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DID YOU READ

15 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About The Invention of Lying

THE INVENTION OF LYING, from left: Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, 2009. Ph: Sam Urdank/

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Ricky Gervais cannot tell a lie, or can he? Here are some facts about his 2009 comedy The Invention of Lying.

1. THE IDEA FOR THE MOVIE BEGAN AS A SHORT SKIT.

Screenwriter Matt Robinson’s original idea for a feature film grew from a skit he wrote about two people on a date who don’t have the ability to lie. He later expanded on the idea for more skits with the same premise and then adapted them it into a full film script.


2. ROBINSON SENT THE SCRIPT TO GERVAIS ON A WHIM.

Robinson and producer Lynda Obst sent Gervais the script out of the blue in the hopes that it would spark his interest. Gervais loved it and eventually flew Robinson to London to retool the script and make the movie.


3. SPIKE JONZE AND MICHEL GONDRY WERE ON A SHORTLIST OF DIRECTORS.

Gervais and Robinson drew up a list of dream directors for the film, including Jonze (Adaptation., Being John Malkovich) and Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Ultimately, they decided to direct it themselves.


4. IT’S GERVAIS’S FEATURE FILM DIRECTORIAL DEBUT.

Gervais had previously directed episodes of the UK version of The Office and his show Extras before jumping to feature films with The Invention of Lying.


5. THE SCRIPT WAS ON 2007’s BLACK LIST.

Matt Robinson’s screenplay, which was titled This Side of Truth at the time, was included in the year’s official list of the “most liked” un-produced scripts in Hollywood [PDF].


6. ROBINSON EVENTUALLY BECAME A PODCASTER.

The Invention of Lying is Robinson’s only feature film directorial effort to date. He is now the co-host of a podcast called Get Up On This, wherein he and a co-host predict pop culture trends before they happen.


7. THE MOVIE INCLUDES A SLY NOD TO WOODY ALLEN.

The movie’s credits feature white text in the Windsor font on a black background—a style used in nearly all of Allen’s films.


8. IT’S FILLED WITH A-LIST CAMEOS.

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the bartender, Edward Norton plays the highway patrolman, Jason Bateman plays the doctor, and Christopher Guest plays one of the movie lecturers. Also, Stephen Merchant, the co-creator of The Office, plays the rich man at the door, and co-director Matt Robinson cameos as the TV interviewer and the nerdy guy in glasses in the crowd outside Mark’s (Gervais) apartment.


9. THE ORIGINAL OPENING WAS CUT.

In the wordless sequence, narrated by Patrick Stewart, Mark’s caveman ancestor learns how to lie and then imagines what could have been if it had never happened.


10. AFTER CASTING LOUIS C.K. IN THIS FILM, GERVAIS WOULD APPEAR ON C.K.’S SHOW.

Gervais played the doctor in two episodes of Louie’s first season.


11. THEY SHOT THE MOVIE IN NEW ENGLAND.

The unnamed town in the movie is primarily Lowell, Massachusetts.


12. JENNIFER GARNER AND RICKY GERVAIS HAD WORKED TOGETHER BEFORE.

Garner was cast because Gervais previously appeared on Alias.


13. PIZZA HUT DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN THE MOVIE.

The pizza chain initially tried to bar the filmmakers from including its logo on Mark’s new Ten Commandments, but the filmmakers were able to include it due to satire laws.


14. THE CHAPEL IN THE FINAL SCENE IS A LANDMARK IN SUDBURY, MASSACHUSETTS.

The Martha Mary Chapel was built by car magnate Henry Ford.


15. A PROMO CONTEST FOR THE FILM ASKED PEOPLE TO SUBMIT “HONEST” MOVIE POSTERS.

Gervais selected a submission from the contest mocking the Twilight saga as the winner.

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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.