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10 Top Gun Spoofs That’ll Take You to the Danger Zone

Catch a 30th anniversary screening of Top Gun tonight at 10:30P on IFC.

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Photo Credot: 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection

Top Gun is a ’80s classic, full of killer tunes, cocky pilots and hair so big Tom Cruise had to stand on a box to act next to it. Walk up to anyone on the street and asks for a quote, and they’ll blurt out “I’ve got a need for speed!” so quick, you’ll think they’re asking for drugs. But just because we love this ode to Reagan’s America, it doesn’t mean we don’t recognize how ridiculous it is. By any reasonable estimation, millions of dollars were spent on aviator glasses and baby oil alone. There’s a lot to make fun of here, and pop culture has never been shy about doing it. Before you catch a special 30th anniversary airing of Top Gun on IFC this Friday, Feb. 26th, at 10:30P, check out a few of the spoofs that can be our wingman anytime.

10. How Top Gun Should Have Ended

Let’s be honest. Top Gun is a lot of things, from a love letter to American exceptionalism to a homoerotic volleyball movie just itching to break free, but it isn’t the most coherent of movies at times. Internet nitpickers have long wondered why Maverick was willing to be Iceman’s wingman, even though the blonde hunk basically killed his best friend, Goose. Sure, a cheese ball of summer blockbuster action like this needs to wrap things up in a nice bow, but what the what was that all about? How It Should Have Ended, an animated web series exploring the plot holes in our favorite movies, hits the nail on the head here.


9. Honest Trailers Takes On Top Gun

Where How It Should Have Ended likes to hone in on one odd plot hole, the good folks at Honest Trailers show no such restraint. Their jobs are to break down every weird detail they can find, and boy does Top Gun prove fertile ground. This movie, “from the guy who made Alien and Blade Runner…’s brother,” starring “devout Catholic Tom Cruise” is already as close to parody as a film can get, without even knowing it. All the Honest Trailer folks had to do was show up.


8. Iceman – The Later Years From SNL

Top Gun is about a group of taut and tanned pilots, at that moment in their lives when blue-lit sex scenes set to Berlin songs and homoerotic volleyball help turn them from boys into men. It’s pretty hard to picture Maverick and Iceman as honest-to-God grown ups, although if reports are accurate, we may finally be subjected to it with an upcoming sequel. But back in 2000, SNL took their turn at speculating what Iceman’s later years would look like. It wasn’t pretty.


7. Liz And Jack High Five Like True Top Guns

Top Gun is full of iconic moments, from Tom Cruise’s need for speed to Val Kilmer’s teeth chomping skills. There are so many details to pick apart, and pop culture has been doing it pretty much since the movie was released. Here we see Liz and Jack exchange Maverick and Goose’s iconic high five, right down to the fist pump. Knowing Liz Lemon, Jack probably caught her on the highway to the sandwich-zone.


6. Peter Imagines He’s Maverick On Family Guy

If you were a little boy in the ’80s, you’ve had a Top Gun fantasy or two. When you shut your eyes, you can still feel yourself strapped into the cockpit, punking on the other pilots, and taking home the girl. It goes without saying that this dream is scored to some sweet Kenny Loggins tunes. Just ask Peter Griffin, who makes his fantasy about American as you can get, by adding a pickup truck into the mix.


5. Archer Takes The Highway To The Dangerzone

Outside of Burt Reynolds, few heroes have coattails Sterling Archer wants to ride more than Maverick. That’s why when Archer goes to his happy place, which often involves a lot of booze and pills, his delusions include shot-for-shot remakes of the “Highway to the Dangerzone” video, with him in the lead. Hey, we’ve all been there.


4. Quentin Tarantino Breaks Down Something Suspicious About Top Gun (NSFW)

Okay, this isn’t a spoof as much as a conversation, but Quentin Tarantino’s monologue in the movie Sleep With Me, breaking down the homosexual undercurrents of Top Gun, helped the world finally come to terms with what they’d thought all along. There’s something a little off about that movie, not that there’s anything wrong with that.


3. SNL Wonders Who Else Auditioned For Top Gun

It’s hard to picture Top Gun starring anyone but the chiseled, prototypical ’80s cast producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott assembled, but for the movie’s 25th anniversary, SNL took a swing at imagining who else could have been up for a part. And we have to admit, we’d love to see the version starring Sinbad and Tony Danza.


2. The Kroll Show Shows How Times Have Changed

Warfare has come a long way since the heady days of the Cold War. Today, hellfire is unleashed with the click of a button, and the greatest pilots in the military do their jobs from cubicles. Or at least, that’s what Nick Kroll would have us believe, in this sketch that shows us how drone pilots lives are more like The Office than Top Gun.


1. Hot Shots! Finds A Whole Movie By Making Fun of Top Gun

This movie has it all. Charlie Sheen before the tiger blood. Director Jim Abrahams, hot off of The Naked Gun. And source material so ridiculous, they squeezed out 84 minutes of jokes, and still had some left over for the sequel. Sure, this wasn’t the greatest comedy ever made, but it’s definitely the best one based on Top Gun.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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