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John Goodman sings.

John Goodman sings. (photo)

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Zealous “Roseanne”-loving friends recently pointed out to me that there’s actually an episode of the show in which John Goodman sings. They were right, and it was delightful. It made me wonder: Had Goodman — a fairly intense actor whose goofy charm belies serious skill — sung on other occasions? And the answer was… yes! From best to worst:

“People Like Us,” from “True Stories” (1986)

Goodman’s on-screen singing career peaked early, bringing down the house at the climax of David Byrne’s uneven-but-engaging sole foray in narrative feature film. As shy, roly-poly bachelor Louis Fyne, Goodman waits the whole movie to make his ultimate move in the quest for matrimony, then belts it out. The song, “People Like Us,” is a more ambivalent relative of “The Big Country,” a tribute to those living unseen between the coasts, “people like us, who will answer the telephone,” in Byrne’s part acute, part condescending formulation. Goodman’s rendition removes all condescension.

“Good Golly Miss Molly,” from “King Ralph” (1980)

This long-forgotten snobs-vs.-slobs vehicle was directed by David S. Ward, who wrote “The Sting.” John Goodman inherits the peerage, noble heart vs. antiquated moors, etc. I don’t really understand how it all leads to a duet with Little Richard, who appears as Goodman’s striding down a hallway. Someone asks him who he is. “I’m the king.” No, he’s assured, that’s the king. Cue “Good Golly Miss Molly” with a terrifying, satanically leering Richard, who ends the bit by flicking all the keys off the piano.

“If I Didn’t Have You,” from “Monsters, Inc.” (2001)

This end-credits song from “Monsters, Inc.” isn’t very good. It’s from Randy Newman’s late-period softy phase, and it’s impossible to remember that this same man once wrote, say, “Sail Away.” But it yielded a priceless moment of Goodman and Newman duetting at the Oscars as if they were equals on the musical spectrum.

“Roll Back The Rock (To The Dawn of Time),” from “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story” (1993)

Released the same summer as “Jurassic Park” as a kindlier, friendlier dinosaur flick for the kiddies — Spielberg’s Amblin studios cover all their commercial bases, natch — this is the film where friendly dinos come to New York and enchant children or something. In a big welcoming parade, John Goodman (as a Rex named “Rex’) leads the festivities with a series of bad paleolithic/rock ‘n roll puns (“blow your cool just like a volcano”). But his T.Rex is surprisingly agile and loose on his feet — just like the real Goodman.

“The Bare Necessities,” from “The Jungle Book 2” (2003)

Essentially a desecration of the original version that’s sad and pointless. But again, a limber bear, just like real-life Goodman.

“Let There Be Snow,” from “Frosty Returns” (1992)

One of Goodman’s least enthusiastic performances, this number comes from an ill-conceived TV sequel. Cheap, shoddy and time capsule-ishly fixated on the destruction of the ozone layer, the enterprise did not prosper. In the inane Goodman-and-child duet below, they celebrate the charms of the season — “Let there be snow/let there be snow/this kind of weather brings people together/so friendships can grow” — over a faux-ska beat. Fortunately, Brian Doyle-Murray’s Mr. Twitchell breaks things up with a villainous rap interlude.

“Santa’s Family,” from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie” (1998)

By far the ghastliest object on this list, this song is from a thinly remembered animation cheapie that makes Rudolph save his reindeer love Zoey when she’s imprisoned by evil Ice Queen Stormella. Before all that, Santa Goodman sings about his family system: “Everybody’s a somebody in Santa’s family” is one of the least cringey bits. The musical arrangement sounds like Bob Dylan’s christmas album.

[Photo: “True Stories, Warner Bros., 1989]

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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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