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DID YOU READ

15 Things You Never Knew About Kingpin… Unless You’re Super Into the Movie

KINGPIN, Woody Harrelson, 1996, © MGM/courtesy Everett Collection

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Be sure to buff your balls… bowling balls, that is, and get ready for some little-known facts about the Farrelly brothers’ 1996 comedy, Kingpin.

1. WOODY HARRELSON WAS ONCE PETER FARRELLY’S ROOMMATE.

The pair lived together for four years while Harrelson filmed Cheers.


2. HARRELSON WAS A TERRIBLE BOWLER.

And we mean terrible. His bowling was so bad that bowling coaches were brought in to teach him how to look believable just throwing the ball down the lane. Because of this, stand-ins were used for most of the shots of Roy bowling.


3. BUT HE WAS COMMITTED TO LOOKING THE PART.

Harrelson shaved his head and grew an actual comb over to play Roy, but he wouldn’t go so far as to put on weight—the beer belly he sports in the movie was a fake.


4. CHRIS FARLEY WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO PLAY ISHMAEL.

He had to drop out because he had contractually committed to Black Sheep.


5. RANDY QUAID CONVINCED BILL MURRAY TO APPEAR IN THE MOVIE.

Murray initially passed on the part of Big Ern; his friend Randy Quaid, who was cast as Ishmael after Farley dropped out, ultimately talked him into taking the role. Murray agreed to be in the movie only two weeks before shooting began.


6. BILL MURRAY IMPROVISED NEARLY ALL OF HIS LINES.

He’d speak with the directors about what they wanted to achieve in the scene, then change his lines with each take.


7. BIG ERN’S ICONIC ROSE BOWLING BALL WAS BOUGHT AT A PITTSBURGH PRO SHOP.

The filmmakers found it while shooting on location—no changes needed.


8. BILL MURRAY ACTUALLY BOWLED THE THREE TOURNAMENT-WINNING STRIKES.

Murray got lucky and made the three final strikes Ern needed to win.

9. LIN SHAYE SHOWED UP TO HER AUDITION IN CHARACTER AS THE LANDLADY.

She was so convincing that people thought she was a homeless person, and the costume she wore to her audition was used in the final movie. Shaye previously appeared in Dumb & Dumber as the dog owner Mrs. Neugeboren, and would go on to appear in the Farrellys’ next movie, There’s Something About Mary, as Mary’s perpetually tanned roommate Magda.


10. PAUL SIMON WAS A FAN OF THE BLACKMAIL SCENE.

After seeing the full cut—with music—of the scene in which the landlady blackmails Roy into having sex with her instead of paying rent, Simon personally approved the use of his song “The Sound of Silence.”


11. THE FARRELLYS DIDN’T HOLD CASTING CALLS FOR THE NON-SPEAKING ROLES.

Instead, they simply hired their friends.


12. THE 1986 MOVIE SOMETHING WILD INSPIRED KINGPIN’S AESTHETIC.

The Farrelly brothers liked the cinematography in Jonathan Demme’s road movie so much that they told their own cinematographer to copy its style.


13. THE MOVIE IS FULL OF CAMEOS BY PRO ATHLETES.

Legendary Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens makes a cameo as the biker Skidmark. Pro golfers Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon also make appearances, as members of the crowd in the opening bowling scene. Roy also defeats pro-bowlers Mark Roth and Randy Pedersen in the final bowling tournament.


14. THE FARRELLY BROTHERS INCORPORATED THEIR LOVE OF BLUES TRAVELER.

John Popper, the band’s lead singer, plays the announcer at the final bowling tournament, and the whole band—dressed in Amish garb—play a song over the closing credits.


15. IT SHARES A CREW MEMBER WITH ANOTHER ‘90S BOWLING MOVIE MADE BY BROTHERS.

Costume designer Mary Zophres worked on both Kingpin and The Big Lebowski.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…