This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

A selected history of Larry King cameos.

A selected history of Larry King cameos. (photo)

Posted by on

Larry King has been in the news (well, “the news”) lately because of speculation his CNN contract won’t be renewed next year, taking him off the air at age 77.

Even if King — whose famously non-confrontational, no-preparation approach to interviewing has inexplicably given him a lengthy career — will no longer be gracing the small screen, his legacy on the big screen will live on. King is a well-known film buff of sorts, whose place as the king of cameos is undeniable. Here are seven of his appearances throughout the year as King’s societal prominence kept changing.

0531_2010_ghost.jpg“Ghost Busters” (1984)

King’s cinematic debut came pre-CNN, back when he was the New York-based host of talk radio about everything and nothing in particular. In “Ghost Busters,” he’s part of a montage of media coverage for crew, who are fodder for everything from the Atlantic to USA Today. King, as it happened, was part of the Today empire: from 1982 to 2001, he had a regular column, described by the New York Times’ Felicity Barringer as “a weekly offering studded with plugs, superlatives and dropped names — all usually in close proximity to one another.” Here’s King vs. the Ghostbusters, sitting in a radio station, smoking up a storm the old-fashioned way.

05312010_dave.jpg“Dave” (1993)

The late ’80s/early ’90s were a lean time for King, cameo-wise: despite his increasing prominence as the face of CNN, he was relegated to forgettable fare like Dudley Moore’s “Crazy People” and “The Exorcist III.” “Dave,” then, represented a breakthrough for King’s career, and quite possibly its peak. Reunited with “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman, King brings Oliver Stone onto the show to discuss whether or not the “president” is an imposter — which he is, since regular joe Kevin Kline has temporarily taken over from president Kevin Kline for complicated reasons. This is a bit of meta-genius: Stone’s appearing in a Warner Bros. movie (which also made “JFK,” the peak of his conspiratorial worldview) mocking his image as a paranoiac — but he’s right!

05312010_long.jpg“The Long Kiss Goodnight” (1996)

Shane Black’s screenplay for “The Long Kiss Goodnight” was mild commercial redemption for Renny Harlin after the “Cutthroat Island” debacle, though it only made $89 million worldwide. King shows up at the very end, after the plots wound down and everyone’s safe. Samuel L. Jackson is in the studio to talk about his role in saving the free world and explains to King that initially CNN’s reporter Carla didn’t believe the story because she “failed to realize that I’m always frank and earnest with women. In New York I’m Frank, in Chicago I’m Ernest.” Jackson proceeds to laugh like a maniac and King (who’s been married seven times to eight women) creepily joins in. It’s kind of an indelible moment (jump to about 8:50).

05312010_burn.jpg“An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn” (1997)

Joe Esterzhas’ forgotten all-star fiasco of the ’90s, “An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn” was arguably a more entertaining trainwreck than, say, “Waterworld” in terms of pure production chaos. With only the finest cameos 1997 could offer (Whoopi Goldberg! Shane Black!), this would-be satire about Hollywood idiocy and a director wanting to take his name off a film was a prophecy of its own production: Arthur HIller was dissatisfied, tried to take his own name off, and the whole mess eventually discontinued the Alan Smithee psuedonym. Here King’s at the center of the entertainment world as he always wanted to be: his interview with frustrated screenwriter Eric Idle (who’s taken his movie hostage) turns him into a cult hero, thereby confirming what an important player in the film world Larry King thinks he is.

05312010_madcity.jpg“Mad City” (1997)

Bearing the important message that sometimes the news media is exploitative and irresponsible, “Mad City” is a toothless “indictment” of the obvious, nearly 50 years after “Ace In The Hole” did it better. As helmed by a long-past-his-prime Costa-Gavras (this is no “Z”), this is flabby rage: when John Travolta takes hostages and loses his blue collar cool, reporter Dustin Hoffman is in the building and runs with the story. One of the things he does is sell interview rights to Larry King so he can screw over his rival Alan Alda. I’m not entirely sure why King consented to be in a movie in which he’s essentially shown to be an easily manipulated, ratings-crazed journalist who doesn’t really care about the ethics of what he’s doing, but that’s essentially what ends up happening. Also in the movie: Jay Leno, who — like King — has a small cottage industry of cameos.

05312010_bulworth.jpg“Bulworth” (1998)

In the middle of Warren Beatty’s satire — a frustrating mix of brilliant material surrounded by sludge — his Bulworth (a career politician turned unlikely rapping truth-teller) is going crazy on the debate stage, muttering to himself while the lights are out. Coked-up adviser Oliver Platt — at rock bottom, convinced he’s wasted his career on Bulworth — runs into King, who says he has to have Bulworth on his show. At that moment Platt realizes what should’ve been obvious from the beginning: in a country where 20% of the electorate voted for Ross Perot in 1992, eccentric and bold pronouncements are valued for their own sake. Bulworth is going on Larry King? Fantastic! Can they do it tonight? No, Clinton’s on. “Bump him!” he barks.

05312010_johnq.jpg“John Q” (2002

At the end of Nick Cassavetes’ bizarre call to arms for health care reform, John Quincy Alexander — having saved his boy’s life — goes on trial, prompting a montage of news reaction both real and staged. The staged bits include King (and, yes, Leno again). “Hero or vigilante?” muses King. “You decide!” — which is a perfect summation of King’s no-stakes, no-commitments approach to his job. Controversial issue? Don’t think about it! Smile and the world smiles with you. As a Memorial Day bonus, below the “John Q” video (relevant footage starts at 0:15), here’s David Letterman’s proposed cameo for “Iron Man 2,” which really should’ve been in the movie.

[Photos: Larry King photo via Wikimedia Commons, photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, 2006; “Ghost Busters,” Sony, 1984; “Dave,” Warner Bros., 1993; “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” New Line Cinema, 1996; “An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn,” Disney, 1997; “Mad City,” Warner Bros., 1997; “Bulworth,” 20th Century Fox, 1998; “John Q,” New Line Cinema, 2002]

IFC_Portlandia-S8_best-of-skits_subaru-blog

Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

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 IFC.com

IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

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

Posted by on
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…