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Bust-a-Bucket: The Trailblazers’ All-Portlandian Team

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Portland loves its Trailblazers — sometimes too much, if you believe Bill Simmons. Until Major League Soccer came along in 2009, NBA basketball was the only pro-game in town, and despite the vociferous dedication of the Timbers Army, it’s going to take many more years of attrition for the team to unseat the Blazers as Rose City’s favorite hard-luck underdogs. “Don’t Stop Believin'” is a cliche sports anthem, but it truly applies to Blazer fans: Through all the injuries, disappointing draft picks, Game 7 meltdowns, injuries, questionable general manager firings and even more injuries, the Rip City faithful have never stopped believing that every season will be the one in which the team seizes the spirit of 1977 — the year the franchise won its only championship — and brings home another title (well, except for during the Jailblazers Era, perhaps).

Although Portland considers everyone who’s ever donned a red, white and black jersey an adopted son (with the possible exception of Bonzi Wells), there are certain players who, for one reason or another, seem to scream “Portland” more than others. With the Blazers currently riding high on a 2-0 start to the new NBA season, we asked comedian, “Portlandia” guest star (you might remember him as “Guy Who Dies in Bathtub”) and Blazers fanatic Ian Karmel to draft a starting five of the most Portlandian Trailblazers of all-time. Would this team win a championship? That’s debatable. But if it did, there’s no doubt its victory celebration would include Voodoo Doughnuts and gallons upon gallons of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Point Guard: Sebastian Telfair
Years with the Blazers: 2004-2006
Height: 6′
Weight: 165
Career Points Per Game: 7.8
What makes him Portlandian: Until he moved to Portland, he’d only lived in Brooklyn. He was part of a documentary that won some awards at Tribeca. That’s some real Portlandian business, but it’s that time he took a handgun on a plane — I’m assuming as a tribute to Portland-based plane hijacker DB Cooper — that really seals his spot at point guard. DB Cooper, mad vintage.

Shooting Guard: Brandon Roy
Years with the Blazers: 2006-2011
Height: 6’6″
Weight:
229
Career Points Per Game: 19
What makes him Portlandian: Where young people go to retire.

Small Forward: Jerome Kersey
Years with the Blazers: 1984-1995
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 215
Career Points Per Game: 10.3
What makes him Portlandian: Jerome Kersey is a quiet, decent, hardworking man from Skipwith, Virginia. After his basketball career, he worked in the mortgage industry and as an auto wholesaler. Yes, it took him 26 years to graduate from college, but it seems there isn’t really anything that Portlandian about Jerome Kersey. It’s not like he ever cut an EP while wearing a snap-back hat and a two-tone windbreaker. OH-MUH-GAWSH.

Power Forward: Channing Frye
Years with the Blazers:
2007-2009
Height: 6’11”
Weight: 248
Career Points Per Game: 9.5
What makes him Portlandian: Though his time with the team may have been short, Frye is arguably the most Portlandian of Blazers. He has a Tumblr. He uses it to post about trivia nights, coffee and Portugal. The Man. If you press the button on his Reebok Pumps he turns into a food cart. There’s a decent chance this guy will tear off his warm-ups to enter a game one day, and his legs will be covered in flyers for a Dan Deacon concert at the Doug Fir.

(UPDATE: Channing Frye responds to the honor of being included on the All-Portlandian Team: “It took me five years, but my enthusiasm and persistence for the tastiest food carts, the coldest beers (locally brewed, of course) and for anything ‘Portlandish’ has finally paid off. Thanks to all my friends who made my jeans a little tighter, my flannels a little less mainstream, and to all the people that have seen me day-in and day-out at Club Sport in Tualatin. I did it all for this one moment.”)

Center: Bill Walton
Years with the Blazers: 1974-1978
Height: 6’11”
Weight: 210
Career Points Per Game: 13.3
What makes him Portlandian: Dopey white guy from California moves to Portland, rides bike to work, wears a basketball jersey from the ’70s and a sweaty headband all the time: Bill Walton, or the guy who gets all passive-aggressive about your decision to use a debit card at his coffee shop? Both, y’all. Both.

Coach: Dr. Jack Ramsay
Years with the Blazers: 1976-1985
Overall Win-Loss Record: 864-783
What makes him Portlandian: Exhibit A. Exhibit B: see Exhibit A.

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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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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.