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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.