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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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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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GIFS via Giphy

At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
Brockmire-Strap-On

Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
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Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
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Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
Jules-never-seen

See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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