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The 10 best Three Stooges films

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So, by now, we’ve seen the unsettling but strangely intriguing Farrelly Brothers attempt to revive The Three Stooges as franchised characters instead of being what they’ve been all these years – three (or four… well, six, technically, but we try not to think about Joe and Curly Joe) comedians with an ingenious talent for dimwittery, tomfoolery, knucklehead slapstick and zany antics. We can argue back and forth as to whether or not this was a good idea on the Farrellys’ part, but if anything, it sparked a revival in the classic films from the original comic artists, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard and Shemp Howard. Which films, you ask? Well, how’z about we take a trip down Hilarious Lane with the 10 Best Three Stooges Shorts of All Time. Sure, let’s bust out the superlatives. They made 220 of them, so it’s all opinion anyhow, see?


10. “Hoi Polloi” (1935)

The classic trope of rich people wagering over whether or not they can transform ruffians into high society dandies works well for the Stooges, who are picked up off the street while they’re shoveling rubbish. They proceed to learn next to nothing while their benefactor pulls his hair out in frustration. Their fancy coming out party involves shaving in mixed company, spring-loaded posteriors and a new slapstick trend among the highfalutin set.


9. “Grips, Grunts and Groans” (1937)

What’s not to love about mixing the Three Stooges with professional wrestling? This one takes the same schtick as their earlier film Punch Drunks (1934) – that Curly becomes a super-buttkicker under peculiar and specific circumstances – and trades pugilism for grappling. After getting big-time wrassler Bustoff too hammered to compete, they slap a fake beard on Curly to throw him in the ring, in the effort to keep themselves from getting moidelized by the ruthless gamblers betting on the match. Curly uses the term ‘duck soup’ at one point, and one has to wonder if that isn’t a reference to their contemporaries, the Marx Brothers and their 1933 film.


8. “Three Little Pigskins” (1934)

Back when pro football was in its shady infancy and amateur athletics were the way to go, crime bosses tried to set up pro games to bet on them – and when the vagabond Stooges get mistaken for star athletes by one of the goons’ gals (another one of whom is played by a blonde Lucille Ball, no less), we get a load of running around in frilly nightgowns, and then even more running around on the gridiron with absolutely no clue how the game is played. You’ll get some similar clueless shenanigans in golf with The Three Little Beers (1935).


7. “How High is Up?” (1940)

We open with the Three Stooges sleeping underneath their car, because apparently they live there. After getting washed down the street and nearly run over by a truck, they proceed to have a protracted fight with Curly’s sweater. When they go on the run from pulling shenanigans to drum up business for their mending operation, they wind up being drafted as riveters on the 97th floor of a new skyscraper. So what do they do to solve Curly’s fear of heights? Blindfold him and set him loose on the girders. Instant comic tension!


6. “Brideless Groom” (1947)

Here’s a good one with ol’ Shemp, and it finds him with a deadline to get married or else he’ll lose half a million bucks in inheritance from his old skinflint uncle. Trouble is, he ain’t got a dame to his name, save for his most annoying singing student, who’s all too happy to tie the knot. Of course, trouble arises when the news catches wind of the story, and every woman Shemp proposed to comes barging in to beat him up until he agrees to marry them – going so far as to put Shemp’s coconut in the letter press. Chaos ensues with a lot of women beating up the Stooges and Moe’s tuchus in a bear trap.

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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.

The 25 most quotable “Step Brothers” one-liners

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Just like “Anchorman,” “Step Brothers” is filled with memorable quotes. Whether it’s “Did we just become best friends?” or “One time I wrestled a giraffe to the ground with my bare hands,” there’s likely some hilarious line in the Adam McKay movie that speaks directly to you.

There might not be a “Step Brothers” sequel coming out like there is for “Anchorman,” but that doesn’t mean we love the movie any less. In honor of the lasting impact the movie has had on our lives, here are the top 25 most quotable lines from “Step Brothers.”


25. “I’m Dale, but you have to call me Dragon.” — Dale

24. “My mom is being eaten by a dog and there’s nothing I can do!” — Brennan

23. “I’m fucking miserable. I had to get up at 10 o’clock this morning.” — Dale

22. “Today I saw my own son use a bicycle as a weapon. You yelled ‘rape’ at the top of your lungs.” — Nancy

21. “That’s so funny the last time I heard that I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.” — Dale

20. “Dane Cook, pay–per–view, 20 minutes, let’s go!” — Derek

19. “Why are you so sweaty?” — Dale “I was watching Cops.” — Brennan

18. “You know what gets my dick hard? Helping out my friends.” — Derek

17. “I still hate you, but you have a pretty good collection of nudie magazines.” — Brennan

16. “You don’t even look good when you’re singing.” — Derek

15. “One time I wrestled a giraffe to the ground with my bare hands.” — Dale

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10 horror comedies (that are more comedy than horror)

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You may think that the “horror comedy” is a relatively new phenomenon, now that we’re all post-modern and ironic these days, but the long history of B-movie schlock horror pictures are classics for all their campy laughs as much as for their ghoulish imaginings. If we were to list all of those, you’d be reading for days. Yet, comedy is an intrinsic part of the horror genre, necessary in order to keep these films entertaining and not so much like audiences are paying to revel in human suffering and terror. There are often comic elements at play in standard horror movies, but then there are those films which take the tropes of scare flicks – zombies, vampires, monsters of various stripes, stalkers, what-have-you – and swing the equation far over toward the funny side rather than the frightening one. The macabre in service of the guffaw. So here’s a list of ten horror comedies which are much more comedy than horror.


1. “Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness”

We have to start here, with Sam Raimi’s enduring cult favorite saga, as it’s a perfect example of the progression from horror to horror comedy to comedy. The first “Evil Dead” was a straight-up horror film, creepy and disturbing. Then, Raimi went back and essentially remade it for “Evil Dead 2,” but made it more hysterical than skeevy with a man’s fight against his own possessed hand. Then came “Army of Darkness,” which was so over-the-top with Bruce Campbell’s chainsaw-handed S-Mart maniac Ash being thrust back in time and in the midst of undead magic wars that there wasn’t anything actively scary about it – except maybe the extent of Ash’s inner madness.


2. “Shaun of the Dead”

Edgar Wright’s film about a group of British slackers with enough personal problems to make a zombie uprising feel like an inconvenience was a breath of fresh air. Simon Pegg’s performance as the title character, oblivious to the zombies at first and then comically inept in his attempts to fight them off once he does notice them, is charming enough to make the fact that the whole movie becomes something of a dramedy in the third act work well enough to earn itself a deserved cult following. They’ve also been wise enough not to try and dilute its effectiveness with sequels (yes, we are mildly concerned about “Anchorman 2”).


3. “Fido”

You know you’ve got a solid yukfest on your hands when Billy Connolly is playing a child’s pet zombie. In a version of the 1950s where zombies happened, but are able to be controlled with special collars from the Zomcon company and used as household servants, nice fenced-off suburban communities thrive in a surreal way – that is, until Fido’s collar malfunctions and a fresh outbreak takes hold of the town of Willard. Exaggerated suburban satire and ridiculously inappropriate hijinks ensue.


4. “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”

This Sundance hit is an ingenious turn-around of the whole ‘creepy yokels in the woods’ genre, making the standard group of attractive young roadtrippers into the paranoid bad guys, always assuming the worst of well-meaning country boys Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). A series of escalating accidents surrounding the campers’ attempts to “rescue” their friend Allison (Katrina Bowden) result in increasingly gruesome deaths that serve to really freak out our hillbilly heroes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFFh25DmPNU

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