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DID YOU READ

8 Musical Comedies That You Seriously Need to Watch

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Skylar Astin is getting ready to reprise his role of Treblemaker Jesse in Pitch Perfect 2. But before he does that, he’s going to bring his aca-amazing skills to Comedy Bang! Bang! tonight at 11p. We’ve already previewed how he’ll — wait for it — reveal his actual age, but will his angelic pipes appear, too?

Astin in Pitch Perfect is one gear in a long line of musical movies that have debuted on the big screen. There have been a lot of disasters going the other way around — we still can’t really talk about Legally Blonde, The Musical or any of that Shrek mumbo jumbo — but when it comes to the musical stylings of cinema, these take the cake.

8. Pitch Perfect

Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and the rest of the Bellas have created a revolution. Well, Glee technically did, and they’re just piggy backing off of its success. Enough people still watched Pitch Perfect and dug its aca-awesome a cappella skills that a sequel has already been filmed and is coming this May.


7. Hairspray

High School Musical may have been an enjoyable disaster, convincing Modern Family‘s Phil Dunphy to learn all the dance moves to impress his kids, but Zac Efron redeemed himself with Hairspray. A big screen version of the hit musical that in turn was based on a cult John Waters movie from the ’80s, Hairspray starred the then teen heartthrob as the lead male role, Link Larkin, while newcomer Nikki Blonsky became our new Tracy. Between them and John Travolta doing drag as Mrs. Turnblad, the film brought on a ton of laughs.


6. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Do you know the truth about Kyle’s mom? How about where The Devil wants to be, or who we should blame when everything goes awry? The South Park movie musical has the answers. Before Trey Parker and Matt Stone wowed us with their musical composition chops in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, they brought their signature brand of NSFW to the screen.


5. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

The jury is still out on whether or not Tenacious D is the greatest band of all time (they are), but their movie is one of the funniest. In their search for the ultimate guitar pick, Jables (Jack Black) and KG (Kyle Gass) encounter fraternity life, Big Foot and the Devil himself.


4. Reefer Madness

Before she was singing about building snowmen, before she was investigating crime, Kristen Bell was a good girl who became corrupted by the ganja. This musical version of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film is campy to the point where you need to get stoned off your ass in order to appreciate the musical about getting stoned off your ass.


3. Blues Brothers

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are on a mission from God, to save the orphanage where they grew up. The Blues Brothers one of the best musicals, nay, best movies of all time, featuring the musical stylings of Aretha Franklin, Cab Colloway, Ray Charles and, duh, the Blues Brothers Band.


2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s the movie musical that inspired a generation. It’s the historic pop culture event that made it cool for Tim Curry to become the best damn transvestite in the world. It’s “fabulously freaky.” Even with Fox remaking it as a two-hour televised musical event, nothing will ever compare to the hysterics of the original.


1. Little Shop of Horrors

Frank “Miss Piggy” Oz directed this hilariously twisted musical version of the classic Roger Corman B-movie of the same name. The cast is a who’s who of comedy greats (Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest) though the comedic cake is definitely taken by Steve Martin’s lively turn as one seriously demented dental hygienist.


Watch a clip of Skylar Astin on Comedy Bang! Bang! below and tune in tonight at 11p:

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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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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.