I wrote a thing for [REDACTED] about “Help A Retta Out” last week, but it’s not going to run for various reasons. However, I did write some words, so why not let people read them? Enjoy.
There are some days when you look at the crap on Twitter and Tumblr and elsewhere and feel like giving up on life; days when social media feels like justification for the extinction of mankind. But then there are other days, when it really does seem like a force for good. Like, for example, turning sitcom stars into hockey fans.
The comedian Retta is probably best known for her hilarious work on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. But her Twitter feed is a hilarious stream of her thoughts, including occasional bouts of live-tweeting her favorite TV shows.
Retta’s live-tweeting of things is so legendary that not only was it written into an episode of Parks and Rec, but the official Twitter account of the LA Kings reached out to Retta to ask her to perform her services at a game:
And that’s where we might have left things, with Retta living in ignorance of hockey’s wonders, except for the efforts of enterprising fan Chanelle Berlin.
Just one day after those Tweets, Berlin created the Tumblr blog “Help a Retta Out”, which is devoted to explaining the sport of hockey to Retta. This ranges from basic explanations of the game’s rules, to profiling some of the attractive young lads who play the game.
For those not super-familiar with hockey (like myself), “Help a Retta Out” reveals that there’s surprising depth to be found in the sport and its players, thanks to bromances, pioneers and pancakes. Like the best of fans, Berlin nimbly communicates her enthusiasm for hockey, making it contagious.
Now, two weeks later, Retta is now thoroughly educated on the subject:
And seems game to attend a game:
What’s lovely about “Help A Retta Out” and the tweeting that’s surrounded it is how it’s broken down barriers, challenging the notion that the only people who might care about hockey are white men from Canada. It may not be saving the world, but it is bringing people together.