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A Stab at Marvel’s Avengers Panel Backfires at Comic-Con

A Stab at Marvel’s Avengers Panel Backfires at Comic-Con (photo)

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If a stabbing happens at Comic-Con and there’s a Marvel panel afterwards, did anyone really notice? That was the predicament facing the crowd in Hall H after two men got into an altercation over the precious seats shortly after the panel for “Resident Evil: Afterlife” finished up.

It resulted in one man being taking to the hospital on a stretcher and another being hauled away in handcuffs (and worse still, a t-shirt with a ransom for Harry Potter given away earlier in the day, reading “Undesirable No. 1”) amidst rumors that he stabbed the other man in the eye. (Police later confirmed it was “around the eye socket” and not the gruesome simplification that quickly spread among the crowd as trailers for “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Tron Legacy” played as the cops investigated.)

It was a testament to “The Avengers,” a film that can’t possibly live up to the immense expectations of its fans, that it was all anyone could talk about just two hours later, even though only Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. spoke for roughly five minutes and introduced the cast that will join them in the 2012 spectacle. (A testament to that, and short attention spans, which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige appears to be planning to test after Comic-Con when hinting the studio will try to reboot “The Punisher” for a fourth time.)

“Don’t anybody stab anybody anywhere until I’m done talking,” said Downey Jr., after he followed Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), and Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) out on stage and took over introduction duties from Jackson.

“I come before you a very humble man strangely this evening in this most excellent company,” Downey Jr. said. “I’m going to mention other movies. Did anybody see “Inception”? I think that was probably just about the most ambitious movie I’ve ever seen. And then I thought wait a goddamn second! Marvel Studios is going to take all of their top superheroes and they’re going to put them all together in ‘The Avengers’? That’s the most ambitious movie I’ve ever seen.”

Soon after, Downey Jr. tee heed, “I can’t help myself. I don’t know why” before bringing out Marvel newbies Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, and Joss Whedon, of whom he said, “If we’re going to make a movie this ambitious, the most important thing we all knew is that we had to find a person to help make it that would get your approval. Please give me the honor of also warmly welcoming our director Joss Whedon.”

Receiving thunderous applause that was even a decibel or two above the rest of the assembled Avengers, Whedon stepped out and said, “Just very briefly, I want to say that I have had a dream all my life and it was not this good. I want to thank Kevin so much for bringing me on, for trusting me and assembling my dream team. This is the Avengers — a team that’s more than the sum of its parts, this cast is more than I could ever have dreamed of working with, more and I am going to blow it, just so you know…I’m not up to it. I’m very nervous. I need your help and I need your support.”

If the standing ovation that accompanied the entire presentation of the Avengers was any indication, Whedon already has it, with fans practically floating out of the convention center when it was all over, a preferable alternative to the way the first two guys left.



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.