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Dancing jocks and talking hot dogs

Winning the gold medal in women’s gymnastics requires more than a perfect backhand spring. Just ask the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles, whose floor-exercise shimmying wasn’t just for show — it was necessary to keep “artistry deductions” from eating into her score.

This week, we spoke to Dominic Zito, the official USA Gymnastics National Team Choreographer, who picked the music and choreographed the routines for every American gymnast competing in Rio this year. “None of these girls are dancers,” Zito says, but it’s his job to help them find their natural rhythm.

Read our interview with the man responsible for choreographing gold-medal performances here.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Unlike the Olympians housed in Rio, members of Team Apex — a crew of five eSports gamers living under one roof — weren’t issued 43 condoms each when they moved into their home in a Long Beach–area gated community.

We took a peek inside to see how they live. Check out the photos and article here.

THREE QUESTIONS

Hollywood funnymen Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg had a proposal for Monsters vs. Aliens director Conrad Vernon: Let’s make the world’s first CG-animated R-rated movie. The result is Sausage Party, a movie about a bagel, hot dog and other food items that has gotten shockingly positive reviews.

We spoke with the directors Vernon and Greg Tiernan about making a movie packed with dick jokes, and as they tell it, brains.

What was it like working with Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg?

Greg Tiernan: It’s awful.

Conrad Vernon: I loved it, so there. It was really great to work with them. When you start a project where you love the person you’re working with’s sensibilities to begin with, it makes it not only it so much easier but also so much fun.

Tiernan: Okay, I loved it.

What made you go full animation?

Vernon: We’ve seen R-rated animated movies done traditionally before, with Ralph Bakshi and Heavy Metal, and all that. But that specific [Pixar] look and style and feel is what they were going for.

It definitely is better than dressing people up in hot-dog outfits and doing it live action. We actually were going to have P. Diddy play a bottle of cognac. Seth and Evan had pitched the movie to him, and he was really excited about it. Then he called back and said, “Wait, this is animated? I thought I was going to dress up in a cognac outfit.”

Do you think Sausage Party has a standout moment — the one that people will be talking about?

Tiernan: There is an orgy.

Vernon: Originally we did it as a two-minute test piece, so that we could visualize the movie for people. It wasn’t until then that everyone could see how funny it was and that it actually could be great.

Read the rest of the interview here.

MEL FILMS

Say you’ve got a unicycle and love hockey, but don’t have time for both? It might seem like an odd combination, but Robert Rogers and the Hong Kong Unicycle Sports Club have been pairing the two activities for 16 years. They’re part of a small but ever-growing group of unicycle hockey enthusiasts from the around the world who believe they’re onto the next big thing.

Check out the future of Olympic sports here.

MEL RADIO

It’s impossible to consider the 1980s without referencing Whitesnake’s video for “Here I Go Again.” And we’ve assembled all the major players — from Geffen Music executive John Kalodner to director Marty Callner to Tawny Kitaen (as well as a host of others) — to get the inside story of a song and video that are still widely cited and imitated even three decades later (in American Dad, Talladega Nights and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, to name a few).

Listen to the full podcast here.

UNSOLICITED ADVICE

This week we asked a lot of experts for advice on a variety of topics. Maybe you didn’t want our advice, but we’re offering it to you anyway:

  1. Know what you’re worth. Because “a single salary negotiation can alter your earning potential for life,” an HR consultant and a salary negotiation coach told us. Here’s how to negotiate your salary without ruining a prospective job opportunity.
  2. Consider the latest technology before scaling Trump Tower. Rookie mistake, Steve from Virginia. Had he used this Personnel Vacuum Assisted Climber, or PVAC , he could’ve summited the 58 story building in about 15 minutes, according to its inventor.
  3. Help a millennial out. To people born before 1980, millennials can seem like an alien species. So we asked our HR consultant if the generation notorious for skipping out on a company after a few years requires its own division inside an HR department.
  4. Draft a strongly worded letter. We all know hold music can be profoundly discouraging. But when you can’t afford to hang up and succumb to the fuckery of a big corporation’s customer service labyrinth, here are some tips on how to win a fight against the half-human/half-cog on the other side of the line.

WHERE WE COME DOWN ON THE ROCK’S FEUD WITH VIN DIESEL

This week’s roided-out celebrity feud featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel. Words were said, feelings were hurt and the smacketh was laid down. But was any of it real?

Check out writer Jesse Graff’s take on why this beef has publicity stunt written all over it.

THREE MORE PIECES TO KEEP YOU RELEVANT

Ninja Sex Party Wants to Make You Smile

How two musical comedy nerds conquered the internet

I’ve Barely Worked in Years, but My Company Keeps Promoting Me

Talking to the real-life version of Nelson Bighetti from ‘Silicon Valley’

What It Means to Smell Like a Man

Beer soap, bacon beard oil and the marketing of fragrant masculinity

CLOSING SHOT

Michael Phelps may want to resist the urge to swim a victory lap.

Laugh at us some more here.