DID YOU READ

Five reasons Michael Che is one of the best comics around

jesus-christmas-bunk-michael-che

Posted by on

It’s no secret that we’re fans of Michael Che. Not only was he a featured guest on Bunk, but he has appeared at Get It Out There: Comedy by BAM & IFC, our new experimental comedy showcase. New York City native Che hasn’t been doing comedy that long, but during his three years as a stand-up comic he has quickly risen through the ranks, nabbing his own night at Carolines’ Breakout Artist Comedy Series, getting profiled in the New York Times, and topping Splitsider’s list of The Next Wave: The Top 10 Up-and-Coming Comedians on Each Coast as chosen by those all important talent bookers, hosts and club higher-ups. If you don’t already know Michael Che, get to know him now.

Here are five reasons Michael Che is one of the best and funniest comics around:

We fell slightly in love with him after seeing his introductory video for Anecdotal Evidence:

He brought the house down during his inaugural appearance on Letterman:

And killed it talking about how he would rather like someone than love them at John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show

He stars in a web series, “The Realest Candidate,” which he wrote for Above Average, the online comedy venture of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video a.k.a. our producing friends from Portlandia:

Now in honor of Black History Month, he’s saluting a different unsung hero in black history via his Twitter feed @CheThinks.

And who wouldn’t love him after watching him on Bunk where he talked about his dream to teach giraffes to swim:

video player loading . . .

Now you have to believe us when we say: Michael Che is one of the best around. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ifctv.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

Posted by on
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

maryhartman

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

ikea heights

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

fresno

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

soap

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

cooks2

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

darkplace

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

attitudes

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

peaks

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

invitation

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

stomach

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)

joey

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

acorn

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

pointplace

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

spoils

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.

spoilsdying


15. All My Children Finale, SNL

allmychildren

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.

This week in comedy podcasts: Comedy Bang! Bang! and WTF

maron-cbb

Posted by on

Here are three things we know: We like comedy. We like podcasts. And we really like comedy podcasts when they are made by our friends. We’re doing what all reasonable with a blog would do with that knowledge and starting a column to highlight what our funny friends are doing each week on their always awesome and slightly off podcasts.

Over on Comedy Bang! Bang! the podcast that spawned a revolution television show, Scott Aukerman talked to Tim Heidecker about his new venture as Vice President of Alternative Merchandising for The Who. Then, Paul Rust helped Scott demystify some American myths and introduced some brand new New No-Nos. Bill Cosby-Bukowski also drops by the podcast. If that’s not enough to encourage you to download the podcast, Tim becomes George Burns during a game of Would You Rather? You can download the podcast here (or just subscribe already). In the brave new world of Earwolf’s video podcasting, you can watch the full episode right here, right now, if you are into that sort of thing. (If you wear headphones your boss will never know!)

Over on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, on Monday Marc talked to Lucinda Williams about her raw, honest and emotional music. It’s no surprise she brings the same qualities to a garage chat with Marc. Lucinda explains how she confronts the darker corners of her life through songs and Marc tries to figure out why Lucinda’s music makes him cry. Then on the Thursday edition, Marc talked to comedian Gary Gulman about athletic Semitism, performing in Boston, the empowering camaraderie of comics, the soul-crushing discouragement of development deals and the power of comedy to soothe heartbreak. You can download it here or on iTunes.

As you may have heard, we are taking Marc’s life and turning it into a television show. “Maron” explores a fictionalized version of Marc’s life, his relationships, and his career, including his podcast. It’s debuting later this year.

Watch and listen (mostly listen) as Marc Maron talks to Lucinda Williams about the late great Robert Johnson:

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

“Maron” premieres on IFC in 2013

Watch Comedy Bang! Bang!’s debut video podcast with Paul Scheer, Casey Wilson and more

Comedy-Bang-Bang

Posted by on

As you know, we’re big fans of Scott Aukerman and his Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast. After all we don’t give television shows to just anyone. So when we heard that Earwolf (which is Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich’s podcast network) was partnering with the Video Podcast Network to start producing live versions of the podcast, we were excited, because we’re fans and can’t wait to see what they are going to do next.

This past week the Comedy Bang! Bang! crew headed to Sundance and produced their very first live podcast. The debut episode features Paul Scheer in character as Scott Jeffries (an amusingly, intentionally oblivious Hollywood schmoozing sleazebag that Scheer has previously played on the podcast as well) as well as Casey Wilson and actresses Lake Bell and Michaela Watkins. It’s a great first effort and anyone who finds Comedy Bang! Bang! the podcast or the television show should find it pretty darn entertaining.

Watch now why don’t you:

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

Powered by ZergNet