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Dave Foley: Master of The Late Night Talk Show

Dave Foley: Master of The Late Night Talk Show (photo)

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While I don’t normally choose favorites when it comes to members of my favorite sketch comedy teams, today I am giving a special shout out to Dave Foley fromKids in the Hall. Why? Well because I noticed that he is a great sport when it comes to late night talk shows. From on air proposals backed by Craig Ferguson’s …er, duck noises to an impromptu hair cut and a full moon, he makes late night funny. And sometimes late night television could do with a dose of the giggles. To that end, we think Dave Foley deserves some recognition for his excellent performances on the talk show circuit.

Here are a few of my favorite late night appearances by Dave Foley:

We always loved the Kids in the Hall sketch “The Communist Threat”. Then it was picked up by Keith Olbermann as a proto-Glenn Beck and was back on the air with a vengeance. Whatever side of the political aisle you are on, it’s pretty hilarious:

I really like the combination of Dave Foley and Craig Ferguson, especially in this sketch where Dave is a BBQ Expert:

Dave Foley was also a great sport when he let Conan O’Brien (doesn’t he have a new show starting tonight?) and Andy Richter cut his hair during the show:

Dave Foley stopped by Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show to announce that he is in the running to be Person of the Year:

Want more Dave Foley? The Kids in the Hall mini-series ‘Death Comes to Town’ airs from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET on IFC

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Our Five Favorite Sketches From Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Our Five Favorite Sketches From Monty Python’s Flying Circus (photo)

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Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a staple here at IFC. It is one of the most influential comedy programs ever created. As much as we love The Whitest Kids U’Know and the Kids in the Hall, we know that they probably wouldn’t have existed without the lasting influence of Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman and John Cleese.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus hit the BBC in 1969. It was smart and silly, cutting edge and obscene and changed the rules for television comedy. The team behind the show managed to use their OxBridge university educations to make their laughs erudite yet accessible, and most important, funny. The Pythons went on to make now-classic comedy films, including The Meaning of Life, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and, of course, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut). Now they are dominating Broadway with their musical comedy Spamalot. But the biggest sign of the greatness of Monty Python, is that the sketches are STILL hilarious, thirty years on.

Here are five of our all time favorite sketches from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which, by the way, airs tonight from 6:20 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET in a mini-marathon of laughs:

“I’m sorry, I have a cold.” The Dead Parrot starts funny, stays funny:

The Ministry of Silly Walks needs no further introduction:

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese, anyone? It’s “The Cheese Shop”:

Spam, Spam, Bacon, and “Spam”:

“I’d like to have an argument, please.” It’s the “Argument Clinic”:

And because we couldn’t choose just five, here is a bonus sketch, “The Spanish Inquisition”:

Monty Python’s Flying Circus is on IFC tonight from 6:20 p.m. ET to 7:40 p.m ET.

What to Watch on IFC: August 30-September 5

What to Watch on IFC: August 30-September 5 (photo)

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Monday
When the local steel mill closes, two men with nothing to lose come up with a unique way to raise money …as well as more than a few eyebrows. The Full Monty was a major box-office hit both in England and the United States and was nominated for Academy Awards as Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. The Full Monty airs at 7:35 p.m. ET.

Tuesday
The adventures of Roy, Moss and Jen in the underbelly of the Reynholm Corporation continue in Series 4 of the BBC comedy ‘The IT Crowd’. Don’t forget to read our interview with creator, writer, and director Graham Linehan. The new episode starts at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday
Javier Bardem shot to super star status after his stunning and sobering portrayal of a quadriplegic who wants to die with dignity in The Sea Inside. It plays at 11:45 a.m. ET, so set your DVR and watch it with a box of tissues later.

Thursday
It’s Jon Favreau double feature day! The fun kicks off with Made, Favreau’s directorial debute, is a reunion with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Peter Falk. Next is The Big Empty where Jon Favreau learns the hard way that money never comes easy.

Friday
Every Friday night we are showing back-to-back episodes of the Kids in the Hall’s eight-part miniseries Death Comes to Town. Wacky hijinks and cross dressing mix with murder surprisingly well. The fun starts at 10 p.m. ET. Bring your own wig.

Saturday
The glorious lovechild of writer Quentin Tarantino and director Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk til Dawn premieres on IFC tonight. The gory action flick stars George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino as the notorious Gecko brothers who are on the run from the FBI. They kidnap a family to make their escape to Mexico, but the fun really starts when the desperadoes hide out at the Titty Twister saloon, which turns out to be a haven for vampires. It starts at 8 p.m. ET

Sunday
Catch up on past episodes of Ideal. The extremely off-beat BBC comedy stars Johnny Vegas as a pot dealer who works almost exclusively out of his very unkempt apartment. A quirky cast of characters parades through the pad, entertaining the audience as much as they disturb Johnny. The Ideal marathon runs from noon to 3 p.m. ET.

The Kids in the Hall Pick Their Top Ten Sketches of All Time: Grand Finale

The Kids in the Hall Pick Their Top Ten Sketches of All Time: Grand Finale (photo)

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Tonight, tonight! (That can be sung to the tune of either Smashing Pumpkins or West Side Story, choice is yours.) Tonight, tonight! Death Comes to Town tonight! While that might bring up images of Ingmar Bergman and chessboards, we are, of course, talking about the eight-part miniseries that will mark the return of the Kids in the Hall to American television. Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET for back-to-back episodes.

All week we’ve been counting down the Top Ten sketches as selected by the Kids themselves. Miss something? Watch Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

The final sketch in our countdown of the Top Ten Kids in the Hall Sketches is (drumroll, please)…Sizzle Sisters!

In this sketch, Kevin and Dave star as Jerry and Jerry Sizzler, two clearly insane guys who think they’re lounge singing sisters:

To fan the fires of Kids in the Hall fandom, here is a clip from episode 1 of ‘Death Comes to Town’. Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET for the full episode.

Was your favorite sketch not in the Top Ten? Tell us in the comments:

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