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DID YOU READ

7 reasons why you should love David Koechner

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Although I hate the phrase “comedic genius,” I agree there are two types of comedic performers: those who are appreciated in their own time and become household names and those who are forever relegated to the “hey it’s that guy!” status. David Koechner — the guy whose picture is above this chunk of text — is, unfortunately, a member of the latter camp. Although he consistently gets work, you probably only recognize him as Todd Packer from “The Office” and Champ Kind from “Anchorman,” which, hopefully, tells even the most casual comedy fan that he gets tapped for parts by folks who know he can deliver. But still, most don’t delve deeper into Dave, and they should: His penchant for making loudmouthed, arrogant jerks be sympathetic is right on the pulse of where comedy is heading. Here’s seven roles/gigs he’s had that should get you onboard.


1. “The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show”

In this musical duo, Koechner plays T-Bones, the freeloading drifter to David “Gruber” Alan’s (the guidance counselor on “Freaks and Geeks”), well, wiry truck driver who’s very comfortable with his body. Believe it or not, the nudist plays the straight man to Koechner’s character, who is obsessed with hip-hop, get-rich-quick schemes, and annoying the Naked Trucker, who would much rather be discussing philosophy and other high-minded topics. Skip their short-lived Comedy Central series and go straight to the pair’s live album, “Live at the Troubadour,” which showcases just how polished and absurd the band’s performance is. T-Bones positively shines in “My Daddy Is An Astronaut” (he sings about growing up fatherless and believing that Buzz Aldrin is his dad) and “Hobo Holiday (2 Dollars)” (an eight-minute “hobo spiritual” about a strange orgy in a pie shop). Seriously, “Live at the Troubadour” is so powerfully funny it can transform a terrible day into a much more optimistic one after just a few minutes.


2. “Always Open”

What’s so funny about Denny’s launching a web series? Well, in theory, not that much. That Koechner hosts this “show” is its biggest saving grace, and also what makes it all the more head-scratching. Koechner cleans up his act considerably, so there are none of those filthy Packer stories here, and the result is something far, far goofier: He leans back on being excessively friendly and “wholesome,” coming off more like an oversized kid hosting a show in a booth at Denny’s than a grown man being paid to shill for a diner franchise. The “show” is nothing more than he and a comedian guest sitting down to a meal and them just riffing with one another. He seduces Maya Rudolph to lean over and talk under the table and they discuss whether people should sit like this all the time because it’s “a whole new world.” In another, he tries to convince Jason Bateman to hug him. When he refuses, Dave tries to treat his fear of physical contact with primal scream therapy. In a Denny’s filled with real customers. It goes on and on like this with tons of other comedians who are all outpaced by him. It’s not enough to make me want to go to Denny’s, but I sure am glad this exists.

Watch Will Forte and Dave Koechner Repopulate the World


3. Roy’s Vlog

Only the most super of Koechner super-fans probably know this exists: He started his own Vlog for a new character named Roy. He is, basically, a modern-day, male version of Cathy. Only, instead of talking about chocolate, he uses the word “vlog” way too much, gossips about cheesecake, explores the etiquette of booty calls, and explains why men can’t get pregnant. It’s like an SNL character that exists in the real world, but won’t get fined exorbitant fees by the FCC for cussing about cheesecake and “skinny bitches.”


4. Countless Show-Stealing Cameos

In a way, Koechner is like a more stable version of Bill Murray in the sense that you never can predict when he might up next when you’re watching television. Although he hasn’t been spotted crashing any NYC kickball games (yet), Dave has shown up suddenly in stuff as wide-ranging as “Comedy Bang! Bang!” “Reno! 911,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and the list can go on and on and on. What really speaks to his versatility is his popping up in “The Jamie Foxx Show” playing a horror author named Stephen Queen who’s a take-off on the real-life — I don’t really need to finish that sentence. But Koechner pours far more cleverness into that role with his over-the-top theatricality than the character’s name implies or probably even warrants. Which is just a roundabout way of saying: He’s always 100 percent funny, even when he doesn’t need to be.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.