Community Christmas Special

Ho Ho Ha Ha

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 moments 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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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