The Birthday Boys: Seven Brothers Brewery


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The brew masters at Seven Brothers Brewery are craftsmen. They care about their ingredients. They’re close to their beer. They taste their work. And they believe YOU can taste the difference. Seven Brothers Brewery. Come on in, the beer is fine!

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The Birthday Boys airs on IFC on Fridays at 10:30/9:30c

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman


Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.

2. IKEA Heights

ikea heights

IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.

3. Fresno


When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.

4. Soap


Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.

5. Too Many Cooks


Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.

6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace


Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.

7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV


Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.

8. Twin Peaks


Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…

9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks


Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.

10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show


The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.

11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)


Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”

12. Acorn Antiques


First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.

13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show


In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)

14. The Spoils of Babylon


Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.


15. All My Children Finale, SNL


SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

The Birthday Boys: Matt Recaps “Cool Machine”


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by Matt Kowalick

The Birthday Boys episode 5, “Cool Machine,” is like ABC’s TGIF line-up, The Wide Wide World of Sports, MTV and Disney’s Sunday Night at the Movies, mixed all into one. So it’s like a whole weekend of TV watching crammed into 30 hilarious minutes. So it’s funny and efficient. Think of what you’ll do with all the time you save from watching TV all weekend by just watching The Birthday Boys‘ episode, COOL MACHINE.

Save hours of sports watching by watching the first sketch, “Super Amish.” A sketch about Zook, an Amish athlete who turns to steroids and ends up turning his back on his people in the process.
Use that time to re-mulch your flowerbeds .

Instead of watching ABC’s TGIF line-up, watch the story of the Cool Machine – a machine that turns a few of the Birthday Boys into “cool” version of themselves. See what changes Jeff’s Family Matters-inspired invention brings to the unsuspecting Birthday Boys and how their lives and worldviews are changed forever.
Use that time to re-watch the previous 4 episodes of The Birthday Boys.

Instead of watching music videos all weekend, see what happens to a band when their modern music video is hijacked by a drummer who has a knack for Keeping The Beat.
Use that time to start a band with your neighbors or kids.

Instead of spending hours doing all the chores on your To Do list, Watch the “I Can’t Do This” part 1, 2 and 3.
Use this time to avoid more responsibilities.

Instead of watching an old movie syndicated for television, see the story of a Contraption that comes to town and fails to impress any of the town folk.
Use that time to invent your own contraption.

And if you were thinking of going to your high school reunion this weekend, you can save yourself the time and trouble (and embarrassment) by seeing what happens when a Birthday Boy brings his wife, Tia Carrere, to his high school reunion.
Use this time to actually accomplish something you can brag about at your next high school reunion.

The Birthday Boys: Mr. Binderbender’s Contraption


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It’s Mr. Binderbender (Bob Odenkirk) and his traveling spectacle, THE CONTRAPTION!

Be a part of the ballyhoo created by this 1960s classic film (in vibrant color for the first time in North America). A traveling entrepreneur with a brain like no other, Binderbender has found a new town to swindle…and amaze. Won’t you please look upon his feat and say, “Yep!”


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