DID YOU READ

11 Roles We Wish Michael Keaton Had Played

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Whatever your opinion of newly minted Best Picture winner Birdman is, there’s one undeniably great outcome — Michael Keaton is back. The film’s success has vaulted Keaton back to the A-list where he belongs. But what if he had never gone away?

In 1992, Batman Returns was released in theaters, and Michael Keaton was at the top of his game. Not wanting to repeat himself in another Batman movie, especially after Tim Burton walked away, Keaton took a step back in his career. More content to fly-fish than attend Hollywood premieres, he became picky with his projects.

But what if he hadn’t? What if, instead of this self-imposed exile, Mr. Keaton had stayed in the public eye? What if, instead, he pushed his agent to look for parts outside the box, and stumbled on a script by a young screenwriter named Quentin Tarantino. This is a hypothetical look at a career Michael Keaton could have had.

11. Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde

Initially nervous about having to cut off a bloody victim’s ear to the tune of “Stuck in the Middle With You,” Keaton decides to trust neophyte filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. We all know how well he wore a black and white suit in Beetlejuice, but losing the stripes and turning up the psycho would help Keaton turn this little film into a sensation at Sundance.


10. Groundhog Day, Phil Connors

His career white hot, Keaton accepts the offer to star in this Harold Ramis classic. Keaton actually turned this part down originally, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to picture him trying to endlessly woo Andie McDowell while trapped in a purgatory called Punxsutawney. Thankfully, making this movie would spare us the underwhelming Multiplicity that Keaton made with Ramis and McDowell a few years later.


9. Get Shorty, Chili Palmer

Frustrated he had to turn down Pulp Fiction due to scheduling conflicts (Tarantino originally wanted Michael Madsen for Vic Vega so in our alternate universe he would’ve asked Keaton), MK jumps at the chance to star as a slick gangster who has a way with words. In reality, Keaton was actually offered this part too, but along with many Hollywood heavyweights, turned it down. Now, he helps turn it into one of the biggest hits of 1995.


8. Kingpin, Roy Munson 

Another project he had the chance to star in, Keaton walked away after a rewrite focused more on jokes than character. But now, having done some more intense, character driven work, Keaton would be ready to lighten up. He would accept the Farrelly Brothers’ offer, and help turn Kingpin into the highest grossing film of their career. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Keaton and Bill Murray share the screen.


7. The Game, Nicolas Van Orton

The scion of a wealthy family trying to deal with the death of his parents from the confines of his gothic mansion? This movie is basically a look at what might’ve happened to Keaton’s Bruce Wayne if he never became Batman. Keaton would accept for a chance to work with filmmaker David Fincher, and since Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas, they wouldn’t have even had to change the credits.


6. American Beauty, Lester Burnham

With that hit under his belt, Keaton would be at the top of Alan Ball’s list while setting up this project. The original Mr. Mom could have pulled together all that dark humor, intense emotion, and ennui into an electrifying performance. He goes on to win his first Oscar 16 years before Birdman was even a whisper in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s head.


5. Bubba Ho-Tep, Elvis Presley

Having taken a couple of years off from sheer exhaustion, Keaton would return in this camp classic. Keaton astounds as a washed up Elvis fighting monsters alongside an elderly, black JFK. No need to reign it in here, he runs wild with the material, creating a cult classic that is even more beloved than it is now.

4. Bad Santa, Willie

Enjoying more edgy work, Keaton next stars as an alcoholic mall Santa who curses out kids and hits on younger women. While a bit too extreme for mainstream audiences, it would quickly become another cult hit in his long career.


3. Lost, Jack Shepard

Another project Keaton actually turned down, he now accepts the offer on one condition: He would have to be killed off at the end of the pilot. The show would struggle to regain its audience’s trust after such a colossal twist, and be canceled after one season. But the experience would whet Keaton’s appetite for more work in television.


2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willie Wonka

Just imagine it: No Michael Jackson inflected pancake makeup. In his triumphant reunion with Tim Burton, Keaton would be hailed for honoring the anarchist spirit of Gene Wilder’s performance, while still offering something completely new.


1. The Dark Knight, The Joker

While we all love Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight, in our alternate history Michael Keaton absolutely owns the part of the Crown Prince of Crime. Critics and fans alike would delight in seeing him go full Beetlejuice as he tries to kill The Caped Crusader. High camp meets gravitas. Who wouldn’t want to see him be Nicholson to Bale’s Batman?

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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