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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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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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