DID YOU READ

CBB GIF Recap: Little Orphan Fourvel Goes Hungry

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1. Scott is good at asking his guests the hard-hitting questions.

GIF courtesy of stupidfuckingquestions.tumblr.com/


2. Little Orphan Fourvel got testy.

GIF courtesy of stupidfuckingquestions.tumblr.com/

3. Cockblocking is never funny, Scott.


And neither is starving an orphan:

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Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Scott Aukerman Dishes on the Comedy Bang! Bang! Musical Extravaganza

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Do you hear the people sing? This Friday you will, as Comedy Bang! Bang! takes a page from the Great White Way. Casey Wilson—along with special guests Thomas Lennon and Paul F. Tompkins—joins Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts for musical extravaganza inspired by the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who also happens to make an appearance (sort of). We spoke with Scott about the influences behind the episode, his background in theater and why he thinks Les Mis is “strange.”

When studying musical theater, were you planning on taking the comedy route or did you have interests in dramatic acting?

When I was studying acting, I was mainly focusing on musical theater. I did productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma, and West Side Story. But I also studied Shakespeare (aka “The Immortal Bard”) and dramatic acting as well. Additionally, I would write dramatic plays in my spare time and put up productions of them. But, being so interested in comedy, that’s where my interests mainly lied. My friends always told me that my comedic writing was way better than my dramatic writing, and that I should maybe go into comedy. And the rest is her-story!

When did the idea strike you for a musical episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!? Is it something you wanted to do since the first season?

It’s kind of a long-standing tradition for a TV show to do a musical episode. Lots of series have done it. So it’s something that’s been in the back of our minds for a while. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer one is a recent standout. They came up with an excellent reason WHY it was happening, which was something we were very concerned about as well. We wrote about ten drafts of the script, and, in the early ones, there was no rhyme or reason to it—we all just were singing all the time. But once we hit on the storyline that ended up in the episode, everything else fell into place.

What are some of your Broadway influences?

I was super-into Mandy Patinkin as a high schooler—I would sit in my room, singing “Finishing the Hat” all day. We put him into the Mr. Show movie because I was so obsessed with him—and I got to act in a scene with him. About a year ago, Kulap and I went to see him and Patti LuPone do their two-person Broadway show, and it was fantastic! I’ve always wanted to do Sweeney Todd, as well.

There are hilarious parodies in the episode of famous Les Misérables songs (ex. “I Dreamed a Dream”). Are you a fan Tom Hooper’s film adaptation?

I think that’s generally just a weird musical. I’ve seen three different productions of it, and the movie, and it’s just so strange. The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, when you think about it. I think the cast of the movie falls into two different catagories—those who can sing, and those who can’t. It’s pretty painful when you’re listening to the latter.

What’s your favorite Andrew Lloyd Weber song?

I love Jesus Christ Superstar—I got to understudy the part of Jesus once, and it was always my dream to play it. I would probably say “Gethsemene,” which I would sing all the time. When I was in my old band, I used to play a mash-up of that song, along with XTC’s “Dear God,” which have similar chord structures and themes.

Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

CBB Tonight: An SNL Reunion with Bill Hader and Bobby Moynihan

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Get ready to Spin 2 Win tonight on an all-new episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!. When SNL star Bill Hader stops by the set to chat with Scott, their conversation is interrupted by America’s new favorite game show, SPIN 2 WIN and Reggie Watts isn’t even there to help. Instead Reggie claims he is joining via satellite from his extracurricular activity, chasing storms, but he may just want to keep his distance from Little Orphan Fourvel (Bobby Moynihan) who is known to get a little stabby.

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Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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