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Pennywise 1920

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

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

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.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.