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Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin: unlikely bedfellows.

Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin: unlikely bedfellows. (photo)

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The BP oil spill continues apace, resonating with showbiz types in the strangest ways. First came Kevin Costner, who arrived in New Orleans last week bearing a machine that — unbeknownst to everyone, apparently — he’d been funding the development of since the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident he swears can purify 200 gallons of water/oil per minute. Now Stephen Baldwin has stepped up, announcing an anti-offshore drilling movie (“The Will To Drill”), with one of the associate producers of “The Cove” helping out. These men are unlikely allies, though in weird ways they’re mirror images.

These days, Baldwin’s perhaps best known as America’s most unlikely, fervent minor-celebrity-turned-zealous evangelical. He’s a serious man: in 2006, he led a campaign against the opening of a sex shop in Nyack, NY, threatening to photograph all porn shop patrons and license plates. A strong Republican, he called Obama a cultural terrorist and threatened to move to Canada if he was elected. (He didn’t.) He’s the inverse image of brother Alec in every way. In recent weeks, he’s been brought up as the subject of jokes about the bizarre “Restore Stephen Baldwin” website, allegedly established by an anonymous Christian donor to help the embattled Baldwin out financially.

Kevin Costner, meanwhile, is not nearly as big a star as he once was, but he still makes a movie a year (at least) and appears to be comfortable. A confirmed Democrat, he campaigned for Obama in Colorado — his cred, perhaps, solidified by his increasing involvement with NASCAR. He also has a country music career (with Kevin Costner & Modern West), though no one in the United States really seems aware of this (their most recent album is import-only, and none of their singles have charted here).

05192010_baldwin.jpgEthos-wise, Costner — fittingly, arguably never better than as the smartass “Bull Durham” — is very close to the kind of “NASCAR Democrat” envisioned by the likes of controversial Democratic strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, using a common-guy ethos to try to win over potentially indecisive voters.

That makes the Baldwin-Costner alliance about as unlikely as possible; about all they have in common is that they act differently from how people with their political positions stereotypically do (Costner with his country/NASCAR act, Baldwin with his evangelizing of skateboarders even while addressing Tea Parties). Baldwin’s gesture is particularly unexpected, since the Tea Parties generally quite enjoy the Palin “Drill baby drill!” chant. Might that make Baldwin the first evangelical Tea Party environmentalist/anti-oil person? Is there redemption for evangelical punchlines? Will Baldwin never get to speak at a Tea Party ever again? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here’s one of Costner’s songs. It’s pretty terrible, but it’s full of NASCAR fun:

[Photos: “Swing Vote,” Disney, 2008; “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!,” NBC, 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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