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Bill Hader – Fred Armisen – Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/IFC.

Let's Get Physical

10 Modern Masters of Physical Comedy

Celebrate America with a Three Stooges marathon July 4th starting at 6AM on IFC.

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In honor of America and our love of pratfalls, IFC is hosting a July 4th Three Stooges marathon. The three slapstick buffoons started a revolution of physical comedy, leading to some of the funniest characters in cinematic and television history. This Independence Day, pay tribute to the recent slapstick stars that made comedy visually hilarious.

10. Steve Carell

Steve Carell
NBC Universal

Steve Carell’s Michael Scott is known for always saying the wrong thing, but he is also known for his hilariously awful impersonations and dance moves. While a lot of Carell’s best moments as Scott are ridiculous one-liners (“Do you think doing alcohol is cool?”), moments such as kissing Oscar and being “Prison Mike” are feats of physical comedic greatness.


9. Tina Fey

Tina Fey
NBC Universal

Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon has a way with both hilarious zingers and slapstick goddess. A notable moment for Lemon was when she pretended to be a crazy old lady on the subway so no one would talk to her. Wherever Lemon is, we want to go to there.


8. Will Ferrell

Old School
DreamWorks

There are a lot of Will Ferrell films that exhibit his funny physical side, but Old School is the one that showed the world he was up for anything.


7. Jim Carrey

Liar Liar
Universal

Carrey is similar to Ferrell in that any number of his movies portray his comedic slapstick (we had a hard time not putting The Cable Guy on the list). Liar, Liar is still one of his finest moments because for most of the entire movie, Carrey is in physical comedy haven. His slips and falls are all so painfully hysterical because of the sordid torture of having to tell the truth… all of the time.


6. Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer
Universal

Amy Schumer for many years was known for her raunchy stand-up and television show, but her film Trainwreck was a perfect combination of insightful witticisms and over-the-top vulgarness. The scene in particular that proves her physical comedy chops is the horrifyingly hilarious almost-sex scene with the intern — Schumer’s character Amy is hilarious in the midst of being drunk, horny, and horrified.


5. Bill Hader

IFC
IFC

Between SNL and his brilliant performances on Documentary Now!, it’s hard to choose just one moment from this master of physical comedy. But Little Vivvy from “Sandy Passage” is delicately hilarious in her small nuances, such as fidgeting with her sweatpant headdress and musing over memories while putting her fingers to her chin. Hader is also hysterical in a much bigger way as well, such as in Vivvy’s patriotic dance routine, the non-scripted fall through the ceiling and, of course, the terrifying murderous leap to the camera. Comedy’s never been so unnerving.


4. Melissa McCarthy

Bridesmaids
Universal Studios

Speaking of unnerving, while Melissa McCarthy’s Megan Price in Bridesmaids was a scene-stealer with crude lines, her greatest strength in the film was her ballsy physical comedic performance. The most notable and disgusting scene will forever be haunting due to McCarthy’s painful screams and hilariously red face after the gang gets food poisoning. We’ll never go to a Brazilian steak restaurant before a fitting, that’s for sure.


3. Michael Richards

Sony
Sony Pictures Television

Is there any other character in the history of television that has a more memorable entrance than Kramer? Richards seemed like he wasn’t even trying as Cosmo Kramer, and for that his physical comedy was flawless. Every entrance into Jerry’s apartment was jarring but giggle-inducing. Bigger storylines also played to Richard’s physical comedic strengths, such as when Kramer sets up the hot tub in his apartment. When the hot tub goes cold, Richard’s shivering Kramer causes tear-inducing laughter. “Giddy up!”


2. Steve Martin

Universal
Universal Studios

Steve Martin is a force of all different kinds of comedy, from silly songs, stand-up and films. The silliest of which, for sure, being The Jerk. Martin’s slapstick carries the movie, the finest scene being when he is shot at while working at the gas station. “He hates these cans!”


1. John Belushi

The top of the list has to be the one and only John Belushi for his go-for-broke performances on SNL and as Bluto in Animal House. The man hardly has any lines but steals the entire show. From chugging a fifth of Jack to smashing a guitar (“Sorry.”) to vivaciously dancing in a toga to giving a passionate, yet historically incorrect, speech, each and every scene was a gem. The masterpiece, however, was the famed cafeteria scene, used by siblings to torture one another for decades to come. “I’m a zit! Get it?”

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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.