Maron Judd Hirsch Marc Maron Andy Kindler

Dear Judd

Judd Hirsch’s 5 Best Lovable Curmudgeon Roles

Judd Hirsch returns to Maron this Wednesday at 9P on IFC.

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Whether it’s blockbusters like Independence Day or his role as Marc’s dad Larry on Maron, Judd Hirsch has done it all, becoming one of the most recognizable actors of our time. With Larry joining Marc on his post-rehab amends tour this week, we thought we’d look back at just a few of our favorite roles from Judd Hirsch’s nearly five decades in entertainment.

5. John Lacey, Dear John

’80s kids likely remember this show’s catchy theme song (listen to it above and try not to sing along) which still pops into our head when we least expect it. The story of a divorcee who seeks solace in the arms of a support group for lonely people, Dear John ran for four seasons on NBC, including a couple where it followed Cheers on the Peacock Network’s once powerhouse Thursday night line-up. It’s best remembered today for a solid ensemble that included Hirsch and Breaking Bad‘s Jere Burns. And for that theme song, which we will be humming even on our death beds.


4. Julius Levinson, Independence Day/Independence Day: Resurgence

ID4 Judd Hirsch
20th Century Fox

Has there ever been a less likely action movie star than lapsed rabbi Julius Levinson, back in theaters this summer after a 20-year hiatus? With his kvetching and parental concern in the midst of an alien invasion, Hirsch stands out by providing humor and heart in a pair of movies in dire need of both. Somehow, he manages to take a Jackie Mason impression and imbue it with enough humanity to hold his own against citywide explosions and Will Smith one-liners.


3. Larry, Maron

Maron Judd Hirsch

As Marc’s estranged former doctor dad who now peddles homemade erection pills, Hirsch’s Larry Maron helps connect the dots on why our neurotic hero has turned out the way he has. Playing Maron Sr. as a RV-dwelling womanizer who only visits when he needs something, Hirsch is clearly having the time of his life on the show, even if Marc isn’t. But then again, who wants to see happy Marc?


2. Bill Herndon, Damages

Judd Hirsch Damages
Sony Pictures Television

As Bill Herndon, a former high powered lawyer who’s sunk into depression and addiction since being disbarred, Hirsch got one of the meatiest roles of his career. The part was originally envisioned as a guest star, but once the showrunners saw the sparks Hirsch was bringing, they kept writing more and more for his character.


1. Alex Reiger, Taxi

Judd Hirsch Taxi
Paramount Television

The role that made him a household name, Hirsch’s Alex Reiger was the pragmatic center of the classic sitcom Taxi that all the other oddballs and weirdoes circled around. The protagonist of a true ensemble, Reiger wasn’t as flamboyant as dopey Tony, stoned Revered Jim or sweet natured foreigner Latka. But with his heart, compassion and killer deadpan, playing Alex would help win Hirsch two Emmys.

Check out a scene from this week’s brand new Maron below:

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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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