DID YOU READ

The 10 Biggest Jerks in Holiday Movies

Buzz Home Alone

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Holiday movies are packed with beloved characters. Perhaps that’s what makes the jerks, a-holes and dirtbags in our favorite seasonal classics stick out like expired eggnog.

Often the worst characters in holiday films aren’t straight-up villains — they’re the every day slimeballs who’re just as greedy, lazy and self-serving on Christmas as they are the other 364 days of the year. As we approach Christmas Eve, take a look at our salute to the nastiest characters in holiday movies. It’s the perfect antidote to the season of heartwarming treacle.

10. Mark, Love Actually 

Yeah, yeah, it’s sooo sweet when he holds up those cue cards for Keira Knightley that say she’s perfect or whatever. But keep in mind he’s crushing on his best friend’s wife. Dude literally was best man at their wedding a week before he took Sharpie to poster board. Mark must have ice water running through his veins, cause that’s just cold.


9. Grover Dill, A Christmas Story

Sure, Scut Farkus is a douche, but you kind of feel bad for him after the vicious beating he receives from that BB gun-toting psycho Ralphie. But look at Scut’s flunky, the oddly named Grover Dill, with his dumb hat and that face that’s just asking for Ralphie’s fists of fury. At least Scut’s an individual. Grover’s just a boot-licking toadie dressed like Marlon Brando in The Wild One.


8. Concierge, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 

Tim Curry’s snooty concierge tries to harsh Kevin’s NYC buzz from the moment he enters the Plaza. A child in the lobby of New York City’s finest hotel (cira 1992)?? Not on Concierge’s watch. He’s the smarmiest character in the movie, which says a lot in a film that features both Uncle Frank and a cameo from Donald Trump.


7. Todd and Margo, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

With their shiny tracksuits and fancy stereo system, the Griswolds’ neighbors Todd (Nicholas Guest) and Margo (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are basically walking cliches of late ’80s yuppie excess. They aren’t all that friendly to the Griswolds or even that nice to each other. (“Why is the carpet all wet, Todd??” “I don’t know, MARGO!!”) Still, you almost feel bad for them. They didn’t ask to be plagued by trees crashing through their window and random squirrel attacks.


6. Buzz, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

In the first Home Alone, Kevin’s older brother Buzz is your average dimwitted bully with an unfortunate looking girlfriend. But in the sequel he shows a whole different level of smarm when he puts Kevin on “trial” in front of his entire family. (It’s safe to say Buzz grew up to be a sleazy lawyer of the Saul Goodman variety.) Though we still have no idea what a “trout sniffer” is.

5. The Rest of the McCallister Family, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Really, outside of the mom, are the McCallisters all that concerned that little Kevin is stuck home alone/lost in New York? Papa McCallister makes zero effort to get back to Kevin in either movies. Both brothers tease and bully him constantly. His sisters use phrases like “helpless idiot” and “Les Incompetent” right to his face. And what do they get for their behavior? A trip to Paris in Home Alone and a bunch of free gifts at the end of Home Alone 2 that they did absolutely nothing to earn. Had Macaulay Culkin returned for a third outing, the title should’ve been Home Alone 3: Motion for Emancipation.


4. Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooged 

You would think that Bill Murray’s network exec Frank Cross would be the biggest jerk in the movie, seeing as how he’s the Scrooge stand-in. But Carol Kane’s perky Ghost of Christmas Present has him beat, at least in the random violence department. Kane’s ghost takes pleasure inflicting physical harm on Frank, be it via a swift kick between the legs or a toaster to the face. She should team up with that budding psychopath Kevin McCallister. Imagine the horrific torture they’d inflict upon their enemies.


3. Marcus, Bad Santa

Marcus, the double-crossing elf assistant to Billy Bob Thornton’s titular Santa, ends up being the real bad guy of this dark holiday classic. As Buddy would say, he’s quite the angry (and gun-toting) elf.


2. Mr. Gower, It’s a Wonderful Life

Besides being a drunk who nearly poisons his customers, Emil the cranky pharmacist smacks young George around and makes his ear bleed. Mr. Potter’s bad and all, but he never smacked a kid in his bum ear.


1. Uncle Frank, Home Alone 

Is there a more loathsome character in holiday movies, nay, in all of pop culture, than Uncle Frank? He’s cheap (he spends two movies mooching off of his brother), selfish (he’s more concerned about forgetting his glasses than Kevin’s well being) and sings off-key in the shower. You can just feel his hatred towards Kevin (and, really, all children) in his oft-quoted line from the first Home Alone. (“Look what ya did, ya little jerk!”)

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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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