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Bohemian Crapsody

10 Awkward Karaoke Scenes in Movies

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Karaoke is a two-way street. Though it may seem like the most mortifying experience to stumble through a rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” it’s equally painful to be in the audience for. This week Portlandia will tackling this ancient art in a karaoke-themed episode, and we can only hope Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein don’t fall victim to the slew of awkward musical moments that we’ve seen a number of times over.

There’s a small sect of actors and actresses who have succumbed to the awkward karaoke scene on the big screen. It’s pretty much an art in itself: how do you (a) sing poorly enough and (b) make enough triumphant fist pumps to make everyone watching as uncomfortable as possible? Perhaps we can learn a thing our two from these awkward karaoke movie moments.

10. House Bunny, “Like A Virgin”

Even without the evil, blonde sorority pranking these easy targets, the ladies of Zeta Alpha Zeta are hopeless when it comes to being cool and singing a decent karaoke jam worth a damn. “Like a Virgin” is already a bold choice, but these ladies just couldn’t cut it either way. Sashay away, Emma Stone.


9. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, “You’re So Vain”

There’s nothing worse than losing your cool on stage during a high-end dinner event. Oh wait! Yes, there is. That would be doing so while you’re dressed to the nines in a slim gown and screaming a Carly Simon classic through champagne-soaked vocal chords. Oh yeah, and your boss and your fake boyfriend’s boss are witnessing the whole thing.


8. The Cable Guy, “Somebody To Love”

Jim Carrey’s famous karaoke scene in The Cable Guy is both one of the most riveting and awkward examples of karaoke on the big screen. On the one hand, Carrey is spectacular as he throws his limbs and body all over the floor to entertain his guests, and kudos to his commitment to the bit! But that didn’t stop some of us from giggling awkwardly as he started flailing and flaunting his vocal shakes like the love child of Grace Slick and Peabo Bryson.


7. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, “I Will Survive”

“Everyone’s a goddamn singer.” Nancy, you couldn’t be more right, but you’re probably saying that because Jennifer Love Hewitt’s karaoke rendition totally sounds like it was doctored. But you can’t have an awkward karaoke moment without all of the bad acting that comes from the performer’s friends.


6. Only God Forgives, “You’re My Dream”

There are many aspects of the final karaoke scene in Only God Forgives that are unnerving. The stoic audience watching in silence, the variation of a creepy jack in the box melody, and…oh yeah, the fact that we just saw a battered Ryan Gosling lose his hands by the blade of a samurai sword.

5. Lost In Translation, “More Than This”

Scarlett Johansson knows how to work a stage, and her pink wig only works in her favor during her sassy rendition of “Brass in Pocket.” We just wish Bill Murray brought at least some pep to his step when he was passed the mic. Granted, Bill’s flat performance is perfectly in keeping with character’s state of mind. As a karaoke moment, it was awkward as hell.


4. Boys Don’t Cry, “The Bluest Eyes In Texas”

This right here is supposed to be a romantic interaction between Chloe Sevigny’s Lana and Hilary Swank’s Brandon, but all we hear are the gravely tones of these lost karaoke souls. These ladies need Whoopi to come in and transform these soft-mannered nuns into showboating Vegas headliners.


3. When Harry Met Sally, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”

You gotta give it up for Harry and Sally for putting on a show in the middle of an electronics store, but we wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall during this moment. We don’t blame Meg Ryan for latching onto the lyrics for dear life, especially since she wasn’t the one who picked the song. Hopefully she remembered this for the future.


2. My Best Friends Wedding, “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”

Cameron Diaz taught Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney a valuable lesson about karaoke etiquette: if someone doesn’t want to get up in front of an entire bar and belt a tune, there might be reason for that. Not everyone can be the radiant star of the stage. If you try and force them, you come out with a trainwreck from which you simply cannot tear your eyes away, no matter how badly you wish you could avoid witnessing the destruction.


1. 40-Year-Old Virgin, “The First Time”

In a deleted scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell gets up on stage to sing his karaoke jam…which is from the Broadway musical Zorba the Greek. Here’s the thing about singing Broadway during karaoke — don’t do it! Unless you have the sparkling pipes of Adele Dazeem.

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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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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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