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Silly Billy goes national.

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04222008_davidfriedman.jpgAndrew Jarecki’s anguished “Capturing the Friedmans” started as a doc about birthday clowns — its central figure, David Friedman, first caught Jarecki’s eye as Silly Billy, a successful New York magician, clown, balloon twister and children’s entertainer with what turned out to be one hell of a personal history.

Friedman’s day job was eventually explored in Jarecki’s “Just a Clown,”, a slight, lighthearted doc short overwhelmed with burdens of context — it’s offered as an extra on the “Capturing the Friedmans” DVD. Like Silly Billy’s website (“Silly Billy received loads of press including a feature story in the New Yorker, and being named New York’s best children’s magician by five different New York magazines”), it contains no more references to the darker reasons that might have drawn viewers or visitors than those we construe ourselves. You’d guess that, even so, Jarecki’s feature doc couldn’t have helped Friedman’s career, but the New York Post reports today that Friedman’s sleight-of-hand stylings will be coming to a celebreality show near you soon:

VH1 has hired Friedman as a magician on “Celebra Cadabra” – where “celebrities learn how to perform professional magic tricks in an attempt to become the ‘Best Celebrity Magician.’ ” David will attempt to teach C. Thomas Howell, Hal Sparks, Christopher Reid and Carnie Wilson new tricks.

I wish Mr. Friedman nothing but the best, but wow, that will be weird.

[Photo: David Friedman on the cover of Magic magazine, 1995]


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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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