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Office Space John C McGinley

Dear John

10 John C. McGinley Roles We Love

John C. McGinley comes to IFC in Stan Against Evil starting November 2nd at 10P.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

With a career that spans theater, film and countless insults directed towards Zach Braff on Scrubs, John C. McGinley is one of those actors who makes everything he touches better. From a surly cop in Point Break to one of the Bobs in Office Space, McGinley has put his own unique spin on some truly memorable roles.

Starting November 2nd at 10P on IFC, you’ll get to see John as the demon hunting curmudgeon Stan Miller on Stan Against Evil, the new horror comedy from the folks behind The Simpsons and The Walking Dead. To see how he got here, we thought we’d look back at a few of his best parts, from hunting Oscar winners to emasculating Zach Braff.

10. Burn Notice, Tom Card

Burn Notice
USA Network

When it came time to introduce the man who trained superspy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), there was only one actor with the machismo chops to make it believable. Tom Card would go on to betray his former protégé, setting up a showdown that ended with one of them in the ground. (Clearly characters are only welcome for so long on USA.) A fun, pulpy part for McGinley to really chew into, Tom Card would be a dramatic return to form for the actor after a decade on Scrubs.


9. Point Break, Ben Harp

Point Break
20th Century Fox

Every cop movie needs an exacerbated commanding officer at his wits’ end with the loose cannon on his force. McGinley took on this trope in Point Break, delivering a few shining moments in the action classic. This wasn’t the showiest of roles, but who among us hasn’t wanted to chew out Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey at some point? For one shining moment, McGinley got to live that dream.


8. 42, Red Barber

42
Warner Bros.

McGinley is such a baseball fanatic that when he realized his neighbor, Brian Helgeland, was directing a movie about Jackie Robinson, he simply knocked on his door and asked to play legendary announcer Red Barber. Helgeland, amused that his friend was asking for a part instead of a cup of sugar, gave him a week to perfect the announcer’s distinctive voice. When McGinley nailed it, he was given the part on the spot. And if you watch the movie, you’d be hard-pressed to pick someone who could have done it any better.


7. Se7en, California

Seven
New Line Cinema

McGinley is a rare actor who can play both the everyman and the macho killing machine. In the David Fincher classic Se7en, McGinley got to go full SWAT on us, as a no-nonsense cop determined to take down serial killer John Doe (Kevin Spacey). Sure, he would fail, playing right into the psychopath’s hands, but boy did he look like a badass doing it.


6. Any Given Sunday, Jack Rose

Any Given Sunday
Warner Bros.

Inspired by “love him or hate him” sports show host Jim Rome, McGinley played the snarky mouth of the sports world, constantly chipping away at Al Pacino’s head coach Tony D’Amato, until he snapped and attacked him. Mixing the dorkiness and bravado of the modern sports talk world to perfection, McGinley nails the nails on the chalkboard side of sports fandom.


5. Talk Radio, Stu

Talk Radio
Universal Studios

Having played the part on stage at the legendary Public Theater, McGinley was the first and only choice to play Stu, the talk radio engineer who worked with, admired and resented Eric Bogosian’s caustic radio host. In a grounded movie filled with crackling dialogue, McGinley was a standout from the small ensemble.


4. Wall Street, Marvin

Wall Street
20th Century Fox

Oliver Stone’s classic dissection of 1980s greed gave McGinley one of his most memorable parts. Wall Street famously picked apart the decade that gave us Donald Trump, looking at the strivers who would do anything to take part in those cocaine parties and caviar dreams. Some made it to the top, like Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas), and some were left to fight for scraps, like poor Marvin. McGinley was a perfect fit for the stock slinger whose ego just wasn’t big enough, and whose morals were too pronounced to let him grasp the brass ring.


3. Platoon, Sgt. O’Neill

Platoon
Orion Pictures

Stone gave McGinley his big break in this classic war movie. Cast as the fast talking, fun-loving sergeant who finally snaps, desperate to get out of this hellish war alive, McGinley spent months in the swamps of the Philippines hoping the government would wait to be overthrown until the movie was finished.


2. Office Space, Bob Slydell

Office Space
20th Century Fox

Desperate to just be in the movie, which McGinley described as one of the funniest scripts he’d ever read, he took the role of one of the two “Bobs,” even though the parts had barely been written. Director Mike Judge promised the role would be fleshed out on set, and true to his word, the pair spent days coming up with what would become one of the most memorable scenes in the cult classic.


1. Scrubs, Dr. Perry Cox

Scrubs
ABC Studios

McGinley almost didn’t get to play Dr. Cox — a character who, along with Dr. House, basically defined the modern version of the brilliant-but-surly doctor trope — even though the audition called for a “John C. McGinley type.” He had to audition multiple times, proving that the life of a character actor is never easy. Caustic, causally cruel, but with a heart of gold, Dr. Cox was the emasculating medical savant we all hope will save our lives one day. Sure, J.D. (Zach Braff) had to put up with his fair share of abuse (and female nicknames), but in the end no one could deny that Cox was one-of-a-kind. A truly classic sitcom character if there ever was one, Dr. Cox was proof that McGinley is as equally adept at comedy as he is at searing drama.

Watch John C. McGinley fight demons in a clip from IFC’s upcoming horror comedy Stan Against Evil! 

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.