DID YOU READ

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”:

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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:

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Scarface Movie Al Pacino

Wanna Play?

Say Hello to Our Scarface Quiz

Play along with movie trivia during "Scarface" tonight at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Tony Montana is all about money, power and respect. And while we can’t promise you’ll get money or power by taking our Scarface quiz below, you will get respect if you get a perfect score. One out of three ain’t bad. Click below to take the quiz, and catch Scarface this month on IFC.

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Hank Azaria Commencement

Best Speech Ever

Hank Azaria’s Simpsons Advice For Grads, Questionable Shark Facts and More of This Week’s Funniest Videos

This week we're laughing at Hank's Tufts commencement speech, Jason Alexander's shark facts and more.

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Photo Credit: YouTube/Tufts University

We’ve made it! Memorial Day weekend! But before we can complain that it’s over too quickly, take a moment to bask in the pre-break lack of productivity and enjoy some lighthearted videos.

From Hank Azaria channeling Chief Wiggum and other Simpsons characters while talking to college grads to “Shark-spert” Jason Alexander sharing questionable shark facts, here are five funny things from this week you need to watch.

1. Kermit Informs Fozzie Bear That They’ve Been Canceled

It’s never easy to see someone receive bad news, much less a Muppet. But if anything, Kermit’s poise and acceptance during a time of crisis is impressive, admirable even. Fozzie Bear, on the other hand, reacts with greater similarity to how we would: with baseless anger and utter despair.


2. Jason Alexander Offers Shark “Fin Facts”

Memorial Day weekend means the start of beach season, aka Shark Feeding Season. As part of IFC’s Shark Half-A-Day Memorial Day marathon, “sharks-pert” Jason Alexander offers up some interesting “fin facts” about our sharp-toothed friends from the deep. You can also check out Jason’s beach tips, and catch the Jaws movies with more “fin facts” from Jason this Memorial Day on IFC.


3. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Confirms Dothraki Is a Real Language

With eyes still dewy from the climax of this past Sunday’s Game of Thrones (Hold the door!), the Mother of Dragons herself Emilia Clarke dropped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to throw the diehard fans a reason to smile: Yes, Dothraki is a real language. Watch Clarke discuss the phonetics and grammar involved with vying for Westeros rule.


4. Hank Azaria Gives Advice Through Simpsons Characters

Hank Azaria — star of The Simpsons, The Birdcage, and Brockmire, premiering in 2017 on IFC — gave the commencement speech at his alma mater Tufts University. In the hilarious speech, Azaria discusses how he got through college, recounts his early career struggles, and offers up life advice via fan favorite Simpsons characters like Chief Wiggum and Comic Book Guy.


5. X-Men: The Animated Series Gets Honest

Screen Junkies are back this week with another round of Honest Trailers. This entry focuses on the cartoon mutants that comprise X-Men: The Animated Series — an ultra-’90s Marvel property that predates the comic book adaptation boom of the 21st Century. But looking back at the decade of Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane, this video finds much to mock.

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Weird Al Comedy Bang Bang Season 5

Call Him Al

“Weird Al” Talks Comedy Bang! Bang!, His Upcoming Tour, Favorite Videos and More

Weird Al comes to Comedy Bang! Bang! starting June 3rd at 11P on IFC.

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With a career spanning five decades, “Weird Al” Yankovic has defined the song parody genre and become a beloved pop culture icon. Starting June 3rd, you’ll be able to catch him as the brand new Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader Fridays at 11P on IFC.

We recently chatted with Al about joining Scott Aukerman on the new season, his upcoming tour, favorite CB!B! characters and his future dream projects. (Hint: it might involve actors spontaneously breaking into song.)

The Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader gig seems like a natural fit for you. Did it take any time to get acclimated?

Weird Al: Yeah. It’s a slightly different skill set. The accordion is my main act, but I don’t use it on the show at all. It’s a keyboard setup. The actual setup is a little bit of a combination of what Reggie [Watts] had and [Kid] Cudi had. And a few extra things thrown in. So I’m trying to do my own version of what they brought to the show.

You’ve been on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and the show many times. Do you have a favorite CB!B! character?

Weird Al: I’d probably have to say Doctor Time. Every time Scott wants me to do an evil character, he’s always got a bad English accent. [Laughs] Any time my character goes evil, he becomes sort of British.

Any favorite guests you’ve worked with?

Weird Al: Gosh, I love them all. Paul F. Tompkins is always fun. His Andrew Lloyd Webber character, Cake Boss, everything he does. And Andy Daly as well. They’re so versatile and so amazing at improv. That’s the one thing I was a little nervous about because I’ve never been super confident with my improv skills. But Comedy Bang! Bang!, particularly the TV version, is good for that because it’s all heavily edited. So it kind of gives me permission to try out whatever comes to my mind, so if it really sucks, they’re not gonna use it. [Laughs]

Scott Aukerman Weird Al

Your upcoming tour is a continuation of your Mandatory Fun tour from last year. Any new elements to the show?

Weird Al: Well, it is the same tour, so it’s not that much different. I might freshen some video a little bit. I’m hoping to use a bit or two from the current season of Comedy Bang! Bang! and slip that into the show somewhere.

The tour starts June 3rd in St. Petersburg, Florida and ends September 24th at Radio City Music Hall. How do you keep up the pace? 

Weird Al: It’s just a mindset. I’m really only working for two hours a day, so I basically just save up my energy for the show. I relax, surf online, watch satellite TV, read a book, rest my voice, and then give it all I got when I’m onstage.

Looking back at your vast song catalog, was there ever a parody that came to you immediately upon hearing the song?

Weird Al: Yeah, that’s happened a few times. More often than not, I have to think about it and analytically work out all the variations on a theme that I can and pick out the one with the most potential. But there’s been a few times where the idea came to me spontaneously. I think the first time I saw Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video, before it was even over, I thought, “Oh! I gotta do ‘Fat’! Super-plus-sized actors trying to get through a turnstile on a subway! I gotta do that!”

Do you have a favorite of your many hilarious videos?

Weird Al: Oh boy, it’s hard to say. “White and Nerdy” has been my biggest hit and that was a really fun video to do. But in terms of making a video, “Tacky” was really fun to do because it was so easy and I got to work with amazing people like Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal, Eric Stonestreet, and Aisha Tyler. And we knocked it out in a couple of hours. We were having so much fun while making it, I kinda wish we weren’t so efficient and professional. [Laughs] I could’ve done that all night.

Was it filmed all in one take or was it stitched together?

Weird Al: That was all one take. Some people say, “Oh, I see where the edit is,” but it was all one shot. We did a total of six takes, and I think four of those takes were usable, but the last one was the best.

And you were directing while performing?

Weird Al: I directed that one, yeah. We location scouted and found a building in downtown LA that I thought was good for the shoot. I’ve since seen that building in a lot of other movies and TV shows — I think it was used in The Big Lebowski and a few others. It was difficult because I start the video in one set of clothes and I also end the video in a completely different set of clothes. So while the cameras were off me, because there’s only one elevator in the building, I had to run down five flights of stairs, quickly change my clothes, and hit my mark for the end. And after the take, we’d all just watch what we did, and say, “OK, let’s do it again.”

Is there a director you’d love to work with in the future?

Weird Al: Oh gosh, yeah, but I mean, music videos are notoriously low-budget so that’s why I end up directing them myself. [Laughs] But I’d love to be in a movie codirected by Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino.

Do you have a particular genre of music that you love parodying the most? Or is it more of the moment and different for each song?

Weird Al: It doesn’t necessarily revolve around personal taste so much. It really depends more on the song than the genre. But I found rap songs tend to lend themselves to parody, mostly because there’s a lot of words to play with. A lot of pop songs are repetitive, and that’s sometimes been an issue. With rap, there’s no shortage of syllables to mess around with.

Given that you’ve been so prolific and done so much, is there any type of art left that you’d like to dip your toe in? Dramatic acting, perhaps?

Weird Al: Well, if Spielberg and Tarantino want me for their film, I wouldn’t want to turn them down. But there’s no burning desire to do drama. I love doing comedy and feel comfortable doing that. Writing a musical might be something I do down the line. I don’t know when but I might take a shot at something in that area. Other than that, I’ve done pretty much all I wanted to do in my life so far. A lot of it not successfully. [Laughs] But I took a stab at it and feel gratified by that.

You’ve had such a eclectic career in music and comedy. What do you attribute your longevity to?

Weird Al: [Laughs] I don’t know what I’d attribute the longevity to. There’s a modicum of talent, but it’s mostly because I surround myself with very talented people. I’ve got a great support group, I’ve got the same band since the early ’80s, and I’ve worked with the same people for decades. And I got a very loyal fan base and I love what I do. And somehow I’ve been very lucky and it’s worked out so far.

Watch “Weird Al” in an episode from the new season of Comedy Bang! Bang! right now, before the season premiere on Friday June 3rd at 11P.

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