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Highlights of Arrested Development’s Mitch Hurwitz’s Reddit AMA

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Mitch Hurwitz a.k.a. the creator of “Arrested Development”, dropped by Reddit yesterday for an Ask Me Anything session. Unsurprisingly, fans blue themselves in excitement. While Redditors were able to ask Hurwitz anything, unsurprisingly “Arrested Development” and its recently unleashed fourth season were the primary topic of conversation. Hurwitz answered a lot of questions that fans had, including pressing inquiries about a fifth season, his favorite characters, and yes, a movie. You should definitely read the whole Reddit AMA here, but here are some of the highlights:

Where can I buy a Cornballer?

“I actually saw something online the other day that looked like a Cornballer – ours was made out of a deep-fryer and parts of an aquarium.”

His favorite non-Bluth characters on the show?

“My favorite non-Bluth characters are the 3 guys in the 1920′s Mexican film where we saw the origin of the Chicken Dance. Their names are Gustavo, Enrique, and Paco (*whose name is also actually Gustavo). And they were played by Jason, Will and Tony.”

Are George Michael and Maeby married for real, since they got married in front of the senior citizens with Alzheimer’s in the hospital?

“I guess they are! Who knew? I wonder if they’ve forgotten? Thanks to you, now I’ve remembered!”

Why the ostrich in Season 4?

“There are a few things going on there and I never think it’s appropriate for an author to comment on the symbolism in his work. But one of the things I liked, truly on a superficial level, is that it’s a truly funny bird. It’s a mean chicken the size of a man, and it’s an ungainly creature that can’t seem to gain flight. So there’s a lot in there.”

How did the idea that Tobias Funke was a Never Nude come about?

“We had this joke that just put us out, that was Tobias keeps crying in the shower. And then I had pitched – I was thinking about production, and the way they shoot those things, they always put people in flesh colored bathing suits, and I said, what if we show part of the flesh colored bathing suits for 3-4 weeks – and then in the 4th week we reveal that he showers in a flesh-colored bathing suit because he doesn’t like showering naked. Richie Rosenstock immediately coined the phrase: ‘Oh, he’s a Never Nude.’ It wasn’t a funny idea until Richie called him a Never Nude, which took the joke from being just a sight gag, to a psychological affliction that really elevated it in such a brilliant way. And then I remember looking up to see online if there was such a thing as a Never Nude – and guess what you can’t search for besides finding pornography?”

What was the real point of Season 4?

“[Season 4] was intended to set up (among other things) a murder-mystery and a family that really now has to come together to save one of their own at a moment when their tensions are the highest.”

Will there be a fifth season of “Arrested Development”? And will it be structured like season 4?

“For the 5th season, it would DEFINITELY be about the family all together. That was always the design. The idea was originally to have them even together LESS for Season 4 – it really was going to be basically nine stories (like the Salinger collection) that had nothing to do with one another, and just showed everybody’s life, so that everybody’s life could get to a point of peril, and then the family could truly have no choice but to get back together for the next iteration.”

When will there be an “Arrested Development” movie?

“I’m more interested in telling the ongoing saga of this family than working out a particular strategy for how to do it. I kind of feel like the form will emerge in a way that I wouldn’t have anticipated – like Netflix a few years ago – so it’s possible that a film studio says ‘There’s a lot of AD out there. Do we want to invest in more’ or it’s possible that a film studio says ‘Wow, we had no idea there was this kind of a following.’ And I think the latter scenario is possible. Just because I didn’t think there was that kind of a following!”

Was Ann Veal named after an anvil? She has a lot of mass and can’t be knocked over, so I’m wondering if that’s how she plants so well.

“Yea, there were a lot of things that her name was made out of – Anvil was definitely part of it. The image of a veal padding pen. And there’s an old Monty Python skit where John Cleese’s character’s name is “An Elk” – it was an oblique reference to that too. Her original name was “Fugly.” We were going to name her something Fugly – and then it felt a little too jokey and they fortunately didn’t allow us to say it.”

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Watch “Arrested Development” on IFC on Friday starting at 8/7c

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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.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.