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Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg finally hit their stride

Thankfully, the Turkey Day episode is the most compelling yet

7:30 PMIt took three episodes, but this show has finally taken off, and VH1 is rewarding its stars for it. Martha and Snoop’s Pot Luck Dinner is being renewed for a second season. But it didn’t always appear it was going to work.

The first episode was clunky. Seth Rogan looked out of place, Ice Cube was a bit too ham-handed of a guest, and it just didn’t work. They made fried chicken, and had it not been for the fact that you weren’t just going to cancel this show off the top because of who was on it, you had a decent case to. Also, an hour was too long. The second episode improved with Rick Ross and Ashley Graham as guests. Ross spent quite a bit of time openly hitting on Stewart, opening up the comedy angle of sexual tension on the set. Still, though, it was awkward.

It took a second to get used to the whole live crowd and gimmicky setup that involved them being on separate Iron Chef-style teams, creating different dishes for everyone to sample and judge. As someone who has long followed the friendship of Snoop and Stewart, I was all-in on this show from a non-gimmick standpoint, early. So, when it landed and it was all gimmicks, there was some disappointment. This week, they put it all together. A half-hour is perfect.

Of course, it helps that it was the Thanksgiving episode. It’s hard to screw that up. If nothing else, Stewart’s holiday game is incredible. If you never pay attention to her otherwise, I guarantee you she’s got some tips that can help you out from a home entertainment standpoint this time of year. Also, the recipes were better this time around. Naya Rivera, 2 Chainz and Chris Bosh β€” not to mention two turkeys on the side of the stage. There were weed jokes, sex jokes, and, in general, it appeared that they finally figured out the pacing that makes the most sense.

When the idea of this program was first announced, I had visions of Snoop and his squad taking bong hits with Martha’s hoity crew in some New England farmhouse and having a good time dancing to hip-hop in a country setting for b-roll. Heck, that still would be a good show. The two of them being one another’s chef assistants (as they’ve done before) could have highlighted their on-camera energy.

For many people, it was easy to poke fun at this show. Many had no idea that these two even knew each other, never mind had some kind of chemistry. Sure, is it an old-school Hollywood show with famous people showing up to hang out with other famous people to keep their collective personal brands thriving? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining, and now, it certainly is. Next week, it’s breakfast for dinner, which means that I know what I’ll be eating on Monday night.

Dave Chappelle lands new Netflix specials

News comes on the heels of his popular ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting gig

4:15 PMWho knew that when Chris Rock made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live the week of the election in which Dave Chappelle was host, that it was really just an elaborate Easter egg promotion for a new Netflix special?

Back in October, it was announced that Rock would be doing two specials with the streaming television service. More importantly, he was going to be getting $40 million to do it. At the time, it was an eye-popping number for several reasons. It was an outlier on the economic and distribution scale for a comedian, even one of Rock’s stature. Everyone’s got a comedy special now, so for a streaming service to invest that kind of cash into what is basically two programs was a bit of a shocker.

Why does this matter? It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses between two people in the same field, necessarily. The last time someone threw a bunch of money, which seemed at the time out of step with everything in the business, Chappelle turned it down, walked away and eventually ended what some people call the best comedy sketch show ever. Basically, considering what that show was about, the whole situation changed him. For perspective, The Nutty Professor, a movie that Chappelle was in, had an entire budget of $54 million.

All that aside, this is incredible news for Chappelle fans. There are people in this world β€” and by that I mean me β€” who believe that HBO’s 2000 special Killing Them Softly is the best standup special ever. So, save his erratic touring schedule that’s led to mixed results for those who attended, 2005’s Block Party was his last significant major production appearance. Three whole specials is basically all you could ask for.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there will be one original new production along with two from what they called Chappelle’s “vault.” Financial terms have yet to be disclosed, which is probably better for all involved, considering the past. Either way, Rock, if you had anything to do with this, thank you, fam.

Daily Dose: 11/21/16

Things take a turn in North Dakota

1:45 PMI went to an NFL game Sunday night as a fan. I didn’t see any fights and the team I was rooting for won, but there were these guys. And, I had no problems sitting during the superfluous pregame music.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Dakota Access Pipeline, Sunday night was a huge wakeup call. In a scene that looked like the days of the Jim Crow South resurfacing on Native American land in North Dakota, police turned water hoses on people who are protesting to keep their own water safe. Aside from that stinging irony, it was a vicious attack on demonstrators who were only fighting with their bodies. ABC News reports, but this was no clash between sides, to be fair.

It was an interesting weekend for the president-elect and vice president-elect. The latter decided to go see a performance of Hamilton on Broadway and found himself being directly addressed from the stage. The situation drastically upset Donald Trump (he demanded an apology), but Mike Pence, not so much, in fact. Then, on Saturday Night Live, there was further lampooning of the president-elect that once again set him off. ABC News details how Trump doesn’t particularly know how comedy works.

Thanksgiving is coming up, which means it’s time to start thinking about food. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those people whose family always has a bountiful feast on Turkey Day, then you know what your favorite dishes are in addition to ones that you’d rather just not deal with at all. The question is, collectively: What is the best possible combination? FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey is going to tackle the question, but needs your help.

So, there’s an NFL game happening in Mexico on Monday night. The Texans take on the Raiders in Mexico City, which has hosted a league tilt before, albeit in the preseason. Considering what’s happening in this country regarding politics and all the rhetoric about building walls and the like, this is a heck of an opportunity for Mexicans to let Americans know how they feel about it. That aside, football is plainly just pretty ripe to grow down there, according to ESPN’s Steve Wulf.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Not all parts of the movement are well-thought-out or smartly organized. Some go even further and are outright ahistorically disrespectful to a lot of people. Such is the case with these “I’m not my grandparents” shirts that are apparently circulating for sale.

Snack Time: If you needed another visual trick to distract you from the state of the world right now, this pair of flip-flops is once again dividing the internet, not dissimilar to The Dress.

Dessert: This makes us even more sad about Sharon Jones.

What Are Those?! Podcast: 11/17/16

The latest in sneaker news, the rise of Jordan Brand and a chat with Stance’s Tzvi Twersky

12:56 PMWelcome to The Undefeated’s What Are Those?! Podcast, where we’ll give you a weekly taste of what’s poppin’ in both the world of kicks and sports fashion.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

This week, I’m joined by The Undefeated’s editor for audience development Marcus Matthews β€” a real O.G. sneakerhead β€” and we kick things off by breaking down the three following headlines that caught our eye in recent sneaker news.

  1. Neo-Nazi site calls New Balance “official shoes of white people
  2. Student buys Air Jordans for classmate being bullied over his shoes
  3. Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt sneaker will cost you $720

We also sit down with Undefeated style writer Jill Hudson to talk about her latest story on Michael Jordan’s Jordan Brand empire, which Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is certainly leading into the future. And last but not least, I catch up with Tzvi Twersky, Stance’s category director for baseball and basketball, to chop it up about the company’s production of socks, Allen Iverson’s legacy in fashion culture and Tzvi’s extensive sneaker collection.

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If you missed our pilot episode, definitely give it a listen. And if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at allday@theundefeated.com.

Daily Dose: 11/18/16

Kanye West has officially lost the plot

12:25 PMThe homey Aaron Dodson’s new podcast is officially up and moving, and he’s got another edition out. If you don’t know about What Are Those?!, you need to get on it. Listen here.

I have no idea what’s going on with Kanye West. Sure, it’s been a tough year. He’s been publicly beefing with Jay Z, his wife was assaulted in Paris and now his concerts turned therapy sessions have gone wild. On Thursday at a concert in California, he told an entire crowd of people that had he voted, his vote would have gone to Donald Trump. He then resurfaced his claims of running in 2020, which at this point is exactly what this country deserves. This dude is doing the absolute most. ABC News reports.

Let’s review what’s going on with the Trump White House. He’s decided to tap Michael Flynn as the national security adviser. He’s also decided that Mike Pompeo is his guy for the CIA. To top things off, he’s offered the job of attorney general to Jeff Sessions, who was the first Republican senator to endorse Trump, so apparently that move paid off. Meanwhile, Trump is also trying to stick his son-in-law in office, which might cause a problem, because nepotism is a thing, and people don’t want that.

In this country, some people view drug addiction as a psychological choice, rather than a physical problem. And for some people, who tend to believe that the criminal justice system is actually designed to reform and reshape lives, they think that sending someone to jail is a smart way to bring about change. But for parents, dealing with an addicted child is a nightmare. They take desperate measures to try to make a difference in ways that they haven’t before. One dad sent his heroin-addicted daughter to jail. VICE reports on how that story ends.

The Lamar Jackson show is over. It was fun while it lasted. Watching him roast defenses all over the East Coast was a tremendous ritual this season. All he did was score touchdowns, and we all loved it. But, that’s all over now. They got completely dumptrucked by Houston on Thursday night, and it wasn’t particularly close. They looked like a squad that was waiting to get exposed, and it happened. His Heisman Trophy hopes probably aren’t over, but if I’m being honest, I would have rather seen them play for the title, anyway. ESPN’s Sam Khan Jr. reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you’re wondering what’s going on in various coffee shops these days, I’ll tell you. Grown men are screaming at people because they didn’t get their lattes on time, and people are recording these interactions. I’ll let you fill in the blanks on why all this went down, but you can also just watch it here.

Snack Time: Donald Glover put another song out, and from the looks of it, that album is going to be superfire. Also, The Weeknd put out two snippets. We think the same will be the case with his album, but we don’t really know yet.

Dessert: Klay Thompson is an absolute goon, and we’re here for it.

Shirley Caesar has always been the truth

and this latest meme has put a spotlight on her glory

11:14 AMLast week, to most, Shirley Caesar was The First Lady of Gospel. The pastor/singer was a legend in the game, the type who sings at the White House. This week, she’s everyone’s grandmother at Thanksgiving.

If we’re being honest, we don’t feel bad about this meme at all. The song is just too good. Don’t let this distract you from the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead Caesar is a national treasure, but we can do both in this space. Everything about this bit going viral is hilarious. From the remix itself to the hashtag challenge, this ratchet hymn, if you will, is genuinely inspirational. I probably listened to it 20 times on first go. This dude went all out and wrote a vegan-themed verse to spit while he sat in his car.

Most primarily, that menu sounds incredible. As someone who enjoys a good walking around ham (for the uninitiated, that’s the side ham that’s not a part of the actual table when it’s blessed, but is just present for snacking while the food gets ready) I can definitely appreciate that kind of spread. While we’re on the topic, can we discuss the concept of the “early plate”? You better have a DAMN good reason to get an early plate on Thanksgiving if you’re not instantly leaving the function to go to a place where there is no food.

Second is the fact that she counts using her thumb in that elegant way that only old black ladies do. The look on her face is so serious. You can catch this work from the kitchen, too. Don’t sleep. For accuracy purposes, it’s worth noting that the original song is called Hold My Mule. Here’s the whole thing, if you need to go to church right quick. It’s fire, by the way.

Also, as a general aside regarding gospel, is the concept of a quality preacher who is also a quality singer. Many preachers believe themselves to be as gifted in one as they are the other. Alas, this is not always the case. Nothing worse than a nonsinging person behind the pulpit carrying on all Sunday morning. You know who you are.

For DJ Suede, the guy who made the remix, he never expected it to blow up like this. He’s been remixing music and videos for about five years, and figured it was time to make a holiday edition. A buddy of his passed along the clip and the rest is history. “I put together a unique combination of 808s and topped it off with organ cords to provide that church feeling,” he said Monday. “When it was completed, I felt like it was a hit, but never expected it to take off in the way that it has.”

Caesar is the definition of peak blackness. She was born in and lives in Durham, North Carolina. She went to two different historically black universities. She’s been singing since the ’50s. She’s a Delta. She ain’t some crazy granny just singing funny stuff in a church. Much respect is put on her name. But you best believe that once that turkey comes out the oven, this song is coming on.

Daily Dose: 11/17/16

Diamond Reynolds speaks out

11:00 AMDrake is like that kid at school who is otherwise cool, but then when he invites you over for a slumber party is just all sorts of reckless because he’s in his own house. This run-in with Kevin Durant was a classic “you play too much.”

Diamond Reynolds is not exactly a household name, but if you’ve been following the #BlackLivesMatter movement, you know who she is. Reynolds is the girlfriend of the late Philando Castile. You might recall that she’s the one who had the presence of mind to live-stream their encounter with police, while her 4-year-old daughter was in the backseat. Now that the officer who killed Castile has been charged with manslaughter, Reynolds is speaking out. ABC News reports on the latest.

Now that we’re all somewhat coming to terms with the concept of President Donald Trump, let’s take stock. One problem: That’s impossible to do. He’s still treating this entire situation like some mix of a game show and a family business. His kids and in-laws seem to be involved in everything and nobody knows who’s going to make up his cabinet. ABC News looks at five big questions from the first week of the president-elect’s time prepping for office. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton spoke in public for the first time since her loss.

When Dwight Howard signed with the Atlanta Hawks, it was awkward. He was much maligned in his own hometown, but now, his presence is paying dividends. The Hawks are 9-2 and ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Sure, we’re only two weeks into the season, but if you had told me that one team would surge ahead of the Cavs this early in the season, I dang sure wouldn’t have thought it was going to them. FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring looks at how Howard has transformed that team.

While people like Phil Jackson are out here trying to throw shade, LeBron James is just giving back. The NBA superstar has pledged to give $2.5 million for a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. That is no small amount of money, fam. It’s also completely in line with who James has shown us he is as a person. Charitable and impactful. Ali died this year at the age of 74, leaving a huge hole in the world of social justice and sports. ESPN has the details of the donation.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The Roland 808 drum machine is probably one of the most iconic instruments in all of music, and now, it’s getting its own documentary. The preview is a bit awkward because it heavily features Afrika Bambaataa, who is accused of sexual abuse. If you can put that aside, the film looks like it should be good.

Snack Time: Speaking of museums, it looks like the next Smithsonian museum will be one dedicated to the work and glory of women in this country. This is another better-late-than-never situation.

Dessert: If you’ve got 10 minutes on your hands, check out this short film about Tottenham.