Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Peter Giles- Photo Credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC

Carrie's On

10 Awesome Things Carrie Brownstein Did in 2015

Carrie Brownstein returns to Portlandia starting January 21st at 10P on IFC.

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Writer, producer, actor, and bonafide rock star Carrie Brownstein has had an amazing year. Overstuffed with creative projects and lauded collaborations that span music, literature, comedy, and yes, even matrimony, 2015 has seen Carrie’s work explode and disseminate throughout the pop culture landscape with overwhelming critical acclaim. Heck, she’s even an emoji.

Here are Carrie Brownstein’s 10 best moments of 2015.

1. The goth-tastic fifth season of Portlandia

Portlandia goth

Wrapping up their fifth season in March and gearing up for the sixth next month, Carrie and comedy cohort Fred Armisen continue to earn praise from fans and critics for their incisive and hyper-literate skewering of hipster culture and beyond. Few social commentators truly nail the quirks and foibles of modern society quite like Portlandia.


2. Releasing her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Riverhead Books

Released in October, Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl covers her complicated relationship with her parents, her whirlwind life on tour, and the co-creation of the Peabody-winning series Portlandia. The book has garnered rave reviews and offers a glimpse of a person who’s accomplished so much.


3. Sleater-Kinney’s long-awaited No Cities to Love album

As if the accolades for her TV and non-fiction work wasn’t enough, Carrie ensured yet another spot on year-end “best of” lists with her band’s latest release No Cities to Love. A decade since their last album, Sleater-Kinney once again wowed fans and critics with 10 raw, emotional tracks and was honored by 40+ outlets for releasing one of the best records of 2015.


4. Her role in Todd Haynes’ acclaimed film Carol

Carrie’s unstoppable work continued with the universally praised independent film Carol. Directed by venerated auteur Todd Haynes, the film is set in 1952 New York City and focuses on a young woman’s infatuation with an older woman going through a divorce. As Genevieve Cantrell, Carrie fills the supporting role with aplomb and rounds out the cast of a movie that’s already earned dozens of awards, over a hundred nominations, and is listed at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.


5. Her live Q&As with Questlove, Amy Poehler and more

Portlandia Q&A

The whirlwind book tour for Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl took Carrie across the country, where she talked about her memoir and career with everyone from Gaby Hoffmann to Amy Poehler. Her Brooklyn stop at Saint Vitus bar featured a lively Q&A with Questlove from The Roots and The Tonight Show, where the duo bonded over Madonna and the TV show The Affair.


6. Hanging out with Gaby Hoffmann on Transparent

As Amazon’s most acclaimed series, Transparent joins the ever-growing number of online programs that push the boundaries of scripted entertainment. So, of course, Carrie’s a part of it, too. As Syd Feldman, she plays Ali Pfefferman’s (Gaby Hoffmann) acerbic lifelong friend and source of comfort amidst her turbulent family.


7. Her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

In October, Carrie dropped by the Ed Sullivan Theater as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show to chat about her memoir and offer up a selection from her true passion, traditional English folk ballads. In the clip above, the singer croons her way through a cripplingly maudlin tune about death and sorrow.


8. Officiating a wedding alongside Amy Poehler

Appearing at a live Q&A led by comedy dynamo Amy Poehler, Carrie was asked by two audience members if she could officiate an impromptu wedding. And she, being an ordained minister, was happy to oblige. Even with no speech prepared, Carrie still pulled off an amazingly heartfelt ceremony in front of a crowd who witnessed firsthand that this woman can do anything.


9. Getting miniaturized on Archer

This year, FX’s hilariously loopy animated series Archer welcomed the Portlandia star as a guest voice for a special two-parter season finale. Carrie plays Dr. Sklodowska who, along with the rest of Archer’s crew, is miniaturized and injected into a Russian defector’s body in a surreal parody of Fantastic Voyage. In the clip above, Carrie’s character is warned that warming up to Archer isn’t the wisest choice unless supplied with a heap of antibiotics.


10. Covering The B-52’s with Fred Armisen

Closing out 2015 with a string of live shows in New York City, Sleater-Kinney’s performance at Terminal 5 ended with a surprise appearance by Fred Armisen, who led the band in a pitch-perfect rendition of The B-52’s new wave hit “Rock Lobster.” Joyful and infectious, it was a beautiful topper to a year filled with amazing accomplishments for the Portlandia star.

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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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