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“Mystery Team” and the case of the indie comedy.

“Mystery Team” and the case of the indie comedy. (photo)

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The case of the indie comedy has been a tough one to crack. Films like “The Foot Fist Way” and “Wet Hot American Summer” have traditionally struggled in theaters, only to go on to success on DVD and permanent rotation on cable. That’s why the “Mystery Team” is coming to the rescue.

Tonight, the Derrick Comedy troupe will premiere their Sundance fave about a trio of “Encyclopedia Brown”-esque kiddie crimesolvers forced to grow up fast when faced with a murder investigation, but it won’t be in front of the usual crowds in New York and L.A.

Instead, Derrick members Dan Eckman, DC Pierson, Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover and Meggie McFadden will be traveling to Austin, TX to kick off a full-fledged theatrical run at the Alamo Ritz. In the weeks that follow, “Mystery Team” will begin runs in Athens, GA (9/4), Gainesville and Tallahassee, FL (9/11), Ames and Iowa City, IA (9/18), and Columbia, Mo. and Lawrence, KS (9/25) before a national rollout in October. It’s not unprecedented — Sony Classics attempted something similar with the Duplass brothers’ horror comedy “Baghead” in 2007 — but the unorthodox distribution pattern is a canny move that’s not only a testament to the diverse, devoted fanbase that discovered the group on YouTube, but one that tries to advantage of underserved audiences.

“We’ve had a lot of comments on our YouTube videos where it’s all people going, ‘oh man, I live in this little area and I know if it says ‘select cities,’ it’s not coming to me,’ ” says Eckman, who also directed the film. “We feel like because we’re all from pretty small towns, for the most part, if something like that came to our town, it would feel really cool.”

Although “Mystery Team” garnered its fair share of positive reviews at Sundance, it didn’t leave with a distribution deal. Undaunted, Derrick Comedy decided to hold their own free preview screenings on the coasts in the spring. “We had to turn away 200 people in the first one and even more on the next one,” says Eckman, who added, “we had a few distributors at those who went, ‘oh, maybe people do want to see this movie.’ “

Roadside Attractions emerged as the film’s distributor, Derrick Comedy made a memorable appearance at Comic-Con, and, aside from the film, Eckman and McFadden are working on a pilot for E! and Glover will soon be appearing on the NBC comedy “Community.” In the meantime, Eckman is promising a “rockin’ good time” as Derrick Comedy hits the road with “Mystery Team,” which you can keep track of here as it travels the country and get a taste of via this short they created especially for Comic-Con:

[Photo: “Mystery Team,” Roadside Attractions, 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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