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10 Videos That Prove That David Letterman Should Return to Acting

Cabin Boy

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Now that David Letterman has thrown his last pencil and sent his Late Show off into TV heaven, everyone is wondering what the gap-toothed comedy legend will do next. Sure, he’ll probably spend some time with the family and show up at NASCAR events. But we wish Dave would bring his grumpy charm to sitcoms and movies as he has done on a few select occasions. The roles below may have been part of Dave paying his dues or maybe they were done as a favor to a showbiz friend. But that doesn’t make them any less hilarious. Here’s proof that Letterman should use his retirement to once again show off his acting chops.

1. Cabin Boy, Old Salt in Fishing Village

Letterman’s cameo as a crusty stuffed monkey salesman in protege Chris Elliott’s cult comedy is easily is most quoted acting role. What movie couldn’t benefit from Letterman chomping on a cigar, just barely committing to the premise? It was also the first time Letterman used the pseudonym “Earl Hofert,” a moniker he reprised for…


2. Beavis and Butt-head Do America, Motley Crue Roadie/Probably Butt-head’s Dad

Yes, that’s Letterman as the former Motley Crue roadie who brags about scoring with some chicks 15 years back in Beavis and Butt-head’s hometown of Hyland. (Assuming he’s telling the truth, does that mean Beavis and Butt-head have the same father? The other roadie does look an awful lot like Beavis…) Letterman was a big fan of the crude duo, often having them on as guests on The Late Show, so it’s fitting that he may be their father.


3. Spin City, Rags the Talking Dog

Michael J. Fox has always been one of Letterman’s favorite guests, which probably explains why he voiced a suicidal dog named Rags on an episode of Spin City. Why didn’t Rags get a spin-off? It would’ve been preferable to the Charlie Sheen Spin City-era.


4. The Nanny, Himself

In the episode “Pen Pals,” quippy domestic Fran Fine is nervous that her pen pal will find out that she isn’t actually an Olympic gold medalist who has appeared on The Late Show. Letterman has a brief cameo as himself in Fran’s fantasy, which suggests that in the Nanny universe, The Late Show would gladly give airtime to a member of a Broadway producer’s house staff.


5. The Building, Thief

Letterman and his Worldwide Pants production company were behind this short-lived sitcom vehicle for actress Bonnie Hunt. Unfortunately, Dave’s cameo as a masked thief wasn’t enough to save The Building from being the first of many critically acclaimed failures on Mrs. Hunt’s resume.


6. Open All Night, Man in Suit

Shortly before he took over the post-Tonight Show slot, Letterman poked fun at his failed morning show in a meta appearance on Open All Night, a short-lived sitcom about a convenience store created by Bob Newhart Show vet Jay Tarses.


7. Peeping Times, Dan Cochran

Ever wonder what Dave would be like as a Daily Show correspondent? Check out his performance as reporter Dan Cochran in this newsmagazine spoof from filmmaker Barry Levinson and actual newsman David Frost. A thinly veiled takedown of 60 Minutes, Peeping Times was filmed as a pilot with Alan Oppenheimer (the voice of Skeletor on He-Man!) as the Mike Wallace stand-in Miles Rathbone and Letterman as his Morley Safer-esque coanchor. Featuring Mel Brooks as Hitler and Christopher Guest on the writing staff, the special is begging to be rediscovered.


8. Mork and Mindy, Ellsworth

1979 was a big year for Dave, as he made numerous TV appearances and starred as a stand-up comic who becomes a talk show host in the forgotten NBC movie-of-the-week Fast Friends. (If anyone has a clip, please let us know!) He also shared a manager with Robin Williams, which explains why the future late night host turned up on an episode of Mork and Mindy as a shady self-help group leader with a penchant for fancy cars and open collars.


9. The Riddlers, Host

Dave showcased his snarky hosting skills on this failed game show pilot which also featured a young Michael McKean.


10. Mary, Cast Member

An awkward attempt to inject some youthful Saturday Night Live-style energy into the staid variety show format, Mary Tyler Moore’s disastrous solo showcase featured a cast of fresh-faced performers that included Michael Keaton, Swoosie Kurtz, and a visibly uncomfortable Letterman. Merrill Markoe, who wrote for Mary and would go on to make TV history with Dave on both his morning show and Late Night, recalls that Letterman and Keaton were forced to perform the YMCA classic “Macho Man” in a half-baked Deliverance parody that made Dave want to “retch.

 

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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