DID YOU READ

“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of Reindeer Games

“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of Reindeer Games (photo)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, bearding is a sport. Not a sport like playing for the NY Yankees, but better, because you can’t have an awesome beard and play for the Yankees. In “Whisker Wars” we are chronicling the adventures of a bearded band of boys a.k.a. Beard Team USA as they make their way to the World Beard and Mustache Competition in Norway. In the last episode they merry men were competing in Texas. On a roll of the dice, current US title holder Aarne Bielefeldt took top honors, besting two-time world champion Jack Passion. This week the bearded warriors are heading to Detroit to once again face off in the ultimate facial hair challenge.

Beard Team USA is in the Motor City, for one of the few remaining national competitions before the world championships. But Beard Team USA is lacking their star players. Current national champion Aarne Bielefeldt doesn’t need to prove anything any more. He has the beard to beat. And a velvet jester hat too. As for the other ringer in the Full Beard Natural category, Jack Passion, well he has a beard modeling gig. No, we don’t know that was a thing either. Where was the beard modeling booth at the high school career fair? Also missing from the Detroit competition are the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club, who are deciding whether to secede from the Beard Team USA union. With the two strongest contenders out and Austin not showing up at all, New York’s Myk O’Connor hopes to score a late season win and ride in to Norway on a wave of victory. Unfortunately a bunch of other people have the same idea.

Since Austin isn’t heading North to Motown, Miletus Callahan-Barile decides to head even further north to Anchorage, Alaska and the Mr. Fur Face Competition. Miletus hopes to bring home the gold in one of the few competitions that recognizes his beard — The Donagal a.k.a. The Alaskan Whaler. But Miletus isn’t just there for fun, he also wants to seek the counsel of the Alaskan Beard Club, a group that is recognized by the World Beard and Mustache Association (WBMA) and that has nothing to do with Phil Olsen and Beard Team USA. If Austin’s going to go it alone, the Alaskans would be a great ally and role model. Miletus is trying to roll out the Southern charm and extend an olive branch, but some of the Alaskans aren’t as friendly as Southerners. When the man who won the 2010 championship for his Alaskan Whaler sees a Texan vying for the Alaskan Whaler crown, he retires to bathroom to shave his moustache and vie to reclaim his title. Miletus tries not to take it personally, and opts to take in some local color, including running with the reindeer, Pamplona-style. The deer win, almost.

Back in Detroit, Myk is scoping the competition. Burke Kenny, the styled mustache champion and best-groomed winner from Austin, makes a surprise appearance. In a surprise move, he’s going to be competing against Myk in the Full Beard Natural category. In Anchorage, Craig Miller, the defending Alaskan Whaler champion, is sans mustache and ready to compete against Miletus for the title of best Donagal.

Myk takes the stage in Detroit, but taking the crown away from Burke Kenny with his signature hat-tip-and-wink competition is going to be hard. Myk does the only thing he can: Buys all the judges a beer. The judges announce the third place winner, the second place winner, and very slowly, the first place winner as Burke Kenny. Myk doesn’t place, again. He tries not to take it too hard, but his chances of placing in Norway seem slim.

Back in Anchorage, Miletus is taking part of a traditional Alaskan beard ceremony: The Petting Zoo. The gents line up and the ladies cop a feel …of the beard. Then the competitors take the stage. In a surprise, Miletus beats the local incumbent champion! He calls his Austin Facial Hair Club teammates, but no one believes him. Would you? Then Miletus makes his other big move and asks the Alaskan team for sponsorship to become an independent club, separate from Beard Team USA. Back in Austin, the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club prepare to leave Beard Team USA. They draft their by-laws and then in true Texas style head to the tattoo parlor to make it permanent.

Out in the hills of California, Aarne has been drafting a manifesto of his own. He is forming his own club. The one rule? No trimming, not even split ends. He may be the only member. But he just might like it like that.

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

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
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Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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