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SNL Stars on IFC

9 Times SNL Stars Were Hilarious on IFC

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SNL is celebrating the big 4-0 with a TV special airing this Sunday on NBC. It’s going to be one massive blow-out, featuring the likes of Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and much, much more. As past and present stars of the late-night sketch show join forces, however, we can’t help but realize one of their obvious connecting threads: a lot of them also brought their talents to IFC.

Of course you can currently see Fred Armisen every Thursday night at 10p on IFC’s Portlandia. (This week he goes toe-to-toe with the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening.) Fred has thankfully paved the way for other current and former Not Ready or Primetime Players to lend their talents to IFC’s shows. Before SNL’s 40th anniversary special, take a look back at all those times the Not Ready for Primetime Players graced us with their presence.

9. Jason Sudeikis, Portlandia

No wonder Olivia Wilde wanted to shout to the rooftops about her sex life with Jason Sudeikis. His dreamy eyes will stop anyone in their tracks, which is exactly what happened when he seduced Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein into becoming his wives on Portlandia.

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8. Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

While Kristen Wiig was a star player on SNL, leaving has done wonders for her career, as she’s appeared in numerous TV and movie projects. With the Spoils of Babylon, she gave us our new favorite character: the ridiculously overdramatic Cynthia Morehouse. No one gives a good slap fight performance like Wiig.


7. Andy Samberg, Portlandia

Mixologists are…unique individuals. You’ve probably run into them at bars trying to dazzle everyone around them with liquor bottle acrobatics and their heightened taste buds. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star is perfect for a character like this, and he does make a cocktail with such finesse.

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6. Kate McKinnon, Comedy Bang! Bang!

Kate McKinnon might be relatively new to SNL, but she’s already found her niche — portraying just about every kind of crazy lady you could think of. While she became a traveling seamstress for Late Night with Seth Meyers and an enthusiastic cat lady on SNL, she went on Comedy Bang! Bang! as a “professional downstairs neighbor.”

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5. Will Ferrell, The Spoils of Babylon

So much talent went into making the Spoils of Babylon miniseries a hit, but we have to give a lot of props to these stars of SNL. Will Ferrell, who also produced the series with his Funny or Die company, leads us through this magical journey as “the indisputable master of dramatic fiction,” Eric Jonrosh.


4. Dana Carvey, The Birthday Boys

There’s a reason why high-end fashion ads look so perfectly put together: the models are standing totally still so as to not wrinkle or damage the immaculate clothes. If you ask Dana Carvey’s fashion designer character, his horseback riding gear is so expensive that they’re not even used to go horseback riding. You can find appropriate gear in a thrift store.

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3. Bill Hader, Portlandia

Not to be confused with Michael Keaton’s Oscar-nominated turn as Birdman, here Bill Hader becomes the love child of Hugh Jackman and Dog the Bounty Hunter. If the zombie apocalypse ever drops and technology as we know it proves to be useless…well, we still wouldn’t want to run into Birdman.

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2. Maya Rudolph, Portlandia

Banana daiquiris are much more than drinks — they’re symbolic of relationships. After all, as Nance and Peter sing along with Maya Rudolph, it takes two bananas to make a perfect daiquiri. If you add a third, you just can’t get it through the straw.

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1. Will Forte, Comedy Bang! Bang!

Will Forte would do anything for love…of Pepsi…even though he’s admittedly a Coke guy. But this one pretzel stand in this one mall close to where he was tailing his ex-girlfriend had the best Pepsi, so obviously he wasn’t not going to land his airplane in the parking lot.

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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.