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Shopping List

10 Fictional Stores We Want To Shop In

Visit Portlandia's Femimart Thursday at 10P on IFC.

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Warner Bros.

Have you ever wished you could hang out in a magical toy store? Or maybe score some records from the surliest music store clerks of all time? We spend so much of our lives with characters from our favorite shows and movies, it’s only natural to want to take that relationship to the next level. To get you ready for Portlandia‘s new Femimart, check out a few fake stores we wish we could visit in real life. No coupon clipping necessary.

10. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Sometimes movies don’t need to be perfect to create a perfect place. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium sits at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and yet we’ve never been able to shake the shop that Mr. Magorium runs in the movie. Anything can happen there. Want any toy in the world? Just write it in the ledger and it will appear. Turn a doorknob and rooms will magically transform. The store — one part Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and one part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse — is a living thing, willing to fulfill your wildest fantasies, or throw a massive tempter tantrum. Plus, the checkout girl looks remarkably like Natalie Portman.


9. Championship Vinyl

Working Title Films
Working Title Films

Championship Vinyl is in a Chicago neighborhood that attracts the bare minimum of window shoppers. It caters to young men looking for The Smiths singles and rare Frank Zappa albums. If you want crap like “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” you can cart your butt back out to the mall. Shop owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack) compares the records he sells, which he calls fetish properties, to porn. The employees here are true blue, dyed-in-the-wool music snobs just like in the good ol’ days when people actually left the house to buy music. This is a store where opinions are as good as facts and mix tapes are a reason to get out of bed in the morning. (Well, in the afternoon.)


8. The Magic Box

20th Century Fox Television
20th Century Fox Television

Life in Sunnydale isn’t the easiest. Demons and vampires are constantly trying to kill you, and all the cute boys are either attached or have decomposing, unattached limbs. But there is one place of refuge, and that’s The Magic Box. Whether you’re a layman looking for a love potion, or an experienced Wiccan looking for that hard-to-find spell, The Magic Box is a one-stop shop for all your occult needs. And if you have some free time between sales, feel free to crack wise with Xander, train with Giles or make out with Spike. Just be careful with the musical spells.


7. Mr. Hooper’s Store

What kid didn’t want to hang out with Big Bird and the gang at Mr. Hooper’s Store, Sesame Street’s premiere supplier of cookies and whatever it was that Mr. Snuffleupagus eats. Whatever you need, kindly old Mr. Hooper could supply it. Oh no. We just remembered the episode where Big Bird finds out Mr. Hooper died. Can’t talk…curling into fetal position and crying for mommy…


6. Bill’s Candy Shop

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

If you’re a kid, a kid at heart, or just have a horrible diet, there’s no place you’d rather while away the hours than inside Bill’s Candy Shop. Whether you’re in the mood for a piece of Fickelgruber’s hard candy, some Slugworth’s Sizzlers, or a Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar, there’s only one place to satiate your sweet tooth. No matter your craving, Bill has it, and he knows to save it just for you. See, Bill isn’t some new school candy slinger, who just sells his wares to anyone with a dime and a dream. Bill knows his customers by name, and has just the right bit of sugary goodness ready for them when they walk in the door. He isn’t afraid to just start tossing candy in the air, as he sings little ditties about “The Candy Man.” Come on behind the counter, kids. Help yourself. Come to think of it, Bill really needs to start charging or he’s going to go out of business.


5. The Leftorium

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

For the left-handed among us, there’s one store that’s always held a certain allure. The Leftorium is a business as simple as it is brilliant. Why not have a shop for left-handed folks? Give the rest of the world a taste of what it’s like to have everything backwards. Thanks to Ned Flanders, this is just the store for all your leftie shopping needs, whether its a left-handed ruler, poster or Statue of Liberty figurine. Just try and remember not to mention the Southpaw Superstore that opened up nearby.


4. Empire Records

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

While the snobbishness may be dialed down at Empire Records, at least compared to Championship Vinyl, the staff is no less a family. They stick together through thick and thin, especially when their store is on the verge of being sold to a conglomerate and turned into a bland franchise outpost. But that’s not what bumps this shop so high up on the list. And no, it’s not the morality plays the staff puts on to make sure none of them get hooked on drugs, as fun as those seem. What makes this shop stand out is simple. It’s filled with gorgeous, young people who seem very down to have sex and/or break into song and dance. Sure beats browsing iTunes in our underwear.


3.”Be Kind Rewind” VHS Rental

Focus Features
Focus Features
There was a time when an outing to the video store was a full evening. You’d peruse the aisles, digging through the new releases until finally settling on renting City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold for the 15th time. Sadly, those days have passed. But what if there was a shop where you could still riffle through your favorite titles? And what if all the movies were homemade remakes starring Jack Black and Mos Def that possessed the raw, unadulterated love of cinema that made you fall in love with the medium in the first place? Well, there is such a place in Be Kind Rewind, and all you have to do is remember the title before bringing the video back. Sounds like a fair deal to us.


2. The Chinatown Antique Shop From Gremlins

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

When you’ve searched high and low for a birthday gift for your son only to come up empty handed, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. That’s how Randall “Rand” Peltzer found himself digging through the ancient trinkets and cobwebs of a nameless Chinese antique store, and finding a Mogwai that he would pay any price for. Just imagine what other treats must lay behind the tattered curtains and hazy candlelight of this mysterious shop. As long as you bring cash (and the owner isn’t looking), you may walk out with something truly one of a kind. Just remember not to feed it after midnight.


1. TRAX Record Store

If we had a time machine, we’d forgo the whole killing Hitler thing and just go back to in time and hang out with Iona, Duckie and Andie at the record store in Pretty in Pink. Oh also our time machine can go to fictional eras.

Visit Portlandia’s Femimart!

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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.

SistersWeekend_102_MPX-1920x1080

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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

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!

via GIPHY

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….

E.coli-class-

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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