DID YOU READ

The five best songs from “Moulin Rouge!”

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Tonight at 8/7c we are showing Baz Luhrman’s “Moulin Rouge!” (In the interest of time, please save all applause to the end.) The film stars Ewan McGregor as a writer who leaves behind his bourgeois father during the French belle époque of the late 1890s to seek his fortunes in the bohemian underworld of Montmartre, Paris. Christian meets the absinthe- and alcohol-addicted artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), who introduces him to a world of sex, drugs, music, theater, and the scandalous dance known as the cancan, all at the Moulin Rouge, a decadent dance hall, brothel, and theater that’s the brainchild of Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent). Christian also meets and falls into a tragically doomed romance with the courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman), who becomes the star of the play he’s writing.

The movie has a lot of celebrities, but the real star of the movie is the music. Luhrmann integrates rock music from a century later, including songs by Nirvana, Madonna, the Beatles, and Queen, among others, into the film and it works brilliantly. Here are five of our favorite songs from the soundtrack of “Moulin Rouge!”:

1. “Nature Boy” by David Bowie and Massive Attack

2. “Because We Can” by Fatboy Slim

3. “Diamond Dogs” by Beck

4. “Children of the Revolution” by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer

5. “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, and Pink

“Moulin Rouge!” airs at 8/7c

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

What to Watch on IFC: April 30 – May 6

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It’s the week when April showers make way for May flowers a.k.a. rain is swapped for allergens. Stay inside.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

Put on your dancing shoes and head to the “Moulin Rouge.” Yep we’re playing Baz Luhrmann’s vibrant musical dramedy at 8/7 c. We’ll be right there with you trying to figure out what gitchy gitchy ya ya hey means.

Tuesday

Get your American history the way it was meant to be learned: Movies. We’re showing “Last of the Mohicans” at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. Go ahead and rip your shirt open while you watch.

Wednesday

The men (Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel) of Charlie Company try to take Guadalcanal Island from the Japanese in World War II. It’s “The Thin Red Line” at 8/7c. You can watch the trailer here or rock out at your desk with this:

Thursday

Nothing gets you ready for the weekend, like prepping for the apocalypse. Load up on MREs and watch Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” at 10:15 p.m. ET. As the end of the Mayan civilization draws near, a man makes a desperate bid to escape being a human sacrifice and return to his family and the woman he loves.

Friday

“Kingdom of Heaven.” is a boys club. Ridley Scott’s film stars Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, and Edward Norton suit up and wage war in this epic-scale historical drama inspired by the events of the Crusades of the 12th century. Battle starts at 10:45 p.m. ET, don’t be late.

Saturday

A rookie cop (Ethan Hawke) meets a corrupt Los Angeles narcotics officer (Denzel Washington) who wants to include him in his schemes in “Training Day.” It’s a film so nice, we’re showing it twice at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET.

Sunday

While we know that the first rule of “Fight Club” is that you do not talk about “Fight Club,” we can’t help but tell you that we are showing the film at 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Watch as Brad Pitt and Ed Norton create an underground club where men can compete in hand-to-hand combat a.k.a. beat the crap out of each other for fun.

Fred Armisen on Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Southern Gentleman

Here’s Proof That Fred Armisen Can Do Any Southern Accent

Portlandia returns for its sixth season this Thursday, January 21st at 10P.

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Portlandia star Fred Armisen may be a man of a thousand Pacific Northwestern faces, but he would also like you to know his vocal mimicry is just as impressive — and unbound to intercontinental region. To prove it, Armisen stopped by The Tonight Show to chat with host Jimmy Fallon and show off his impeccable mimicry. He cycled through each member of The Beatles — a feat that Fallon admits he’s only known Fred to do well — and toured the American South with state-specific accents. (Tip: Arkansas accents require a clipped “pull back” after each consonant and Tennesseans are always “thin-kin a-bout it.”)

Watch Fred Armisen demonstrate his Ozark assimilation in the video below.  For more Fred, check out his Facebook Q&A and watch a free episode from the new season of Portlandia right now on IFC.com or on the IFC app.

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