Long before Portlandia, there was another Pacific-Northwest-flavored offering to the world of televised sketch comedy. The production quality was choppy and star power was limited to Soundgarden cameos, but in 1992, Seattle’s Almost Live! scored prime real estate on then-fledgling Comedy Central — and it made a few of its cast members household names.
Unlike Portlandia, Almost Live!’s aesthetic was just a few cuts above public access, and the location-heavy humor was rarely universal. Neighborhood name-dropping was rampant, and jokes weren’t based on popular Seattle stereotypes, if any Seattle stereotypes were to be had (the grunge movement had yet to hit mainstream airwaves as a possible punch line). But [...]