DID YOU READ

R. Kelly has a new album out as Trapped in the Closet returns

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R. Kelly fans have a lot to look forward to. First, of course, there’s his return to the closet. Yeah, you know that he is working on a whole bunch of new chapters of his epic hip hopera Trapped in the Closet, which will premiere right here on this very channel this fall. Now comes the news that he is plotting an equally epic North American tour called, naturally, “The Single Ladies Tour.”

Plus, R. Kelly is working on some new musical material, which he promises will be less love and a lot more lust. Yeah, R. Kelly is back. “When you’ve done twentysomething years, man, of giving people what they want, and satisfying people — people like to say they’re making babies off your music, they’re doing all this — it makes me feel good, but at the same time, it makes me say, ‘OK, now it’s time to go and do something that’s in me that I want to do and get out,’” he said in an interview with the Washington Post. But now that he has the excellent, but lovey dovey “Write Me Back” and 2010’s “Love Letter” out of his system, Kells promises that the new album will mark a return to the Kells we know and love best, according to the AP story. “The name of my next album is Black Panties– that’s my next 12 Play” he said. “I’m going to have some fun on it.” Hells yeah, Kells.

While the singer writes new songs, he is also working on new material for Trapped in the Closet. He’s been filming in Chicago and told the AP that there are new characters and more surprises in store for fans, plus an explanation of what the mysterious “package” is (FINALLY!). Before the show returns this fall, take a stroll down memory lane and watch the first chapter, after the tour dates.

Here are R. Kelly’s Single Ladies Tour dates:

10-13 Columbia, SC – Township Auditorium
10-14 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall
10-18 Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
10-21 Miami, FL – JL Knight Center
10-23 Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theater
10-25 Chicago, IL – Arie Crown Theatre
10-31 Oakland, CA – Paramount Theatre
11-02 Los Angeles, CA – Nokia Theatre LA Live
11-07 Houston, TX – Jones Hall
11-08 Dallas, TX – Verizon Theatre
11-10 Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Theatre
11-11 Cincinnati, OH – P&G Theatre: Aronoff
11-14 Louisville, KY – Palace Theater
11-15 St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre
11-17 Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
11-21 New York, NY – MSG Theatre
11-24 Washington, DC – Constitution Hall
11-27 Baltimore, MD – Lyric Theatre
11-29 Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
12-02 Columbus, OH – Veterans Memorial
12-06 Cleveland, OH – State Theater
12-07 Merrillville, IN – Star Plaza

Here’s the very first chapter of “Trapped in the Closet”:

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Trapped in the Closet returns to IFC this fall

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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