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Our Five Favorite James Earl Jones Roles


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If you haven’t seen James Earl Jones in a Betty Page mullet wig as Thulsa Doom in “Conan the Barbarian” then you haven’t really lived. You can correct that glaring error tonight at 8 or 10:45 p.m. ET (you’re choice!) when we show that fine cult classic of a film as part of our Movies That Go Bang! Bang! series.

In the movie, Conan (Arnold Schwarzeneggar, duh), a poor man without even a shirt to cover his enormous pecs is forced to wear only a loin cloth, a tiara, and a giant sword as he travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man responsible for killing his family (and hiding his clothes, we assume). But before he can take down Doom, Conan wanders in the wilderness like he’s in the bible or something until he takes up with thieves Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) and Subota (Gerry Lopez). The trio comes upon a weird snake cult, linked to Doom. Obviously Conan wants to immediately trek off to Doom’s mountain retreat to kill him. But he is prevented from doing that by King Osrik (Max Von Sydow), who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills. It’s very dramatic and more importantly, extremely fun to watch. Especially if you root for James Earl Jones. And you should always root for James Earl Jones, whatever his role.

Here are five of our favorite James Earl Jones roles:

1. Darth Vader in “Star Wars”

2. Mufasa in “The Lion King”

3. Few Clothes in “Matewan”

4. Rev. Stephen Kumalo in “Cry, the Beloved Country”

5. King Jaffe Joffer in “Coming to America”

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCtv.

“Conan the Barbarian” airs on IFC tonight at 8 p.m. ET and again at 10:45 p.m. ET

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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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