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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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