DID YOU READ

The Five Best Bunk Games

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While 10 out of 10 experts agree that Bunk is Bunk, we love our little comedy game show and even its constantly bare-foot host Kurt Braunohler. In fact we have a Bunk shaped hole in our heart since the season’s last episode aired two week’s ago. Want to know the cure to an achy breaky Billy Ray Cyrus heartache? Making lists. So we have been going through clips from Bunk and re-watching episodes whenever they air (check the schedule for show times) and weeping real tears whenever we see Alex Borstein, Eugene Mirman, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Che, Ethan T. Berlin, or any other Bunk comedian contestant. We even got weepy just looking at Gabe the producer!

While we love all the Bunk contestants equally (except for Chris Gethard, of course, because he’s family now), we have no qualms about playing favorites when it comes to games. So here are the five best Bunk episodes in the exact order they are supposed to be in:

5. The Girl with the Fat Raven Tattoo

4. Teaching Kids Life Lessons

3. Last Supper Dinner Guest

2. Dong Swap

1. Shame That Puppy

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Check our schedule for repeat performances of Bunk

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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.

Jason Alexander: From Malcolm in the Middle to a Nickleback video

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Guess what comedy fans: Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander is guest starring on tonight’s episode of Malcolm in the Middle. He plays a genius chess-playing bum that Malcolm meets in the park. Soon enough Malcolm starts to fear that he’s not just playing a homeless chess genius, but is actually being visited by the Ghost of Malcolm Future, a haunting reminder of who Malcolm could be in 30 years or so if he doesn’t work on his social skills, stat. The episode “Future Malcolm” airs tonight at 6 p.m. ET as part of our nightly Malcolm in the Middle block of back-to-back episodes.

It’s good timing for this episode to air, because after having been out of the spotlight for awhile, Alexander is suddenly everywhere. And by everywhere we mean in Nickelback’s video for their new single, “Trying Not To Love You.” If you hate Nickelback, you’re not alone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a minute to watch their incredibly strange video starring Alexander as a barista so dedicated to his craft that he would almost fit in on Portlandia. The video is so beyond bizarre that it works if by “works” you mean making you wonder whether Nickelback has been an intense performance art project all along. Watch the video and judge for yourself:

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Back-to-back episodes of Malcolm in the Middle air tonight from 6 – 8 p.m. ET

Five Reasons To Miss Comedy Bang! Bang!

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There hasn’t been a new episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! in almost two weeks. Not a peep out of Scott Aukerman. No visits by Elizabeth Banks, Paul F. Tompkins, Adam Scott or Weird Al Yankovic. No new songs by Reggie Watts. No catchy tunes by Ed Helms, Paul Rudd, or Tenacious D. It’s been two whole weeks since we got a new episode! TWO WEEKS. Well, almost two weeks. But who’s keeping track? Do you know how long it’s been since we heard Amy Poehler sing? At least 12 hours. What can we say? We’re obsessed. And you should be too.

Here are five reasons you should be missing Comedy Bang! Bang! as much as we are:

1. Scott Aukerman

Watch Scott learn how to be a talk show host from Andy Samberg, Patton Oswalt, and Bob Odenkirk:

2. Reggie Watts

Watch him sing about friendship and pie with Michael Cera and you’ll start missing him, too:

3. Jon Hamm doesn’t stop by our couch ….sigh. Luckily he is happy to settle in on Scott Aukerman’s sofa:

Watch Jon Hamm be Jon Hamm in this Jon Hamm worthy clip

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4. Seth Rogen

Remember that time that Topher Grace tried to shoot Seth Rogen and then Will Arnett stopped him? Good times:

5. We need more recipes from David Cross, stat:

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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.

Check the schedule for Comedy Bang! Bang! repeats on IFC

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