This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Owen Wilson, from comedic great to Great Dane.

Owen Wilson, from comedic great to Great Dane. (photo)

Posted by on

Every decade has its comic icon. We envision Cary Grant as the shining light of the ’30s and ’40s, Rock Hudson for the pre-’60s transitional period, no one as the emblem of the hippie age (who could afford to have comedic icons then, aside from dabblers like Richard Pryor?), Robin Williams in the ’80s, Pauly Shore for a strange period of ’90s, then Jim Carrey, til he abdicated. The aughts had Will Ferrell, and they had Owen Wilson. Who is, for the purposes of this summer, “Marmaduke.” Darn.

Owen Wilson was the last comic in recent American memory who could single-handedly transform a movie with his distinctive energy without forcing it to become His Kind of Movie (the Will Ferrell approach). It’s a trick he performed unfailingly from “Shanghai Noon” to “The Big Bounce,” bringing drawling reluctant hero charm and raffish stoner likability.

But his vehicles have gotten worse over the last few years, the writing sloppier, until one day it seemed like he had no energy left. It’s difficult to remember that he helped found the whole Wes Anderson aesthetic, co-writing “Bottle Rocket,” “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” as he’s otherwise gone off in one comically jockish direction or other.

06162010_marmaduke22.jpgThis summer, Owen Wilson is Marmaduke — he’s provided the voice of the titular Great Dane, a role for long burnt-out comedians who just want the paycheck. This winter, at least, he’ll be part of a James L. Brooks movie, and beyond who knows.

Poised to take his place as primary comic actor of the new decade, we’ve got all-purpose, flexible dudes like Bradley Cooper (whose muscles make him equally adept for “The A-Team” and “The Hangover”), dramatic actors who can do comedy while making it look natural (Robert Downey Jr.) and all-purpose weirdos like Zach Galifianakis, who traverse alt-comedy and the mainstream without compromising a medium budget movie.

My hopes, a decade ago, were on Wilson, who seemed like a slacker Cary Grant; subsequently, it’s seemed like too many lousy parts and lord knows what else seem to have worn him down. These days, a more representative comic of the times is Kevin James. It’s hard not to sigh at that.

[Photos: “The Big Bounce,” Warner Bros., 2004; “Marmaduke,” Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2010]

Watch More

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

Watch More

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.

Watch More

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

Watch More