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Oh shit: R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet: The Next Installment is coming soon

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R. Kelly’s sprawling hip hopera Trapped in the Closet is coming back to IFC and we couldn’t be more excited. The Trapped in the Closet saga began life as a five-part song on R. Kelly’s 2005 album “TP3. Reloaded” and soon spread to the world through a series of musically-driven endearingly odd and downright entertaining chapters. While there have already been 22 chapters of the seemingly never-ending saga, when it comes to R. Kelly and his quirky cast of characters, too much is never enough.

The premiere chapters were a suspenseful, mysterious, humorous and dramatic story, packed with cliffhangers and unexpected twists and turns. Now, Sylvester (played by R. Kelly), 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 saga about a group of characters interconnected by sexual exploits, little people and a mysterious package. As we said, it’s a story that has already spanned 22 chapters, and we’ll confess it can be a little bit confusing at times, this just adds to its mystique and wonder. But, if you’re a stickler for storyline, don’t worry, when the show returns to IFC, R. Kelly will have plenty of opportunities to untangle the narrative — or complicate it even more.

Trapped in the Closet: The Next Installment hits IFC’s air this fall.

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Trapped in the Closet returns to IFC this fall

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.

Watch a new Eddie Izzard clip from Bullet in the Face

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Tomorrow night Bullet in the Face premieres on IFC. We are showing the brutally funny (viciously hilarious? violently uproarious?) crime comedy drama in two parts, beginning Thursday, August 16 at 10/9c and culminating in a hail of gun fire on Friday, August 17 at 10pm ET/PT. To celebrate Bullet in the Face’s premiere we are hosting a week long film event called “Bullet Vision where we show the most awesome action films like Rambo, Sin City, and From Dusk Till Dawn, and you watch.

This week’s main event, Bullet in the Face, stars Max Williams, alongside Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts in the wildly dark comedy that sprang from the mind of Alan Spencer. Be sure to tune in on Thursday 8/16 at 10/9c so you can sit back and watch the bullets fly, but first, watch this clip where Eddie Izzard’s crime lord Tannhauser plays a little game of chess with someone known as God. But, trust us, this is no Ingmar Bergman film. Watch for yourself:

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The two-night Bullet in the Face event airs on IFC on August 16th -17th at 10/9c

Meet the cast of Bullet in the Face: Max Williams

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Bullet in the Face is coming to IFC this Thursday at 10/9c. Before the dazzling debut of our viciously funny and brutally violent show, we thought we’d take a moment to introduce you to its star: Max Williams. While Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts play the dueling crime lords, Max plays Gunter Vogler, the man caught between the two kingpins. Vogler was a career criminal who gets nabbed by the cops. He woke up from a botched jewel heist to find himself in the hospital and covered in bandages. The cops turned him and that’s when the fun really started. Once Vogler started working for the good guys, he quickly proves to be far more dangerous as a lawman than he ever was as your unfriendly neighborhood criminal.

The man behind the sociopath is Max Williams. Max wasn’t always an actor. He was, in fact, a professional hockey player, which is not nearly as surprising once you find out he’s a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and his dad was the coach for the Montreal hockey team. He probably learned some moves on the ice that he could incorporate into Vogler’s pantheon of dirty tricks. But Max hung up his puck and uniform and, in the fall of 2000, made his TV debut on the series, Arli$$, playing conflicted, pro baseball player, Buzz. In 2003 he followed up with more TV screen time on The District and a 2010 turn in, ‘Shameless,’ playing opposite Emmy and Oscar nominated actor William H. Macy.

Max wasn’t just working on the small screen, though, he also was making a name for himself on the silver screen (check him out in the excellent action short film “The Lucky 7″) as well as the on the stage, where he was nominated as Best Comedic Actor by LA Weekly for his role as Cody Powers in the Elephant Theatre Company’s “Block Nine.” Not bad for a guy who was skating in circles in an ice rink just a few years before, eh? Yes, we said “eh” in deference to Max’s half-Canadian status.

Now Max is starring Bullet in the Face, a violent comedy that sprang from the mind of Alan Spencer, alongside Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts. Be sure to tune in on Thursday 8/16 at 10/9c to see Max in action.

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Photo Credit: Philippe Bosse/IFC

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

The two-night Bullet in the Face event airs on IFC on August 16th -17th at 10/9c

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