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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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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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