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IFC’s “The Spoils of Babylon” to feature Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Toby Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins and more

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Great news out of IFC HQ: Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig are confirmed to join Will Ferrell in IFC’s new original comedy, “The Spoils of Babylon.” The show is shaping up to be an epic parody of the epic mini-series of our epic television past. Did we just use “epic” three times in one sentence? We did, because “The Spoils of Babylon” deserves nothing less than an exuberant and prolific use of that adjective. Produced by Funny or Die and executive produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young, “The Spoils of Babylon,” was created by Steele and Piedmont, who also wrote the series, and Piedmont will direct. Production began June 2 in Los Angeles. Six, half-hour episodes will premiere on IFC in early 2014.

“This amazingly talented cast will give this decadent genre its due respect,” said Jennifer Caserta, president and general manager of IFC. “Never before has a parody of a mini-series been more poised for showers of accolades.”

Spoils of Babylon is a television adaptation of a best-selling epic novel by fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh (Ferrell) whose library spans 57 best-sellers in 85 different languages. Jonrosh’s other titles include: “The Spoils of Galaxy 7,” “The Spoils of Grasping for God,” “The Spoils of the Sahara,” “The Spoils of the Singing Night Squirrel,” “The Spoils of the Weeping Falcon,” and “The Spoils Beneath the Sea.”

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“The Spoils of Babylon” will premiere on IFC in early 2014.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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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.

Red That 70s Show

Tough Love

10 That ’70s Show Quotes That Prove Red Is the King of Insults

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-11P on IFC.

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If finding new ways to work the phrase “dumbass” into everyday conversation was an art form, Red Forman would be Leonardo da Vinci. Never have the buttocks sounded more threatening then when coming from the snarled mouth of the man who took on Robocop. Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that prove that you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a signature Red Forman burn.

10. This is your brain on Red.

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9. Red’s book club.

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8. Serious burn.

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7. Red’s bite is worse than a bedbug.

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6. Red has more resume tips than LinkedIn.

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5. Burial plan on lockdown.

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4. Red’s driving school is open for business.

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3. What’s better than a burn? An octo-burn.

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2. A dumbass joke that uses math. Classic Red.

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1. The key to life is to avoid being a dumbass.

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Think those burns sting? Check out more That ’70s Show burns that are sure to leave a mark.

Fred Armisen on Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Southern Gentleman

Here’s Proof That Fred Armisen Can Do Any Southern Accent

Portlandia returns for its sixth season this Thursday, January 21st at 10P.

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Portlandia star Fred Armisen may be a man of a thousand Pacific Northwestern faces, but he would also like you to know his vocal mimicry is just as impressive — and unbound to intercontinental region. To prove it, Armisen stopped by The Tonight Show to chat with host Jimmy Fallon and show off his impeccable mimicry. He cycled through each member of The Beatles — a feat that Fallon admits he’s only known Fred to do well — and toured the American South with state-specific accents. (Tip: Arkansas accents require a clipped “pull back” after each consonant and Tennesseans are always “thin-kin a-bout it.”)

Watch Fred Armisen demonstrate his Ozark assimilation in the video below.  For more Fred, check out his Facebook Q&A and watch a free episode from the new season of Portlandia right now on IFC.com or on the IFC app.

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