DID YOU READ

10 Big Screen Comedies That Spawned Musicals

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While there has always been a rich tradition of adapting feature films into Broadway spectaculars, it seems like that’s all The Great White Way is doing nowadays. (We even had a Spider-Man musical! Though it wasn’t really supposed to be a full-on comedy, the premise was laughable.) But there have been a ton of uproarious films that have found success in musical form. Take Laura Benanti in The Wedding Singer, for example. She wowed audiences on stage as Julia, the character made famous by Drew Barrymore in the Adam Sandler-led film. Benanti is now taking that success to the New York Spring Spectacular, which is a unique musical event featuring Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough and the Rockettes. (Get tickets now!)

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There have been a number of hugely successful musical adaptations that have come before and after, however, such as The Producers and even Evil Dead. But comedies have always proved to be the best source material. Here’s a look at 10 funny films that made their way to the stage.

10. The Wedding Singer

Some films were practically made for musical renditions, and The Wedding Singer is one of them. Aside from the unique brand of humor that fits so well with the stage, there’s a lot of great music moments between Sandler and Barrymore worthy of a more grand production. Unfortunately, the show only ran for a few months in 2006. Maybe they should’ve gone the jukebox musical route and included all the ’80s hits from the movie.


9. Legally Blonde

The idea of setting the hit Reese Witherspoon comedy to music was a good idea, as the Broadway adaptation of a blonde bimbo who goes off to study law at Harvard was a modest success with a substantial fan following. It also introduced Broadway audiences to Laura Bell Bundy and inspired a reality show competition to find a performer to take over the role of Elle Woods.


8. Shrek

Shrek, Donkey, Fiona and the gang came to the Broadway stage, and they brought songs like “Donkey Pot Pie” and “Freak Flag.” Fans who loved the original animated film starring Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz probably got a lot of laughs out of the musical, especially during that annoyingly catchy and widely recognized “Welcome to Duloc” number.


7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“We eat ham, and jam, and Spam a lot.” So goes the famous line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and so goes the name of its successful musical adaptation, Spamalot. Playwright and lyricist Eric Idle, and composers John Du Prez and Neil Innes road their invisible horses all the way to three Tony Awards.


6. Sister Act

It was about time that Sister Act got the stage treatment, and it became a reality in 2006. Even Whoopi Goldberg had a hand in it, playing Mother Superior in one of the production’s runs. If there was ever a film comedy suited for a musical interpretation, it was this story of a lounge singer hiding out in a convent.

5. Bring It On

A musical about the movie where Kirsten Dunst’s cheerleading squad battled a rival school for all-time cheerleading glory? Yeah, it kinda sounds ridiculous, but the show found some success when it was adapted a few years back. Hey, the movie already had peppy cheer routines and an over-the-top choreographer in Sparky Polastri. The musical basically writes itself.


4. Elf

If you’re expecting the Elf musical to be anything like the Will Ferrell film, you’re…half right. The story is the same — a human raised as an elf seeks out his birth family — but the musical has far more jazz hands and enough Christmas cheer to make even Buddy barf. Just listen:


3. Kinky Boots

Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein put the kink back in Broadway with the Kinky Boots musical. The 2005 film featured future Oscar winner Chiwetel Ejiofor as drag queen Lola, who helps an uptight shoe factory owner keep his business alive and kicking. While the musical used the same storyline, it strutted to the rhythm of its own drum and earned two major Tony wins in the process.


2. School of Rock

Jack Black’s popular film about a rocker posing as a substitute teacher  was bound to hit the stage. The production hasn’t debuted just yet — you’re going to have to wait until December 6th for that — but kids from all over have been lining up to audition for the stage rendition (which has a book by the creator of Downton Abbey) that will surely whip up some ticket sales. Hear them auditioning below:


1. Young Frankenstein

Did you ever think that Dr. Frankenstein’s roll in the hay with Inga from Young Frankenstein would’ve worked much better as a musical number? Well, that actually came to be. Sutton Foster and Christopher Fitzgerald starred in the Young Frankenstein musical, Mel Brooks’ follow-up to The Producers.


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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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