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Last Laugh

5 Creepy Clowns That Still Give Us Nightmares

Catch Stephen King's It during IFC's Father of Horror Marathon.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. TV

Pennywise, the evil clown from the 1990 TV miniseries Stephen King’s It, single-handedly scarred generations of children for life and forced parents to find alternate means of birthday party entertainment. But Pennywise is far from the only frightening joker to haunt our collective cultural consciousness. Before you catch It during IFC’s Stephen King Father of Horror marathon, check out the top 5 clowns from our childhood that still send a shiver down our spine. Nightmares and hiding under your blankets is totally optional (but completely expected).

5. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Killer Klowns
Trans World Entertainment

This cult hit is heavier on the campiness than the creepiness, but its eponymous killer klowns are still no laughing matter. Aliens from an unspecified planet, the Klowns use a variety of circus-style tricks to trap and kill their human prey like making balloon animals come to life or slurping up liquefied humans through a giant crazy straw. The humans are forced to commandeer an ice cream truck in order to flee from Jojo, the giant Klownzilla, proving once again that ice cream fixes everything.


4. Hospital clowns, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Pee-wee’s anxiety over his missing bike manifests in a dream where a freaky group of clowns in hospital scrubs operate on our hero’s prized ride. Perhaps the creepy clown make-up in this scene inspired Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman.


3. Ryan’s Clown Doll, Poltergeist

Clown Poltergeist
MGM

Lessons we learned from Poltergeist:
– Don’t live in houses built on old burial grounds.
– Turn off your TV before bed.
– Never keep clown dolls in your bedroom.
– Better yet, just don’t own a clown doll in the first place.
– Did we mention the clown doll thing?


2. Zeebo, Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Kids who grew up in the ’90s owe more than their fair share of nightmares to both R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Nickelodeon’s petrifying Are You Afraid of the Dark?  series. Easily one of the scariest episodes of the bunch, “The Tale of the Laughing in the Dark” featured clown Zeebo who died during a fire caused by smoking cigars inside a funhouse. Of course, years later, a stubborn kid named Josh just HAS to go inside and steal Zeebo’s nose only to be stalked by the freaky clown until he returns it and makes an offering of cigars. Boy, Red Nose Day really took a dark turn, didn’t it?


1. Pennywise, It

Pennywise
Warner Bros. TV

Pennywise (perfectly played by Tim Curry) is actually an ancient demonic creature from another dimension that has the ability to shape-shift into its prey’s worst fears, which just happens to be clowns for the Losers Club of Derry, Maine. Pennywise gleefully torments the children (and later their adult selves) using super fun methods like geysers of blood in the shower or just straight up eating them. And just in case all of THAT wasn’t scary enough, Pennywise’s true form is something closer to a giant, pregnant spider. If you need us, we’ll be filling inhalers with battery acid and practicing our slingshot skills.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

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

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

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

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

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

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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