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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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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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GIFS via Giphy

At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
Brockmire-Strap-On

Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
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Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
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Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
Jules-never-seen

See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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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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