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Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant: Comedians like Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm and Garfunkel & Oates ruled the night

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Christmas might still be weeks away, but Scott Aukerman kicked off the holiday season with a “bang bang” last night for those who love comedy in Los Angeles. Ifc’s “2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant” took place on December 4 at The Ricardo Montalbán Theater, and despite there being several exciting surprise guests, all the stand-up comedians present managed to get through the event without making a single “KHAAAAAN” joke. Impressive, no?

Aukerman got the audience warmed up at 8 p.m. by teasing that his monologue for the Nativity Pageant was actually a warm-up for a different one he was going to do at a later date. In fact, many of the comedians present used the opportunity to showcase their new material, which was a treat for fans who shelled out $45-$75 for tickets that benefit the LA Regional Food Bank. Aukerman brought one audience member up on stage and tricked him into saying how much he loved to have sex with dogs, which really set the stage for how the rest of the night was going to go.

The first funnyman to take the stage was Patton Oswalt, whose hilarious takedown of Florida started the event out on the right note. Let’s just say he really hates the state, and went as far as to compare it to a piece of genitalia that it doesn’t usually get likened to. We’ll let your imaginations run wild.

After Oswalt left the stage, Weird Al Yankovic surprised guests as the man who was there to introduce Jimmy Pardo. Unfortunately Weird Al didn’t have time for a song, but at least Pardo followed up his appearance with a memorable quest to find just the right audience member to give some crappy shwag to (he had a lot of qualifications). Once he was gone, fans were treated to another surprise appearance, this time from Andy Richter, who spent half the time talking about how much he hated his friends like Conan O’Brien and Zach Galifianakis and the other half being terrified they were standing right behind him.

Richter was there to introduce The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick, who tried out some new material and told one rather terrifying story about a trip he and his girlfriend took to a hot springs. He joked that the location was a mecca for old people who seemed to think it would recreate the effects of “Cocoon,” but his detailing of how their wrinkled bodies look will give us nightmares for months.

One of the most exciting special guests came after Hardwick wrapped his set: Jon Hamm, being carried out on stage by Steve Agee. Hamm cracked that Kanye West was supposed to carry him out but he got some girl pregnant (we can’t vouch for that being true), and then he introduced guest performer Jenny Slate.

The rest of the night was filled with memorable standup routines and skits. Paul F. Tompkins came out on stage doing a pretty good impersonation of TLC’s Cake Boss, Matt Besser was The Upstager and Tim Heideker (maybe) convinced everyone he was the new editor of Rolling Stone. Zach Galifianakis was a highlight of the night, especially when his opening line was, “Thank you. Don’t get your hopes up,” and he tried out some new “characters” that were downright hilarious.

Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schall came out on stage together as two “representatives” from the American Association for Polio Awareness, and they were followed by a hilarious David Cross. Todd Glass and Neil Hamburger followed him, but the late night comedians were upstaged by three killer “holiday songs” from Garfunkel & Oates. The night was rounded out with Doug Benson, Chelsea Paretti, Nick Kroll (who has a newfound love for Brussels sprouts), Anthony Jeselnik, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Brian Posehn and, at around midnight, Thomas Lennon.

It was a long, fantastically funny night for everyone involved, and one that proved just how much the comedy community is affected for the better by “Comedy Bang! Bang!” Special thanks go out to the World Dodgeball Society and aspecialthing records for teaming up to help make this whole thing possible.

Did you attend the “Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant”? Who was your favorite performer? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

IFC presents the 2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant on Dec. 4th

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Hear ye! Hear ye! Attention residents of the greater Los Angeles area! If you like to laugh and to give to good causes, please clear your calendar for December 4th when IFC presents the “2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant” benefitting the LA Regional Food Bank.

The World Dodgeball Society and aspecialthing records are teaming up to bring the comedy show of the year to Los Angeles, and make all the other cities feel slightly less cool. IFC’s “2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Nativity Pageant” is a holiday comedy show benefiting the LA Regional Food Bank and it is taking place on Tuesday, December 4th at The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Yes, that’s the theater named after Ricardo Montalbán a.k.a. KHAAAAAN. Isn’t Hollywood cool?

The show features a roll call of who’s hot in comedy right now. Stars like Zach Galifianakis, Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal, Chris Hardwick, Thomas Lennon, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, Tim Heidecker, Doug Benson, Paul F. Tompkins, Anthony Jeselnik, Chelsea Peretti, Neil Hamburger, Garfunkel & Oates, Matt Besser / Todd Glass, Jimmy Pardo, and, of course, Kurt Braunohler. Fittingly the show is hosted by Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman.

Tickets range from $45-$75 and all ticket sales go to charity. If that’s not enough of a reason to buy, the cost of the tickets also include FREE cocktail reception from 6:30-8:00 with music by DJ Douggpound and beer and refreshments all night long and a heart that is not two sizes too small.

Tickets available now at http://www.ticketfly.com/event/185867 .

THE WORLD DODGEBALL SOCIETY is a friendly neighborhood adult co-ed community centered around, but not limited to the game of dodgeball. While dodgeball is their bread and butter (operating games and leagues internationally), they strive to be about more than just that. Gathering fun-loving folks from all walks of life and supporting and connecting the community is their goal. They pride themselves on being able to give back more than they take in the neighborhoods they play, whether it be through dodgeball events, volunteering, fundraising or activism.

ASPECIALTHING RECORDS is a Los Angeles-based independent comedy record label owned and operated by Matt Belknap and Ryan McManemin. Stemming from an online message board, aspecialthing records has taken a D.I.Y. approach to producing and distributing the finest stand-up comedy albums since 2006. Having already worked with such celebrated artists as Paul F. Tompkins, Doug Benson, Kyle Kinane, Greg Proops and Jen Kirkman, AST is looking forward to expanding their catalog while continuing their dedication to exceptional emerging and established comics.

Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

Adam Sandler Billy Madison

Up and Adam

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Adam Sandler

Catch Billy Madison this month on IFC.

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Adam Sandler followed the classic comedy career path of “star on SNL, then in every comedy movie ever made.” Or at least it seems that way. The entertainment icon’s prolific output has taken in over two billion dollars and given pals Rob Schneider, David Spade and Norm Macdonald plenty of cameo time. Before you catch Billy Madison on IFC this month, check out a few things you might not know about the man who made swans, lunch ladies and Bob Barker funny.

1. Billy Madison Really Hit Those Kids With A Dodgeball

Be honest: Billy Madison spiking those kids with a dodgeball was funny. At least Adam Sandler thought so, going for full method acting by hitting the tykes full force according to director Tamra Davis.


2. His First Role Was a Cruise Ship Comedian

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Nowadays Adam Sandler makes millions just by showing up, but his first movie sank pretty fast. In Going Overboard, he starred as an unsuccessful stand-up comic on a cruise ship that gets hijacked by terrorists. The film — which also featured Billy Zane, Milton Berle and Billy Bob Thornton — failed to make waves upon its release in 1989, but was later released on home video during the post Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore years.


3. He was a College RA

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Sandler was a Resident Adviser for fellow students while at New York University, a fact which has somehow not become the plot of one of his comedies.


4. Hotel Transylvania Features His Real Wife and Child

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Sandler provided the voice of Dracula in the hilarious computer-animated comedy Hotel Transylvania. Early appearances of Drac’s wife and infant child have audio recorded from Adam’s wife Jackie and his daughter Sadie Sandler.


5. He almost starred in a Tom Cruise movie

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Adam Sandler had a chance to be taxi driver Max in the literal Tom Cruise vehicle Collateral, but had to pass on the role due to other commitmentsJamie Foxx would score an Oscar nomination for the part.


6. Conan O’Brien appeared on his first comedy album

Sandler’s first comedy album, They’re All Gonna Laugh at You!, featured many of his SNL cohorts providing comedic riffs. Former SNL writer Conan O’Brien can be heard as the deadpan voice of the Dean of Admissions who encounters Sandler’s Buffoon character.


7. Pac-Man’s Creator Is in Pixels

Toru Watani Pixels

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Adam Sandler’s videogame comedy Pixels had an actor playing Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani. But the real deal also appeared, with the genuine Toru appearing as an arcade machine repair man.


8. He got his start on MTV

Hardcore Sandler fans remember his appearances on the wacky MTV game show Remote Control opposite his comedy pal Colin Quinn. Adam performed characters on the show, many of which would inspire future bits on SNL.


9. He played Smitty on The Cosby Show

Before MTV, however, Sandler made his TV debut as Theo’s smooth-talking classmate Smitty. Several years later, Sandler would spoof The Cos and his unique speech patterns on SNL. It was a simpler time.


10. He once played a crazy clown

Before Billy Madison, Sandler played a small part in Bobcat Goldthwait’s cult comedy Shakes the Clown. It’s worth seeking out. Trust us, it’s awesome.

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