As you may have head, IFC recently greenlit ten half-hour episodes of “The Birthday Boys,” a new scripted original sketch comedy, which is executive produced by Bob Odenkirk (“Breaking Bad,” “Mr. Show”) and Ben Stiller (The upcoming “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Zoolander”). The series is in the classic vein of absurd/silly/smart/funny variety shows like two of our favorites “Mr. Show” and “Monty Python.” Each episode will feature sketches that twist real-life moments and cultural touchstones.“The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos. They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of Portlandia,” said Ben Stiller. “I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so.” Sounds good right?
But who are The Birthday Boys? Along with Odenkirk, cast of “The Birthday Boys” are a Los Angeles comedy group who just so happens to have the exact same name as the show. The comedy group includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen—whose combined credits include “Parks and Recreation”, “The Office,” “Conan,” “Comedy Bang! Bang!”, and “Portlandia.” You can catch their act at places like the UCB Theatre Los Angeles and the Just for Laughs Festival. The series is written and co-directed by The Birthday Boys and Bob Odenkirk and with that much talent involved there’s no way the show won’t be laugh-out-loud funny and fit right in with our ever-growing line-up of “Always On, Slightly Off” programming. Added Odenkirk, “The Birthday Boys are a super funny and fresh new comic voice. I will try not to slow them down.”
To give you some idea what the group does, here are a few of our favorite selections from their YouTube channel:
Where Are They Now?
Outside The Actor’s Studio
Horny Beach, episode 1 (You should watch the entire series)
From the warped minds behind The Simpsons and The Walking Dead comes your next horror comedy obsession.
Stan Against Evil employs ghoulish horror and pitch-black comedy that’ll both tingle the spine and tickle the ribs. And before the demon-possessed festivities kick off Wednesday, November 2nd at 10P ET with back-to-back episodes, we’ve got a glimpse at stars John C. McGinley and Janet Varney as mismatched small New England town sheriffs Stan Miller and Evie Barret who find themselves pitted against witches, demonic goats and other bizarre horrors.
Check out the Stan Against Evil stars — both living and undead — in the brand new photos below. Follow Stan on Facebook and Twitter for more updates as we approach the scarifiying November 2nd premiere.
Posted by Luke McKinney on Photo Credit: Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection
Zombie movies are based on our fear of mortality, but if there’s one thing action heroes do best it’s laugh in the face of death. The rotting, easily-shotgunned face of death. We’re enjoying undeath this month on IFC with Zombieland, so we’re also counting down the 10 funniest zombie movies. Run!
10. Army of Darkness
Ashley J. Williams is the hardest working blue-collar demon fighter in movie history. (Even though he causes most of the problems he solves in the first place.) When he’s not defeating the Deadites, he’s delivering hilarious quips with typical deadpan flair.
Fido is a fantastic comedy, but you should expect that with stand-up superstar Billy Connolly in the title role. A nightmarish 1950s-esque world of white picket fences and decaying flesh sets the scene for painfully funny interactions between the living and the dead — and it’s quickly revealed that the zombies are better family figures than many of the upstanding citizens.
8. Dead Snow
Dead Snow ramps up the camp with an isolated group of teenagers battling an entire zombie Nazi division, and it doesn’t skimp on the gore in the process. One of our heroes looks really badass when he amputates his own arm to escape the effects of a zombie bite — only to look down in despair when a zombie chomps on his crotch.
7. Dead and Breakfast
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Dead and Breakfast is a musical zombie comedy, and even with all that you might not expect what happens next. You always knew a zombie movie would have to do a “Thriller” moment. You might not have expected the filmmakers to turn the Michael Jackson hit into a country-style line dance.
6. Dead Alive
Lord of the Rings-meister Peter Jackson cut his teeth on gory, outrageous horror comedies, and his 1992 New Zealand film Braindead (known as Dead Alive in America) is one of his best. It also can claim the definitive zombie baby scene.
5. Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies takes Romeo and Juliet to a new, gorier level. The warm and loving Julie falls for the mono-syllabic “R,” whose dead heart really is brought back to life by her affection. There’s a great parody of teen romance movies with a musical montage makeover sequence where the zombie is transformed into an attractive date.
4. Return of the Living Dead Part 2
Return of the Living Dead Part 2 is, true to its name, the revenge of the original brain-eating zombie movie. Part 2 goes all-out on the comedy, and while some super-serious fans may balk, there are a lot of great gags to enjoy. Our favorite has to be the zombie literally saying what’s going through its head, a hilarious moment as brain munchers rarely get great lines despite being the whole point of these films.
3. Dawn of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead is an unrelenting attack of undead horror and despair, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for fun. Because when you’ve got an infinite supply of zombies and ammunition while chilling on the roof of your gun store, you can kill time and celebrity look-a-likes.
2. Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead isn’t just an excellent comedy — it’s a love-letter to zombie movies. An early scene where the tired Shaun stumbles through a zombified wasteland as if it was another unpleasant work morning is wonderful, but the funniest bit has to be the life-or-death music reviewing scene, where our heroes decide which records can be spared or used to fight off a hungry undead.
There are hundreds of zombie movies, but there was never any doubt which one was the funniest. Because only one has Bill Murray. His brief appearance as an actor whose zombie impersonation goes a little too well is an instant cinema classic. And also the funniest thing ever to happen because of Garfield.
For more laughs and scares, check out a sneak peek of IFC’s Stan Against Evil, premiering November 2nd at 10P with back-to-back episodes, below.
Compelling plots, believable characters and plausible conflicts are standard in Hollywood classics. But sometimes our brains need a break, which is why IFC and Rotten Tomatoes have teamed up to give you the best of the worst, the “too rotten to miss” movies every Friday at 8P throughout September.
This month’s crop of “Rotten” favorites includes highlights (and lowlights) from Keanu Reeves, Sylvester Stallone and more. Check out the full schedule below and start planning your most sarcastic live-tweet commentary.
“Too Rotten to Miss Movies” every Friday @8P on IFC.
The Matrix Revolutions (Tomatometer: 36% Rotten) – Friday, September 2nd starting @ 8P Speed 2: Cruise Control (Tomatometer: 3% Rotten) – Friday, September 9th starting @ 8P Epic Movie (Tomatometer: 2% Rotten) – Friday, September 16th starting @ 8P Scary Movie 2 (Tomatometer: 15% Rotten) – Friday, September 23rd starting @ 8P Rocky IV (Tomatometer: 39% Rotten) – Friday, September 30th starting @ 8P
Kick back with The Matrix Revolutions this Friday at 8P on IFC!