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DID YOU READ

Blue Balls: Al Gore in 2008?

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By William Rabbe and Sarah Scully

IFC News

[Photo: Al Gore on the 2006 Sundance red carpet for “An Inconvenient Truth”]

On Friday, former Vice President Al Gore was bestowed with his most prestigious award yet — The Nobel Peace Prize. Rumors of a potential White House bid swirled as murmurs from the Draft Gore movement grew to full roars. Will Gore run?

To get to the bottom of it all, IFC decided to speak to a cross section of likely voters to see what they think. We’ve commissioned
our first poll ever (!), the results of which can be seen here at IFC.com.

Click here to see the poll results.

Is the award the ultimate qualification for the presidency? Our polls
indicate that Republicans largely do not think so, but, in contrast, a
majority of Independents and most Democrats view winning the Peace
Prize as more meaningful than winning the US presidency. Yet there
doesn’t appear to be a significant impact on polls. Perhaps this is
because most of those polled have neither read nor watched “An
Inconvenient Truth,” despite claiming to know why he won and holding
the prize in high esteem. 56% of all likely voters do not believe
that he is a stronger candidate than he was in 2000. Our poll shows
Gore consistently trailing Hillary Clinton when matched against potential Republican nominees Romney and Giuliani.

Many Gore supporters looked at last Friday as a flashpoint for their
draft to finally catch fire and they, along with media and other
candidates waited on pins and needles for Gore to announce his
candidacy at his scheduled press conference. Instead, he made a brief
statement of thanks and pledged to continue his work on behalf of the
environment. He has to date refused to definitively state his
intentions, leaving the door open – or at least slightly ajar.

Certainly the award is a great accomplishment to add to an already
impressive resume. It is undeniable that Al Gore is an extremely
popular public figure… but not necessarily as a presidential
candidate. National polls within the Democratic Party show
non-candidate Gore trailing Clinton and Barack Obama, though an
official Gore entry could prompt Obama and Edwards to drop out,
thereby leaving a large section of anti-Hillary supporters up for
grabs.

To sum up, we can’t possibly know what Gore is thinking, but we can
take a look at all of the factors that would compel him to jump into
the race or explain why he would not.

WHY HE WOULD RUN

Gore has never been more popular. Devoting his post-political life to environmental causes has won over an entirely new fan base and he has effectively shaken off the derogatory label “Washington Insider.” He has the anti-war stance of Obama with experience that trumps Clinton.

If he did choose to run, he would already have a solid grassroots base
in the Draft Gore movement from which to organize and fundraise. The
Oscar winner’s Hollywood connections could prove very helpful in
financing as well.

On paper, Gore resembles our past US presidents more than any other
candidate, with a family history in politics, Harvard degree, honorable war service and the title of vice president. He is also from the South- a point, which superficially or not, is worth examining, as the only Democrats to win the White House since Kennedy have been Southerners.

While Hillary’s popularity has grown, many party loyalists still see her as polarizing- unable to overcome high disapproval ratings and association with the scandals of her husband’s administration.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why people want Gore to run is to
reclaim an office than they feel he rightfully won back in 2000. A
Gore victory in 2008 would stitch that wound.

WHY HE WOULD NOT RUN

There are practical matters that Mr. Gore would need to consider before announcing, chiefly bad timing and inflated expectations. All of the current candidates have been knocking on doors, shucking corn and taking checks for the better part of a year. Even if Gore could
manage to collect as many $2,000 checks as Clinton and Obama, would he
have time to use the money effectively? The Draft Gore organization is a start, but he would still need a substantial amount of time to create active campaign offices and schedule events.

Gore adherents may see him as the charismatic white knight of 2008 — much like another candidate who successfully entered late in the 1968 election: Robert Kennedy. Yet, an indecisive Kennedy joined only after the other Democratic candidates had shown significant weaknesses, thus assuring Kennedy’s success. The Democratic field of 2008 is already
saturated with qualified candidates. While others might see him as
able to “transcend politics,” it is doubtful that Gore’s own outlook
on the field resembles that of RFK’s in 1968 — he simply could not
waltz to victory.

Lastly, of course, Gore must decide whether he wants to be president.
If the answer is yes, then he must then decide whether it is worth
putting himself and his family through the scrutiny of yet another
campaign. Without overwhelming support, he risks being a two-time
loser of the presidency — an experience that must have been
excruciating the first time. Gore has repeatedly stated his devotion
to his current role as global environmental activist. While one could
argue that he could accomplish even more as a president, the fact is
the next president will have their plate full with Iraq and the
economy.

There is rationale behind either prediction but for now, all we do know is that he is not not running. Some pundits have speculated that he will endorse Hillary (despite their rocky past) in exchange for a specially created environmental position in her cabinet. Politically, Gore has more in common with the other candidates so it is possible he could endorse Obama or Edwards, giving them a helpful boost in the primaries. He could stage a last minute challenge, surprising some and thrilling others. It is also possible that he could stay out of politics entirely, endorsing no one and continuing on with his mission.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.