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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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

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

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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