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DID YOU READ

10 Dysfunctional TV Families We Can’t Believe Haven’t Killed Each Other Already

Modern Family

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Families can be unbearable. That’s why holidays are so hard to deal with —  they’re full of family members! But when your clan is as off-the-walls crazy as the folks on Modern Family, you need lots of breaks. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is getting his break this week, as the actor will make an appearance on Comedy Bang! Bang! this Friday at 11 p.m. ET. We know what you’re thinking, if you weren’t already…

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We’re happy to have one-half of the Cam-Mitchell dynamic duo over at IFC, but it’s no wonder he needs a break. Between his mother-in-law Gloria’s unique way of pronouncing “helicopter,” his sister’s never-ending paranoia and pride, and his own daughter’s commanding finger snaps, his sitcom family is too much to handle. In honor of them and all of the most insane families, here are our favorite TV families we’re shocked haven’t strangled each other in their sleep yet.

10. Modern Family

As we said, Mitchell has a burgeoning family. If you count close friends as part of the family, as well — we’re looking at you, Elizabeth Banks — then there’s even more to love…and feel smothered by. Just look at Lily. She may be one of the youngest members of the Duffy family, but she’s already getting as saucy as her two dads.

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9. Arrested Development 

The Bluth family has been through it all — lawsuits, treason charges, alcoholism, kleptomania, death, crazy exes and even more crazy ex-assistants. (Remember Judy Greer’s off-the-wall Kitty Sanchez?) Some people say that children are a reflection of their parents. Well, if Lucille and George are any indication, then their kids are royally screwed. Actually, forget about George. You just need to look at Lucille’s fabulously flawed self to get the picture.

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8. Family Guy

Seth MacFarlane is the master of family dysfunction. He’s got three shows with three equally outrageous dynamics, but it all started with Family Guy. When the patriarch is legally considered mentally deficient and pals around with his alcoholic dog, sex-crazed next-door neighbor and a wheelchair-bound cop, that’s gonna have an effect on the rest of the family. Not to mention poor Meg could’ve sued her family for emotional abuse around episode five.

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7. American Dad

Stan’s a CIA agent, Francine is his stay-at-home wife, Steve and Haley are their children, and Klaus is their goldfish who has the brain of a German athlete. But what makes this family special is the alcoholic alien living in their attic who loves dressing up and being super lame to everyone. Without him, their lives would fall apart. But with him, they’re likely to become accomplices in his dastardly plot to get back at the J. Crew retail boy who called him basic…or whatever.

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6. Shameless

What do you get when you combine a bum dad with good intentions, a super-smart con-artist-type son, another son who’s gay and has some anger management issues, two snappy younger children, and the eldest who’s trying to hold the entire family together? Great TV. The only question we have is, how do they keep managing to survive?

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5. Bob’s Burgers

Bob and Linda are great parents. Sure, Bob takes things a bit too far when it comes to the success of his restaurant. Sure, Linda is a tough-as-nails momma bear with an accent and personality befitting one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sure, their kids are…unique — one has mental breakdowns when you take off take her bunny ears, another writes erotic zombie fiction in her journal, and the other once believed a toilet could be sentient. But they love each other, and that’s what counts.

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4. Boy Meets World

When Boy Meets World was on the air, Cory and Eric drove their mother and father to the brink of insanity without pushing them over the edge. Thankfully, Eric had Mr. “FEE-HEE-HEE-NAY!” and Cory had his BFF Shawn to lighten the load. Now that Cory’s all grown up on Disney’s Girl Meets World series, he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.

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3. Malcolm in the Middle

It was clear who wore the pants in the Cleavers’ household: mamma Lois. She was the one we all loved to watch blow her lid off, but who could blame her when she had three mischievous boys and one adult-size child to look after? If only she knew that one day her husband would become Heisenberg, maybe she wouldn’t have lost her cool so often.

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2. Family Matters

R.I.P. Family Matters. This was one of the sitcoms we were especially sad to get the ax of cancellation. Their message was clear: family above all else. But the road to reaching expressing this was bumpy, especially when you have a persistent neighbor who’s been over so many times that you’ve seen him coming out of the shower. And don’t even get us started on Urkel-Bot.

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1. The Simpsons

The Simpsons has been on for 26 seasons and they’ve managed to stay together through thick and thin. When Homer almost destroyed the Power Plant (and the entire town), his family was there. When Bart attempted to escape the po-po after skateboarding in the nude, his family…well, they were close by. When Marge was losing her hair and was planning her trip to the nuthouse, her family was there. Maybe George Bush Sr. was on to something when he said American families should be more like the Waltons and less like The Simpsons. But then we wouldn’t have had hilarious moments like this:

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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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….

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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?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

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.

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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.

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