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David Cross talks Arrested Development, Todd Margaret and Mr. Show

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Comedian and actor David Cross sat down with Salon.com to talk about his upcoming movie “It’s A Disaster.” The dark comedy, which also stars Julia Stiles and America Ferrera, shows what happens when a couples brunch that a group of self-absorbed thirty-somethings host each week is interrupted by the explosion of dirty bombs. (The film is available on video-on-demand platforms now and will be released in theaters April 12.) However, it seems that whenever Cross sits down to talk about a new project, all anyone wants to talk about (us included) is “Arrested Development” and his role as the flamboyant aspiring actor and analyst/therapist (or anal-rapist, if you prefer) Tobias Fünke. With the “Arrested Development” reunion about to happen on Netflix, Cross can’t seem to escape the questions about “Arrested Development,” no matter what he’s promoting. However he assured Salon that he’s “not a sad clown.”

It’s a great read that covers Cross’ work on “Mr. Show With Bob and David” and, of course, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” Here are some of the highlights:

As we’re talking about this movie, I can only imagine you’re gearing up for a bigger press push soon, as “Arrested Development” nears. How does it feel to be so strongly identified with a single show and character?

I appreciate the question. And it doesn’t diminish my love and appreciation for it. I’m so thankful and lucky to have been given that opportunity, and it’s an amazing show, it’s an amazing character, there were great people to work with. But there are — it goes hand in hand with some people who’ve never seen “Arrested Development” and think I’m the guy from “Scary Movie 2″ and “Men in Black.” Or “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” Those people, a 16-year-old Puerto Rican kid doing figure-eights on his grinder bike, I don’t give a shit if they’ve seen “Todd Margaret”!

But when it becomes constant, and builds up, I want to say, ‘I’ve done other stuff! I’m glad you like it — there are other things you might like.’ But it doesn’t really, truly bother me. I’m not a sad clown taking off his greasepaint, asking, Why doesn’t anyone know the real me?

Did you ever find a way to merge making money and feeling fulfilled artistically?

“Arrested Development” would be that project. With “Mr. Show,” we didn’t make any money. We didn’t see a penny from DVD sales or any of that shit. The big movies that were lucrative, “Scary Movie 2″ and “Small Soldiers” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”: I didn’t do them for the love of cinema. The one place it’s come together was “Arrested Development.” With “Arrested,” it wasn’t that my paycheck was so huge. That was three years of consistent work. You can make quite a living on that. And with the Netflix thing: That was lucrative. Not on the scale of a movie, but I certainly made a financial … well, I wasn’t hurting, let’s put it that way. I get that money and I do something like “Todd Margaret” and over two years, I lost money. But I loved doing that project and would do it again in a heartbeat if I could do another kids’ movie.

Head over to Salon to read the whole interview.

And here’s the trailer for “It’s A Disaster”:


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Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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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.

Watch a supercut of every fake videogame in “The Simpsons”

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As any fan of the show knows, there are a lot of in-jokes and running gags on “The Simpsons.” For example the title cards change frequently with Bart filling his chalkboard with a different sentences, Maggie being scanned at the cash register with different results and when the Simpson family gathers on the couch, well, anything can happen. Another one of the jokes that has spread over the course of the show’s 24 seasons on the air is that of the videogames featured on the show. Despite the fact that they only have four fingers, the Simpson family plays a lot of videogames and have managed to showcase quite a range of brilliantly satirical video games over the years, including titles like “Kevin Costner’s Waterworld,” “Super Slugfest,” “Escape From Grandma’s House,” “Earthland Realms” and “Itchy vs Scratchy.” Now all the videogame parodies featured on the show have finally been collected in one place thanks to the fine folks at Funny or Die. Watch and see which one is your favorite, but our votes for the “My Dinner with Andre” game:

CollegeHumor’s Favorite Funny Videos

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Bonnaroo announces 2013 comedy lineup and a new comedy web series

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Guess what? We are going to Bonnaroo. We had so much fun staging comedy shows at SXSW that we are now officially festival-sponsoring addicts. But we’re not signing up for a 12 step program, we’re heading down to Tennessee from June 13 – 16th to sponsor the heck out of a comedy festival within a music festival – the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre.

This year’s comedy line up is fantastic and we couldn’t be more excited to watch as some festival veterans as well as plenty of up and coming new faces perform at the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre. Appearing this year, among others, will be: Daniel Tosh, Bob Saget, David Cross, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Ed Helms’ Whisky Sour Radio Hour, Comedy Bang!Bang! With Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts, our adopted comic Chris Gethard, Michael Che, Nikki Glaser, James Adomian and more. Excited yet?

If you have never been to Bonnaroo, it’s a four-day festival set on 700 acres in Manchester, TN, that runs from June 13 – 16, and draws 80,000 fans every summer. Featuring over 120 musical performances, along with comedy, cinema, sustainability workshops and more, the grounds are converted into a virtual city of music and art. This year the festival will host a vibrant and diverse collection of national headlining comics at its inimitable air-conditioned venue, where fans lineup to get a chance to commune with some of the most hilarious personalities working today.

Want to get more excited? Watch as David Cross announces the line up:

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