Is New Star Wars Robot BB-8 the Next Wilson the Volleyball?


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Yesterday the Internet collectively fell in love with BB-8, the new robot that was unveiled in both the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser and during a live presentation at Star Wars Celebration.

Aww, ain’t he adorable? He’s easily the cutest circle-based thing since Olaf from Frozen. And everyone loves Olaf, right? We’re not sick of him yet, right??

Cute as he is, we can’t help but notice that BB-8 looks suspiciously like another round fellow who captured the culture’s imagination. No, not Louie Anderson. We’re of course talking about Wilson, the volleyball who was Tom Hanks’ only friend in Castaway. Let’s see how Wilson and America’s newest ball-shaped sensation stack up.

BB-8 Vs. Wilson the Volleyball


BB-8: Created by Neal Scanlan and the team at Pinewood Studios as a working robot.

Wilson: Is a volleyball.


BB-8: While his function in the Star Wars universe has yet to be revealed, we’re going to assume he’s an office protocol droid and that the “BB” stands for “bulletin board.”

Wilson: Hanks’ pal gets his name from the Wilson sporting goods concern founded by Thomas E. Wilson in 1913.


BB-8: Wall-E crossed with a roomba.

Wilson: Whatever Tom Hanks imposes on him at any given moment in order to maintain his sanity.


BB-8: The answer to the question, “What if you combined R2-D2’s head with a soccer ball?”

Wilson: The face that Hanks draws on Wilson in his own blood somewhat resembles Bart Simpson.


Wilson: Provides Tom Hanks with companionship while he’s stranded on a deserted island.

BB-8: Annoying C-3PO (we assume).


BB-8: Makes cute-sy beeps and squeaks.

Wilson: Doesn’t speak. The only sound you hear in Castaway is the sound of one man’s descent into madness.


BB-8: Adorable now, but could become the next Jar Jar six months from now when he’s plastered on Taco Bell cups and popping up on The Tonight Show to lip-sync “Funky Cold Medina.”

Wilson: 15 years after his big screen debut, Wilson remains an enigmatic pop culture figure and popular infant Halloween costume.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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