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Last Witch Hunter

Wigging Out

A Timeline of Vin Diesel’s Hair in Movies

Catch Vin Diesel in Pitch Black and Babylon A.D. Thursday, March 31st starting at 5:45P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate

With some actors, it feels like they’ve always been old. Wilford Brimley was playing grandpas all the way back in the 1986 television series Our House, and is somehow still going strong. Some actors don’t age at all. Paul Rudd could probably still play a teen heartthrob in a pinch. It’s like he’s frozen in alabaster. Very likable alabaster

And then there’s Vin Diesel, America’s living Olive Garden emoji, because when you’re with him, you’re family. Vin has a very special quality that sets him apart from nearly every other actor in the game: he’s always been bald. Seriously, he must have started balding at birth. Try to remember when he had hair. Any hair. Maybe some early movie, before he broke big?

How about Multi-Facial, the short film that first got him attention?

Multifacial

Nope. Well, he must have had hair in his big break, Saving Private Ryan?

Dreamworks

Not so much.

Okay, how about Boiler Room?

New Line Cinema

Bald as a coot. And, obviously, he wasn’t using his Rogaine when he made Pitch Black.

Few actors, since the heyday of chrome dome Telly Savalas, have been as bald for as long as Mr. Diesel. You have to dig deep into his past, to a time when he was still known as Mark Sinclair, aspiring break-dancer, to find a hairdo on his head. And what a ‘do it was, a tight Afro that wouldn’t get in the way of a head spin or two.

Vin Diesel breakdancing

No, if we’re being honest, Vin Diesel with hair is like Arnold with an American accent or The Rock not smelling what anyone’s cooking. It just doesn’t make sense. But it has happened.

The first time Mr. Big Movie Star decided to play the follicle game was in the big budget Pitch Black sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick. That was 2004, just shy of a decade removed from his first real part in the movies. More chunky dreads than movie star locks, he looked a bit like he was making a movie about George Clinton taking over for Santa Claus.

New Line Cinema

We’d have to wait two more years for the Vin Diesel wig department’s true tour de force. Find Me Guilty saw Diesel playing a wise guy who decides to defend himself in court. Hemmed in by the minor detail that he was portraying a real person, there was little choice but to slap some hair on that cue ball. Our man Vin sports a wig that would make The People vs. O.J. Simpson proud. The Big Short would use this wig as inspiration for their whole movie, that’s how impressive it was. It’s got pomp. It’s got loads of forehead. It’s beautiful.

Freestyle Releasing

The 2015 bomb The Last Witch Hunter would see Diesel’s return to the wig game, with a short on the sides, long in the back style that looks more at home in a Macklemore video than in a gritty, historical action flick. Still, you can’t blame the guy. What does he know about hair? The last time he got a haircut M.C Hammer was still legit enough to quit.

Lionsgate

And then…nothing. Hair silence. And with news that Vin is developing a Kojack movie, we may be out of luck for a while. Still, an army of wigs stands ready and able, waiting for the call.

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

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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.