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Austin Powers Dr Evil

Dad Humor

10 Mortifying Pop Culture Dads

Catch the Austin Powers movies this month on IFC.

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This Father’s Day, IFC’s Stephen King Father of Horror marathon will prove he’s the master of scary dads, but we all know real fathers can be far more mortifying. One “Dad joke” can be more socially devastating than every sewer-dwelling clown or hatchet wielding Jack Nicholson. These mortifying dads prove that there’s nothing scarier than family.

10. Jack Byrnes, Meet the Parents

Meet the Fockers
Universal

Greg Focker’s father is careless enough to cause friction in any family, but father-in-law-to-be Jack (Robert DeNiro) makes family dinners more excruciating than being dragged over sandpaper. Especially when he starts talking about his nipples.


9. George Banks, Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride
Touchstone Pictures

Steve Martin’s George Banks can transfer embarrassment like fine wine — he’s a cringe-connoisseur serving up only the most masterful mortification to everyone around him. Father of the Bride gives him the most perfect position, motivation, and excuse to do exactly that.


8. Red Foreman, That ’70s Show

Red That 70s Show
Carsey-Werner Productions

Red Foreman is the most precious of parents: one who continually humiliates his son while remaining utterly, indignantly, ass-dumbingly above any feeling of shame for himself. Because he’s always right. He’s everyone’s favorite television dad, as long as he’s not their dad.


7. Peter Griffin, Family Guy

Peter Griffin
FOX

Other sitcom dads might humiliate their family, but they usually mean well. Peter Griffin will outright target his loved ones for the least perceived transgressions. Peter is the suburban dad id incarnate, acting on every perceived slight with hilarious consequences.


6. Noah Levenstein, American Pie

American Pie
Universal

Jim Levenstein already has enough embarrassing problems to collapse into a shame-induced singularity. With Noah for a dad, it’s a surprise he doesn’t spontaneously combust. Noah’s attempt to talk to Jim about sex, after finding his son hip deep in a homemade apple pie, are the stuff of life-long trauma.


5. Phil Dunphy, Modern Family

Phil Modern Family
ABC

With his corny jokes and knack for saying the wrong thing in most situations, Phil is the epitome of the awkward dad. But he loves his kids, even when he’s making them watch his latest magic trick.


4. George McFly, Back to the Future

George Back to the Future
Universal

George McFly humiliated his kid before he even had one, embarrassing Marty by proxy with every single step of the courtship that created him.


3. Larry, Maron

Maron dad
IFC

If anything awkward or embarrassing can happen to a regular guy, then it’s happened to Marc Maron. When his father arrives with an RV full of “Maron’s Mix,” a miracle vitamin he’s huckstering to anyone in range, it’s just one more way Marc’s pop is ruining the Maron name.


2. Dr. Evil, Austin Powers

Dr Evil
New Line Cinema

A merely embarrassing father shows you up in front of friends or family. Dr. Evil did that and added the entire world, continually cutting down his son, Scott, on the sort of scale only a megavillain can manage. (Click here to find out when the Austin Powers movies air this month on IFC.)


1. Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson
FOX

Whether he’s passing out drunk on the lawn or running naked through Springfield, Homer Simpson is the most humiliating (and longest running) parent in TV history. It’s amazing after all this time the guy still has a family to go home to.

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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.