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DID YOU READ

MUSIC FLICKS: Wayne’s World

MUSIC FLICKS:  Wayne’s World (photo)

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Last week, Lips and Rob, of the underappreciated–yet highly influential–metal band, Anvil, got their day in the spotlight when the documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, received rave reviews from various media outlets (the movie may also help score them a record deal). The last time two jean-jacket-wearin’, hard-rock-lovin’ buddies received this much attention from the world of film and music was back in 1992, when Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey) captured the heart of heavy metal in Wayne’s World, which I still believe is one of the greatest movies about music ever made.

Ever since I started taking a look at current and past “music flicks,” I wanted to include this film, because like The Blues Brothers or This Is Spinal Tap, Wayne’s World became a measuring stick for all music movies that followed; which says a lot, considering the characters of Wayne and Garth aren’t even in a band.

We can argue for hours, but Wayne’s World’s car-sing-a-long to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is my all-time favorite scene in a music movie. It perfectly captures a Friday night in any-town America. Not to take anything away from Queen, but even kids who never saw Wayne’s World will bang their heads–ala Wayne and Garth style–during the song’s breakdown. That’s some pop cultural power!

Wayne’s World works so well as a music movie, because instead of taking us of into the lives of rock and roll stars, it gives us the perspective of a group of diehard rock and roll fans–and who can’t relate to that? The subtle rock music references throughout the movie are genius, everything from the conversation Wayne and a doorman (played by Meatloaf) have about a group called The Shitty Beatles, to the would-you-still-love-me? Ravi Shankar and Elvis scenarios, to the greedy businessmen, to the joy of flashing a backstage pass, to the roll-your-eyes service you usually receive at a music store (and we can’t forget about the “No Stairway To Heaven” sign either; a brilliant jab at the choice riff heard at guitar shops around the world).

Instead of just tackling music for an hour-and-a-half, Wayne’s World also takes us into the hang-out lives of Wayne, Garth, and their burnout buddies. I grew up in the same neighborhood as a bunch of metal-worshipping headbangers, and I can tell you that they did a lot more than sew Metallica patches on the back of their jean jackets. Like Wayne and Garth, they also enjoyed chasing girls, spewing into Dixie cups, hanging out at their favorite eatery, and playing street hockey–that’s right, not roller hockey, street hockey.

Besides forever altering the way we listen to Queen’s “Bohemain Rhapsody,” Wayne’s World also put its unique stamp on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear “Foxy Lady” I’m always tempted to throw the fox ears behind my head.

One of the funniest moments in the film–a moment that revealed heavy metal’s sense of humor–was the scene where Wayne and Garth are backstage at an Alice Cooper concert. Before Ozzy Osbourne sang with Miss Piggy or Metallica was blowing up houses in video game commercials, a deadpan Alice Cooper delivered the most eloquent lines a musician has ever spoken about the city of Milwaukee: It’s pronounced milly-wa-kay, which is Algonquin for the “good land.”

Wayne’s World was not the first or last time a blonde and brunette burnout duo etched themselves in our pop culture memory. Bill and Ted came before and Beavis and Butthead followed, but in many ways Wayne’s World was the swan song for the burnout culture–a group of kids that I don’t think even exist anymore in the hierarchy of high school social classes. In 1992, the big rock that Wayne and Garth loved was losing its stronghold to up-and-coming grunge and alternative bands. Jean jackets gave way to cardigan sweaters, and guitar solos were being replaced by blasts of feedback.

Besides being one the most quotable and hilarious movies from the 90’s (whether you have a clever or sophomoric sense of humor), Wayne’s World is also a perfect time capsule of the period in music right before things changed for good. But who knows? Maybe if Anvil’s Lips and Rob have their way, kids will be finger-tapping on their flying-V guitars and banging their mulletheads again–just like their parents did some 20 years ago. Party on Lips! Party on Rob!

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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.