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DID YOU READ

Read This, Gently: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Tenacious D

Tenacious D

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In 1997, HBO granted airtime to a little known pair of acoustic rockers who went by the name Tenacious D. Comprised of two chubby musicians (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) with hearts made of pure metal, the band went on to recruit a legion of fans with their offbeat songs and white hot exuberance. They soon sold out massive concert venues, made their own feature length film, and played alongside some of music’s biggest names.

But even the most dedicated fans may not be aware of the whole story behind Tenacious D. Here’s a list of ten things you didn’t know about history’s most famous folk-metal duo.

10. Tim Robbins was instrumental to their genesis.

Buena Vista courtesy Everett Collection

Buena Vista courtesy Everett Collection

Tenacious D’s origin story dates back to 1985 when the duo met as members of the Los Angeles-based theatre troupe The Actors’ Gang, which was cofounded by Tim Robbins. Although there was animosity at first due to Black’s larger-than-life persona, the musically charged performances in the plays helped bring them together.


9. They got their name from Marv Albert.

Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

Buena Vista Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

Yes! Ol’ Back-Biter himself is responsible for dubbing Jack and Kyle Tenacious D. As the story goes, the duo were jamming, smoking weed, watching basketball, and in search of a name. When all of a sudden, sportscaster Marv Albert exclaimed after a particularly impressive play, “They’re showing tenacious D out there!” And so it was said, so it was done.


8. Their first on-screen performance is in one of the worst movies of all time.

MGM

MGM

Currently standing at 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, 1996’s Bio-Dome earned co-star Pauly Shore his third Razzie Award alongside Stephen Baldwin (admittedly, one of the lesser Baldwins) in a movie that’s a go-to reference for truly awful cinematic abominations. But in a blink-and-you’ll- miss-it appearance, Jack and Kyle perform as the folk-metal duo for the first time on-screen.


7. Dave Grohl has played on every one of their albums.

New Line

New Line

Dave Grohl, the obscure musician who performed in lesser-known bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age, sat in on the drums for each of the duo’s three studio albums. Grohl met the D when he was taken by the energy of a Tenacious D live show at the Viper Room, which led to the three sharing the stage at concerts, as well as many mutual cameos in music videos like “Learn to Fly” and “Tribute.” (He also played The Lord of Darkness himself in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.


6. Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi directed one of their videos.

John K

John K

Renowned curmudgeon and animator John Kricfalusi, who created a high-energy duo of his own, was tasked to direct the risque video for the song “F*** Her Gently” off Tenacious D’s debut album. Produced for $40,000, the video was animated by Kricfalusi’s studio team at Spümcø and features Jack and Kyle as cherubic angels who give the Devil pointers on, well, how to pleasure his lady friend.

5. Inward singing exists.

Tina Korhonen/Retna Photoshot Everett Collection

Tina Korhonen/Retna Photoshot Everett Collection

According to Jack during a skit on their debut album, his creation of inward singing — where the melody continues during the inhale as well as the exhale — would be responsible for non-stop rocking. Little did he know that the technique has been around for quite a while, most notably in Inuit Throat Singing where vocalizing the inhalation is a key to the distinctive sound.


4. Their firm stance on maintaining creative control led to their movie.

New Line courtesy Everett Collection

New Line courtesy Everett Collection

When it came time to order more episodes of the band’s eponymous cable show, HBO stipulated that the duo must relinquish their roles as executive producers in order to get ten more episodes. Jack and Kyle balked and opted for making a feature-length film rather than continue the show. Thus, The Pick of Destiny was born.


3. They are politically involved and very, very pro-cannabis.

No surprise to their stoner comedy fans, Jack and Kyle are vocal proponents of the devil’s plant and have performed at a benefit concert for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). They’ve also played alongside the Beastie Boys, David Crosby, and Graham Nash at a benefit concert for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and in 2010 boycotted performances in Arizona due to the state’s harsh views on immigration.


2. But they hate performing big venues.

Tina Korhonen/Retna Photoshot/Everett Collection

Tina Korhonen/Retna Photoshot/Everett Collection

In an interview with Relix, Black admitted to the band’s reticence to get on stage before huge crowds and that they’re always looking for loopholes to back out. “Pretty much every concert we’ve ever done, we’re trying to find a way to cancel the show at the last minute. There’s people out there chanting, ‘D! D! D!’ And that’s something that causes nauseous-ness when you hear it backstage.” However, once they come out, he admits, they’re transformed into Gods of Thunder and the bravado returns.


1. They were criticized for winning a Grammy for Best Metal Performance.

Grammy.com

Grammy.com

Much like the gripes that followed Jethro Tull’s 1988 win for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Tenacious D’s 2015 Grammy win in the same category wasn’t well-received. After being nominated for Best Comedy Album in 2012 for their album Rize of the Fenix, music critics like Vice‘s Kim Kelly called the D a “joke band” and denounced the Grammys as being “utterly clueless” when it comes to music.

But, come on… they rock.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

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.

A-O River!

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.

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SistersWeekend_103_MPX-1920×1080

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…

IFC_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend-Series-Image

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.

SistersWeekend_101_MPX-1920x1080

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_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend_About-Image

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.

SistersWeekend_102_MPX-1920x1080

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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