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DID YOU READ

Terry Crews makes it big.

Terry Crews makes it big. (photo)

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Last night, following the rather ugly spectacle of LeBron James completely bombing what was potentially his last ever hometown game as a Cleveland Cavalier, viewers of the post-game “Inside The NBA” were treated to a visit from Ice Cube and Terry Crews, promoting the TV version of “Are We There Yet?” — surely the least necessary and most unlikely movie-to-TV transition of recent years, but at least one which acknowledges that the movies were pretty sitcom-level to begin with.

Charles Barkley seemed overjoyed to share some time with Cube, whose facial expression suggested he couldn’t believe he was getting away with passing off such a shoddy product so successfully. Cube’s deadpan delivery of TBS’ signature line “TBS — Very Funny” suggests he’s not at all convinced by what he’s selling, and his pitch for the show (basically, that it’s very funny) wasn’t very convincingly delivered. Then there was a free throw shooting competition and Cube performed very poorly, taking forever to sink his two shots. Barkley seemed more amused by that than the show.

The highlight of the mildly surreal gathering was Cube discussing how he came to work with Crews, the former Rams linebacker-turned-actor who Cube said wouldn’t shut up about his acting aspirations when he was his on-set bodyguard. Incidentally, Crews was right to speak up — his breakout role was in Cube’s “Friday After Next,” where his ridiculously jacked-up body and presumable penchant for wreaking havoc was an effective, never-ending punchline.

05122010_camacho.jpgThat used to be the schtick of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who tried to get by on timing and the size disparity between himself and everyone else (see his pairings with Danny DeVito) in his comic turns, but the one thing he couldn’t do was be amused by his own body. For Crews, his body is the joke, something Adult Swim’s Tim and Eric figured out in their Old Spice commercials with Crews, where his sculpted biceps and six-pack literally take on a life of their own.

That makes Crews a rare commodity — no one out there is quite as good at playing big, dumb and violent. Getting him to play second banana to a Tyler Perry show on TBS seems like a serious waste of time: “Are We There Yet?” looks fairly unwatchable, though Cube’s hood-violent brother-in-law appears to be predictably hilarious. (It’s telling that Cube — of late specializing in clean-cut films for the whole family, with very profitable results — has jumped at this chance to reclaim his N.W.A. image for a bit.) But the idea of Crews as the first muscle-bound body to become a cult comic hero — which, between the burgeoning cult statuses of his commercials, as well as being Terry Camacho in “Idiocracy,” seems like a sure thing — is intriguing. Terry Crews: most successful ex-football player-turned-comic actor in history? Yeah, probably.

[Photos: “Friday After Next,” New Line Cinema, 2002; “Idiocracy,” 20th Century Fox, 2006.]

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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.