DID YOU READ

Watch Portlandia’s Fred Armisen play with Yo La Tengo on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

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What are three great tastes that are better together? Peanut butter and chocolate, pickles and whiskey and Yo La Tengo and Fred Armisen. So last night we sat on our couch eating Reese’s peanut butter cups, drinking picklebacks and watching Portlandia’s own Fred Armisen play drums with Yo La Tengo on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Fred and Yo La Tengo go way back, most recently he joined the band for a string of Hanukkah shows in Hoboken. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him on stage with Yo La Tengo (who Jimmy Fallon appropriately called “one of the most beloved bands in indie rock”), but it was a nice one. The group played a few songs off of their brand new album, Fade with Fred drumming alongside Georgia Hubley in a blazing three drum performance of the album’s opener “Ohm.” As their performance reminded viewers last night, Yo La Tengo are pretty much the best. The New Jersey group has been putting out such consistently great albums for so many years that some people (us included) have started to take them for granted. No more! Their new album is incredible and everyone should go buy it right now. Go ahead, we’ll wait. While you’re waiting for the songs to download, watch Yo La Tengo and Fred play “Ohm”:

And as a web exclusive, Yo La Tengo showed their gentler side with a performance of “I’ll Be Around” off the new LP:

Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Meet the Portlandia Co-Op: Jim McHugh

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As you are aware, the third season of Portlandia is underway with a new episode airing each Friday at 10/9c. To celebrate the welcome return of Fred Armisen’s and Carrie Brownstein’s sketch comedy show, we are yielding control of the @IFCportlandia Twitter feed to a few lucky, talented members of the Portlandia Co-Op, a community where fans can join together to support their favorite show. Each week we’ll take a few minutes to introduce you to the fans who are operating behind-the-scenes to make @ifcPortlandia the destination for Portlandia fans on Twitter.

This week Jim McHugh, pictured here with his lovely wife Erin, is taking the reins of @IFCportlandia:

Jim answered a few questions before taking control:

Name, city of residence and occupation

Jim McHugh, Woodbury, NJ (basically suburbs of Philly), freelance illustrator/teacher’s aide/novice Santa.

Do you recycle? Compost? Bring your own bag?

All three! Compost is the key–last summer we grew over 300 tomatoes on three plants! Yeah, compost!

Have you ever been to Portland?

No, but I have heard such good things. It seems like a good place to draw caricatures.

Who is your favorite character on Portlandia?

Spyke the bike messenger because he knows when things are OVER!

Which character do you think you are most like?

Peter, because I like to know where my food comes from. I don’t stutter like him, but I can be indecisive. Well, not really. OK, sometimes.

What is your most Portlandian trait?

My wife and I want to open a feminist design studio/art gallery/vintage resale food truck.

Why did you want to run Portlandia’s Twitter feed?

Because we are seriously considering moving there. We really love the show! Thought it’d be an interesting experience.

What’s your favorite sketch?

“The People Who Need a Housesitter for Two Hours,” guest-starring Aubrey Plaza.

Have you ever waited in line for brunch?

I haven’t, but I would. I love all foods that are breakfast-centric with a splash of lunch. I would never cut in line though.

We hear you’re thinking about moving to Portland… tell us more.

My cousin Keith, another creative-type, recently relocated from Philly and seems to be enjoying Portland life. Even though the show is full of characters, the people at least seem happy enough. We’re ready for positive changes, access to better food, and keeping the dream of the 90s alive. Portland seems to be home to like-minded people, which would be a nice change from where we live.

Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

Kumail Nanjiani floats on in Portlandia

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Contrary to popular opinion, Kumail Nanjiani does not sit around thinking about going back to the womb. That does not stop him from giving a float tank a try in the latest installment of Kumail Tours Portlandia.

In this episode, Kumail decides to give floating in a salty sensory deprivation tank a whirl, despite the fact that the owner of the establishment tells Kumail that he will see swirling nebulas and gorillas on surfboards while sitting alone and suspended in a tank of salty water. After all, when you’re in Portlandia you may as well do as the Portlandians, right? Besides, it’s his job. So watch Kumail as he goes to Float On in Portland, Or., and finds out that getting in a salty sensory deprivation tanks sometimes means seeing a dog with your mom’s eyes

Watch as Kumail continues his tour of Portlandia and tune in for a new episode of Portlandia on Friday at 10/9c:

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Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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