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Karaoke Killers

10 Karaoke Songs Guaranteed to Clear the Room

Worst Karaoke Songs

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Portlandia is celebrating its love of popular songs, crazy background music videos and lots and lots of liquid courage. That’s right! Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are infusing their sketch comedy show with a touch of karaoke this week. As this dynamic duo of comedy plans the set list for the upcoming episode, we can only pray to the karaoke gods that they don’t fall victim to one of these awful jams.

Some songs are great for continuing the unique frivolity one finds only in a karaoke bar, while others can clear out the room in mere minutes. These are the latter…

10. “At Seventeen,” Janis Ian

As Liz Lemon so eloquently showed with her performance on 30 Rock, “At Seventeen” is such a karaoke buzzkill. A song about the harsh realities of growing up is the last thing we all want when we’re trying to drink as much liquid courage as needed to go up and sing T-Swift’s new hit.


9. “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel

“Let It Go” entered our lives when Disney’s Frozen hit theaters only a couple years ago, but we’ve heard it enough to last a lifetime. The last thing we need is some plastered Broadway wannabe attempting to screech that final high note, like Adele Dazeem tried to do during that New Year’s Eve performance heard ’round the world.


8. “Bootylicious,” Destiny’s Child

“Bootylicious” is a Destiny’s Child classic, but it’s a lot harder than it looks…trust us. We know from personal experience. You get up there thinking that the prompter will guide you along the way, but you soon realize that the only line you actually know is, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” The rest of the time will be spent clinging to the lyrics like they’re a career comeback and you’re Kirstie Alley.


7. “Summer Nights,” Grease

You don’t wanna be the one in your karaoke troupe to get up and sing something from Grease, but you sure as hell don’t wanna be the one to do “Summer Nights” of all the songs from the soundtrack. (Really, even “Hand Jive” is less predictable.) This song terrorized karaoke bars across the country before a group of heroes sent it back to the hellfire from which it emerged. That’s the only logical explanation we can come up with.


6. Really Anything Broadway…

Unless you have the pipes to hold your performance up against the likes of Patti Lupone, Kristen Chenoweth and Audra McDonald, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from musical theater numbers. They’re usually super long and contradict the vibe most karaoke bars are trying to cultivate. Do you really want to force your buddies to sit through an entire rendition of “Defying Gravity”? Save it for your community theater audition.

5. “Lighting Crashes,” Live

Every once in a while you’ll see a burly dude pull out this earnest ’90s chestnut at karaoke. That means you also have to hear him sing lines like “her placenta falls to the floor” and “lightning crashes/an old mother dies” with a straight face.


4. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen

Queen is a pretty regular contender for karaoke shenanigans, but be careful of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As Admiral Ackbar said, “It’s a trap!” If you don’t have a couple of buddies up at the mic with you, you’re just that guy trying to sing all the parts by yourself and you’ll sound ridiculous. Plus, it’s always longer than you remember.


3. “Friday,” Rebecca Black

“Friday” is the karaoke blunder of the modern age. There have been a few teenie weenie pop singers trying to emulate the incessant overzealous joy of Fridays, but nothing can compare to the original Rebecca Black classic. And we don’t mean that as a compliment. So keep this as far away from karaoke as humanly possible. We need a few more years before this one earns funny/kitchsy karaoke status like, say, “Barbie Girl.”


2. “Someone Like You,” Adele

This is such a good song…but not for karaoke. It’s perfect if you want to stay at home and down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s as tears smear your mascara-stained face, but it’s not what we would call a joyous time. Don’t believe us? We’ll prove it by watching this adorable dog fall to emotional pieces because of it. #TooReal for karaoke.


1. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meatloaf

I’d do anything for the karaoke gods, but I won’t sing this song. If you though “Bohemian Rhapsody” is long, “I’d Do Anything For Love” is longer and has far less variation. Its low tempo, moderately soothing melody and prolonged trudge into oblivion makes this one tough song to sell unless your real name is Marvin Lee Aday.

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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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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