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This List Rocks

The 10 Funniest Movies About Rock Bands

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Let’s face it: there’s something innately absurd about dedicating your life to sex, drugs and rock & roll. What could be sillier than making a living by banging on a guitar and howling incoherently about partying and your love of various parts of the female anatomy? Hollywood has naturally picked up on this by making a number of comedies that perfectly skewer the music world. To celebrate the guys from Blue Jean Committee getting the “Behind the Music” treatment on the Documentary Now! season finale, check out our picks for a solid day­long festival of rock band comedies.

10. Airheads

When the slacker idiots in LA metal band The Lone Rangers hatch a plan to get their demo tape played over the radio, the situation quickly devolves into a farcical hostage situation in this very ’90s comedy. Airheads also sees the first appearance of the “Evil Adult Contemporary Music” trope, as the station is about to switch format away from headbanging metal to easy listening for baby boomers.


9. Detroit Rock City

This teen comedy about a KISS cover band is set in 1978, aka the heyday of the face-painted rockers. The result is American Pie meets Dazed and Confused with a Ron Jeremy cameo.


8. The Rocker

Getting kicked out of a band is the kind of thing that can scar you for life. (Just ask Pete Best.) In The Rocker, Rainn Wilson plays an ousted drummer from a world ­famous heavy metal band who joins his teenage nephew to get back on stage, with hilarious results.


7. Deathgasm

The connection between heavy metal and the underworld is a strong one, something the splatter comedy Deathgasm makes very explicit. When a troubled teen accidentally summons a demon with cursed sheet music, the rockers of Deathgasm must muster all the power that brutal grindcore can deliver to send it back to Hell.


6. School of Rock

Sure they aren’t a professional rock band, but the kids in this classic Jack Black comedy sure can shred. The band has lived on through reunion concerts, an upcoming musical and talk of a sequel.


5. The Rutles: All You Need is Cash

The Beatles were rife for parody, and this pre­-fab four created by Monty Python member Eric Idle skewered John, Paul, Ringo and George’s late­ ’60s excess. The Rutles were a note-­perfect parody of Sgt. Pepper’s­ era Beatles, and the flick takes a mockumentary look at their rise and fall. A co-production from Idle and Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels, The Rutles features a “Who’s Who” of comedy and music cameos, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Paul Simon and Mick Jagger.


4. Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny

Tenacious D’s big screen outing follows the duo as they steal a magical guitar pick made from Satan’s tooth to grant them rock stardom. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned and it ends with a Battle of the Bands involving the Dark Lord himself.


3. Still Crazy

Bill Nighy and Billy Connolly are among the cast of this riotous comedy about a glam rock band who had a brutal public meltdown in the ’70s and are now making a go of it 20 years later.


2. Get Him to the Greek 

Russell Brand’s decadent rocker Aldous Snow got promoted from Forgetting Sarah Marshall supporting player to the star of this hilarious look at the music scene. Everything from self-important charity ballads to insane record execs are brilliantly spoofed by writer/director Nicholas Stoller.


1. This Is Spinal Tap

Could there really be any other contender for the top flick on this list? Rob Reiner’s brilliant 1984 mockumentary chronicled the rise and fall of the greatest heavy metal band of all time. A staggering amount of footage was lensed with the main actors improvising and riffing off each other (no pun intended) and Reiner picked the best bits to make up the final cut. The film is still infinitely quotable and added “it goes to 11” to the pop culture lexicon.

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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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