

What was the result of that conversation with the Moldovan man? Is it happening?

It is happening. He went crazy and said he couldn't do it for me, but through that website I found a bunch of vendors from various countries all over the world who are willing to sell me a certain number of Twitter followers for like $5 apiece. Some are much better than others. My follower count fluctuates wildly from day-to-day.

It must be exciting to wake up every day to see how many tens of thousands of followers you've gained.

Yeah, it's really an emotional rollercoaster. When I'm up, I'm way up. And I get really sad when it's down. And then I keep purchasing more like a complete maniac. 

Are your family and friends supportive of this?

Oh, everyone is very worried about me.

Why?

Oh, well, I've gone insane. All I do is tweet about bots, and talk about bots, and stay up late buying bots from people in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

I actually had to make a deal with my girlfriend, because she was very opposed to this. Every dollar I spend buying bots I have to cancel it out by giving a dollar to charity. I am just hemorrhaging money at this point.

What charities are you donating to?

I'm probably going to do Doctors Without Borders, and the ASPCA. I have not yet spent $100 on bots, so when I do that'll be the first donation.

It's sort of nice to hear that this isn't a selfish fever dream.

Well, it was, but then I made a compromise with my girlfriend because she was mad at me. So I think the credit for that should go to my girlfriend, because it was completely a selfish fever dream before that.

What's the target date for hitting one million?

It's really hard to say. I lost something like 50,000 yesterday in the morning. You just kind of wait and see; this is truly just phase one of my ultimate goal. 

Which is what?

If I can get to a million, then I think I'm going to start a Kickstarter campaign to get to 45 million to top Justin Bieber. 

Do you have a cost estimate?

If I'm basing it on the $300 figure it would be about $12,000 . But I think it would be much more than that. That's where the hacker comes in, though! I reached out to Reddit because I was hoping that some hacker could just do this for me - some kind of like-minded Twitter rascal could just make them. Because that's another thing: I don't know who these guys are, I'm just paying money, like, to Pakistan. I don't know where this money is going...I could be funding a jihad of some sort.

Personally, it's worth it for me. But maybe in the long run, I'll feel bad. I don't know.

Have you found any American companies that are doing this, or is it all former Soviet republics and Eastern European nations?

The way that I'm going about it is much more cost-effective. There are legit websites that people have pointed me towards where you pay a couple thousand dollars, and I'm just not going to do that. This is much more exciting. 

I realized that I don't care when athletes use steroids, and I've never cared. So it's the same thing: Who cares if I had a million bots? It doesn't mean anything. The athletes who use steroids are just psychos who are super-driven and they are willing to destroy themselves for a goal. And I guess I'm the same way.

LA General

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Tim Neenan featured in Splitsider's Follow Friday

Mar 27, 2015

Follow Friday: @TimNeenan 

A lot of Twitter users take to the platform to test out their latest jokes and quips, but certain people truly excel at making us laugh with the available characters and constraints. With the Internet being such a big place, it can be difficult to find the comedians most worthy of your RTs and favs. Each Friday we feature one person whose consistent short-form online humor deserves your attention and to be on your Twitter feed.

Tim Neenan is a sketch writer at the UCB in LA, a contributor for the Onion News Network, and more. He walked us through a few of his funniest tweets. 
LA General

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