DID YOU READ

Coming Soon to IFC: Portlandia, Marc Maron, New Trapped in the Closet, and more

IFC_LogoTagline_1

Posted by on

Today we had our network’s first-ever Upfront event. That’s industry speak for telling you all the exciting things we have in store for you during the upcoming 2012/2013 season. So how will we be entertaining you this year? Let’s count the ways. First, we’re thrilled to announce that Portlandia is coming back for a third season. That means more Fred, more Carrie, more hilariously spot-on skewering of the lovely city of Portland, OR. After you put a bird on it, we want you to put a beard on it, because we also announced a second season of Whisker Wars. Start growing your ‘staches, because competitive bearding is a thing and we’re making it happen.

But we didn’t just renew our favorite shows for the coming year at IFC. Nope, we have some exciting additions to our line up, including two new scripted comedies: The animated series Out There, and Maron (working title), featuring comedian and podcast phenom Marc Maron. Plus, the news you’ve been waiting for, there’s a brand new installment of R. Kelly’s hip hopera, Trapped in the Closet. Yes, hide your wives, hide your daughters, R. Kelly is back on IFC and we couldn’t be more excited.

We also announced that Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast-turned-talk show and the slightly off game show Bunk will premiere back-to-back on Friday, June 8. Clear your schedule now!

You want details? We have details:

COMEDY BANG! BANG!

Premieres Friday, June 8

Based on Scott Aukerman’s (co-creator/director/producer, Between Two Ferns with Zach
Galifianakis; writer/performer, Mr. Show) popular podcast of the same name, COMEDY BANG!
BANG!
cleverly riffs on the well-known format of the late night talk show, infusing celebrity
appearances and comedy sketches with a tinge of the surreal. In each episode, Aukerman engages
his guests with unfiltered and improvisational lines of questioning, punctuated by banter and
beats provided by bandleader, one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan), to reinvent the
traditional celebrity interview. Packed with character cameos, filmic shorts, sketches and games
set amongst an off-beat world, COMEDY BANG! BANG! delivers thirty minutes of absurd laugh-
loaded fun featuring some of the biggest names in comedy.

Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Michael Cera (Arrested Development), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Ed Helms (The Office), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Seth Rogen (50/50), Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), “Weird Al” Yankovic (comedian/musician), and many others, all join in on the laughs with Aukerman and bandleader, one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan).

Watch a sneak peek here:

video player loading . . .

BUNK

Premieres Friday, June 8

BUNK is a comedy game show where a panel of comedians compete in inane challenges to win surreal prizes. Contestants are armed with nothing but their wits as they respond to images they’ve never seen before, make up songs on the spot, complete drawing and sculpture challenges and interact with modern dancers, puppies, babies, gospel singers and more, all under the watchful eye of host Kurt Braunohler.

Check out a preview below, and then click here to hear Kurt delve more into the show.

video player loading . . .

TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET

Premieres Winter 2012

Part contemporary movie musical, part urban operetta and part epic music video, TRAPPED IN THE
CLOSET initially debuted on IFC and ifc.com in 2007 delivering the network’s most robust online
audience ever. The premiere chapters were a suspenseful, mysterious, humorous and dramatic story, packed with cliffhangers and unexpected twists and turns. Now, Sylvester, Rufus, Cathy, Gwendolyn, Bridget, Big Man, Rosie the Nosy Neighbor, Twan and Pimp Lucius are back! This year, the crew reunites on IFC in the next installments of R. Kelly’s continuing hip hopera about a group of characters interconnected by sexual exploits, little people and a mysterious package.

video player loading . . .

WHISKER WARS SEASON 2

Premieres Winter 2012

The fascinating and hair raising world of competitive beard growing returns for a second season
with six all-new episodes chronicling the devoted whisker warriors who travel the globe competing
for top bearding honors. In this season of the IFC original docu-comedy, narrated by Emmy®
award-winning producer Thom Beers (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers), tensions are at an
all-time high between the Austin Facial Hair Club and bearding champion Jack Passion, as both
compete to be world champions.

video player loading . . .

PORTLANDIA SEASON 3

Premieres January 2013;
PORTLANDIA: THE BRUNCH SPECIAL Airs Summer 2012;
30-Minute Special Airs Holiday Season 2012

From the comedic duo of Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag),
the critically acclaimed PORTLANDIA caught viewers by storm, infiltrating catchphrases into
the cultural conversation such as “Put a Bird On It” and “We Can Pickle That.” Hailed by Salon as
the “smartest sketch comedy show on TV,” the second season, which concluded on March 9, is IFC’s
most-watched series ever, delivering 13.5 million total viewers (P2+), marking a +150% increase
over season one.

Throughout the first two seasons of PORTLANDIA, viewers were introduced to a variety of eccentric characters, including Peter and Nance, an overly eco-conscious couple caught up in the organic and local food movement; Bryce and Lisa, an artsy, obsessive couple who find new trends to explore; and Toni and Candace, the formerly activist, self-involved shopkeepers of the feminist bookstore, “Women and Women First.” The show continues to feature an eclectic roster of guest stars including Kyle MacLachlan’s recurring character as Portland’s trusty but misguided mayor, Jeff Goldblum, Penny Marshall, Tim Robbins, Andy Samberg, Eddie Vedder, and Kristin Wiig, to name a few.

In addition to an all-new season, IFC is offering viewers, who just can’t seem to get enough of PORTLANDIA, a one-hour special this summer, titled PORTLANDIA: THE BRUNCH SPECIAL, followed by a second half-hour special in time for the holidays later this year.

Here’s a clip from season two of “Portlandia”:

video player loading . . .

OUT THERE

Premieres January 2013

OUT THERE follows the coming-of-age adventures of Chad, his little brother Jay, and best friend Chris. Living in a small town, the boys run face first into the wall of adolescence, the horrors of puberty, first loves, mortal enemies, local legends, and social ostracism. They experience the wonderment and frustration of that terrifying limbo between childhood and adulthood. Growing up is weird to do… OUT THERE.


MARON (working title)

Premieres 2013

Marc Maron has been a comedian for 25 years. He’s had his problems. He was an angry, drunk, self
involved, twice divorced compulsive mess for most of his adult life, but with the popularity of a
podcast he does in his garage and a life of sobriety, his life and career are turning around. MARON
(wt) explores a fictionalized version of Marc’s life, his relationships, and his career, including his
incredibly popular WTF podcast, which features conversations Marc conducts with celebrities
and fellow comedians. Neurosis intact, Maron is uniquely fascinating, absolutely compelling and
brutally funny.

For a little info on the man himself, here’s Marc Maron talking to Doug Benson, Scott Aukerman and Alex Blagg at SXSW 2011:

Watch More
Religuous Bill Maher

Politics Now!

10 Hilarious Political Documentaries You Need to See

Documentary Now! gets political with "The Bunker" premiering September 14th at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: ©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Who says political documentaries can’t be hilarious? The best political docs — like The War Room, the 1993 depiction of the Clinton presidential campaign that Documentary Now! pays homage to with “The Bunker” — have plenty in them to make you laugh. Here are 10 political documentaries that will elicit more than just bitter laughter.

1. The Yes Men

Activist duo Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos are responsible for not just one, but three funny and scathing political documentaries: The Yes Men (2003), The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) and The Yes Men are Revolting (2014). The pair impersonate bad guys from the worlds of business and government, and often end up fooling the media. They also stage elaborate pranks like having dozens of people don inflatable ball outfits called SurvivaBalls to help survive catastrophes resulting from climate change. Along the way they’ve racked up numerous awards and almost as many arrests.


2. Weiner

“Hilarious…like a Spinal Tap of politics,” said the New York Post about the doc Weiner, of course adding, “…it’s the full package.” This doc follows the disgraced Congressman, who had to resign due to a sexting scandal, in his quest for a comeback, running for Mayor of New York City. Incredibly, yet another sexting scandal explodes during the course of filming. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, as the whole sordid story unfolds before the cameras, featuring Weiner and his wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. It’s the film that puts the (Carlos) “danger” back in politics.


3. Please Vote for Me

Politics on a scale much smaller but just as riveting are on display in this 2007 documentary. A third grade class in China is given the task of holding an election for class monitor. The resulting web of intrigue, dirty tricks and bare-knuckle politics among this group of 8-year-olds are reminiscent of something Karl Rove or Lee Atwater would come up with. And the parents are worse. A fascinating look at the roots of democracy, with a touch of Lord of the Flies.


4. Roger & Me

Filmmaker Michael Moore could have any one of a number of his movies in this list (his is the first name most people think of when the subject of funny political docs comes up). But his first doc, Roger & Me, remains one of his funniest and — with its focus on the economic impact of globalization on American workers — still remains one of his timeliest. The film centers around Moore’s attempts to confront then CEO of General Motors Roger B. Smith. Moments from the film including scenes with former game show host Bob Eubanks and another with a luckless rabbit have become iconic.


5. Bronx Obama

The first feature-length documentary from filmmaker Ryan Murdock, Bronx Obama follows the story of Louis Ortiz, a lifelong resident of the South Bronx. Unemployed and with a young daughter, Ortiz is told by a friend in 2007 that he looks like a rising young politician. Before long, he’s making a living as a Barack Obama impersonator. The award-winning doc shows many hilarious moments intentional and otherwise as Ortiz comes to grips with his new life over the course of three years during Obama’s first term and deals with an unscrupulous manager.


6. Religulous

Bill Maher brings his scathing satire of organized religion to his 2008 documentary Religulous. In the course of the film he travels to The Wailing Wall, The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and The Vatican, among other places. But some of the best scenes are in cheesy locales like The Creation Museum and a Christian theme park in Orlando called Holy Land Experience. He even finds a Muslim gay bar in Amsterdam. Maher is merciless in his mockery of the main Western religions, but even if you disagree with his viewpoints, his comedy is always spot on.


7. Al Franken: God Spoke

From the makers of The War Room, this doc shows the evolution of Al Franken from comedian to political pundit during the first term of George W. Bush. We see Franken touring in promotion of his book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, broadcasting at Air America Radio and touring with the USO in Iraq. The most memorable encounters in the film are clashes with right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity. It’s a funny look at a man on a journey from SNL to the US Senate.


8. Journeys with George

In the year 2000, Alexandra Pelosi (daughter of Nancy Pelosi) was covering the presidential campaign of then-Texas Governor George W. Bush for NBC. For 18 months, she also used a handheld camcorder to record Journeys with George. The result is a remarkably warm and funny portrait of a somewhat goofball politician. Pelosi went on to become a filmmaker. Bush went on to bigger things as well. From the vantage point of 16 years later, the big takeaway from Journeys with George is that George W. Bush seemed a lot funnier before we had eight years of him as president.


9. Mitt

You may have suspected that George W. Bush could make a goofily entertaining subject for a documentary. What you never suspected was that Mitt Romney could ever be anything other than stiff and robotic. For the film Mitt, documentarian Greg Whiteley was given unprecedented access to Romney in his runs for president in both 2008 and 2012. What emerges is a surprisingly human portrait of Romney and his family. There’s an amazing scene in the hotel on the night Mitt lost to Barack Obama revealing that he never even contemplated the possible need for a concession speech.


10. Sarah Palin: You Betcha!

No list of things both political and funny can avoid having at least one entry about Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin: You Betcha! is from noted British documentarian Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney) and should not be confused with the fawning Palin doc The Undefeated. In 2011, after she had become a conservative icon, Broomfield went to Alaska and documented his attempts at getting an interview with Palin in a Roger & Me-esque pursuit. In interviews with Palin family, friends, fans and foes, Broomfield manages to make the self-described “mama grizzly” seem both dangerous and ridiculous, both of which are undoubtedly true.

Watch More
Bill and Teds Bogus Journey Everett

Die Laughing

5 Depictions of “Death” in Comedy

Catch Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey this week on IFC's Rotten Fridays.

Posted by on

With Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey airing as part of IFC’s Rotten Fridays, we got to thinking about how exactly the character of Death made his way onto the screen – and onto the poster – of a 1991 comedy sequel.

Ingmar Bergman’s depiction of Death in his 1957 classic The Seventh Seal set the tone for how most people think of The Grim Reaper. Portrayed by Bengt Ekerot, Death was a chess-playing philosopher, answering deep existential questions while capturing your rook with his knight. In Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Death is partial to board games.

Here then is the journey of Death in movie comedies, from Bill & Ted to Whoopi.

1. The Dove / De Duva (1968)

Three years after The Seventh Seal hit theaters, this short film parodied as much Ingmar Bergman as could fit into 14 minutes. The centerpiece is of course the pale-faced and shrouded Death, challenged this time in a game of badminton. It’s also the film debut of Madeline Kahn, who would go on to become the queen of parody with Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety and Blazing Saddles.


2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail trailer (1975)

One of the greatest comedies of all times parodies one of the greatest movies of all times –- but only in the trailer. Referring to the director and title by name, this preview promises something “all rather silly” when compared to The Seventh Seal. To wit: Death takes a pie to the face.


3. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Bill and Ted
Orion Pictures

If Death can play chess, then why not Twister, Clue and Battleship? Of all the comic portrayals of Death in movies, this is the one that holds up best. William Sadler brings a vulnerability to the role while never losing Death’s sense of menace. Like the Bill & Ted movies, it’s brilliantly smart and stupid all at the same time.


4. The Last Action Hero (1993)

"Ian
Columbia Pictures

This action-comedy-trainwreck acknowledges The Seventh Seal as a movie and then takes a big leap as the character of Death leaves the land of Ingmar Bergman and jumps into the world of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ian McKellen (the Bengt Ekerot of our day) takes over the role and wreaks havoc in 1990s America.


5. Monkeybone (2001)

Monkeybone
20th Century Fox

Whoopi Goldberg plays Death in this bizarre 2001 comedy, where Brendan Fraser’s comatose cartoonist must get an “exit pass” from Death in order to return to the land of the living. Also, Death has a giant robot. It’s a weird movie, folks.

Watch More
Rick Moranis Honey I shrunk the kids

Rick of Time

10 Best Rick Moranis Roles

Catch Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids this month on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

Everyone loves Rick Moranis. It’s just the truth. This month on IFC, you get a chance to rediscover his awesomeness in Honey, I Shrunk the KidsAs you enjoy that family comedy gem, here are a few other roles that showcase Rick Moranis’ greatness.

1. Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour Krelborn

Only Rick Moranis could play a character that you still root for even though he’s murdering people and feeding them to an alien plant. Audiences loved Seymour so much, the studio had to reshoot the ending of the film. Originally, the film ended like the original Off-Broadway play, with Seymour and Audrey being eaten and Audrey II taking over the world. Test audiences couldn’t stand the fact that they were killed, so a new ending was shot with our leads victorious and the film became one of the best movie musicals of all time.


2. Ghostbusters, Louis Tully

In a film with so many comedy legends, it would have been easy for Rick Moranis to fade into the background as the hapless Louis Tully. But he more than holds his own up against the rest, making Tully just as funny as he is pathetic. And when he goes bug-eyed as Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer, that’s when the fun really starts.


3. Spaceballs, Dark Helmet

You don’t often think of James Earl Jones and Rick Moranis being typecast together. But in Mel Brooks’ goofy send-up of Star Wars, Moranis takes on his version of Darth Vader. As Dark Helmet, Moranis is a perfect mixture of occasionally threatening and mostly inept. If Brooks ever decides to revisit the Spaceballs franchise on the big screen, hopefully he’ll find a way to bring Dark Helmet into the new Star Wars universe.


4. Parenthood, Nathan Huffner

Directed by Ron Howard, Parenthood is a wonderfully truthful movie about marriage, having children and the dangers of oral sex while driving. Moranis plays Nathan Huffner, an intellectual who’s more interested in raising his daughter as a science experiment than being a loving father. Though there are many comedic moments, this is a much more understated performance for Moranis. And he gets easily the sweetest moment in the film when he serenades his estranged wife in front of her students.


5. Strange Brew, Bob McKenzie

Bob and Doug McKenzie were breakout characters from SCTV that were originally created by government demand — the CBC mandates that a certain percentage of all shows in Canada have specifically Canadian content. So, Moranis and Dave Thomas thought of the most stereotypical Canadians possible and the McKenzie brothers were born. The duo appeared on SCTV, in Pizza Hut and Molson commercials, on a platinum-selling comedy album and their big screen debut, Strange Brew. It’s a tale of poisoned beer, mind control plots and an escape from an insane asylum. Plus, it’s a loose take on Hamlet. Probably not what you’d expect from characters made as a joke, but that’s what makes Bob McKenzie a great and surprising “hoser.”


6. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Wayne Szalinski

In this 1989 classic, Rick Moranis plays a bumbling inventor who accidentally shrinks his kids and neighbors to the size of ants. Though that may sound horrifying, Moranis is great as a man who’s thrilled that something of his finally worked and just as comically terrified by what he’s done. With impressive special effects for the time, the film still holds up as a fun family comedy.


7. My Blue Heaven, Barney Coopersmith

Did you know that Rick Moranis was in a comedic version of Goodfellas? My Blue Heaven, starring Steve Martin and Moranis, came out one month before Scorsese’s legendary Mob film. Though the silly comedy and gritty gangster drama may seem completely different, both are based on the life of Henry Hill, known as Vinnie Antonelli in Heaven. Moranis plays the average neighbor who tries to keep former mobster Vinnie (Martin) in line so he can remain in witness protection. Though Goodfellas was based on a novel about Hill’s life by Nicholas Pileggi, My Blue Heaven was written Nora Ephron, who happened to be married to Pileggi at the time. It’s a small mob world.


8. The Wild Life, Harry

This ’80s teen comedy has been mostly forgotten, but it’s notable not only for a performance by Moranis as a trendy manager with very big hair but it’s top level cast. Eric Stoltz, Randy Quaid, Lea Thompson and a bleached blonde Chris Penn all star, with a soundtrack by Eddie Van Halen. It’s all the more surprising that this film isn’t better remembered, since it was writer Cameron Crowe’s follow up to Fast Times at Ridgemont High.


9. Head Office, Howard Gross

This 1985 satire of the corporate world stars Judge Reinhold as a new employee who gets mysteriously promoted within a huge company and learns of the seedy underbelly of business. The film features a few subplots, one starring Danny DeVito and one with Moranis as a failing executive whose screaming idiocy is a great parody of the executive top brass. Though it may not be much of a parody, since we’ve all probably experienced our fair share of screaming, asinine bosses.


10. Brewster’s Millions, Morty King

In Brewster’s Millions, Richard Pryor finds out he’ll get a $300 million inheritance only if he can spend $30 million in one month. (If only we all had such troubles.) As Pryor’s character gets more attention for his big spending and eventual mayoral campaign, he attracts a bunch of odd characters. One of which is Moranis as Morty King, King of the Mimics. It’s a small role where he plays a guy that always repeats everything that’s said, but Morty has got a great costume and Moranis plays this confident weirdo with delightful skill. Also, the idea of anyone crowning himself “King of the Mimics” for doing a trick that little brothers use to annoy everyone is a pretty insane thought.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet