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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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

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This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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