DID YOU READ

Five favorite Bill Murray comedy roles

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“It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!” may be our favorite refrain when our hide and seek team loses a match, but you know what does matter? That we’re showing “Meatballs” today at 4:15 p.m. ET. Yep, as winter starts to set in, we’re going to be watching the summer camp classic. After all, we’re talking about Bill Murray at his screwball best as the head counselor at Camp Northstar. Comedy, romance, and, of course, wacky hijinks ensue as the frazzled counselors and their hyperactive campers (where was the Ritalin in 1979, man?) prepare for their annual competition against the super athletes enrolled at Camp Mohawk. “Meatballs” was the first major directorial effort by multi-talented filmmaker Ivan Reitman, whose name has since become synonymous with the comedy genre. So roast some marshmallows over the stove, make a lanyard, and host a hot dog eating contest for one, we won’t judge! Well, not much anyway.

Here are five of our favorite Bill Murray comedy roles to get you in the mood for this afternoon’s movie:

5. Dr. Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters”

4. Tripper in “Meatballs”

3. Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack”

2. John in “Stripes

1. Ernie McCracken in “Kingpin”

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“Meatballs” airs today at 4:15 p.m. ET

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.

What to watch tonight: Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”

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Thank god it’s November, because now we won’t be breaking any ordinances if we curl up with our favorite wintertime movies. We are inaugurating winter movie watching season by showing Tim Burton’s suburban goth tale “Edward Scissorhands,” tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

The quintessential Burton film stars Johnny Depp as the product of a mad scientist/inventor’s vivid imagination. He’s pale and wan and trussed up in black leather and, oh yeah, and as the title implies, he has giant scissors instead of hands. It’s wacky and weird, but what do you expect when your creator is Vincent Price, who delivers a stellar and iconic performance in the final role of his career. When Edward’s father figure passes away, leaving Edward unfinished and alone, he is rescued by the most unlikely hero: An Avon lady (Dianne Wiest). She brings him to her lovely home in town where she lives in suburban bliss with her family, including her teenage daughter (Winona Ryder) who forms an unlikely bond with Edward, much to the chagrin of her high school quarterback boyfriend (Anthony Michael Hall). Unexpectedly, Edward fits right in, at least on the outside.

The film is beautiful, personal, emotional and all around wonderful. It also shows off the depth of Depp’s talent as he made the transition from teenage heartthrob (granted, a quirky one) to one of Hollywood’s hottest actors. Watch the trailer and then tune in tonight at 8/7c for “Edward Scissorhands”:

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“Edward Scissorhands” airs tonight at 8/7c; Friday, Nov. 2 at 12:00 AM ET; Friday, Nov. 16 at 10:30 PM ET; and Monday, Nov. 26 at 9:45 PM ET

Celebrate Halloween with Redd Kross and a double feature of “The Exorcist”

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We’ve been waiting all month to celebrate Halloween. Now it is finally here and once we get rid of those pesky ghouls, goblins, Power Rangers and baby Beyonces and Jay Zs, we are going to sit right down on the couch and get our pants scared off of us. No, not by watching the presidential debates or Hurricane Sandy coverage, but by watching back-to-back airings of the scariest movie ever: “The Exorcist.” From the first hauntingly memorable notes of music to the lingering look at the stairs and everything in between, we’ll be glued to our TV and hiding under the blankets. Don’t think “The Exorcist” is terrifying enough to scare the tuna salad out of a generation raised on “Saw,” “Human Centipede,” “Paranormal Activity” and “Cabin in the Woods”? You would be wrong. Watch and see for yourself at 8/7c or at 10:45 p.m. ET. Don’t believe us? Maybe legendary indie rockers Redd Kross can convince you. Be sure to check out the new Redd Kross album “Researching the Blues” on Merge Records. OUT NOW!

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“The Exorcist” airs tonight at 8 and 10:45 p.m. ET

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