Alia Shawkat

Funke Town

Alia Shawkat’s 5 Funniest Roles

Catch Alia Shawkat on an all-new Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Rarely do we see a comedic talent so fully realized at such a young age, but Arrested Development fans witnessed it firsthand in the acting chops of Alia Shawkat. (She was also the very first person cast in the series.) Alia landed many roles since and with them solidified her status as a fantastic comedy actor.

Before you catch Alia as one of Carrie’s new kids on tonight’s brand new Portlandia, check out her five funniest roles to date. (Click here to find IFC on your TV in your area.)

1. Maeby Fünke, Arrested Development

She may have gotten her start with a small role in David O. Russell’s Three Kings, but the world got to know Alia Shawkat from her breakthrough role as Maeby Fünke, arguably the sanest and most self-aware member of the dysfunctional Bluth clan. Quick with a ruse and a quip, Maeby had her family figured out practically from birth — even if the makeout sessions with her step-cousin gave her pause.


2. Adele, Broad City

Perfectly cast as Ilana Glazer’s doppelganger (co-star Abbi Jacobson even mistook Glazer for Shawkat when they first met in improv class), Alia plays the sexually charged counterpart to Ilana’s free-wheelin’ libido. Their whirlwind hookup hits a rough patch, however, when they don’t share the same enthusiasm for making out with oneself, and their differing stance on marijuana is the final nail.


3. Frances Cleveland, Drunk History

Mixing middle school social studies with a detox center, Derek Waters’ Comedy Central series retells historical events through the glazed eyes and slurred speech of drunk comedians. In the episode focusing on First Ladies, Shawkat plays Grover Cleveland’s wife Frances Folsom who championed a feminist movement in the late-1800s and used her public profile to promote jobs for women.


4. Bree, Cedar Rapids

The 2011 comedy Cedar Rapids starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, and Anne Heche features Shawkat as a sex worker who frequents business conventions for hot-to-trot johns. The role stands in stark contrast to the mostly wholesome yet acerbic Maeby and might be jarring for those who only know her from Arrested Development. But after her first sarcastic comment, the similarities become pretty evident.


5. Herself, Getting Doug With High

Unlike her character in Broad City, Alia enjoys partaking in the occasional toke in real life and did so alongside comedian Doug Benson and actor Aubrey Plaza for Benson’s online weed series, Getting Doug With High. Watching the trio hang out, chat, and joke around, viewers got a true sense of Shawkat’s affable and funny self that she brings to the table for each role.

Watch Alia as one of Carrie’s new kids in a clip from this week’s Portlandia.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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