DID YOU READ

Alia Shawkat on “Arrested Development” return: “It wouldn’t happen without the fans”

Alia Shawkat

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With “The Oranges” and “That’s What She Said” recently in theaters, and “The To-Do List” due in February, Alia Shawkat is on a roll — and that’s not even counting her return to the newly resurrected “Arrested Development,” now shooting. She accredits most of her success to “Arrested,” and by extension, the rabid fanbase that helped the show find a new life: “It wouldn’t happen without the fans,” she told IFC. “All the fan love, we wouldn’t be back without that.”

One of her favorite expressions of fan love was seeing an art exhibit with paintings inspired by the cast, drawn as Simpsons characters, or Tony Hale sitting on a weird seal. They were just so cool. I love seeing our characters just be caricatures anyway, and being one of those was super surreal. That was really special.”

Shawkat told IFC “it’s crazy” to be back on set, because “time has a weird way of getting back at you. It’s hard to have a concept of time, sometimes, especially when you’re working and you look exactly the same as you did then, and you’re working with all the same actors. But it’s great and everyone’s excited to be back. Every day, we’re like, ‘This is crazy!'”

The “Arrested” team will continue to shoot through mid-November, but even with a couple weeks of the reunion under her belt, Shawkat said that being back on set reminds her of when she first shot the pilot. “I remember, when I got the cover sheet, it said, ‘This show is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of show. You have to be on board for the style and moving quickly,’ and I was like 14 at the time, so I was like, ‘Yeah! Whatever!’ I remember adjusting to that was very easy for me and Michael [Cera], and now, we’re adjusting to it as adult actors. It’s a process, for sure. But we’re moving! We’re getting a lot of stuff in, and it’s a really high creative level that Mitch [Hurwitz] is at. He’s a genius.”

Shawkat’s character in “The Oranges” bears a resemblance to her Maeby, but her Clementine in “That’s What She Said” is less sure of herself — the only thing she knows is that she wants sex. “She’s like, ‘Here’s my vagina! Let’s have fun.'” And in “The To-Do List,” she’s relegated to a best friend role for Aubrey Plaza. But soon, in some of her upcoming projects that she’s got in the works, Shawkat will get to demonstrate some of her many other talents, such as art.

“I’ve been pitching an animated show to different networks,” she said. “It’s similar to ‘Daria’ in tone, but it’s a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, with a girl who’s lost one arm kicking ass. She’s trying to get revenge, so she’s not just fucking around. But it’s a comedy, too, and it has some of that Adult Swim grossness.”

Shawkat is also still trying to get a show off the ground with her friend and “Whip It” co-star Ellen Page, called “Stitch ‘N Bitch,” which the two actresses would co-star and co-write. “We just got stoned one night and said, ‘Let’s write something making fun of ourselves as hipsters.'” They were looking at HBO, but now they’re considering launching the show online.

And when she’s not looking to become a showrunner in her own right (Hurwitz, look out!), Shawkat is in the early stages of studying how to play a dominatrix for a film called “The Books.” Although she’s already played a prostitute (“Cedar Rapids”) and a nympho (“That’s What She Said”), being a dom is very different, she cautioned: “She’s a sex worker, but she’s more of an actress. She’s not just a sex kitten doing things — there have to be interesting reasons. What the client is getting off of is the psychological trip, and you have to be very strong. It’s a mask she has to hide behind.” Like any of her fun characters, she said, “it will surprise you. You’ll go, ‘Oh wow.'”

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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