“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of The Beard Circuit

“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of The Beard Circuit (photo)

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Previously on “Whisker Wars,” Beard Team USA founder Phil Olsen called Jack Passion “the Tiger Woods of beards,” but we’re assuming this refers to his many championships, not his lady skills. A rivalry is brewing in the full beard natural category between two-time world champion Jack Passion, Bryan Nelson of the Austin Facial Hair Club, and Myk O’Connor of the Gotham Beard and Mustache Association. However it was quiet woodsman Aarne Bielefeldt who took the crown at the first U.S. Beard and Mustache Competition in Bend, Ore. Bearding is a sport, and these guys are fierce competitors.

The next stop on the so-called Beard Circuit is in Ohio. After his controversial decision to emcee the U.S. competition, Jack Passion is back in the ring for the Ohio Beard Championships. His coach/captain Phil Olsen is judging the competition, but there won’t be any favoritism, right? But, even with Phil on the bench, Jack’s victory isn’t guaranteed since Aarne Bielefeldt is there to defend his title and several local characters have shown up to represent the Buckeye States. Notably absent are the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club who are in Galveston, Texas, trying to raise funds to send the group to the world championships in Norway. The event requires everyone to come in Dickensian costume, but, at least according to team member Allen Demling, many of the attendees came dressed as “pricks.” The team was having a hard time raising money to represent Texas in Norway.

Across the country, Myk O’Connor was preparing to host the Big Apple Beard & Mustache Competition. His beard coach/girlfriend, Karolina, met at the Alaska beard competition and this year, at his competition, he’s planning on proposing to his long-time girlfriend.

Back in Ohio, the full beard natural category will be judged on density, pattern, texture, and length. Rookie Mike Scanlan has a five-foot beard and a local advantage, while Aarne has the power of the reigning national champion, and Jack has a two–and-a-half foot long red waterfall attached to his face. The judges have a lively deliberation about whether Mike Scanlan’s length should trump Jack Passion’s fullness and Aarne’s grey mane. Eventually the winners were announced: Aarne took third, and the close tie between Jack Passion and local boy Mike Scanlan was broken by none other than Phil Olsen. A few cries of * cough * bias * cough * were heard, but Jack still reigned supreme.

Down in Galveston, the boys are getting creative in their fundraising. Alex LaRoche’s kissing booth rakes in a whole two dollars, which should buy some in-flight headsets for at least one team member on the way to Norway. But they have to get to Norway if they are going to de-throne Jack Passion.

Meanwhile, Myk is simultaneously trying to prepare for the New York City championship and his proposal to Karolina. Many ringers have come in for the competition, including Jack and Aarne and Trevor Cranmer, a local favorite with a Jack-sized chip on his shoulder. There are many rounds of competition, but the main event is once again in the full beard natural category. Once again, Phil Olsen is on the judges’ panel, but he has opted to abstain from the category. Third place goes to up-and-comer Brian Redbeard. Second place is reigning national champion, Aarne, meaning that Jack Passion and his beard, Big Red, take the top prize. Then Myk brings Karolina on stage and with an adoring, cheering crowd watching, he proposes. When she says yes, the crowd goes wild. While Jack may have taken the crown, Myk got the real prize.

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New episodes of “Whisker Wars” airs on IFC on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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