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Karaoke Killers

10 Karaoke Songs Guaranteed to Clear the Room

Worst Karaoke Songs

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Portlandia is celebrating its love of popular songs, crazy background music videos and lots and lots of liquid courage. That’s right! Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are infusing their sketch comedy show with a touch of karaoke this week. As this dynamic duo of comedy plans the set list for the upcoming episode, we can only pray to the karaoke gods that they don’t fall victim to one of these awful jams.

Some songs are great for continuing the unique frivolity one finds only in a karaoke bar, while others can clear out the room in mere minutes. These are the latter…

10. “At Seventeen,” Janis Ian

As Liz Lemon so eloquently showed with her performance on 30 Rock, “At Seventeen” is such a karaoke buzzkill. A song about the harsh realities of growing up is the last thing we all want when we’re trying to drink as much liquid courage as needed to go up and sing T-Swift’s new hit.


9. “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel

“Let It Go” entered our lives when Disney’s Frozen hit theaters only a couple years ago, but we’ve heard it enough to last a lifetime. The last thing we need is some plastered Broadway wannabe attempting to screech that final high note, like Adele Dazeem tried to do during that New Year’s Eve performance heard ’round the world.


8. “Bootylicious,” Destiny’s Child

“Bootylicious” is a Destiny’s Child classic, but it’s a lot harder than it looks…trust us. We know from personal experience. You get up there thinking that the prompter will guide you along the way, but you soon realize that the only line you actually know is, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” The rest of the time will be spent clinging to the lyrics like they’re a career comeback and you’re Kirstie Alley.


7. “Summer Nights,” Grease

You don’t wanna be the one in your karaoke troupe to get up and sing something from Grease, but you sure as hell don’t wanna be the one to do “Summer Nights” of all the songs from the soundtrack. (Really, even “Hand Jive” is less predictable.) This song terrorized karaoke bars across the country before a group of heroes sent it back to the hellfire from which it emerged. That’s the only logical explanation we can come up with.


6. Really Anything Broadway…

Unless you have the pipes to hold your performance up against the likes of Patti Lupone, Kristen Chenoweth and Audra McDonald, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from musical theater numbers. They’re usually super long and contradict the vibe most karaoke bars are trying to cultivate. Do you really want to force your buddies to sit through an entire rendition of “Defying Gravity”? Save it for your community theater audition.

5. “Lighting Crashes,” Live

Every once in a while you’ll see a burly dude pull out this earnest ’90s chestnut at karaoke. That means you also have to hear him sing lines like “her placenta falls to the floor” and “lightning crashes/an old mother dies” with a straight face.


4. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen

Queen is a pretty regular contender for karaoke shenanigans, but be careful of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As Admiral Ackbar said, “It’s a trap!” If you don’t have a couple of buddies up at the mic with you, you’re just that guy trying to sing all the parts by yourself and you’ll sound ridiculous. Plus, it’s always longer than you remember.


3. “Friday,” Rebecca Black

“Friday” is the karaoke blunder of the modern age. There have been a few teenie weenie pop singers trying to emulate the incessant overzealous joy of Fridays, but nothing can compare to the original Rebecca Black classic. And we don’t mean that as a compliment. So keep this as far away from karaoke as humanly possible. We need a few more years before this one earns funny/kitchsy karaoke status like, say, “Barbie Girl.”


2. “Someone Like You,” Adele

This is such a good song…but not for karaoke. It’s perfect if you want to stay at home and down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s as tears smear your mascara-stained face, but it’s not what we would call a joyous time. Don’t believe us? We’ll prove it by watching this adorable dog fall to emotional pieces because of it. #TooReal for karaoke.


1. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meatloaf

I’d do anything for the karaoke gods, but I won’t sing this song. If you though “Bohemian Rhapsody” is long, “I’d Do Anything For Love” is longer and has far less variation. Its low tempo, moderately soothing melody and prolonged trudge into oblivion makes this one tough song to sell unless your real name is Marvin Lee Aday.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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