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10 Best Christmas Sitcom Episodes

Get cozy with a That '70s Show marathon Christmas Day on IFC.

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It’s time to cozy up in your traditional Christmas Snuggie, next to the warm glow of electric sultriness emanating from your A Christmas Story leg lamp and your Nick Offerman Yule log. We hope you enjoy reminiscing about some of your favorite Christmas memories that don’t involve your actual family. Here are the 10 Best Christmas Sitcom Episodes. Happy Holidays!

10. 30 Rock, “Ludachristmas”

30 Rock

Any 30 Rock episode with an appearance by Elaine Stritch as Jack’s strict mother is always a classic, but when Liz’s parents come in to town, it becomes a dysfunctional Christmas to remember. Conan fans are in for a treat as Andy Richter plays Liz’s totally rad brother who has convinced Liz and her parents for decades that due to a skiing accident he is mentally stuck in 1985. Jack embraces the homespun goodness of the Lemons with their matching Christmas sweaters until his mother shows him the true meaning of Christmas — all families are screwed up.


9. Friends, “The One With The Holiday Armadillo”

When Ross can’t find a Santa costume in in order to surprise his son Ben before Christmas, he buys a giant armadillo suit. In one of the funniest momentsĀ out of any Friends episode, he tries to give Ben a Christmas memory and teach him about the wonders of Judaism until Chandler comes along in a Santa costume to steal his Texas thunder. We’re surprised the “The Holiday Arm-a-dilloooo” never caught on as a Christmas favorite. He’s far less creepy than that Elf on the Shelf weirdo.


8. The Odd Couple, “Scrooge Gets an Oscar”

Paramount TV

Paramount TV

It’s a time-honored Christmas sitcom tradition to do a parody of A Christmas Carol. No TV character was a more reluctant, yet hilarious Scrooge than Oscar Madison. Oscar is a literal Scrooge, refusing to play the character in a play that Feliz is directing for an orphanage. Tossing Felix out of the house at Christmas time is the equivalent of kicking the crutch away from Tiny Tim. Of course, Oscar has a hilarious dream in which he is Ebenezer Madison and Felix and his poker buddies become the characters in the Dickens classic. Oscar, like Scrooge, becomes a changed man and gets Felix what he’s always wanted for Christmas — a humidifier.


7. The Office, “Christmas Party”

Presents The Office

Presents The Office 2

Presents The Office 3

Leave it to Michael Scott to make the Dunder Mifflin Christmas party awkwardly hilarious as he rejects the “sucky” homemade oven mitt that Phyllis gave him for Secret Santa and introduced a “Yankee Swap” exchange in order to get a better present. In a classic “Jam” moment, Jim almost acts on his on his love for Pam by putting a series of items inside a teapot that were mementos of their friendship, before removing the love note when she finally gets the teapot. The episode is a reminder that office holiday parties can easily turn awkward and melancholy.


6. The Wonder Years, “Christmas”

The Wonder Years season two Christmas episode will make you instantly nostalgic for the craziness of family at the holidays. Kevin and Wayne are mad at their Dad for not getting them a color TV set, which seems trivial when he realizes why Winnie and her family left town for Christmas. The episode’s use of Joni Mitchell’s “River” with it’s famous line “It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees…” coupled with Daniel Stern’s voiceover will have you reaching for the tissues at the end of this poignant episode.


5. Community, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”

NBC

NBC

Leave it to Community, the show that loves to reference other TV shows, to do an entire episode in Claymation from the point of view of Abed. The instant holiday classic has all the pop culture references you’d expect plus an element of sadness as Abed’s Claymation fantasy is caused by finding out his mother couldn’t spend their special day together. The sight of the Greendale gang as bizarro versions of the Misfit toys is something that makes us chuckle every holiday season.


4. That ’70s Show, “An Eric Forman Christmas”

“Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn dumbass,” is what Red probably sang at Eric’s first Christmas. In this classic Christmas episode with the gang from That ’70s Show, Eric takes on the role of Charlie Brown when he agrees to direct the Christmas play at Pastor Dave’s Church. Sure, the Grinch was mean but he never threatened to put his mistlefoot in any Who’s asses, like Red did to poor Bob.


3. Seinfeld, “The Strike”

Just like Christmas has its Santa story, anyone who watched Seinfeld knows about the Constanza family tradition of Festivus. It is the holiday that Frank Costanza devised while “raining blows” upon a fellow shopper one Christmas. The airing of family grievances by the Festivus pole as a child most likely set George on the course of his very George-like life. George brings back Festivus in order to show his boss Mr. Kruger why he was handing out fake gift cards to a “Human Fund” charity that didn’t exist. The Festivus meal is hands down one of the funniest moments in holiday sitcom and Seinfeld history.


2. South Park, “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo”

You know the song and you can’t help but sing along. Mr. Hankey, that loveable Christmas character, first appears in this Season one episode after Kyle’s mom complains that her son was cast in a Nativity play, which results in the removal of everything Christmas-y that might be offensive to other religions. Kyle is the “loneliest Jew on Christmas” before Mr. Hankey arrives with a “Hidey Ho!” to save the day.


1. The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”

“Ho-Ho-D’oh!” was Homer’s first “D’oh!,” uttered in this holiday special that introduced the family to America way back in the winter of 1989. Showcasing all the offbeat humor and warmth that would mark future Simpsons classics, Homer finds out that he lost his Christmas bonus and briefly takes a job as a mall Santa before catching Bart getting a tattoo. You can’t get lower on Christmas than looking for discarded winning tickets in the parking lot of a dog track. When Santa’s Little Helper is tossed aside by his owner, he becomes the Simpsons dog, making Homer a hero and for a brief moment, all is right with the world. At least until Bart’s next prank.

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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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GIFS via Giphy

At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
Brockmire-Strap-On

Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
Brockmire-Perfect-High

Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
Brockmire-grain-salt

Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
Jules-never-seen

See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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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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