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DID YOU READ

Requiem For a Macho Man

Requiem For a Macho Man (photo)

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Sad news, children of the ’80s: wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage died this morning after suffering a heart attack behind the wheel of his car. He was 58. According to TMZ, Savage, who was wearing his seatbelt at the time, was driving his “2009 Jeep Wrangler when he veered across a concrete median … through oncoming traffic … and collided head-on with a tree.”

Without exaggeration, The Macho Man was one of my biggest childhood heroes. For a kid who read comic books, when he and Hulk Hogan teamed up to form the Mega Powers it was like tangible proof that super-heroes really did exist. When Macho and the Hulkster broke up (over a woman!), it was like learning Santa Claus didn’t exist. I quickly got over my emotional devastation when I remembered what a great villain Macho Man made. Nobody could piss off a crowd, or cheat when the ref wasn’t looking, like the Macho Man. After he beat “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, the current “King of the Ring,” he finally earned the title he so richly deserved: “The Macho King.” Later, he played a great professional wrestler in Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” film.

In his prime, Macho Man’s work in the ring was so good it invalidated the whole “wrestling is fake” argument. Yes, the matches’ outcomes are predetermined. But Savage’s athleticism was 100% real. His feud with Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III is still considered one of the greatest of all time, or so I’m told by Wikipedia. All I knew at the time was it was awesome.

Speaking of the Hulk Hogan Macho Man breakup, back in the ’80s, that was as clear a battle of good versus evil as World War II. Looking back, though, I wonder if we all sided with the wrong guy. The crux of the Hogan/Macho feud was Macho’s onscreen girlfriend (and then real life wife) Miss Elizabeth. Essentially, Macho became jealous of Hogan’s success and was convinced that he was trying to steal his girl. In anger and frustration, he lashed out. Here’s the thing: Macho Man was exactly right. Hogan was kinda horning in on his girl, and Hogan was getting more attention even though Savage could wrestle circles around him. That’s not a cartoon wrestling feud: that’s classic Greek tragedy.

Of course, Savage will be best remembered for his years of outlandish commercials for Slim Jims, which all involved his trademark “OOOOO YEEEEAAAAH!” and his ferocious interpretation of the company’s slogan (“SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!”). Without question, any person born in America between the years 1980 and 1989 has done their impression of Macho Man selling Slim Jims at least six thousand times. Savage’s commercials were fantastic: anarchic, manic, and hilarious. Pump the Kool-Aid Man full of methamphetamine, sprinkle in a dash of Carrie White’s telekinetic powers, and you start to get a sense of Savage’s pungent pitchman persona: pure, insane adrenaline. Here’s a prime example of his work to snap into.

I haven’t watched wrestling in more than fifteen years, but I still look back fondly at all those childhood Saturday mornings spent with “Superstars of Wrestling” and “Wrestling Challenge.” Unfortunately, it does feel like the story told by Darren Aronofsky in his beautiful and sad film “The Wrestler” has become far too common. Too many wrestlers die young and broke (the aforementioned Miss Elizabeth tragically died in 2003 of a drug overdose). The toll that lifestyle takes on your body, and the price these guys paid — and continue to pay — for our entertainment, is far too high. But I hope the Macho Man knew how much pleasure he gave the kids of my generation.

The Macho King is dead. Long live the Macho King. Oh yeah.

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…