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

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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

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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

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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.