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Get Psyched! 15 Little-Known Facts About BASEketball

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Don’t get psyched-out! Here are a few things you may not have known about 1998’s BASEketball, starring South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

1. BASEKETBALL WAS A REAL GAME THE DIRECTOR PLAYED WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER

Director, co-writer, and co-producer David Zucker and his friends invented the game BASEketball in 1982 because they were bored with playing regular basketball.


2. DAVID ZUCKER ORIGINALLY PLANNED ON MAKING A GAME SHOW

Zucker initially developed BASEketball as a TV game show modeled after MTV’s then-popular Rock ‘n’ Jock Sports. A pilot was shot with two competing teams of contestants, actors, and former sports stars. Chris Rock was the host.


3. THE MOVIE GREW FROM A FAILED BIOPIC PROJECT

Zucker, who had a development deal with Universal Studios, was working on a movie adaptation of the life of Davy Crockett, but that project fell through. Desperate to keep his contract, Zucker pitched a low-budget comedy idea based on his made-up game—it got the green light.


4. TREY PARKER AND MATT STONE WERE CAST AFTER SOUTH PARK BECAME A HIT

The filmmakers approached Parker and Stone to be in the movie after their animated series became the biggest hit in Comedy Central’s history.


5. BEFORE BASEKETBALL, PARKER AND STONE HAD PITCHED ZUCKER A TV SHOW

A musical buddy comedy about the biblical exodus called Aaron and Moses.


6. CHRIS FARLEY WAS ZUCKER’S FIRST CHOICE FOR THE LEAD.

Parker was cast after Farley tragically passed away in December 1997.


7. PARKER AND STONE HAD AN UNOFFICIAL HAND IN CRAFTING THE SCRIPT

Though they don’t have writing credits, Parker and Stone helped rewrite the script to make it align with their raunchy sensibilities. Stone’s character Doug Remer didn’t even appear in original drafts—he was only added after Stone was cast.


8. SQUEAK SCOLARI WAS PARKER AND STONE’S GOOD LUCK CHARM

Parker and Stone also added the sidekick character Squeak, played by their friend Dian Bachar. Bachar had previously appeared in Parker and Stone’s movies Cannibal! The Musical and Orgasmo, and would go on to lend his voice to background characters on South Park.


9. ZUCKER CAST BAYWATCH STAR YASMINE BLEETH WITHOUT EVER SEEING THE SHOW

He was simply impressed by her audition.


10. SOME SOUTH PARK CHARACTERS MAKE AN UNOFFICIAL APPEARANCE IN THE MOVIE

Parker delivers lines in the same voices he uses for South Park characters in some key moments. He uses Mr. Garrison’s voice to make fun of Stone’s character for helping a kids’ charity (the line is, “I forgot how much Douglas Remer cares about kids”). Then, Parker channels Cartman while trying to psych-out a Dallas player in the championship game by telling him how fat he is.


11. SPORTSCASTER AL MICHAELS THREATENED LEGAL ACTION OVER HIS ONE DAY OF WORK

When Michaels found out that fellow sportscaster Bob Costas was being paid $50,000 ($35,000 more than Michaels) for his one day of work on the movie, Michaels threatened legal action. He was eventually paid $60,000 for his brief appearance.


12. THE MOVIE SPAWNED ACTUAL BASEKETBALL LEAGUES

At least five official BASEketball leagues popped up around the country.


13. THE UNSOLVED MYSTERIES EMPLOYEES AREN’T DOING THEIR JOBS VERY WELL

During the scenes with Robert Stack in the Unsolved Mysteries offices, nearly all of the employees can be seen playing solitaire on their computers.


14. THE BEERS DO A FAMILIAR CELEBRATION

After winning the Denslow Cup, Coop, Remer, and Squeak do the “Mile High Salute,” a celebration favored by the Denver Broncos football team in the late ‘90s. Parker and Stone are both Colorado natives and lifelong Broncos fans.


15. IT SPAWNED ITS OWN INTERNET MEME

The expression “derp,” a variation of “duh,” was first used in BASEketball.

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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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