Welcome back to the 12 Days of Judd Apatow where we count the ways we love our Patron Saint of Programming and Humorous Content. We’ve already looked at his brilliant work in IFC favorites Freak and Geeks and Undeclared as well as in soon-to-be favorites The Larry Sanders Show and The Ben Stiller Show (January, y’all!). Today we are looking at a show that is not on IFC, but is wildly awesome nonetheless (well, a little less): “The Critic” on which Judd Apatow was a consulting producer from 1994-1995.
“The Critic” was an animated series about Jay Sherman, a New York film critic who spends his days reviewing films he doesn’t like. It’s a living. It’s also scorchingly funny. It starred Jon Lovitz as Jay along with Nancy Cartwright (of “The Simpsons” fame) as his very patient sister, Margot. Many stars appeared on the show as themselves, happily skewering their own celebrity. There were many film critics on the show, including Gene Shalit and Rex Reed. Other stars who were animated for the series included Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bob Costas. However it was most noted for its cinematic parodies so ineptly named they almost give porn titles a run for the money. Movies like “Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective” and “Howard Stern’s End” were all subject to Jay’s withering standard review: “It stinks!” The show only lasted two seasons, but lives on in comedy history forever.
Here are a few of our favorite clips from the show:
Film critics Siskel and Ebert stopped by “The Critic”:
Orson Welles was fair game, too:
Admit it, you would totally watch a Francis Ford Coppola musical called “Apocalypse Wow”:
Circle the day on your calendar and mark your sundial, because Portlandia is returning to IFC for its sixth season on Thursday, January 21st at 10P ET/PT for ten all-new episodes.
In season six, Fred and Carrie embark on all new Portland-based adventures, including inadvertently creating a ramen noodle monster that wreaks havoc on the city.
Other things to look forward to this season: Doug and Claire break up, only to wind up frustrated by a way-younger party girl and an overly caring feminist, respectively. Dave and Kath decide to run a marathon that takes place the following day. Fred turns grey overnight and, in seeking answers from the universe, gets sucked into a black hole. Kyle MacLachlan, reprising his role as the Mayor, tries to lure a tech company to Portland and also puts the moves on Carrie with a canister of frozen sperm from his office refrigerator.
Guest stars coming to Portlandia this season include Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Louis C.K. (Louie), musician Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips, rocker Glenn Danzig, Gregory Gourdet (Top Chef), Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Moshe Kasher (Another Period), Zoe Kravitz (Dope, Mad Max), John Levenstein (Kroll Show), NPR’s Kai Ryssdal, Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live), and Bitsie Tulloch (rimm).
Returning guest stars include Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley). Be sure to catch Seasons 1-5 of Portlandia on iTunes and Netflix and check back here for more announcements before the season six premiere on January 21st.
Freddy Krueger first grabbed America’s attention with the Nightmare On Elm Street films – and later grabbed cash with a TV series, a Nintendo game, a 1-900 number, toys, dolls, a board game and a pinball machine. But despite the corny spin-offs, the Elm Street movies left psychic scars on a generation of horror fans. Before you catch IFC’s Nightmare on Elm Street movie marathon this Halloween, see how well you know the Freddy films.
Doctor Who is one of the most influential shows in all of spacetime. Before you step into the TARDIS for IFC’s Doctor Who Season 9 marathon, check out some fantastic parodies and tributes to the Time Lord.
1. The Lenny Henry Doctor
UK comedian Lenny Henry spoofed the Doc way back in 1985. Starring alongside genuine Doctor companion Peri, it’s an ode to everything wonderful about the old series.
2. My (Re)Generation – Shooting Stars
Anarchic UK comedy quiz show Shooting Stars featured a music video by The (Doctor) Who, a band built from four versions of the eponymous character, with their hit song “My (Re)Generation” filmed in black and white inside an old TARDIS.
3. Doctor Who Anime
Fan-made anime “Space-Time Adventure DOCTOR WHO” is a labor of more love and skill that pays tribute to both the Doctor and anime tropes with equal measure. Paul “OtaKing” Johnson combined the Third Doctor with late-’80s style cyberpunk anime, crafting custom-made animations to turn a harvest of authentic quotes from the original series into all-new jokes. You gotta love the Doctor addressing a scantily clad anime protagonist with,”Oh for heaven’s sake girl, go and put something warm on.”
4. The Web of Caves
Part of the BBC’s “Doctor Who Night” in 1999, “The Web of Caves” was a work of love so intense it affected the future of the real series. The black-and-white parody of the early Doctor’s trials — complete with unbalanced audio, ill-considered evil plans and the eternal stone quarries — was co-written by and starred Mark Gatiss, who would go on to write several genuine Doctor Who episodes as well as appearing in the official series.
5. Kit Kat Daleks
Kit Kat’s “Take a Break” advert arrayed characters taking a break from their usual behavior. A needlepointing rugby player, classically violining metal-heads, and considerate sitcom husbands were flanked by Daleks charging through a shopping center with Hare Krishnas crying “PEACE-AND-LOVE! PEACE-AND-LOVE!” Their brief bliss-break was reduced even further when the rights-holders noticed that the Daleks were being used without permission. Because the only thing more terrifying than Daleks are lawyers.
6. Do You Have a License To Save This Planet?
As you can probably tell from their name, the BBV made a business of skating so close to BBC licensed properties.They had permission to make many spin-off productions, and they didn’t have official permission to make many more, but made them anyway. The most blatant was “Do You Have a License To Save This Planet?” starring Sylvester McCoy, but definitely legally not as the Seventh Doctor. No, he was the Foot Doctor, travelling time and space in a washing machine and fighting threats to the authorized canon in a half-hour adoring mockery of his own role.
7. The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
To celebrate the “Day of the Doctor” 50th anniversary episode, past Doctors attempted to sneak onto the set to make their mark from the past. A gloriously self-aware comedy written and produced by the Fifth Doctor, and a must-watch for fans of the series.
8. The Curse of the Fatal Death
“The Curse of the Fatal Death” combined Doctor Who with the Comic Relief telethon, and the combination of classics with charity was anything a Whovian could have dreamed of. The multi-part mockery starred Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joannna Lumley as regenerations of the world’s most famous time traveler.
It is a period of civil war in amateur ice hockey. The taxation of beer kegs to outlying rinks is in dispute and it can’t be settled on the ice. Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of hockey sticks in front of the Zamboni, the greedy beer distributor has stopped all shipping to the small rink where the Chubbys play.
While the Congress of the Penalty Box endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Referee has secretly dispatched two of the best forwards in the league, the guardians of peace and justice on the ice and in the galaxy, to settle the conflict. But first they need to get a healthy buzz on.