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DID YOU READ

That’s what “Animal House” was missing: a laugh track!

That’s what “Animal House” was missing: a laugh track! (photo)

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This week’s installment in The A.V. Club’s always essential Inventory column is called “Of ’30 Rock’s and ‘Studio 60’s: 38 TV Doppelgängers;” television series that premiered alongside a nearly identical twin — “ER” and “Chicago Hope,” “Transformers” and “Challenge of the Go-Bots,” and so on. It’s a great list across the board, but the entry that really blew my mind was the one about “Delta House,” the little-seen TV spinoff of “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” that aired on for one season on ABC.

“Delta House” is one of the most notoriously bad movie-to-TV adaptations of all time, but I’d never seen any of it until today. The Inventory piece included this embedded video clip which completely blew my mind. Why? There’s John Vernon — a.k.a. Dean Wormer — sitting in his office, talking to some ROTC flunky, while from some distance plane of the space-time continuum, someone, somewhere is laughing. A laugh track? In the world of “Animal House?” I know laugh tracks were customary on all single camera sitcoms in the late 1970s, but slapping canned yuks on something so funny and anarchic as “Animal House” — even if it’s just “Animal House”‘s declawed, network TV equivalent — just feels like sacrilege. Take a look.

I realize it’s a small sample size, but judging from that clip I don’t know how the show even lasted thirteen episodes. It should have been cancelled before the first commercial break. How did this come from the typewriters of Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, and Chris Miller, the screenwriters of “Animal House?” It’s inconceivable. I love the fact that there is a laugh track beneath that Dean Wormer scene, but the laughs are more chuckles and groans than full-on guffaws. Even the laugh track didn’t find this stuff funny!

I encourage you to read all of this week’s Inventory, which is loaded with great clips, including the lead actor of the TV spinoff of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” calling a cardboard cutout of Matthew Broderick “two-dimensional” and then taking a chainsaw to it. What? Not funny? Must be because “Ferris Bueller” didn’t have a laugh track.

What’s the worst movie-to-TV adaptation of all time? Give us your pick in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

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…