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Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time
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.
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.
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.
Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…
IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?
Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.
IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.
IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?
Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.
IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?
Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).
IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?
Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.
IFC: Who are your comedy idols?
Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY- Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!
IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?
Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.
See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib
Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates
Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….
IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?
BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…
KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.
IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.
IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?
KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!
BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.
IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?
BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.
KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?
IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?
BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.
KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.
Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
See More Evil
Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:
Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.
Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.
Reminders that the ’90s were a thing
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.”
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.
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.
Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer
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…
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.
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.
Stan Diego Comic-Con
Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.
That's a wrap! 2:28 AM in a muddy in cemetery in GA a superlative cast & crew wrapped season 2 of Stan Against Evil. Thanks all!!! pic.twitter.com/HAFsJUl4AI
Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.
Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.
Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.
If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.
Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.
Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.
Adulting Like You Mean It
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…
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.
Kylo Ren Outtakes, Maron’s Advice for Millennials And More of This Week’s Funniest Videos
As another week ends, it’s important to blow off some steam with some hilarious videos. An entertainment appetizer, if you will, that’ll make the transition from work to play a little easier.
From a bumbling Kylo Ren to a perfect take on every white guy who covers Beyonce, here are five funny things from this week you need to watch.
1. Kylo Ren Outtakes
Exceeding fans’ expectations and being better than it had any right to be, Star Wars: The Force Awakens revitalized an ailing franchise from its abominable sequels. And a large part of the recent film’s appeal is its captivating villain, Kylo Ren. But as Auralnauts present in their YouTube video, the antagonist had a little trouble with negotiating his mask. Check out Kylo’s “outtakes” from the film and hope that director J.J. Abrams de-tints the visor for the next installment.
2. Marc Maron’s Advice for Millennials
The prospect of entering a tough job market with a soaring cost of living and a college degree of diminishing quality is enough to discourage any young millennial. Thankfully, IFC’s designated curmudgeon Marc Maron has some helpful advice for the young men and women to find some solace in an increasingly unfeeling word. Sure, it mostly involves swallowing your pride and accepting misery, but the intention is pure. (Find out how Marc digs himself out of his own personal hole when Maron returns on May 4th at 9P.)
3. Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” Covered By Animals
If you got somebody’s answering machine in the early-to-mid ’80s, you might’ve been greeted by a chorus of pups barking “Jingle Bells”, “Grand Old Flag”, or another royalty-free tune. In that vein, YouTuber Insane Cherry assembled the bleats, grunts, and meows from a veritable barnyard of animals into a rendition of “Where Is My Mind?” by the Pixies. Yes, the cats sound like they’re stressed, but to their credit, they’re really nailing Frank Black’s voice.
4. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie trailer
If you’re like us, you probably have fond memories of watching Patsy and Edina’s drunken adventures back when Comedy Central aired AB Fab reruns in the ’90s. Thankfully the gals are back in a new movie, still sloshed and living a fabulous life. (And this time out, they might have killed Kate Moss.) Considering all the hard living they’ve done, we have to echo Jon Hamm (playing himself in the film) and say we’re surprised they’re still alive and kicking. (For more on the film, visit our pals over on BBC America.)
5. White Guy Covers Beyonce’s Lemonade
Beyonce broke the Internet with her Lemonade album and companion music videos, inspiring a slew of covers and tributes from fans. Funny or Die offered up a perfect spoof of earnest white guy YouTubers who cover Beyonce’s #relatable songs.
7 Basic Tips for Talking to Cosplayers
Since Todd Margaret was at New York Comic Con, we hit the show floor to ask costumed fans for some tips on how best to interact with cosplayers. Check out what we discovered below.