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Jerry Seinfeld: Master of His Domain (Name)

Jerry Seinfeld: Master of His Domain (Name) (photo)

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“Seinfeld.” It was famously described as the show about nothing. But of course in that nothingness was the totality of modern life circa 1990s New York City. It was really the show about everything: friendship, dating, movies, sports, television, Snapple, parking spots, the post office, and masturbation.

Well, almost everything. One thing it wasn’t about was the Internet, which was still in its infancy when the show went off the air in 1998 (I should know; I used to fight with my parents’ old dial-up modem every Thursday night in order to postgame new episodes in AOL’s Seinfeld chat room. This was right around the time my high school class voted me Most Likely To Die Alone). In the totality of “Seinfeld” there is barely even an acknowledgement of the existence of the Internet; Jerry’s bit about calling people and hoping their answering machine would pick up was about as hi-tech as the show got. So it’s with a great deal of excitement and curiosity that I’m telling you about Seinfeld’s big debut in the world of the web,

Starting today, the site will host three clips a day from Seinfeld’s more than thirty year standup career on television. According to a New York Times article about the site, each day’s content is being hand selected by Seinfeld himself from a digital archive that contains more than 1,000 jokes. Why all the effort? In his personal message on the site, Seinfeld says that “somewhere out there are ten year olds just waiting to get hooked on this strange pursuit,” and that “this is for them.”

May 6 was the very first day, so it’s a pretty small sample, but so far it looks like Jerry’s programming for topicality: one of the first three videos and all of tomorrow’s scheduled jokes are about horses, for example, in honor of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby. As I write this, there’s no index of material; you’ve got one day to watch the three clips each day before they’re gone and replaced by three new ones. That’s a smart way to drive regular traffic to the site, though it’s not exactly ideal for scholars.

As something of an amateur “Seinfeld” academic myself, I’d be most interested in the site if it took a more philosophical approach to standup. I don’t necessarily need to hear Jerry’s thoughts on breakfast cereal (partly because I already know his thoughts on breakfast by heart). But I would love to watch the way Jerry’s thoughts on breakfast cereal grew along with his skills as a comedian. It would be fantastic if one day was devoted to three different versions of a single joke, charting its evolution. It would better still to see three clips of an identical joke with three different crowds. With his great documentary “Comedian,” Seinfeld proved he wasn’t afraid to show us all of the effort that goes into creating a poised, polished performer. That’s what I want more of.

That Times piece says that the site won’t become a home for material from the “Seinfeld” sitcom, which is just as well since I own them every episode on DVD anyway. That said, it could also be incredibly interesting to see how original material from the clubs was edited for a wider, larger audience on television. But even if that never happens, this is a pretty exciting start. And it’s better than nothing.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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