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DID YOU READ

A brief chat with Bunk host Kurt Braunohler

Kurt-Braunohler

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Even before Kurt Braunohler took up hosting duties for our new comedy game show Bunk, he was a busy man. On top of his acting and voice-over work in shows like Bob’s Burgers, Delocated, Jon Benjamin Has a Van and Human Giant, he and Kristen Schaal (you may recognize her from The Daily Show) host a weekly variety show in Brooklyn called Hot Tub. (Every Monday at Littlefield!) He writes a very helpful advice column for Vice. When he’s not acting or voice-overing or doing stand up or sketch comedy shows, he fills his time talking about the perils of parakeets and the problems of keeping badgers as pets on his web series Kurt Braunohler’s World Wild of Animals. He’s also been known to wax philosophic about U.S. landmarks. So yeah, he’s busy. Which is why we were so flattered that he took the time to chat with us yesterday. We talked to Kurt about Bunk, animals, and, naturally, the origin myth of the Liberty Bell:

Hi Kurt, how are you?

I’m fine, thanks. Surviving all the interviews.

How many interviews have you done today?

You are number five.

Oh good, lucky number five.

That’s not a thing, Melissa. It is lucky number three or seven. Lucky number five is not a thing.

Well, that’s it. I’m not going easy on you now.

Good. I wanted the gloves to come off.

Done. People keep describing Bunk as “you have to expect the unexpected,” so when people say that, what should you expect?

You should expect awesomely hilarious comedians being funny off the cuff in weird situations that you would not expect them to be in. They may be your favorite comedians in the world, but you haven’t seen them in these situations before. They don’t even know what will happen next. It’s all off the cuff.

Some of the categories on Bunk are pretty wacky. For example, “who has the softest lips” is kind of out there. Was this all just a ruse to feel all of your friends’ lips?

I’m obsessed with lips. For the past 14 years I’ve been building a comedy career just as a way to feel lips. I’ve been thinking about it as a means to an end. I’ve been pretty successful, too. I have felt three peoples’ lips so far.

You made a study of animals in your series World Wild of Animals, so what’s your favorite animal?

Any type of bird. I would love to be more specific, but really, any type of bird is the funniest animal. They have to move awkwardly when walking. They have beady eyes; they are very suspicious. They can’t do anything right. They have no hands, which is inherently funny.

I never thought of a bald eagle as hilarious before.

Have you ever seen a bald eagle fart?

No.

That’s very funny.

I guess I will Google that now.

Or have you seen baby eagles getting kicked out of nest? They can’t really fly yet and it is hilarious.

Baby bald eagles getting kicked out of the nest is your idea of funny?

It is hands down hilarious.

What’s your favorite U.S. monument?

The one that lets you down the most. That would be the Liberty Bell. It is the most boring thing in the world. Every child who grows up in the tri-state area has to go stand in line for two hours and then you get to see a bell that is broken. It doesn’t even work.

Do you know any facts about the Liberty Bell other than that it is the most boring thing in the world?

Yes. It was made by a baker who was trying to make world’s biggest croissant, but made a bell instead. He wasn’t a very good baker. He ate a lot of metal. He didn’t live very long.

Now that you and Kristen Schaal are both on TV are you still going to do Hot Tub?

Of course. We are going to do Hot Tub until we die. Every Monday. Then we’ll come back and do it as zombies. Hot Tub is very important. What we do is based on our live skills. It’s stand up and sketch and improv everything we do in Hot Tub is important to our jobs. And, every Monday I’m excited to do it.

How did you come up with Bunk? It came from the New York Television Festival right?

Yeah, IFC picked it up from there. Eric Bryant and Ethan Berlin, the creators of Bunk, asked me to come get involved in very early process when they wanted to make a game show. Ethan and I were writing for a game show on another network and he was frustrated that our funniest ideas never made it to air. So the idea was to take all those funny moments and create a whole new show. Ethan and Eric pooled their own money for the pilot and then we got it into the festival. IFC saw it there. We shot another pilot with them and then we shot the whole series. We were the first series to come from the New York Television Festival.

You must be pretty proud of that.

Yeah. It feels like we’re a bunch of scrappy kids who got together to make a TV show and then actually did it.

Have you received letters from PETA about your puppy shaming ways?

No, but I welcome them. I would be so excited. I would explode with happiness.

Like they were a new pen pal?

Yes. I would engage with them over and over again. And I would defend every single thing said about those puppies.

Do you secretly wish Reggie Watts was Bunk’s one-man house band?

No way! No. I love Reggie to death but Comedy Bang! Bang! without Reggie? That’s like 50% of the fun. Whereas I’m 100% of the fun.

If you could have any three contestants (living or dead) who would they be?

Three fake ones would be Bill Murray as a zombie, a talking walrus, and a sentient CinnaBon, who just smells so good the whole time. She smells so good that it’s a real distraction. That’s the trick up her sleeve.

Three real ones would be a young Chevy Chase before he got hooked on back pain pills, Goldie Hawn from the 80s, and Dom DeLuise. OH MY GOD DREAM TEAM.

Based on your answers it seems you think comedy was best in the 80s?

No, I just get to choose whoever I want. I just didn’t get to hang out with any of those people and I want to.

Maybe you could have old Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn come on the show. I think Dom Deluise is dead though.

Dom Deluise is dead, but we could have Paul Prud’homme who looks like him.

We should have managements look into that.

We will.

You can watch a full episode of Bunk right now.

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCtv. You can also like Bunk and Comedy Bang! Bang!.

Bunk premieres on IFC on Friday June 8th at 10:30 p.m. ET

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Final Countdown

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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Rev Up

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

Give Back

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…