Chicago-based Jim Choma, otherwise known as “the_Walrus,” produces the factory of viral web content that is Zipperfish under the auspices of Walrus Productions. With blogs, animated series, video and audio content, models, and podcasts, those looking for some general depravity will never be left wanting. With their typically snarky, irreverent humor, Choma and those who maintain the site have made a living out of lampooning most aspects of pop culture. But, in December 2005, they decided to channel their obsession with celebrity news and gossip, which is mocked in Zipperfish’s audio podcasts, into a new medium. Dubbed “The first ever weekly animated news podcast!” Shobiz Newsy News dishes out all the dirt. 

Each episode, roughly four minutes long, is hosted by animated anchor Ty Paddington. He sits in a studio reminiscent of that used by Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. As the episode progress, he introduces the biggest stories and pictures of the week, and mocks the subjects with merciless profanity laced sarcasm, the likes of which a viewer will never find on broadcast television or in the tabloids. For instance, he refers to the most recent American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks, as “having more ticks than a broken cuckoo clock” and suggests that Nicole Richie is slimming down for an upcoming movie role. Other frequent targets are, quite predictably, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, among numerous others. If you subscribe to any online celebrity gossip rags, you’ll surely like the Shobiz Newsy News. 

The thing about a fake celebrity news show is that however witty or harsh the jokes, only the most recent episode is really worth watching. Everything else is old news. That is not to say that fans won’t enjoy seeing back episodes in the hopes that a loved (or despised) celebrity favorite might have gotten a healthy dose of the SNN treatment. With that being said, Ty’s interview with Britney might be worth checking out, whether or not you’re a fan. 

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