Tonight at 7:15 p.m. ET we are lighting up the sky over Gotham with the Bat Signal, because the Dark Knight is coming to IFC. Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” is the big-screen response to the serious (and seriously violent) revisionist comic book tales of the ’80s. The film reimagines Gotham as a foreboding industrial metropolis where billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) spends his nights as a masked vigilante, striking fear into the hearts of the city’s criminals. His Caped Crusader battles the Joker (Jack Nicholson) in both war over Gotham and love in the form of Kim Basinger’s Vicki Vale.
Then on Saturday at 8/7c, Batman returns under the watchful eye of Tim Burton. In “Batman Returns,” Michael Keaton once again dons the mask and cape to defend Gotham City as only Tim Burton could imagine it — a bleak, snow-covered postmodern variation on Charles Dickens’ London. The city faces a new threat: the deformed, sinister Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin (Danny DeVito), whose team-up with industrial tycoon Max Schreck (Christopher Walken) to run for Mayor hides a twisted plan to kill all of the town’s first-born sons. As if that biblical shit wasn’t enough, Batman has to deal with Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), an anarchic menace who might very well be his soul mate. Or not.
Saturday’s double feature continues with “Batman Forever” when Keaton hands the keys to the Batmobile over to Val Kilmer and Tim Burton passes the directorial duties over to Joel Schumacher. This time around Batman’s enemies include disgruntled Wayne Enterprises employee Edward Nygma a.k.a. The Riddler (Jim Carrey), former District Attorney Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones,), whose hideous facial scarring has transformed him into Two-Face. It’s also the first time that Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell), joins the new Batman franchise. Plus Batman gets a love interest in hottie shrink Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman),
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“Batman” airs tonight at 7:15 p.m. ET; Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 AM ET; Thursday, Feb. 14 at 8 PM ET; Friday, Feb. 15 at 1:30 AM ET; Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 8 PM ET; Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 12:30 AM E; TMonday, Feb. 25 at 8 PM ET; and Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 1:30 AM ET; “Batman Returns” airs Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 PM ET; Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1:30 AM ET; Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:15 PM ET; Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2 AM ET; Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8 PM ET; Friday, Feb. 22 at 1:15 AM ET; Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 10:45 PM ET; and Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 10:45 AM ET; “Batman Forever” airs Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10:45 PM ET; Sunday, Feb. 3 at 6:45 AM ET; Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:15 PM ET; Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:15 AM ET; Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 8 PM ET; Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 AM ET
In case you were wondering when your favorite Portland-based sketch comedy show was returning, wonder no longer: Portlandia is back for a sixth season on January 21st at 10P ET/PT. Fred, Carrie, and a cavalcade of Pacific Northwesterners will provide you with the send-ups of pop culture and millennial trends that you so desperately crave.
But if you’re jonesing for a taste of the new season, you’re in luck! Here’s a clip of Fred and Carrie attempting to add physical intimacy to their platonic love affair in an upcoming episode. With awkward planning and uneasy positioning, the duo defile their own version of a Bert and Ernie boudoir.
And if that wasn’t enough, take a gander at the classy promotional photos and behind-the-scenes video that puts Fred and Carrie in a new light. Famed artist photographer Tina Barney captured the Portlandia co-creators and stars in opulent settings for vibrant portraits, appearing as if they’re the hippest hosts Masterpiece Theatre ever enlisted. Keep checking back for more updates before the new season of Portlandia premieres on January 21st, 2016.
Tonight on a brand-new Benders, Karen has a surprise for Paul while Andrew has to deal with a motormouth girlfriend. Before you settle in at 10P ET/PT to watch, check out five ways tonight’s episode can improve your romantic life.
1. Communicate Your Needs in the Bedroom.
Communication is important in any relationship. Sometimes you want to talk about your day, and sometimes you feel like Anthony and just want to fall asleep listening to the latest Marc Maron podcast.
2. Work on your excuse game.
However, if you do need to find a way to, say, drone out your talkative girlfriend, don’t follow Anthony’s lead. Come up with an excuse that doesn’t lead to you mispronouncing “tinnitus.”
3. Rescue a cat together.
A pet can be a great way to inject some warmth into your relationship. Just make sure your significant other doesn’t break out into hives at the sight of a friendly feline.
4. Keep your lady away from Jim Breuer.
The Breu-ski cannot be trusted around the fairer sex.
5. If all else fails, remember: Use the Chubby.
To make a relationship work, remember: there is no try, only do. If Paul didn’t work hard to keep Karen, she’d probably be Mrs. Brue-ski right now.
Did you know that Portlandia and Documentary Now! co-star Fred Armisen is so addicted to television that he can recap any show you throw at him? It’s an astounding feat, one that Seth Meyers had to share with the world in a recent episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Fred is tasked to review last week’s episode of Haven which, due to popular misconception, is not actually a SyFy program loosely based on a Stephen King novel that focuses on Canadian townspeople with supernatural afflictions. Rather, as Fred explains, it’s “sort of a Friday Night Lights type of show,” centered around a small-town football team called The Havens. But because the town is so small, not only can they barely afford a football, they don’t have another team to play against. It’s a character study, really.
For more Fred, be sure to check back here for news on the sixth season of Portlandia, which premieres January 21st at 10P ET/PT on IFC.
Proving the old adage that anything is possible if you wish hard enough, this month marked the return of comedy pioneers Bob Odenkirk and David Cross to the TV sketch arena with their new Netflix show W/ Bob and David. Featuring many of the writers and cast members (including Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman) who made the ’90s sketch program Mr. Show such an indelible cult classic, the long-awaited follow-up possesses the same sharp, satirical eye as its predecessor.
But in case you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Show and how culturally significant its comedy still is two decades later, here are the 10 most important sketches the series produced. And for more David Cross, be sure to catch the return of Todd Margaret on IFC beginning January 7th at 10P ET/PT.
For every faceless, multinational, multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, there are countless daily meetings just like this one: corporate pitchmen and bottomliners brainstorming ways to humanize their company’s image while tapping as many markets and demos as possible. And who better to accomplish this herculean task than a magical, pansexual, non-threatening spokesthing named Pit Pat?
9. The Mr. Show Water Cooler
Not too long ago, CNN was a trusted news source, Fox News languished in cable obscurity, and non-substantive political commentary based on monologue jokes and stand-up bits was relegated to variety shows like Politically Incorrect. But in the years since this sketch aired, comedy news outlets like The Daily Show, The Onion, and Last Week Tonight have become far more in-depth than our current cable news offerings and, according to multiple studies, they command a much more knowledgeable audience. Today, the “Mr. Show Water Cooler” sketch is more of an indictment of the “uninformed, unrehearsed political jam sessions” from the mainstream media than the satirical news shows that skewer them.
8. The Story of Everest
Lanky Jay Johnston undercuts his triumph of scaling Mount Everest by repeatedly falling against two racks of his mother’s thimbles in a mesmerizing display of physical comedy. And the fact there’s not much more to the scene makes it incredible. The overall simplicity of the premise, the realistic bewilderment and frustration of the parents, and how the basic tenets of comedy — timing, heightening, misdirection, etc. — are warped or outright abandoned makes this sketch a fascinating study of subtlety within slapstick.
7. Fairsley Foods
Without the financial resources, tax loopholes, and teams of lawyers that your average retail giant maintains, small family-run shops don’t stand a chance in most free market scenarios. So when a humble local supermarket chain is put in the sights of a mega-mart’s cutthroat smear campaign, there’s not much to do but close down locations and spend a fortune on child-sized tracking collars. The satire of mom & pop’s losing ground to mega-chains is just another example of Mr. Show eerily predicting the future.
6. The Prenatal Pageant
Years before Toddlers and Tiaras and Honey Boo-Boo popularized the alien world of child pageants and pushed the lowest-common denominator to record lows, a sketch like “Prenatal Pageant” seemed like a farfetched (albeit hilariously astute) portrayal of pageant families. But with 21st-century hindsight, Bob and David weren’t too far off from how those starry-eyed, reality show parents would treat a potential embryonic meal ticket.
5. Ronnie Dobbs
Once again, Mr. Show — the satirical prognosticator that it was — anticipated the precipitous decline of our celebrity tabloid culture. Ronnie Dobbs, the oft-arrested redneck who’s had brushes with the law in every state, achieves fame and fortune by simply being a petty criminal on a Cops-like reality show. And honestly, is that really different from today’s reality stars who get ample airtime and exorbitant per-episode paychecks?
4. Mr. Show Boys’ Club
In this biting take on the swinging-’60s sexism that predates Mad Men and is still present in many institutions, “Mr. Show Object” Jill Talley discovers that the Mr. Show Boys’ Club not only parades women around in skimpy outfits and deer antlers (a thinly veiled dig at the Playboy Club), but also offers meager concessions to its young female members. At a time when women are still fighting for equal pay and adequate health care, the sketch is sadly still very relevant.
3. The Teardrop Awards
As a stand-up, David Cross has railed against the cynical marketing in the wake of a tragedy. (Check out his thoughts on American flags post-9/11.) And playing a singer-songwriter who lost his five-year-old son a year prior, Cross explores similar exploitative territory with jubilant acceptance speeches after winning awards for his commemorative songs. A cathartic sketch for anyone who has felt gross after seeing suffering and misfortune capitalized on in the age of knee-jerk social media reactions.
2. The Last American Indian
The last living descendent of an ancient tribe is close to death as government agents watch over him and wait to take his land. All that’s left of his rich and storied culture is the foggy memories of a man in his twilight years — ones that could be confusing history with the film Billy Jack. It’s an incredibly dark and poignant reminder of the civilizations that have been lost and forgotten in the annals of war and subjugation.
1. Pre-Taped Call-In Show and The Audition
While these two sketches may not have the satirical edge of other Mr. Show scenes, they’re both master lessons on sketch writing that have inspired countless comedians. Both penned by Dino Stamatopoulos of Community and Moral Orel fame, “Pre-Taped Call-In Show” and “Audition” feature multiple layers of meta-comedy and gut-busting rage that stems from casually benign misunderstandings. To make a diehard fan out of a person unfamiliar with Mr. Show, simply show them these two sketches that continue to influence everything from Adult Swim to IFC’s own Comedy Bang! Bang!.
Want more comedy from the mind of David Cross? Check out the trailer for the return of Todd Margaret.