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Vacation

Road Rage

10 Funniest Road Trip Movies

Follow IFC's Comedy Road Tour to this year's funniest comedy festivals.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/Everett Collection

There’s nothing more American than baseball and apple pie, but a close third has to be the road trip. We’ve all been there…crammed into the back of some godforsaken station wagon, driving endless hours in a smell best not identified, you’re only escape a filthy gas station bathroom or the world’s biggest ball of yarn. In honor of IFC’s Comedy Road Tour, which kicks off on April 20th at Moontower Comedy Fest, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best road trip comedies ever made. Trust us, they’re a heck of a lot funnier than dad’s corny road sign jokes.

10. Road Trip

Dreamworks Pictures

An obvious choice (it’s right there in the title), but while Road Trip may not be winning any awards, it did help revive the teen comedy genre for a raunchier age. Todd Phillips even promised that Amy Smart’s topless scene would make her the Phoebe Cates of her generation. Not sure that happened, but you have to admire a man for trying.


9. Dumb & Dumber

New Line Cinema

Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world? Well, you should watch this road trip comedy about two imbeciles following the dumbest plan for a shot at something that will never happen. Jim Carrey went from star to comedy sensation here, with his third blockbuster in a row, defining an era of movie comedy and inspiring some forgettable sequels.


8. Sideways

Fox Searchlight Pictures

You should never drink and drive, but let’s be honest, there’s nothing wrong with driving to a drink. That’s the idea Miles and Jack had in this Oscar-winning comedy, about two middle-aged men in search of meaning on a wine-soaked road trip. Lessons learned include live each day like it’s your last and that merlot is basically toilet water.


7. Midnight Run

Universal Pictures

Sometimes the best trips are the ones with a little spontaneity. There you are, comfortable in your life, and then a friend (or, let’s say, bounty hunter) shows up, and suggests you handcuff yourselves together and get out of town. This 1988 cult comedy classic, about a mob accountant being curried across the country, proved Robert De Niro was a natural at comedy decades before he met any Fockers.


6. Beavis and Butt-head Do America

MTV Productions

Their 1996 big screen outing found Beavis and Butt-head hitting the road in search of their stolen TV and encountering everyone from Bruce Willis to a roadie who sounds suspiciously like David Letterman (and might also be their dad) along the way. Sometimes the open road is the only place to find TP for your bunghole.


5. The Blues Brothers

Universal Pictures

They were on a mission from God. “Joliet” Jake Blues and Elwood Blues needed $5000 dollars to save the orphanage they grew up in, and that meant one thing. Getting the band back together. What do you do when it’s 106 miles to Chicago, you’ve got a full tank, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark out, and you’re wearing sunglasses? What do you think? You hit it.


4. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Warner Bros.

I know you’re a Pee-Wee fan, but what am I? Well, I’m a fan too! The dapper nerd in the red bowtie may be back in his Netflix movie Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, but it all started with this big adventure. Pee-Wee refused to sell his beloved bicycle, even for “a hundred million, trillion, billion dollars,” so when it was stolen, he was forced to strike out in search of it. Insanity ensues in this one-of-a-kind classic, which launched star Paul Reubens and director Tim Burton’s careers, and introduced America to its favorite man-child. And remember, if you get a chance to give it a watch one more time, tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.


3. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Paramount Pictures

If you take anything away from this movie, it’s that you should never stick your hand between two pillows. Ever. For any reason. Steve Martin plays the human hand-warmer whose trip to get home for Thanksgiving is ruined by loudmouth-with-a-heart-of-gold John Candy in this comedy that has become a holiday staple.


2. Borat

20th Century Fox

In November of 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen announced to the world that he was done playing by the rules. Borat was a cultural phenomenon, inspiring more bad impressions that an Austin Powers screening at a frat party. By taking his befuddled foreigner character into the real world, Cohen helped expose the underside of America, while also creating one of most genuinely laugh-out-loud comedies in years.


1. National Lampoon’s Vacation

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie that defines the genre, Vacation is the ultimate send-up of every road trip your family made you go on as a kid. Chevy Chase plays dorky dad Clark Griswold to perfection, as a patriarch who loves his family, if only they’d stop being so darn annoying. One of the great comedies of the ’80s, an era filled with great comedies, this movie will make you want to take the ol’ station wagon out for a spin. Just make sure there aren’t any dogs tied to the bumper.

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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.