PAPER
on the front lines of cultural chaos since 1984.
just kidding
twitter_tweenhobo.jpg
@TweenHobo
Dispatches from a Justin Bieber-loving, boxcar-living tween drifter. Written by playwright and screenwriter Alena Smith.

Sample tweet: "At the end of the day, I still believe in the American Dream: Work hard and one day you might get frenched by a vampire."


Where did the idea of tweeting as a tween hobo come from?
I once wrote a short monologue (for a semi-secret blog I kept with my best friend novelist Emma Rathbone) in the voice of a "tween hobo" (whose name, in this proto-version, was Handkerchief McTramps), and I decided to start tweeting in the voice of this character.

Does your work as a playwright influence how you run the account? Do you have storylines planned for Tween Hobo, or do they develop in real time?
I'd say my playwriting skills became more relevant as the project grew and gained an audience, both because I understood each tweet as a kind of improvisational performance and because I could keep track of larger storylines and character arcs as they developed, more or less on the spot.

Have you learned anything new about tweens or hobos from writing @TweenHobo?
So much. For one thing, I've learned that when you combine the two seemingly unrelated concepts of "tween" and "hobo," you end up with a framework that for no discernible reason can support an endless and fairly comprehensive satire of our culture. Every new cultural thing that happens falls neatly into the Tween Hobo universe. Spring Breakers? Tween Hobo's on it. School shootings? Totally her territory.

Tell us about the Tween Hobo book you have coming out.
It will be published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. It's a diary of Tween Hobo's journey across America in the style of On the Road and will feature delightful illustrations by Kate Harmer (of HelloGiggles). I'm thinking of calling it Off the Rails.



twitter_princetweets2U.jpg@PrinceTweets2U
Prince tweets in his signature blend of numbers and abbreviations. Written by Comedian, writer and radio host Jake Fogelnest.

Sample tweet: "There is an electric passion u cannot define unless u take a journey with me 2 planet funksexy. The aircraft 2 get there is ur mind."

Why did you start @PrinceTweets2U?
Because the last thing in the world that Prince would ever do is tweet. I literally can't think of anyone who would care less about Twitter than Prince. And that's exactly why I felt Prince must tweet.

Have you gotten any feedback from Prince or his publicist about the account?
Absolutely none. I can't understand why the Twitter account hasn't been suspended yet. The only logical explanation is that someone in Prince's office has seen it and is looking the other way because it makes working in Prince's office a little easier. Can you imagine working in Prince's office?

Do any celebrities follow @PrinceTweets2U?
I just checked to see and it's the strangest collection of people. Here are a few I picked at random: Joe Jonas, Butch Walker, Diplo, Cameron Crowe, Frank Black. Also, I see Donald Glover follows Prince. I know Donald in real life and he doesn't even follow my real account. Hi Donald!

Do you have a favorite @PrinceTweets2U tweet?
I like one-word tweets like "atmosphere" or "purple." The idea of Prince just wanting to put one word out there for people to think about makes me laugh like an idiot.

What parody accounts are you a fan of?
Parody accounts that seize on current events are a bummer. They feel forced and like a dumb attention grab. When that Russian meteor hit a few months ago, I went ahead and did this. I couldn't believe the positive response that received.



twitter_hoffmanbball.jpg@HoffmanBball
Dustin Hoffman tweets about his love of basketball And acting. Written by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer John Wyatt Haskell.

Sample tweet: "A young man threw the ball between my legs as a pass. I felt like a chump, but I also felt honored to be in Wag the Dog."

Can you describe @HoffmanBball's version of Dustin Hoffman?
Dustin Hoffman is a no-frills basketball player. He's not one for showboating or fancy dribbling. He just cares about working on the basics and mastering them0 and getting wins. He loves the game of basketball. And he loves acting in movies.

Do people ever mistake you for the actual Dustin Hoffman?
There are a bunch of people on Twitter who think it's actually Dustin Hoffman, but they're mostly not American.

You're also behind the account @RealCarrotFacts, which purports to be someone who loves carrots and can't get over a woman named Megan. Who is @RealCarrotFacts?
@RealCarrotFacts is a guy. He's a nice guy. Probably in his early-to mid-20s. He definitely loves carrots, but it's hard for him to forget about his relationship with Megan. Their relationship was pretty good, but she didn't treat him the best. She sort of took advantage of him at times. She left him, and he's okay. He just misses her some nights.

Do you have any other parody Twitter accounts?
Yes, I have one called @mental_floss1, which was a parody of the popular @mental_floss account. I basically just tweet made-up facts on that one. It's fun. I have one called @Brad__Pick, which is stupid. It's a normal guy who is sometimes mistaken for Brad Pitt, because his name sounds sort of similar. I have one called @GayJordan23, which is for NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, and he's gay now. I haven't quite found that voice yet, nor do I know if it's even a good idea. I also used to have that Michael Jordan Twitter account [@__michaeljordan], but Twitter shut me down because I wouldn't put "parody account" or "this is NOT Michael Jordan" in my profile. Then someone else started up an account for Jordan [@__MICHAELJ0RDAN] and was doing similar tweets. In fact, he or she even repeated some of my tweets. Which I was a bit annoyed by. But at the end of the day, it's just stupid Twitter. Right?



twitter_nottildaswinton.jpg@NotTildaSwinton
Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton tweets mystic observations from her home in Swinton Keep. Written by comedians and writers Carey O'Donnell (left) and Eli Yudin (right).

Sample tweet: "Of course I have received splinters. I do not remove them. Small branches emerge from me and bear fruit in the shape of my face."

What made you start @NotTildaSwinton?
EY: She's an amazing actress on screen, but I think everyone wonders what she does when she gets home.

Do Tilda Swinton fans on Twitter ever mistake you for the actual Tilda Swinton?
CO: A good amount of people mistook us for the actual Tilda, especially because we didn't reveal who was behind the account at first. I'm sure people were disappointed when they found out it was two unemployed recent college grads.

Which @NotTildaSwinton tweets are you proudest of?
CO: The one I had the most fun writing was when she said to hide in a dark room, and when someone opens the door to find you, to be silent, and to greet them only with your wide eyes.

Do any celebrities follow @NotTildaSwinton?
EY: Our favorite was Anderson Cooper, but also being followed by comedians I've looked up to, like Patton Oswalt and Paul F. Tompkins, was amazing.

How much time do you spend on Twitter every day?
EY: In a disgusting way, it's sort of melded itself into my life. It's a lamprey feasting on the stupidest possible part of my brain.



twitter_seinfeld.jpg@SeinfeldToday
Synopses of Seinfeld episodes, if the show were set in today's world. Written by Buzzfeed senior editor Jack Moore (top) and comedian Josh Gondelman (bottom).

Sample tweet: "Elaine joins JDate so she pretends to be Jewish. She meets an amazing guy who dumps her for being 'too Jewy.' George discovers falafel."

What sparked the idea for @SeinfeldToday?
JM: The initial impetus was in response to the idea that Seinfeld wouldn't work today because of cell phones and such. We figured there were all sorts of new problems that would be caused by modern technology. I think we were right.

You have half a million followers. Were you surprised by the success of the account?
JM: I was a little surprised, but it makes sense. It taps into modern first-world problems (already a successful meme) and also taps into '90s nostalgia. It's a perfect storm.

Have you heard from Jerry Seinfeld?
JM: We haven't, though Jason Alexander follows us, and tweeted about the account, which is pretty great.

Which @SeinfeldToday tweet are you proudest of?

JM: "Jerry's gf constantly says 'hashtag.' George gets a job as a 'social media expert.' 'It's great, Jerry. You don't need to know anything!'" It hits on one of the things that annoys me most about social media. (The number of people with fewer than 200 Twitter followers but whose bios say they're "social media experts" is staggering.)



twitter_elbloombito.jpg@ElBloombito
An ode to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's unpolished Spanish skills. Written by writer Rachel Figueroa-Levin.

Sample tweet: "Finallyo! Some bueno weathero! Perfecto para walkingo en el parko, ridingo el bicyclito, y stopping y friskingo!"

What made you start @ElBloombito?
I was stuck inside during Hurricane Irene, it was late at night, and I had a nine-month-old who insisted on milk at all hours. I was joking around with some friends on Twitter, waiting for the next feeding and it just came to me. I thought it would start and end with my circle of Twitter friends. I can't believe people still like it.

Are you a fluent Spanish speaker?
I wouldn't call myself fluent. I can understand a great deal, which is more a by-product of living in a predominantly Dominican neighborhood than my having a Puerto Rican father. My diction is good, and I can order a sandwich and throw around insults.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the mayor's Spanish?
One of my Dominican neighbors told me her aunt saw the mayor speaking Spanish on TV and thought it was Italian. How do you say five in Italian?

Do you have any other parody accounts besides @ElBloombito?
I have one called @EveryGentrifier. I use it to poke fun at the culture and effects of gentrification.

Have you ever accidentally tweeted something from your personal account that was meant for @ElBloombito?
I do that more than I care to admit.


Comments...