DID YOU READ

The Worst TV-to-Movie Adaptations

Last Airbender

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Starting in the 1980s, the perpetually idea-starved hacks of Hollywood decided that there was easy money to be made in taking classic TV shows and giving them big-screen follow-ups. While some of these were awesome (The Brady Bunch, for example), others really stunk. With Entourage earning less-than-stellar reviews, here are 10 TV-to-movie adaptations that should have stuck to the small screen.

10. Fat Albert

Bill Cosby has done enough to tarnish his once-great legacy all by himself, but this deeply bizarre 2004 adaptation of his classic cartoon certainly didn’t help. SNL’s Kenan Thompson is the big guy in a bizarre metafictional tale where the animated characters jump out of the TV, become flesh and blood, and then meet their creator.


9. Mr. Magoo

There’s a special place in hell for movies that take beloved cartoons and wrench them into the awful world of live-action. Leslie Nielsen’s turn as nearsighted codger Mr. Magoo in the 1997 adaptation was grating and corny, and the flick was pulled from theaters after just two painful weeks.


8. The Avengers

No, not the Joss Whedon superhero juggernaut – this was a lamentable 1998 action flick based on a trend-setting British spy show. Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman star as John Steed and Emma Peel, who have to battle a plot to control the weather. Universal didn’t allow press screenings and the film was cut from 115 minutes to 87, creating an incoherent mess.


7. The Mod Squad

Multiracial teen crime show The Mod Squad was considered pretty progressive when it debuted in 1968, but by 1999 it was nothing more than a footnote. So of course MGM snatched up the rights for a reboot, and the result was a flick that was both boring and regressive. With a 4% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the world seems to agree with us.


6. McHale’s Navy

1997 was the nadir of the TV-to-movie phenomenon, with even relatively obscure properties like McHale’s Navy getting the treatment. The big-screen version starred Tom Arnold in the lead role, which should be a giant flashing warning sign right there. An awful script and a waste of Ernest Borgnine made this one a huge flop.

5. The Gong Show Movie

Probably the only game show that got a big-screen spinoff, The Gong Show Movie follows host Chuck Barris through a week of his life, contending with the talentless lunatics that made his ’70s variety show a success. The flick is an incoherent, unwatchable mess notable only for Jaye P. Morgan’s bare breast and a guy blowing out a candle with his farts.


4. Dudley Do-Right

Brendan Fraser starred as the titular Mountie in this awful adaptation of the Jay Ward cartoon classic, with Sarah Jessica Parker at a career low point as romantic interest Nell. The relentless slapstick and clumsy performances made this film pretty much unwatchable, and it only made back a fraction of its $70 million budget.


3. Wild Wild West

The 1965 Wild Wild West TV show was a fun melding of the dying Western genre with the new hotness of espionage thrillers, but the 1999 movie version starring Will Smith was a moribund, plodding, unfunny affair. A little bit of trivia: the giant robot spider was originally supposed to be the antagonist for producer Jon Peters’ failed Superman film.


2. Car 54, Where Are You?

Originally intended to be a musical comedy but released to theaters with all the songs cut out, this disastrous take on the ’60s sitcom sat on the studio shelf for four years after being filmed. Co-star Rosie O’Donnell has publicly asked people to never watch the movie.


1. The Last Airbender

M. Night Shyamalan pissed off legion of devotees with his live-action adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon. Whether it was casting white people for Asian roles or pushing eye-straining 3D effects, the movie is considered to be one of the worst of all time. Needless to say, we won’t be getting a sequel.

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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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