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Marc Maron Almost Famous

Lock the Gates

10 Times IFC Stars Shined on the Big Screen

Watch the Maron series finale now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

With Bill Hader owning the box office these days, with star turns in both Finding Dory and The BFG, we got to thinking about our favorite movies featuring the stars of IFC. From indie dramas, to cult hits, box office behemoths to comedy classics, the stars of Portlandia, Documentary Now!, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Maron and Todd Margaret have popped up in some of the best movies of the last two decades. It wasn’t easy to narrow down, but here are our favorite movie roles from some of IFC’s brightest stars.

10. Will Arnett, The Lego Movie

Lego Batman
Paramount Pictures

If we just look at his TV work — from Arrested Development to 30 Rock and Todd Margaret — Will Arnett is a national treasure. And with his turn as Batman in The Lego Movie scoring The Dark Knight his own spin-off flick, it looks like the man formerly known as GOB finally has a movie franchise to call his own. While he may not be the Batman we deserve, he will always be the smug, sarcastic Batman that we need.


9. Carrie Brownstein, Carol

It’s pretty remarkable to think that Carrie Brownstein had such a memorable turn in this critical darling of a film, considering she’s only been an actor for a few years. Before Portlandia, she was best know for fronting the indie-punk trio Sleater-Kinney, and yet here she was in 2015 playing Genevieve Cantrel, a young woman who has a dalliance with lead Rooney Mara in Todd Haynes’ awards season favorite. Watch the video above where Carrie talks about loving the film’s script, and her brief (but crucial) role. (Catch up on Portlandia right now on IFC.com and the IFC app.)


8. Scott Aukerman, Austin Powers in Goldmember

Yes, that’s Comedy Bang! Bang!‘s own Hot Saucerman in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it part as a Young Nigel, Austin Powers’ proud papa. Scott was much more known for being a writer on cult comedy shows like Mr. Show at the time, so his brief appearance in the third Austin Powers outing was more of a bit part than a star turn. As Scott said of the role in a 2013 interview, “Who knew being Michael Caine’s body double in Austin Powers 3 was in my future? If I could go back and tell Young Me that I would end up doing that, I wonder what reaction he would give. ‘Who is Austin Powers and why should I care?'” Just call him Scott Cameoman. (Click here to see all airings of Austin Powers in Goldmember on IFC. Catch up on Comedy Bang! Bang! right now on IFC.com and the IFC app.)


7. Weird Al Yankovic, UHF

UHF
Orion Pictures

What, did you think we were going to pick Al’s brief turn in the Halloween II remake? UHF is THE Weird Al movie. Full of over-the-top parody, a killer collection of crazy songs, and a star making turn by future Kramer Michael Richards, “Weird Al” both wrote and starred in this ’80s family night staple. Heck, the term “cult classic” could have been coined just for the “Wheel of Fish” scene. (Catch up on Comedy Bang! Bang! right now on IFC.com and the IFC app. Click here to read 10 things you may not know about UHF.)


6. Jack McBrayer, They Came Together

They Came Together
Lionsgate

Few have seen They Came Together, the David Wain-directed, Paul Rudd/Amy Poehler rom com spoof, and that’s a shame. With a murderer’s row of comedy heavyweights, and enough silliness to keep you giggling for days, They Came Together is a cult classic waiting to happen. McBrayer — who we loved on Todd Margaret‘s third season — plays one of Rudd’s friends, who gives advice almost as bad as his jump shot.


5. Seth Meyers, American Dreamz

Seth Meyers American Dreamz
Universal Pictures

The Documentary Now! cocreator turned up in the 2006 Hugh Grant pop music spoof American Dreamz as a slick agent with the awesome name of Chet Krogl.


4. Bill Hader, Tropic Thunder

Bill Hader, Tropic Thunder
Dreamworks Pictures

Hader was still making a name for himself on SNL when he got cast opposite an unrecognizable Tom Cruise in this comedy classic. Playing an assistant to the most foul mouthed, grotesque, and yet oddly effective producer Hollywood has ever seen, Hader got laughs by playing it straight. In fact, Tom Cruise could learn a thing or two about playing it straight from the guy.


3. David Cross, Waiting for Guffman

While Todd Margaret star David Cross would no doubt jokingly site Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel as the highlight of his feature film career, for us, he will always be the Blaine, Missouri UFO expert from Christopher Guest’s classic mockumentary who visits the same alien landing site every day for two years. With far too much time on his hands and a loose understanding of how anagrams work, we’ll just have to take his word for it when it comes to the greatest mystery of our time.


2. Fred Armisen, Anchorman

Fred Armisen
DreamWorks Pictures

Fred was still fairly new to SNL when he landed a cameo in Anchorman, the first film collaboration from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Playing a club owner who could not get enough of Ron Burgundy’s sweet jazz flute, Fred nearly stole the scene out from under the comedy icon, launching a killer career in movies in the process. (Catch up on Portlandia right now on IFC.com and the IFC app.)


1. Marc Maron, Almost Famous

Marc Maron Almost Famous
Dreamworks Pictures

Marc spent most of the early days of his career doing stand-up and brooding in the back of dark bars, but he did pop up occasionally in the odd cameo. In 2000, he showed up in Almost Famous as a furious music promoter who tried to keep the rockers in Stillwater from fleeing without finishing their full set. (Fans of Marc’s WTF Podcast will recognize his “Lock the gates!” line from the opening of every episode.) With Maron coming to an end, maybe it’s finally time for “Angry Promoter” to get his own movie. (Watch the final season of Maron anytime on IFC.com and the IFC app.)

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

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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