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Alan Spencer takes us behind the scenes of Bullet in the Face

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Gunter Vogler is a sociopath. And that’s exactly why Alan Spencer loves him. You’ll love him too, when Spencer’s new show Bullet in the Face runs on IFC from August 16th -17th at 10/9c, in a two night event sure to curl your toes, raise your eyebrows, and tickle your funny bone all at the same time. In this clip, Spencer takes us behind-the-scenes of Bullet in the Face and introduces us to Vogler, the star of the show, whose career as a criminal whose path takes an unexpected turn when law enforcement captures him and turns him into a cop. Armed with a new identity and a badge, Gunter proves more dangerous as a lawman than he ever was as your unfriendly neighborhood sociopath. We also talk to Spencer about his long and storied career in Hollywood, his inspirations for Vogler, and Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts competing crime lords, and so much more. Want more Spencer? Spend an evening with him in LA! Get the details here.

Watch this clip to meet Alan Spencer and be sure to tune in to IFC on August 16th and 17th for the most viciously funny show around:

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Want the latest news from IFC!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@IFCtv and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

The Bullet in the Face two-night event kicks off on IFC on August 16th at 10/9c

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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.

Cooking with David Cross on Comedy Bang! Bang!

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David Cross is an amazing chef. However he doesn’t play one on Arrested Development (whose new season started filming a few days ago) or Mr. Show or even the Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Nope, he only plays one on this Friday’s Comedy Bang! Bang!. On this week’s episode, David Cross shows Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts how to make his world famous spicy paella.

Watch the clip below and go behind-the-facade of CGI to see how Comedy Bang! Bang! is really made. Then be sure to tune in on Friday at 10/9c when “Weird Al” Yankovic also joins Scott and Reggie to discuss how hard it is for “Weird Al” to not eat shrimp (he’s a vegan!), his love of parodying pop music and the ending of “The Sixth Sense.” Plus there’s a special guest appearances by Tenacious D (Jack Black & Kyle Gass) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)!

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Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

Five great moments from “Sledge Hammer!”

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Way before Alan Spencer came up with the concept for “Bullet in the Face”, he was working in the Hollywood trenches making one of the most controversial cop shows around: “Sledge Hammer!” The show ran from ran from 1986 to 1988 sparking controversy all along the way. It starred David Rasche as Inspector Sledge Hammer, a cop on the edge always straddling the line between lawmaker and lawbreaker.

Spencer was inspired by Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character, but when writing his script, he wanted to make a cop who was even more out of control and out of line. He succeeded when he crafted San Francisco cop Hammer who had a customized .44 Magnum and a deep desire to use it. Hammer was police through and through and loved law and order, so long as he doesn’t actually have to follow the laws or police procedures himself. He was a wild card, which made his show wildly entertaining to watch. Fans of “Sledge Hammer!” will definitely want to tune in to “Bullet in the Face” when it premieres on August 16th at 10/9c. If you don’t know Sledge Hammer! we are pleased to introduce you to the sadistic, violent, and oddly lovable character.

Here are five great moments from Alan Spencer’s “Sledge Hammer!”:

1. Most cops wouldn’t even bother trying to defuse a nuclear bomb

2. Hammeroid

3. Here he is taking out a sniper with a rocket launcher, as you do:

4. Sledge knows how to stop bank robbers:

5. Sledge always gets the criminal

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter@ifctv.

The two-night Bullet in the Face event kicks off on August 16th at 10/9c

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