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'Cats' arrives in time to help us get through the coronavirus quarantine — just ask Seth Rogen

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

At least during these trying times, we have Cats.

Though Tom Hooper's widely bashed, Razzie-"winning" Broadway adaptation proved an epic box-office bomb over the holidays, it's been an internet obsession since its first trailer creeped out the masses last July. (See: a mashup showcasing its cast of terrifying cat people synched better with the ominous score for Jordan Peele's horror film Us than Andrew Lloyd Webber's bubbly melodies.)

Cats arrived in living rooms on Tuesday, available for streaming on digital release. Combine this historic moment in time with an entertainment-starved populace stuck at home due to the coronavirus, and the world's favorite cinematic punching bag is once again lighting up social media. If it ever stopped the first place.

Judi Dench in 'Cats' (Universal)

Seth Rogen, one of our nation's foremost tokers, confirmed what anyone who has seen this VFX-gone-wrong catastrophe already would've guessed: It's even weirder on weed.

"I’m pretty stoned and watching Cats," the Pineapple Express and Sausage Party star wrote, sparking a series of live tweets. "I’ve never seen the broadway show. It is truly trippy. Am I supposed to know what a Jellicle is? They’ve said it 200,000 times but I don’t know what’s happening haha."

Some excerpts:

Twenty thousand people retweeted Rogen's lengthy, well-worth-reading thread, while 243,000 (and counting) liked it — which, by our calculation, is more than the number of people who saw Cats in theaters.

In another corner of Twitter, a simple admission from writer-director Ben Mekler that he yearns for a "tell-all book about the making of CATS," lead to a whole new wrinkle in the film's stupefying mystique.

"A VFX producer friend of a friend was hired in November to finish some of the 400 effects shots in [the movie]," replied Jack Waz, a writer on Hulu's recently canceled Howard the Duck animated series. "His entire job was to remove CGI buttholes that had been inserted a few months before. Which means that, somewhere out there, there exists a butthole cut of Cats."

Twitter responded to this nugget of film lore gold as you'd expect… by making the hashtag #ReleasetheButtholeCut, a play off of the tireless plea of DC Comics fans to see Zack Snyder's directors' cut of his own much-maligned Justice League (#ReleasetheSnyderCut), a thing.

And then Rogen himself joined the call.

Hey, it's like Cats' own screen legend and Oscar winner (not for Cats, we should clarify) Judi Dench told us in a video shared this week, wearing a bunny hat and attempting to sooth coronavirus fears: "Just keep laughing… that's all we can do."

We just want to know why she's not in a cat hat.

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides. 

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