DID YOU READ

SNL Sketch Showdown: Wayne’s World vs. The Festrunk Brothers

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Welcome to the “Saturday Night Live” Sketch Showdown. Every weekday, an IFC writer will determine the winner of a matchup between two classic “SNL” sketches. You can check out the full bracket here.

The Dynamic Duos

The latest round of our “SNL” Sketch Showdown features a pair of duo-driven, recurring skits that were a regular staple on the series across several seasons. Both sketches starred a pair of unconventional characters who lived in their own very unique – and very funny – worlds, one full of rock stars and gorgeous “babes,” and the other full of disco and sexy “foxes.”

Actually, now that we look at it that way, they might have more in common than than you expect…

Sketch 1: “Wayne’s World”

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey made their “Saturday Night Live” debut as metalhead slackers Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar during the 1988 season, and the sketch went on to spawn not one but two live-action movies based on the characters’ adventures. Not only did the pair’s fictional public-access television series rock, it actually made DIY television seem cool – and if you’ve seen much public-access programming, you know how impressive of a feat that is. “Wayne’s World” quickly became one of the most popular recurring sketches in the history of the series, with Wayne and Garth hosting everyone from Tom Hanks to Aerosmith in their basement “studio” and coining catchphrases like “Schwing!” “We’re not worthy!” and “Party on!” And by imprinting with songs like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver,” this sketch managed to become just as significant of a pop-culture reference point as the subjects it riffed on.

Sketch 2: “The Festrunk Brothers”

Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd introduced the world to the Festrunk brothers in September 1977, strolling into the sketch with medallions swinging from their necks, chest hair protruding from their shirts, and bulges, well… bulging… from their too-tight pants. The combination of improperly used American slang, horrible accents, and a parade of guest stars playing it straight against these self-described “Wild and Crazy Guys” made this sketch not only a popular recurring element of the series, but a cultural touchstone. While Georg (Martin) and Yortuk (Aykroyd) Festrunk weren’t the most famous roles either actor brought to the series, the “Wild and Crazy Guys” were such a memorable team-up that they were brought out of retirement this season for a special sketch pitting them against this generation’s model: Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s “Dick in a Box” crooners.

The Matchup

Let’s face it: Every “SNL” sketch to feature some variation of inept, party-hopping guys has simply been trying to recreate the success of Martin and Aykroyd’s “Wild and Crazy Guys.” Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell never quite captured that magic in their “Roxbury Guys” sketches despite spinning their rayon-clad, Haddaway-loving brothers into a live-action film. Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake, however, may have usurped the throne with their slick, musical “Dick in a Box” duo. Still, it’s hard to argue with the success of “Wayne’s World” – the most successful franchise to spin out of “SNL.” With two successful movies, a long list of bands and songs that found their way to the top of the charts thanks to a mention by Wayne or Garth, these friends from Aurora, Illinois, may actually be one of the only duos capable of tearing our attention away from the Festrunk brothers’ antics.

And the Winner is…

“Wayne’s World”

Like Martin and Aykroyd, Myers and Carvey were more than capable of giving us memorable individual characters – but when it comes to team-ups, no pair gelled better than Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, who consistently made their characters seem so much larger than the series that hosted them.

Did the right sketch win? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
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Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
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Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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