DID YOU READ

Five of our favorite John Cleese roles on Monty Python

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Monty Python is one of our favorite sketch comedy groups, because we are living breathing people and know fall-down-laughing funny when we see it. Not only is Monty Python one of the most influential comedy programs ever created, their sketches and movies are laugh-out-loud funny no matter how many times you watch them. And we have tested that theory time and time again watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “The Meaning of Life,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Life of Brian,” and, of course, “Monty Python: Live at the Hollywood Bowl.” As much as we love The Whitest Kids U’Know and the Kids in the Hall, we know that they probably wouldn’t have existed without the lasting influence of Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman and John Cleese.

Today at 4:15 p.m. ET we are showing “Monty Python: Live at the Hollywood Bowl,” the infamous live show that the Pythons filmed in California in 1982. The film includes such infamous sketches as silly walks, a soccer match between Greek and German philosophers, the argument clinic, the Lumberjack Song, and so many more. You know you want to tune in.

Here are five of our favorite roles played by John Cleese on Monty Python:

1. The French Taunter

2. Ministry of Silly Walks

3. Job Interview

4. The Argument Clinic

5. The Parrott Sketch

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

“Monty Python: Live at the Hollywood Bowl” airs today at 4:15 p.m. ET; Wednesday, Sep. 26 at 10:15 AM ET and at 4:15 PM ET

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

There was a Malcolm in the Middle reunion and all we got was this awesome photo

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The other day, Malcolm in the Middle’s Frankie Muniz sent out this tweet:

Attached was a photo from when the Malcolm in the Middle cast got together in mid-September. “Had an amazing time seeing all my old friends from “Malcolm” today… Realized how much i missed everyone!” Muniz tweeted.

Here’s the whole gang, including Bryan Cranston (taking time off from Breaking Bad duty), Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek (Lois), Justin Berfield (Reese), Christopher Kennedy Masterson (Francis), Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey), and what we think are the twins who played baby Jamie, when Lois and Hal became parents again in the show’s fourth season.

While we can’t believe we weren’t invited to what, according to Muniz, was the first time the cast has been back together in the six years since the show ended, we were just so happy to see the family back together again. Besides, if there’s anything we learned from Malcolm in the Middle it’s that life is unfair.

Muniz also tweeted individual photos of himself with Kaczmarek (captioned “Me & mom”) and with Cranston and Masterson captioned “He is the danger. @BryanCranston.” Considering what’s been going on in Breaking Bad lately, that is a pretty accurate statement. After the get together Muniz tweeted, “Had an amazing time seeing all my old friends from “Malcolm” today.” He added, “Realized how much i missed everyone!” Aw, we miss you guys too! Which is why we air back-to-back episodes of Malcolm in the Middle every week night from 6 to 8 p.m. ET.

Before coming to IFC, Malcolm in the Middle ran for seven seasons on Fox from 2000-2006. During its run, the show took home seven Emmy awards and was nominated for seven Golden Globes.

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

Malcolm in the Middle airs every weeknight on IFC from 6 – 8 p.m. ET

Welcome to The Automat: Comedy Bang! Bang!

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Have you been missing Comedy Bang! Bang!? Have you enrolled yourself in a twelve-step program to cope with your Scott Aukerman withdrawals? Have the lack of visits from Seth Rogen, David Cross, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Adam Scott or Tenacious D filled you a sense of doom, gloom, and the overwhelming feeling that it’s all going to end soon? Has the lack of new songs by Reggie Watts made you lose the pep in your step? Well quit whining, moping, wailing and rending your clothes because we have a solution. There’s no need to wear sackcloth and ashes, all you have to do is wake up early. Every weekday from 5 a.m ET onwards, it’s The Automat, the magical hour of television where along with the Ben Stiller Show and Action, we’re showing Comedy Bang! Bang! Check the schedule for times so you can be sure to catch re-airings of all your favorite episodes be it Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, or Weird Al Yankovic, if it was on Comedy Bang! Bang! we’ll be showing it on The Automat. You’re welcome.

Watch this clip where Scott Aukerman gets advice from Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, and Andy Samberg and be sure to tune into Comedy Bang! Bang! weekday mornings.

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

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC as part of The Automat starting weekdays at 5 a.m. ET

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