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Season 6, Episode 1: Pick-a-thon

Lip Service

10 Times The Flaming Lips Were Absurdly Funny

Catch The Flaming Lips on the season premiere of Portlandia tonight at 10P/9c on IFC.

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The Flaming Lips are known for a lot of things. Operatic rock. Epic live shows. And, of course, psychedelic imagery that includes robots and karate masters. What they aren’t often thought of is straight up funny. And yet, as we prepare for their appearance on the sixth season premiere of Portlandia tonight at 10P, we’re reminded that Wayne Coyne and his band of rock misfits have never been afraid to crack wise. “Do You Realize” just how funny these dudes can be?


10. “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume,” Comedy Bang! Bang!

IFC Originals

IFC Originals

Scott Aukerman may have been dressed up as his favorite Wayne for the occasion, but it was Wayne Coyne’s world on this classic Halloween episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!. The Flaming Lips frontman dryly delivered absurd lines, like his favorite scary movie being The Lord of the Rings, all while playing it super cas’ in a blood drenched Carrie costume. In a series full of game rock star cameos, this was by far one of the best.


9. “A Fairy Tale Song,” Yo Gabba Gabba!

When we were kids, children’s programming was there to sell us toys, as God intended. Now, shows like Yo Gabba Gabba! are so hip, they feel like they’re made in some cool bar underneath Brooklyn that you’re too lame to be invited to. And so, of course, The Flaming Lips found their way onto the popular kid’s show, and turned their indie rock hit “I Can Be A Frog” into a ridiculous costume party full of breakdancing monkeys and oversized keytars. If ever there was a video that recreates the experience of seeing The Lips live, it’s this one.


8. Wayne In The Bubble

The Flaming Lips are famous for putting on a one-of-a-kind show. They encourage their audience to dress up like giant stuffed animals. They have inflatable characters do battle on stage. They create an environment where the psychedelic can meet the absurd. But in the end, it all comes down to this: Wayne Coyne trying not to fall over as he crowd surfs in a giant, inflatable bubble.


7. Vine’ing Like the Kids Do

How does a band stay relevant? Well, if this video is any indication, it’s just to do as the kids do. Wayne Coyne took his first cautious steps towards being a Vine star with this short video shot at Funny or Die, in which some overeager interns try to impress the Lips frontman with their take on the band’s popular song “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.”


6. Wayne Coyne and Miley Cyrus: BFFs

There’s another way to stay young forever, and that’s to have a unique friendship with a pop ingénue. A happy birthday tweet from the former Hannah Montana to Coyne got fans scratching their heads back in 2014. Was this a joke, or could the fifty-something Coyne really be friends with the former-Disney star-turned-pop-performance-artist? The two have since become paparazzi targets, collaborators and full on BFFs. While this friendship may not be intentionally funny, the out there visuals the pair have produced have offered more than a few laughs.


5. Wayne Stops By The Gorburger Show

The Gorburger Show‘s premise is simple: A giant monster has taken over a Japanese television station so that he can interview his rock star heroes. Pretty standard stuff. T.J. Miller voices the corpulent creature, who has interviewed everyone from Tegan and Sara to Carson Daly. Coyne stopped by for the show’s 15th episode to discuss his love of spectacle and making movies in his backyard. It isn’t often that Coyne isn’t the weirdest guy on set.


4. Playing Pictionary on The Tonight Show

Sometimes Wayne Coyne’s funniest moments are the ones where he is in the most mundane situations. And what could be more mundane than playing Pictionary with Demi Lovato? Coyne joined the pop star, along with Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen and The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, for a game of Pictionary that grows weirder and more amusing as it goes along. If Coyne had been a famous musician in the ’70s, it’s safe to say he would’ve been a regular on Match Game.


3. The Flaming Lips Pull An April Fools’ Prank For The Ages

On April Fools’ Day 2014, The Flaming Lips teamed up with Funny Or Die to pull a prank that was as ridiculous as it was unbelievable. Out of the blue, the band performed a companion piece to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon that synced up perfectly with the classic album. Having dropped their Dark Side of the Moon tribute, The Lips decided to full on sell out. Jon Daly played a slick exec in this FOD video, telling the guys, “We need to stop thinking of this as a band, and start thinking about it as a brand.” Because, as he pointed out, “Wayne could sh*t in a paper cup, and Pitchfork would give it an 8.7.” It was time to cash in.


2. Michael Bay’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Feature Film

Selling out led to a natural collaboration between the band and Michael Bay. Who hasn’t listened to “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” and wanted to see a bloated, big budget action movie version? While this was a big joke, the fact remains that we would LOVE to see this movie.


1. Portlandia’s own Fred Armisen Joins the Band


And with the sell out in place, there was only one more thing to do, and that’s find a new lead singer. After all, Wayne had a lot going on “with the Comcast deal” and all. That’s how Fred Armisen found his way into the band. If you liked this collaboration, then you’ll want to see what Wayne and Fred have come up with on the season premiere of Portlandia, which airs tonight at 10P/9c on IFC with guest appearances from The Flaming Lips and Natasha Lyonne.

Want more Portlandia? Watch a free episode from the new season right now on IFC.com or on the IFC app.

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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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