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Extracting history from Mike Judge.

Extracting history from Mike Judge. (photo)

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Saturday night at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica provided a bit of catharsis for the long-suffering fans of Mike Judge. Not only did his new comedy “Extract” play like gangbusters to the packed house — an unusual feeling after the mishandled theatrical releases of “Office Space” and “Idiocracy” — but Judge also indulged the crowd by slipping in and out of the voices of his most popular characters during a post-screening discussion that quickly became a career retrospective.

“‘Beavis and Butthead’ is still probably my favorite thing that I’ve ever done,” Judge said during the 45-minute audience Q&A, before adding that he hasn’t closed the door on possibly returning to them. “I can imagine them in their 60s — in between, not so much,” he said, mentioning that he recently found himself starting to write “something about them as tech support guys.”

There were also plenty of “Idiocracy” fans in the house — “Extract” was actually one of five ideas that Judge had pitched to Fox post-“Office Space.” After the idea of another workplace comedy seemed like “poison,” the studio backed Judge’s futuristic satire, thinking it was the most commercial bet. He came up with “Idiocracy” while making “Beavis and Butthead Do America,” when he took his kids to Disneyland and stood in back of a harried mother being cussed out by her offspring, and wondered if this is what Walt Disney envisioned when he built the park. Judge also detailed the test screening process, saying it scored low as “Office Space” did, possibly because the effects weren’t complete, and surmised that Fox brass decided, “What did we do wrong on ‘Office Space’? We spent money marketing it.”

At that point, Judge said he was pretty much kept in the dark, citing how no one bothered to correct Moviefone when “Idiocracy” received a minimal release and they listed the film under the letter “U” for “Untitled Mike Judge Project” instead of the proper title. Until he saw an ad on Comedy Central, he was unaware they were airing it. On a positive note, he says he’s heard “Office Space” has sold close to six million DVDs — “I think it made enough money they even started sending me checks” — and even “Idiocracy” is inching into the black.

If the audience’s reaction to “Extract” was any indication, Judge won’t have to wait as long for his latest film to be billed as a success, though he still had to face plenty of questions about why he’s interested in writing about human failings. On why he’s attracted to writing about asses of the dumb and hole varieties, Judge said that he realized on a third viewing of “Badlands” that Martin Sheen’s Kit was a moron and was fascinated by him, and proved his point by breaking into a haughty British accent for an overly detailed threat to someone versus some hick saying “I’m going to take your car, how’d that be?” When the question was paraphrased by another audience member into a form of praise for his portrayal of jerks, Judge joked, “I’m on a mission to categorize all kinds of assholes and document them for all time.”

[Photo: Mike Judge on the set of “Extract,” Miramax Films, 2009]

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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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