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Is New Star Wars Robot BB-8 the Next Wilson the Volleyball?


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Yesterday the Internet collectively fell in love with BB-8, the new robot that was unveiled in both the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser and during a live presentation at Star Wars Celebration.

Aww, ain’t he adorable? He’s easily the cutest circle-based thing since Olaf from Frozen. And everyone loves Olaf, right? We’re not sick of him yet, right??

Cute as he is, we can’t help but notice that BB-8 looks suspiciously like another round fellow who captured the culture’s imagination. No, not Louie Anderson. We’re of course talking about Wilson, the volleyball who was Tom Hanks’ only friend in Castaway. Let’s see how Wilson and America’s newest ball-shaped sensation stack up.

BB-8 Vs. Wilson the Volleyball


BB-8: Created by Neal Scanlan and the team at Pinewood Studios as a working robot.

Wilson: Is a volleyball.


BB-8: While his function in the Star Wars universe has yet to be revealed, we’re going to assume he’s an office protocol droid and that the “BB” stands for “bulletin board.”

Wilson: Hanks’ pal gets his name from the Wilson sporting goods concern founded by Thomas E. Wilson in 1913.


BB-8: Wall-E crossed with a roomba.

Wilson: Whatever Tom Hanks imposes on him at any given moment in order to maintain his sanity.


BB-8: The answer to the question, “What if you combined R2-D2’s head with a soccer ball?”

Wilson: The face that Hanks draws on Wilson in his own blood somewhat resembles Bart Simpson.


Wilson: Provides Tom Hanks with companionship while he’s stranded on a deserted island.

BB-8: Annoying C-3PO (we assume).


BB-8: Makes cute-sy beeps and squeaks.

Wilson: Doesn’t speak. The only sound you hear in Castaway is the sound of one man’s descent into madness.


BB-8: Adorable now, but could become the next Jar Jar six months from now when he’s plastered on Taco Bell cups and popping up on The Tonight Show to lip-sync “Funky Cold Medina.”

Wilson: 15 years after his big screen debut, Wilson remains an enigmatic pop culture figure and popular infant Halloween costume.

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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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