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Adam Sandler plugs his movie by talking sports.

Adam Sandler plugs his movie by talking sports. (photo)

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Regular viewers of the NBA were treated to a curious series of ads as the finals once more gave Los Angeles citizens the happy ending they’re denied so often otherwise. Throughout the games, there were spots pushing the alleged comedy “Grown Ups” which did not, in any normal manner, address the actual subject matter of the movie. Instead, we got the SNL ’90s gang (plus Kevin James, who’s apparently being groomed for the illustrious position of being David Spade’s heir) sitting around discussing, with po-faced seriousness, their thoughts on the NBA, which team they resemble, whose chances they fancy, and so forth.

Frankly, it’s shocking they didn’t get around to this sooner.

Comedians used to be different from you and I, but Adam Sandler and his merry gang have an entirely different reference point. They’re regular bros you can drink a brewski with while pontificating upon the only subject that matters. Sandler wasn’t really joking when he dragged his girlfriend to the ESPN Zone bar/restaurant in “Anger Management.” For all his weird voices and childish tantrums, he’s supposed to be just an average guy, and he is — which is almost terrifying.

06182010_sportscenter.jpgThe commercials (which, for whatever reason, don’t seen to be available on YouTube) feature Sandler, Spade, James, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider chilling in their jerseys, waxing banal over their sports knowledge and nostalgia. Their knowledge is clearly real, their enthusiasm unfaked.

These are the least begrudging publicity spots ever. That’s the most interesting aspect of the whole campaign — these regular bros have been elevated to a position of comedian adulation where they can speak about sports without making jokes or having to justify themselves. They have complete mastery of their subject, just like so many fine young men in this country.

I’m surprised that this has yet to spawn its own movie. Who doesn’t love sports? Certainly not the target Sandler demographic. “The 40 Year Old Virgin” missed a trick; instead of Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd talking about “Star Wars,” they should’ve just talked about Ron Artest for a while.

There hasn’t been a film consisting of dudes shit-talking sports (though on the small screen, the Mark Duplass-led “The League” gives it a try). The quest for specific sports talk on-screen remains unsolved; whoever finally does it will make millions.

In the meantime, here’s the “Grown Ups” crew talking sports on “Jimmy Kimmel”:

[Photos: “Grown Ups,” Columbia, 2010; Kevin James and Adam Sandler on “SportCenter,” 2010]

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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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