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American Pie Band Camp

Rhythm Nation

10 Toe-Tapping Marching Band Moments

Get in step with American Pie Presents: Band Camp this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Maybe it’s the crisp uniforms and shiny instruments or the way everyone moves exactly in unison, but nothing perks up a crowd quite like a marching band.  And while not every story that starts with “this one time at band camp…” winds up a winner, it’s hard not to love the adorkable characters that suit up and play along with our favorite onscreen bands. So before you practice your scales and make-out skills with Matt Stifler and the gang at Tall Oaks in American Pie Presents: Band Camp this month on IFC, get in step with some toe-tapping marching band moments. March Madness just took on a whole new meaning…

1. Drumline

Drumline
Paramount Pictures

Possibly THE quintessential marching band movie, Drumline is full of sick beats, impressive halftime performances, and all the typical life lessons a rebellious drumming prodigy (Nick Cannon) should learn when he’s forced to be part of a team instead of the star. But nothing beats the final showdown between Atlanta A&T and rival Morris Brown, going head-to-head on the 50 yard line. After a flashy performance from Morris Brown’s drumline, A&T retaliates with an awe-inspiring cadence, moving forward until they drop their sticks on top of Morris Brown’s drums, delivering one final crushing blow and winning the championship. Stick-dropping should definitely be the new mic-dropping.


2. Mr. Holland’s Opus

Drumline
Buena Vista Pictures

When frustrated composer turned high school music teacher Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss in an Academy Award-nominated performance) is tasked with starting a marching band, things don’t exactly go very smoothly. But this being an inspirational teacher movie, the band and its novice wrestler-turned-drummer, Louis, (a pre-Empire Terrence Howard) obviously improve pretty rapidly via a musical montage (is there any other way?) and give a rollicking performance of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” during a parade with Glenn in full marching band regalia leading the way. You’d have to be buttoned up like Vice Principal Wolters (William H. Macy) to not want to dance along.


3. Animal House

Usually a homecoming parade is a time of celebration with floats and marching bands, but for the raucous Delta House at Faber College, it’s a time for revenge on evil Dean Wormer and rival fraternity, the Omegas. While Bluto (John Belushi) leads the charge in an all-black float nicknamed “Deathmobile,” fellow Deltas Stork (Douglas Kenney) and Handbar (Chris Miller) distract the school marching band, leading them down a deserted alleyway away from the parade. The band keeps marching until they all crash into the wall, crushing their trombones and possibly also their school spirit.


4. Live and Let Die

Bond films always start off with a bang, and Roger Moore’s first outing as the suave MI6 agent definitely doesn’t disappoint, especially when it opens with a New Orleans jazz funeral. As the marching band passes an unnamed MI6 agent observing a restaurant called the Fillet of Soul, he’s stabbed by a fellow observer and falls to the ground. The passing pallbearers put his dead body into their empty coffin, and the once mournful procession suddenly turns joyous with the band and its followers dancing wildly to Dixieland jazz. Guess Café du Monde’s beignets aren’t the only thing to-die-for in New Orleans.


5. Easy A

Now THIS is what we’d call a “pep” rally! In a last ditch attempt to set the record straight about her “extracurricular activities,” wisecracking Olive Penderghast (a winning Emma Stone) solicits the help of her high school band and mascot crush Todd (Penn Badgley) to interrupt a school assembly and perform a sexy routine to the song “Knock on Wood.” While her former best friend, Rhiannon (Aly Michalka), is visibly shocked by Olive’s outlandish display, the rest of the school can’t seem to get enough. Olive’s performance is one we easily give an A.


6. Doctor Who

Christmas always seems to be a busy day for our favorite traveling time lord, especially when a band of murderous robot Santas suddenly start chasing companion Rose (Billie Piper) all around London while she’s out Christmas shopping. These spooky big band St. Nicks first popped up in David Tennant’s debut outing as the Doctor, “The Christmas Invasion,” back in 2005 and made a second appearance the following year in “The Runaway Bride,” kidnapping future companion Donna (Catherine Tate) in a London taxi. When it comes to THESE Santas, everyone is on the Naughty List!


7. Freaks & Geeks

Freaks and Geeks
NBC

While Paul Feig and Judd Apatow’s late, great cult TV series was full of lovable losers, smartass slacker Ken (Seth Rogen) holds a special place in our hearts thanks to his relationship with band nerd Amy (Jessica Campbell). Initially, Ken made fun of “Tuba Girl” (as he calls her), but with every wicked insult she threw back at him, he realized she’d marched her way into his heart and wound up asking her out. The two hit a few bumps along the way, but Ken and Amy became one of the most enduring and heartfelt couples of the series. Their sweet relationship sure hit all the right notes with us.


8. The Wolf of Wall Street

Wolf of Wall Street
Paramount Pictures

Marching bands are known for their eye-catching uniforms, but that means something a little different for the band hired for one of Stratton Oakmont’s infamous company ragers. Broker mastermind Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and right-hand man Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) are prone to throwing debauched parties full of drinking, drugs and sex anytime someone at their firm makes a high-stakes deal, so after a particularly good week of money-making, Donnie leads a barely-dressed marching band through the trading floor to the sounds of John Philip Sousa’s “Stars & Stripes Forever.” All that’s missing from this red, tighty-whiteys and blue display are fireworks.


9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Though Ferris (Matthew Broderick) gets into all kinds of mischief around Chicago, we’re partial to his charismatic performance atop a float in the Von Steuben Day Parade. Ferris cuts loose with a rendition of “Twist and Shout” complete with a giant dancing marching band and girls in lederhosen. The party REALLY gets rocking when a group of dancers show up doing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” choreography. For this moment of musical fun, we must say “danke schoen” to director John Hughes and choreographer Kenny Ortega of Dirty Dancing fame.


10. 10 Things I Hate About You

It’s entirely possible bad boy Patrick Verona (the late Heath Ledger in one of his most fun performances) invented what we now know as prom-prosals back in the beloved 1999 teen comedy adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. In an attempt to win over feisty Kat’s (Julia Stiles) affections, Patrick hijacks both the school’s loudspeaker and marching band to serenade her at soccer practice with the Four Seasons classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” As Ledger works his crinkly smile to the enthusiastic strains of the marching band and Stiles blushes five shades of red during this typical Hollywood “Grand Romantic Gesture,” it’s impossible to find a single thing to hate about this moment, let alone 10.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

via GIPHY

IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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