DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Uncle Buck

UNCLE BUCK, Macaulay Culkin, Jean Kelly, John Candy, Gaby Hoffman, 1989

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The classic John Hughes film about an uncle who’s not up to par when it comes to babysitting boasts some fun little facts you might not have known.

1. John Candy wasn’t the first choice to star.

Danny DeVito was originally considered for the role of Uncle Buck.


2. Candy appeared in more movies written or directed by John Hughes than any other actor.

Including Uncle Buck, Candy appeared in National Lampoon’s Vacation; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; The Great Outdoors; She’s Having a Baby; Home Alone; and Career Opportunities.


3. A scene in Uncle Buck inspired Home Alone.

Uncle Buck is only the third theatrically released film starring Macaulay Culkin, who shot to stardom a year later thanks to his role in Home Alone—which, like Uncle Buck, was also written and produced John Hughes. The idea for Home Alone first came to Hughes while Culkin was shooting the scene in Uncle Buck where he interrogates Chanice through the mail slot. (Candy also appears in Home Alone, but he and Culkin don’t have any scenes together.)


4. Amy Madigan and Gaby Hoffmann were family in a previous movie.

Madigan, who plays Chanice, and Hoffmann, who plays Maizy, appeared as mother and daughter in the film Field of Dreams, which was released the same year as Uncle Buck.


5. It was shot and released in the same year.

Uncle Buck began filming, was released in theaters, and was released on home video all within 1989.


6. The film was originally supposed to take place in St. Louis.

It was changed to the Chicago area because unusually warm weather in Missouri that year forced the production to move to a more wintry climate.


7. You can visit the Russells’ house—and Buck’s apartment.

The exteriors of the Russells’ house were shot on location at 2602 Lincoln Street in Evanston, Illinois. Buck’s apartment, across the street from Wrigley Field, is located at 3708 N. Sheffield Avenue in Chicago.


8. You might recognize the high school from other John Hughes films.

The high school scenes were shot at New Trier West High School in Winnetka, Illinois, which wasn’t a functioning school at the time of filming. The location was also used in other Hughes films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles. The elementary school scenes were shot at Romona Elementary School in Wilmette, Illinois.

9. If you look closely, you’ll spot a familiar face.

The classmate sitting next to Maizy in her school scene is actress Anna Chlumsky, who would later star in My Girl with Macaulay Culkin, and who can be currently seen on HBO’s Veep.

(Seen at 2:06 mark)


10. Buck’s car is a 1977 Mercury Marquis Brougham.

He calls it “The Beast.” Filmmakers used a combination of a gunshot and a firecracker to create its backfiring noise.


11. Pooter-the-Clown is played by character actor Mike Starr.

Among his more recognizable roles are Frankie from Miller’s Crossing, Frenchy from Goodfellas, and Mental from Dumb & Dumber.


12. Uncle Buck’s theme might sound familiar.

It’s a beat from rapper Tone L?c’s “Wild Thing.”


13. The film spawned a short-lived TV show of the same name.

It ran from 1990-1991 and was created without the input of John Hughes or any of the film’s cast. In fact, Hughes didn’t even know the show existed until its producers asked to use exterior footage the director shot for the movie.


14. There was an Indian Uncle Buck remake.

Uncle Bun was released in 1991.


15. You can make Buck’s huge pancakes.

But you’ll need a pretty big mixing bowl. A chef estimated that you’d need 300g of plain flour, 200g of caster sugar, 450ml of milk, 9 medium free range eggs, 100g of melted unsalted butter, and 15g of vegetable oil to make the stack of gigantic pancakes that Buck makes Miles for his birthday.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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