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What a Year

Top 10 Most Memorable Late Night Moments of 2015  

Relive Comedy Bang! Bang! season four on IFC.com.

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2015 proved to be a banner year for late night, with big debuts and farewells from comedy legends. As we enter 2016, check out our Top Ten List of late night’s most memorable moments.

10. Obama Reads Mean Tweets

Presidents have feelings too, at least according to this bit. Jimmy Kimmel has had movie stars, sports stars and pop stars take the hot seat, and see what Twitter really thinks of them. So why not the leader of the free world? Obama seems a good sport here, even finally admitting it might be time to up his jean game.


9. Wheel of Freestyle with Lin-Manuel Miranda (from “Hamilton”)

It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s world, and we’re just living in it. Miranda is clearly having a moment, starring in the hottest show on Broadway, that he also wrote, while also hanging with the President and finding time to pen some music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But this clip from his appearance on The Tonight Show, in which he shows off his otherworldly skills with a mic, proves that he’s earned every bit of the love he’s receiving.


8. Comedy Bang! Bang! Says Goodbye to Reggie…and Hello to Kid Cudi

IFC Original Productions

IFC Original Productions

Comedy Bang! Bang! entered its fourth season with a bit of a cloud hanging over it: Bandleader Reggie Watts was decamping for The Late Late Show with James Corben, leaving the keyboard empty. While the show would go on thanks to the amazing comedy and vocal stylings of Kid Cudi, it would first have to take a moment to say goodbye to an old friend. Thankfully Reggie stopped by later in the season with his “how to band lead” instructional video. (Missed Comedy Bang! Bang! season four or just want to experience it again? Watch full episodes right now.)


7. Colbert Debuts on The Late Show

Stephen Colbert has been, arguably, the most important comedic voice of the last decade. But staying in character for years at a time was starting to wear on him, and he was ready to call it quits. He’s stated that if CBS never came calling, he would still have hung it up back at The Colbert Report. And so, as he took the stage at The Ed Sullivan Theater for the first time, we were reminded that watching Colbert is a privilege, not a right. In character or not, the sharpest mind in late night rides again.


6. Jimmy Fallon Almost Loses His Finger

Mel Brooks famously said, “tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” Jimmy Fallon put that quote to the test, nearly ripping his own finger off after a fall in his kitchen. And yet, using his boyish charm, Fallon somehow turned the horrific accident into a funny anecdote.


5. John Oliver Swears At Terrorists (NSFW)

Oliver has carved his own distinctive niche in late night, combining a 60 Minutes style of in-depth reporting with a wicked sharp sense of satire. There’s no shortage of memorable moments from his show, if only because every episode feels like an instant classic, but in his first episode after the horrific attacks in Paris, Oliver spoke for all of us when he told those responsible to f*ck off. Catharsis had never been this funny.


4. Conan in Cuba

Conan is never better than when he’s out with the people, being the absurd butt of his own jokes. And so, with news that America was finally letting people travel to Cuba legally, Conan knew he had an idea for comedy gold, and a chance to show that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. The episode saw Conan getting drunk at a rum factory, learning to dance the Rumba, and making a mess of cigar rolling. It was also one of the funniest, and most fascinating, episodes in recent late night history.


3. Scott Aukerman Goes Full Frank-N-Furter

Comedy Bang! Bang! blew the roof off the haunted house for their Halloween episode, staging a spot-on spoof of The Rocky Horror Picture Show complete with costumes, cheesy props, and Kid Cudi’s perfect take on Riff Raff. But it’s the sight of Scott in full-on Dr. Frank-N-Furter cosplay that made for one of 2015’s most memorable moments. (Watch the full Halloween episode right now.)


2. Jon Stewart Signs Off

Jon Stewart took a forgotten show on a backwater channel and turned it into a force. Combing indignant rage with a brilliant comedic mind, he gave voice to a large swath of Americans that just didn’t know what the hell was going on in our country. He took down Crossfire, proved Fox wasn’t fair and balanced, and ripped Arby’s a new one. Only in his absence have we realized how much we needed his voice to helped frame and fight the madness.


1. Letterman’s Final Top Ten List

No one man, outside of perhaps Lorne Michaels, is as responsible for the modern state of comedy as David Letterman. Giving voice to sarcasm and absurdity in equal measure, he upended the more staid comedy voices of the time, and started a revolution. Everyone on this list exists in his wake, and for that alone, his stepping down from his turbulent throne in late night is a big deal. So it’s no surprise that everyone from Barbara Walters to Tina Fey came out to pay tribute to Dave and deliver jokes for the show’s final Top Ten list.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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