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In today’s episode of Daily BuzzFeed, we’ve broken down major pop culture headlines AND discussed what exactly a parasocial relationship is and why so many people seem to be one with John Mulaney. You can listen below or scroll down to learn more about the interview!

BuzzFeed Daily: Anyone who spends time on Twitter has likely seen the term “parasocial relationship” popping up on their News Feed in the past few months. But for people who are not extremely online, can you explain what this means exactly and maybe give us a bit of the story behind it?

@bob sponge / GIPHY / Via

Madison Malone Kircher: Sure. It’s actually much, much easier than it looks, as there’s a good chance every person listening to this has been in a parasocial relationship and not knowing that there was a psychological term for it. . So parasocial relationships: it’s a term that comes from the 1950s, a group of researchers in Chicago who coined it to describe the way people – me too – that we all feel when you watch a TV show. TV or listening to a podcast or watching a movie and you feel like a friend to an actor or a celebrity – you know that person, you understand them, they know you, you know, your friends, except that in reality, Taylor Swift and I are not friends. It’s a parasocial relationship.

BuzzFeed Daily: The reason the term has been all over Twitter this year is because of everything that happened with John Mulaney, of his time in detoxification, To his divorce from Anna Marie Tendler, To her new relationship with Olivia Munn, what makes everyone talk about “parasocial relation this” and “parasocial relation that”?

MMK: A number of things. I think the first one is that as a comedian John Mulaney developed this brand of very denominational, very honest, dark humor that makes people who watch his specials and watch his shows feel like, “Oh, I know this guy. I could walk up to this guy and his dog Petunia in the dog park, and we could have a very normal conversation because we look a lot alike. “And more of a celebrity like John Mulaney leaves them. people enter their world, talk about other auxiliary characters in that world, for example – like John Mulaney is like numero uno “woman man.” So people also felt like they were developing a relationship with his wife. the more details a celebrity gives us, the more painful, say, the whiplash when those details change.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for SiriusXM

BuzzFeed Daily: The title of your article is “John Mulaney Doesn’t owe You Squats.” So I’m curious, why do you think people think he owes them something? Also, what do you think they feel owed?

John Mulaney performing a stand-up in a dark brown suit

MMK: John Mulaney owes us nothing but his comedy, if he wants to keep giving it to us. But I think there is a subset of people who feel like they owe an explanation or an apology, as you would if your friend, like someone you actually know, had spent years and years of saying to each other, “I love my wife. My whole mark is loving my wife. We don’t want to have kids either, and it’s okay to be a grown adult who never wants kids. “And then this friend called you on a Tuesday and said,” I left my wife. I’m dating Olivia Munn. We’re having a baby. Come on board. ” You would like more of this friend.


BuzzFeed News: One thing that really struck me was how selective people seem to be about his public personality. John Mulaney has talked a lot about being an addict on his specials. He’s talked a lot about the craziness and craziness of his life at times. But what everyone seems to be clinging to is his relationship with his now ex-wife, which he said seemed rather ideal. So why were people just hanging on to the spotlessly clean part of John Mulaney and somehow ignoring the darker things he’d been telling us about in years?

John Mulaney performing a stand-up in a blue suit

MMK: Because it’s an easier narrative to hang on to. It’s easier if it’s black and white, right? There are celebrities that we invest in and then they do some really, really bad things. I think of a Louis CK, or growing up loving JK Rowling and then finding out that she hates everything you stand for. You know, these are easy to put in a “Well, I’m done with you” bucket, against John Mulaney.

Let’s be clear. No one has done anything wrong here. Like, he’s just had a number of totally normal human life experiences, you know, ups and downs. And I don’t know if people necessarily know where to put this. There is also, if you really get to the bottom of the rabbit hole, [you’ll see] his ex-wife, Anna Marie Tendler, posting pictures of Anne Boleyn, right down to the pearl necklace. A breadcrumb trail can be found if you really want to find any clues.


BuzzFeed Daily: You touched on that a bit – a lot of people also seem shocked that he is having a child because he repeatedly mentioned in his stand-up that he and his wife didn’t want children. Now, not only is he hanging out with Olivia Munn just a few months after her divorce, but he has a baby with her. How much do you think this contributes to people’s disappointment?

@successionhbo / GIPHY / Via

MMK: Oh, a ton, right? I think I hear someone [who’s] 1) famous and 2) makes you laugh, smile and feel good in general saying it’s OK that you didn’t want to have kids is so heartwarming to so many people in a society where it’s like, “You Turned 30 – say hello to Instagram Ads, bitch. You wanna freeze your eggs? Great. “That’s a big turnaround. It’s like, “Oh, where’s my figurehead for happy adults without kids? I thought it was you, John.”

We also discussed JoJo Siwa calls Nickelodeon on Twitter about certain contractual clauses with which she is not satisfied.

JoJo Siwa performing in a brightly colored outfit

JoJo, who was 13 when she first signed with the brand, tweeted: “I’m going on tour in January. My musical has just been released (with 6 new original songs)… Nickelodeon told me today that I was not allowed to play / add any of the songs from the movie in my show. These are MY songs, MY voice, MY writing. Does that sound fair ??? ”

She continued with another tweet, stating, “There is no reason that this music should not be included. Working for a company as a human being treated as one brand is fun until it isn’t.

While some people responded that JoJo gets a taste of what it’s like to do business with a brand like Nickelodeon, many fans have shared messages of support for the singer.

Léon Bennett / Getty Images

In other news it appears that Julianne Hough heard the backlash against the upcoming CBS reality show Activist, which would see activists fighting against each other to raise money for their causes, loud and clear.

Julianne, who is called to be a judge on the show, said on Instagram that while she was thrilled to be a part of something that shines a spotlight on and is all about sharing activists.  work, ”she understands the criticisms the show has received and agrees that she is not qualified for the role of judge.  She also admitted that she had done Blackface in 2013 & # x002014;  something that many people seem to be learning only now - and said it was a

Julianne, who is expected to be the show’s judge, said on Instagram that while she is “excited to be a part of something that highlights and is focused on sharing the work of activists,” she understands the criticisms that l The show has received and agrees that she is not qualified for the role of judge.

She also admitted that she did Blackface in 2013 – something a lot of people seem to be learning only now – and said it was a “bad choice based on my own white privilege and the prejudices of the white body that hurt. people and that’s something I regret doing to that. daytime.”

CBS apparently takes the show’s negative comments to heart, telling Variety the next day that the show will be reconfigured as a documentary highlighting the work of the activists – all of whom will receive a cash grant – and their causes.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just say hello, you can reach us at [email protected] or on Twitter @BuzzFeedDaily.