1111: Premiere

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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'But what's the buzz about the film?' 'We're hoping it's distracting.'
Title text: 'But what's the buzz about the film?' 'We're hoping it's distracting.'


This comic depicts an entertainment news television program. The anchor notes that "all Hollywood" is in town, meaning there are a lot of members of the film industry. The event is a movie premiere, a common place for reporters to interview celebrities, actors, and other people related to entertainment.

Megan is at the premiere reporting for the television program. The red carpet is a tradition whereby a long red carpet is laid out leading to the entrance of a theatre as a symbol of elegance. Stars are said to "walk the red carpet" when they arrive and do interviews and pose for photos along this carpet. When asked the ambiguous question "How do things look?", instead of reporting on the premiere, Megan reports on the dire long-term outlook for the Earth as we know it. When the news anchor asks how the stars are reacting (meaning how the movie stars are reacting to the news), she instead answers hydrogen fusion, the nuclear reaction of actual stars. All stars eventually die as a result of this hydrogen fusion. The anchor clarifies he meant movie stars, she notes that they and everyone else will eventually die, just as the stars will eventually die. In the title text, the buzz refers to ongoing discussion of the movie, analogous to a continuous humming sound. Megan hopes this buzz distracts people from the apparently grave news she has already reported.

Also, since "premiere" etymologically means "first", the title might be a pun on the comic number, which only consists of ones (1111).

The joke of Megan answering a question in an interview in an unexpected manner was used again in 1302: Year in Review.


[Standard vacuous entertainment newscast. An anchor starts off the segment with an inset feed of Megan titled Red Carpet Report]
In-studio News Anchor: All Hollywood is in town or tonight's star-studded premier! We go live to our reporter on the red carpet. How do things look?
[Megan switches to fullscreen. Megan is stating on the red carpet in front of a full crowd.]
Megan: Bleak. In 800 million years, the aging, brightening sun will boil away the oceans, and all this will be blowing sand.
[Switch back to initial framing.]
Anchor: Oh. Um. ...sounds pretty grim. How are the stars reacting?
Megan: Hydrogen fusion. But it won't last forever.
Anchor: I mean the movie stars.
Megan: They won't last forever either. None of us will.
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Maybe I'm just splitting hairs, but I'm not sure that's Megan. Her hair looks a little shorter. --Joehammer79 (talk) 20:55, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

The coif de mode is for the camera; she's gussied up for the event! -- IronyChef (talk) 15:29, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I think the title text "distraction" is not about a literal buzz, but about the movie in question: the mindless Hollywood "entertainment" is supposed to distract us from our problems of total, eventual annihilation at the hands of a mindless, uncaring universe. --BigMal27 / 12:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)


I think the comic is existential, and perhaps even mocking fatalism. Everything Megan says is technically true, but also immediately irrelevant and the terms used, and even bringing it up is over-the-top bleak.

Then again. It might make fun of news, since being over the top about things that often doesn't matter is a big part of what they do. So perhaps what news would be like if the reporters where more knowledgeable but still acted as stupid?

Take your pick. I am not adding it to the explanation yet, since it is only two of several interpretation, but existentialism has been a feature of many other xkcd strips. Carewolf (talk) 14:50, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I would consider the limited livespan of Sun to be more important that the movie. Less pressing, of course. The movie stars will be dead sooner ... unless you consider them live as long as their films are showing, in which case they may last as long as our civilisation. --Hkmaly (talk) 07:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I highly doubt any media produced today will survive as long as our star. Shakes spears works or cave paintings have only been around for a micro sliver of our suns life cycle. Their mediums would not last that long since even our mountains won't last that long. DruidDriver (talk) 07:40, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

And yet they'll still be under copyright... -- The Cat Lady (talk) 20:52, 6 September 2021 (UTC)