Hot Shots

Top Fun

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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

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

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.