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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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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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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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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.

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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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