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Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon Bring SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo to Life

Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon Bring SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo to Life (photo)

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Actor and comedian Ed Helms hosted “Saturday Night Live” this week and he brought along a few friends, namely: Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Steve Carell for a live-action version of “The Ambiguously Gay Duo.” For longtime fans of “SNL,” the return of the innuendo-addled superhero cartoon alone was exciting. Robert Smigel’s “The Ambiguously Gay Duo” short used to make regular appearance on “SNL”, but then the actors who provided the voices for Ace and Gary — Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert — got a little busy with their own super careers. Luckily for fans, Carell and Colbert were both able to make time to play super villains alongside Helms (and a lizard masked Fred Armisen) in a live-action version of the cartoon, with Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon filling in as Ace and Gary who are brought to life via a Flesh Ray. Watch the sketch here:

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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.

Win “30 For 30: Volume 2″ on DVD

Win “30 For 30: Volume 2″ on DVD (photo)

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Heads up, documentary fans: Volume 2 of ESPN’s outstanding sports doc series, “30 For 30″ comes out on DVD tomorrow, and we’ve got three free copies to give away. This set comes with fifteen films in total and includes many of the series’ best including Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s “The Two Escobars,” about the connection between drugs and professional soccer in Colombia in the early 1990s, Jonathan Hock’s “The Best That Never Was,” about the amazing but brief career of football phenom Marcus Dupree, and Thaddeus D. Matula’s “Pony Excess,” on the insanely corrupt college football program at Southern Methodist University. It’s a pretty fantastic bunch of movies. I’ll have a piece about this volume of “30 For 30″ later in the week, but you can read my essay on Volume 1 here.

We’ve got three copies to give away to three lucky, random winners. To enter all you need to do is send an email to ifcfeed@gmail.com with your name and your answer to this question:

“If ESPN made another batch of 30 documentaries, what subject from the last 30 years of sports would you want to see a film about and who should direct it?

Again, the drawing is totally random, so your taste in sports and filmmakers has no impact on your chances of winning. But we’re gonna compile the most interesting answers into a blog post and share them with the world (and hopefully the folks at ESPN Films, if they’re paying attention).

The deadline to enter this contest is Friday, May 20, at 12:00 PM eastern. We’ll announce the winners next week. Good luck!

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TV Nerd Alert: Starbuck and Starbuck in Starbucks

TV Nerd Alert: Starbuck and Starbuck in Starbucks (photo)

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That noise you’re hearing? It’s the sound of a thousand TV geeks’ heads exploding. Why the drama? Because there is a photo of Dirk Benedict and Katee Sackhoff sharing a cup of joe in a local coffee shop. Sounds like run-of-the-mill quotidian Hollywood C-list celebrity stuff. However, when you translate the photo’s caption into Geek Speak, it reads as: Starbuck and Starbuck sipping Starbucks in Starbucks. Which means for the thousands of fans of “Battlestar Galactica” (both original flavor and reboot) this photo is nothing short of head-exploding amazing. Let the fanfic commence!

So, which Starbuck do you prefer?

Photo via Imgur/Buzzfeed

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