DID YOU READ

Go Around the World in 80 Plates with “Portlandia”

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Welcome back to the wonderful world of “Portlandia!” In the show’s second season we have ten all new episodes featuring Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, incredible guest stars (Eddie Vedder! Kristen Wiig! Tim Robbins!), and a whole cast of characters old and new. During last Friday’s season premiere of “Portlandia,” Fred and Carrie went on a road trip to California in pursuit of Andy Samberg. They got a little peckish and stopped in to a local (obviously) theme restaurant called Around the World in 80 Plates. But the fun really starts when their waiter (Kumail Nanjiani) asks for their lunch order. Anyone want to spike their sides? Want to lobsterate your meal? Of course you do.

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Want the latest news from the land of Portlandia? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCportlandia and use the hashtag #Portlandia.

“Portlandia” airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

ikea heights

IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

fresno

When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

invitation

Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Live Chat with Fred and Carrie: The Transcript

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While the second season of “Portlandia” aired on IFC, the show’s stars and creators, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein live chatted with fans online. In case you missed it, here’s the transcript:

Sabrina Pride, Unknown, N/A
Q: When Fred isn’t wearing glasses, does he wear contacts?

Fred, New York, NY:
A: On SNL for cue cards.


Travis Brown
Blacksburg, Virginia
Q: Also, will there be a tram sketch someday…? That’d be interesting somehow.

Fred, New York, NY
A: I tried to think of one but there wasn’t a way into what it would be. I really want to.


Mallard Jenkins, Bangalore, India
Q: Would it be possible for there to be a sketch where everybody in Portland is wearing Cosby sweaters except for you two?

Fred, New York, NY
A: We would need to get permission,


Ralph D’Iorio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Q: “Toni and Candace”(sp) is also the couple of Dallas QB Tony Romo and his wife..isnt that hilarious? Cowboys suck.

Fred, New York, NY
A: Really? And…they do?


guest811900, Unknown
Q: If your bookstore characters were to actually go on a date with a man, what would that man say to subdue defensiveness?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Maybe they DO go on dates with guys! We kept their actual gender preference ambiguous


Jen Masi, Unknown, N/A
Q: If a “Portlandia” film was based off of a pair of characters who would star in the film?

Fred, New York, NY
A: I feel like maybe Toni and Candace


guest811671, Unknown
Q: Love your take on human interaction. How big is your staff of writers, or are the sketches a reflection of your lives?

Fred, New York, NY
A: There are like seven or so.


Chachi Guerrero, Unknown
Q: Have you guys ever thought about doing the same thing as the show but for other “Cool” cities in the long run?

Fred, New York, NY
A: It would be fun somehow.


Kelly Collier Andre, Unknown
Q: Will Carrie and you be logging in again this season to chat with the Portmaniacs?

Fred, New York, NY
A: I’d like to. It’s nice to hear what people want to know.


Troy Ramsay, Unknown
Q: Are the Trailblazers going to be on the show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: In a way. You’ll see…


Luckas Arias-Torfs, Boca Raton, Florida
Q: what songs are in the “mix drinks” mixtape?

Fred, New York, NY
A: I have to look that up!


guest810465, Unknown
Q: Did you guys make music together before?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Not before, no.


Mallard Jenkins, Bangalore, India
Q: Will there ever be a sketch in the Oregon Zoo?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Maybe sometime.


Madison Hawley, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Q: What was your favorite new characters in season 2?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Brendan and Michelle. You’ll see who they are.


guest811699, Unknown
Q: This show is hilarious – I’m laughing out loud – is Portland really like this?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Thank you! It’s heightened a bit.


Ralph D’Iorio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Q: You two are both like my heroes,being rockers and funny people…but what weapon would you choose in a death match again

Fred, New York, NY
A: A typewriter


Brian Fidler, Norwalk, Connecticut
Q: How did you two meet and come up with this awesome show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: We just felt like doing it. And that’s how it turned out.


guest811617, Unknown
Q: Fred, this isn’t a question, but your Bad ass on the Loop Pedal! Twice The Silentsound.. Baltimore Md

Fred, New York, NY
A: I’m still learning! I am addicted to it. I’ll be doing shows in Brooklyn with it in February


Ed Hurtley, Unknown
Q: What has been your favorite Portlandia skit to film? (Whether due to the content, or conditions during filming, etc.)

Fred, New York, NY
A: Feminist Bookstore is always fun.


guest811866, Unknown
Q: Do you see Portlandia as not just a comedy show, but also serving as a statement on our society?

Fred, New York, NY
A: It’s more about how people relate to each other. Sometimes it’s a comedy.


Madison Hawley, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Q: Is the mayor going to release a reggae album anytime soon?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Only on cassette.


Mallard Jenkins, Bangalore, India
Q: After Spyke gets married, is his baby gonna be born with gauges?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Little teeny ones.


Ian Moore, New Paltz (village), New York
Q: How large is your writing staff?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Myself, Carrie, Karey Dornetto and Jon Krisel. And Bill Oakley and Allison Silverman. Doug Lussenhop, one of our editors wrote a piece.


Lilian Oliveira Gifford, Unknown
Q: Do you guys live in Portland?

Fred, New York, NY
A: ;)


guest811554, Unknown
Q: Is Lance’s voice auto-tuned?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Yep. Did you really think that was my voice?


Luckas Arias-Torfs, Boca Raton, Florida
Q: Since Portlandia has been gaining fame, have you guys been offered to do a Portlandia movie?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Fingers crossed!


guest811224, Unknown
Q: Did I see Eddie Vedder as a guest on your show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Yes! How cool is that?! He’s the best.


Blinker Bot, Unknown
Q: Are you afraid of robots?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Nope. Should I be?


guest811477, Unknown
Q: Carrie, do you ever go to see Fred on SNL?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: When I am in NYC, yes.


Kathy Rodriguez, New York, New York
Q: Why does the sun go round the moon?

Fred, New York, NY
A: I’m glad we have you as a fan.


guest810795, Unknown
Q: What’s the weirdest idea for a sketch you ever came up with, but never got around to doing?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: I feel like all of our ideas are weird.


Laura Hermann, New York, New York
Q: Do you use real locations in Portland for the show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Yes, totally!


guest809771, Unknown
Q: If you were really hungry and only had a enough money for a hotdog or pretzel. What would be your choice? no toppings

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Pretzel


Amanda Bartram, Unknown
Q: Who has been the most interesting guest star to work with?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: They’re all pretty interesting!


guest809962, Unknown
Q: I would like to see you play each other, any plans to do so?

Fred, New York, NY
A: I’m close to nailing an impression of Carrie.


Charlie Shulman, Linfield, Pennsylvania
Q: What is the most rewarding part of making the show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Personally, I get to hang out in an awesome city and have fun with my friends. It’s all good!


Kimberly Yee, Unknown
Q: How come Fred plays women so well?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Because I’m sensitive and caring.


Jon Nicholas III, Unknown
Q: When are you all going to have Tim & Eric on the show? It’s gotta happen, right?!

Carrie, New York, NY
A: We would love that. right?


Amanda Bartram, Unknown
Q: What are some of your comedy influences and/or comedy heroes?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Nichols and May. Gilda Radner. Kids in the Hall. Father Ted. Tina Fey.


guest809691, Unknown
Q: Do you get all of your inspiration from real Portlandians or from a random assortment of hipsters and hippies? Love it!

Fred, New York, NY
A: It comes from all over really. But Portland does have such a unique spirit. Thanks for loving it!


guest810604, Unknown
Q: Would you ever consider taking the show to another city?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: I think it would be fun to do an episode or two in another city. What about San Antonio?


Amanda Bartram, Unknown
Q: Carrie, when are you going to host Saturday Night Live?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: Oh, please. Never!! But I did go to the set today and met Charles Barkley!! He was very cool


Sarah Andre, Ocala, Florida
Q: Fred and Carrie, how have the citizens of Portland, Oregon reacted to the show?

Fred, New York, NY
A: They have been so cool. Really positive. And they let us film anywhere.


Cameron Seth Hilliard, Dallas, Texas
Q: How was “Feel It All Around” chosen for the show’s opening theme?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: That was one of those things wherein it was the placeholder music and we got really, really attached to it.


Sarah Andre, Ocala, Florida
Q: Fred and Carrie, how long does it typically take for you to write a sketch?

Carrie, New York, NY
A: It depends. Some sketches happen very quickly. Others take a little more tweaking and finessing.


guest809630, Unknown
Q: Are the sketches totally improvised, partially improvised or totally scripted?

Fred, New York, NY
A: 70% improvised


Meghan Walter, Unknown
Q: Who (guest star) did you enjoy working with the most on the new season?

Fred, New York, NY
A: Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols


guest809771
Q: Would you rather ride a unicorn through space or teach Shakespeare to underprivileged dinosaurs? You would die either way

Fred, New York, NY
A: Space always.


Want the latest news from the land of Portlandia? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCportlandia and use the hashtag #Portlandia.

“Portlandia” airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

One Quick Question for an Ex-Portlander: Ed Forman, host of The Ed Forman Show with Me! Ed Forman!

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Described by some in the local media as “Stephen Colbert as a libidinous sociopath,” Ed Forman is the creation of Portland-born actor-comedian Aaron Ross. A show-biz icon and seriously unqualified self-help guru (a sample of his book titles: “I Will Make You Better, ‘Cause I’m Better Than You!”; “Poop or You’ll Die”; “Foreign People are Hilarious” — none available on Amazon) with the mouth of a megalomaniacal sailor and the hair of a schizophrenic Dick Cavett, Forman hosted his own variety show, “The Ed Forman Show with Me! Ed Forman!”, at downtown rock club Dante’s for four years. Guests included Peter Stormare, Jackass’s Danger Ehren, Timmy Williams of the Whitest Kids You Know, and, inevitably, some poor, random audience member yanked out of the crowd and coerced into performing an impromptu sketch onstage.

Last week, Forman’s Tuesday night residency came to an end. Now, he’s moving to L.A., to try his luck amongst all the other “libidinous sociopaths” of the entertainment industry. And he’s already got a new gig, and in a town any lifelong Portlander should feel comfortable in: the El Cid in Silverlake. We asked Aaron…er, Ed, what he’d miss most — and least — about Portland. Shockingly, he kept it clean. Mostly.

“Leaving Portland is kind of like having your Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory revoked. In leaving, I will miss our Wonkavator (which goes up ways, down ways, east ways, west ways, hospital ways, yuppie ways, ALL KINDS OF WAYS!!!); the streets painted emerald green; the chocolate river that cuts the city in two. Those wacky Oompa Loompas running around the city ‘keeping it weird.’ I will even miss the Slugworths, with their thick-rimmed glasses and ironic mustaches. But the one thing I will not miss about the Rose City are the wild MAX rides to and from Gresham (there’s no earthly way of knowing, just which way the Blue Line is going, or why the conductor shows no signs of slowing, or where the methheads’ urine is flowing…). Yes, one day I hope I can find another Golden Ticket and return to this sweet land of ports. Hey, it worked for Charlie!”

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