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R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet premieres at NYC’s Sunshine Theater

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You guys, Trapped in the Closet is forever. R. Kelly said it, we believe it, and that settles it. In other news: R. Kelly is heading to Broadway. And that’s not all that was revealed during last night’s debut of the next installment of Trapped in the Closet, which premieres right here on IFC on Friday, November 23 at 9/8c. Not only did Kellz announce that a Broadway production of Trapped in the Closet is in the works — and we’re going to start camping out for tickets now — but he also said that he already had 85 chapters ready to be filmed. You excited yet? You should be.

The announcements came during a Q&A session that followed a screening of the all-new chapters in the continuing saga of Kelly’s hip-hopera at New York City’s Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. Taking the mic after the screening, Kellz, clad in a sharp tuxedo, red leather gloves, indoor sunglasses, and a cigar burning despite NYC’s ban on smoking inside public places, announced that “‘Trapped in the Closet’ is an alien, and I’m happy to be one of the astronauts.” While only Kelly himself is entirely sure of what that means, he did admit that he never thought his “silly” idea would become a cultural phenomenon. He also seemed genuinely surprised and grateful when the audience roared their approval when the lights went up after the show. “I’m just having a lot of fun,” said Kelly to the rapt audience. “I don’t have a job, so I sit in the studio all the time and think of stupid stuff to do. And this is just something stupid I’ve done that’s been successful. I’m having a lot of fun with it.”

Kelly, the multi-platinum recording star with a dozen hit albums, seemed as nervous as a middle schooler at a talent show when he came out to introduce the next chapters of Trapped. While it’s hard to imagine Kelly being nervous in front of an audience that was happily singing along to “I’m A Flirt (Remix)” right before he hit the stage, he noted, “I am so nervous, but so excited to show you this.” The audience, composed mostly of members of the press along with cast, crew, and friends of Kellz were excited to see the new chapters, which were five years in the making.

While we had to pinkyswear and make an oath on a stack of R. Kelly albums not to spoil anything about the new chapters, we can tell you that some of your favorite characters including Sylvester, Pimp Lucius, Randolph, and Rosie the Nosy Neighbor are back and that Twan’s biceps really are that big. When you tune in on Friday, November 23rd at 9/8c, you’ll also meet a bunch of new characters, but if we told you about them, we’d have to give up our copy of “Soulacoaster” and/or our first born and we could never make that choice.

The veteran crooner explained that the five-year lapse between installments of Trapped was the product of laziness, but said that getting back into the swing of writing and directing was easy. “It’s not hard somehow. When you commit to something and have fun with it, it appreciates you, the gift, and it starts to help you out,” he said. “It cheats through things for you and it kind of writes itself. I’m having so much fun with this thing. I’m so committed to it, it just happens. It just continues to happen. Every time I put the [opening sound] track on, I hear these new stories and new characters.” Let’s hope that Kelly keeps cranking that soundtrack for years to come and that Kelly makes good on his word and that Trapped in the Closet is forever.

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Trapped in the Closet returns to IFC on Friday, November 23rd at 9/8c.

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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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