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10 Important Life Lessons Animal House Taught Us

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A film doesn’t become one of the most quotable movies of all time without imparting some level of relatable wisdom, and John Landis’ 1978 comedy classic Animal House does so in spades. Not so much a treatise on college life as Life itself, the work provides lessons that are as true today as they were on the Faber College campus circa 1962.

Here are 10 important life lessons we learned from Bluto, Otter, Boon, Pinto, Dean Wormer, and the rest.

10. “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

10. Dean Wormer

As gluttons and drunks continue to smile as empires burn, hedonism will always have its place. However, we mustn’t confuse debauchery with vitality, passivity with nobility, or fatuity with purity. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” And that guy was a drunken slob!


9. “Take it easy, I’m pre-law.”

“I thought you were pre-med.”

“What’s the difference?”

9. Pre-Law

Inside each and every one of us is the ability to rise above our stations and training to tackle whatever obstacle we may come across. And in our most desperate hour, time spent searching for an expert who knows what they’re doing would only exasperate the problem. Better to stand up, accept the leadership role, and ramble on like you know what you’re talking about.


8. “Thank you, sir! May I have another?”

8. Kevin Bacon

The need to belong in a group is a powerful psychological imperative, and we often sacrifice our beliefs, dignity, and comfort to achieve it — hence the popularity of fraternities. But whereas some celebrate the induction of pledges with libations, other more cruel organizations impart pain and humiliation. Now, which group would you rather be a part of?


7. “Will that work?”

“Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.”

7. Better Than Truth

Not everything carved on a stone tablet is sacrosanct. While honesty is said to be the best policy, we must look beyond the immediate effects of truth toward the long term and ask ourselves, “What will we gain by being honorable and forthright here?” When deception benefits us all, it is our social and civic duty to lie our asses off.


6. “Grab a brew. Don’t cost nothin’.”

6. Cost Nothin

Our fixation on material goods and financial status has become ingrained into not only our psyches but the very institutions that govern our lives. When global economies hinge upon our wanton need for objects to prove our wealth and happiness, we must step back, reassess, and partake in Life’s simple pleasures that don’t cost nothin’.


5. “He can’t do that to our pledges!”

“Only we can do that to our pledges.”

5. Our Pledges

Deep social bonds provide a direct conduit to our egos, opening ourselves to raillery and indiscretions that we wouldn’t tolerate coming from an impersonal acquaintance. So it is the testament of a loving relationship to be able to abuse, disgrace, and degrade our fellow man once you both belong to the same collegiate organization.


4. “Kroger, your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto.”

“Why Pinto?”

“Why not?!”

4. State Your Name

It is in our nature to search for meaning in all walks of life, from the self-reflective “Who am I?” to the philosophical “Why am I here?” But obsessing over reason and logic is futile in a world governed by chaos and caprice. When events and concepts with clearly defined catalysts are rare, we must always deal with the here and now and leave the scientific method to the objectivists.


3. “We gotta take these bastards. Now, we could fight ’em with conventional weapons. That could take years and cost millions of lives. Oh no. No, in this case, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

3. Futile and Stupid Gesture

Grand, noble acts of bravery are the stuff that sell history books, but we should never dismiss the impulsive and erratic deeds of those who’ve got nothing to lose. Because tactical endeavors borne from a bureaucratic braintrust and carried out on an indistinguishable battlefield are lost in the annals of war when matched with ten thousand marbles and a pirate costume.


2. “My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”

2. Drink Heavily

From the cradle to the grave, we’re told to face every one of Life’s challenges head-on without the slightest bit of hesitation or remorse. But we’re human and we need to occasionally self-medicate to feel a semblance of care and appreciation when it’s devoid in the outside world. And come on, who provides better advice than a future senator?


1. “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

1. Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor

Motivation is an ephemeral beast, impossible to be captured and tapped like a keg of bottom shelf beer. However, when times look their bleakest and the last shred of hope is left drained and bloodied on the floor, there’s always irrational anger to get ourselves off our keesters and blindly forge into battle on false pretenses. Whatever gets the job done.

Want more words of wisdom? Check out all airings of Animal House on IFC. 

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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