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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.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…