DID YOU READ

8 Sitcom Character Farewells We’re Still Not Over

Michael Scott The Office

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Tonight at 10:30P, EST, Reggie Watts will make his final appearance on Comedy Bang! Bang!. Judd Apatow will make a special guest appearance for the affair, which will probably be an extremely emotional and an all-around heartbreaking moment in television history. We don’t want to be too dramatic, but it’ll probably be as devastating as the final episode of Cheers.

There’ve been many TV shows that’ve had to say goodbye to some of their most beloved characters. But sitcom character farewells are particularly moving. Maybe it’s the fact that we welcomed them into our living room every week.  These are characters that for one reason or another, left us and were sent off in the most glorious and tearjerking way possible. And we can only hope the same will happen for Mr. Watts. (Please note: WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CHARACTERS WHO DIED. That’s a different, even more depressing list. Please don’t yell at us in the comments.)

1. Michael Scott, The Office

How do you possibly say farewell to the man who put his faceprint in drying cement, claimed the phrase “that’s what she said” as his own, and treats every week like it’s Shark Week? The Office team did a pretty great job by invoking Rent for a final musical tribute that was both moving and perfectly dorky, just like Michael Scott.


2. Richie Cunningham, Happy Days

Richie was the heart of Happy Days, so his goodbye to his family and The Fonz was particularly moving, awkward mustache notwithstanding.


3. Troy Barnes, Community

Donald Glover released a letter to his fans in the form of a series of Instagram messages to explain why he had to leave Community, and all of our hearts sank. It wasn’t that he wanted to pursue his rap career, it was more that he “felt helpless” and needed to make his own path. The last episode where we had to say goodbye to Troy was an emotional time for the characters on the show and his fellow co-stars.



4. Eric Forman, That ’70s Show

The That ’70s Show gang just wasn’t the same after Eric (Topher Grace) shipped off to Africa in the seventh season. The show wasn’t the same either, for that matter. Remember when Seth Meyers’ brother Josh joined the cast as Randy Pearson? Yeah, we don’t either.


5. Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger, Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins has been a mainstay of the Parks and Rec family since the pilot episode, and although her baby daddy Chris Traeger came in halfway through, he took up residence in our hearts. This speech of Leslie Knope saying her goodbyes to her best friend in the entire world, the lovable sunflower, the radiant unicorn, was just a precursor for having to watch her drive off to her new home.


6. Most of the cast, Scrubs

Zach Braff and pretty much the entire cast of Scrubs left the show before its final season on ABC. JD’s final scene, where he remembers all the people who touched his life, is a fitting send-off for the series…provided you ignore that final season.


7. Diane Chambers, Cheers 

Cheers had many heartfelt moments (we still tear up over the Coach episode), but Sam and Diane fans still remember when Shelley Long’s character said goodbye to the bar for a writing career in Los Angeles. Sam’s last words as he watches Diane go (“Have a good life…”) still resonate all these years later.


8. Mike Flaherty, Spin City

Mike Flaherty leaving the Mayor’s office was doubly sad — not only did Spin City lose its lead character, but TV lost Michael J. Fox who left the show to deal with the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. The ensuing Charlie Sheen era of Spin City had its fans, but the show was never the same again.

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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.

The 10 Best Episodes of Reggie Makes Music

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Bad news for people who like good news: Reggie Watts is leaving Comedy Bang! Bang! after four seasons and his final episode airs TONIGHT at 10:30p. To bid him a fond farewell, take a look back at some of the many highlights of Reggie Makes Music:

10. Anna Kendrick was “pitch perfect” in this song:

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9. Jessica Alba is so happy making music with Reggie:


8. Michael Cera’s ode to friendship and pie is mandatory listening:


7. Jon Hamm may be best known for starring in Mad Men, but he can carry a tune, too:


6. Dreams, cars, and ridiculous accents make Maya Rudolph’s song memorable:


5. Amy Poehler was definitely not wearing a wig when she jammed with Reggie:


4. Paul Rudd drove us loco with his silly little song:


3. Kid Cudi made a new Comedy Bang! Bang! theme song:


2. The Lonely Island couldn’t drop the mic fast enough during their set:


1. Aziz Ansari made us all hungry with his ode to sandwiches:

Reggie Has A Question for Judd Apatow in This Week’s CBB Clip

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Normally Scott Aukerman handles all the question asking on Comedy Bang! Bang!, but when Judd Apatow stops by the show, Reggie Watts has a very important—and somewhat shocking—question for the director.

But that’s not the only shocking moment in this clip from tomorrow night’s episode. Not being particularly prone to hyperbole, there’s an enormous twist that will leave you questioning everything you’ve watched, seen, and loved over the last four seasons of Comedy Bang! Bang!. Plus, Apatow gives a three word preview of his forthcoming film!

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Comedy Bang! Bang! airs on IFC on Thursdays at 10:30p

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