DID YOU READ

5 Culturally Insensitive Comedies That Somehow Exist

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The Internet has exploded with “hot takes” on Rachel Dolezal, the Caucasian head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP who has passed herself off as a black woman for many years. And if your brain is as pop culture-addled/rotted as ours, your thoughts immediately went to Soul Man, the 1986 “comedy” where C. Thomas Howell actually wears blackface in front of James Earl Jones.

Sadly, the history of motion picture comedy is rife with awkward and dated examples of actors portraying another race in a less than sensitive fashion. Here are five of the most egregious cases.

1. Soul Man

It’s difficult to watch the trailer for this infamous C. Thomas Howell vehicle today without your jaw dropping several times. Howell plays a rich kid faced with paying for his Harvard Law School tuition when daddy cuts him off. Instead of taking out student loans or, say, getting a part-time job, Howell’s Mark Watson instead takes tanning pills (which apparently was a thing if this movie is to be believed) in order to pass as African-American and deceive his way into a scholarship. Fun fact: This comedy from the producers of Risky Business was written by one of the creators of The Wonder Years, proving we all have off days. Less fun fact: Howell’s line “These are the ’80s, man — the Cosby decade!” is uncomfortable on a number of levels today.


2. Ernest Goes to Africa

After inadvertently giving his lady love a yo-yo made from rare African diamonds, Ernest P. Worrel gets embroiled in an adventure that takes him to Africa and involves all manner of dated jokes about tribal cultures. (Yes, Ernest almost gets eaten by the natives.) He also dresses in drag and dons blackface as a servant named “Hey You.” Definitely the low point of the Ernest franchise, which is saying a lot when you take into account outings like Slam Dunk Ernest, where our loveable yokel become a basketball sensation thanks to a pair of magic shoes.


3. The Love Guru

In a way, we only have ourselves to blame for Mike Myers’ painfully unfunny Guru Pitka character. If we hadn’t encouraged him to don a fat suit and insult Scottish people in several Austin Powers movies, perhaps he would’ve thought before adopting a stereotypical accent and ridiculous beard for his disastrous appropriation of Indian culture. Hopefully we have all learned something here.


4. The Party

Of course, Myers was likely channeling his hero Peter Sellers, who played an Indian actor in director Blake Edwards’ experimental comedy. The same Edwards of course who gave us Mickey Rooney sporting buckteeth and an exaggerated Japanese accent straight out of a World War II-era Bugs Bunny cartoon in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


5. Basically Any Movie Where Rob Schneider Wears a Wig and False Teeth

Really, this list could be comprised entirely of Adam Sandler movies where Rob Schneider pretty much commits a hate crime on film. Whether it’s Salim in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, the Asian minister in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Ula in 50 First Dates or even the Chinese waiter he played in Eight Crazy Nights, Schneider can always be counted on to offend some culture with his broad, stereotypical performances. Really, who hasn’t he offended at this point? The Dutch, perhaps? There’s still time. To crib from his famous line from The Waterboy, “You can do it, Rob!”

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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