After 11 years of creating some of the oddest and most memorable characters on Saturday Night Live, Fred Armisen left the legendary sketch show at the end of this past season to focus on his other soon-to-be legendary sketch show. Portlandia, which he and co-star Carrie Brownstein created with director Jonathan Krisel, has be picked up for two more seasons on IFC. He will also been seen in the upcoming film Justice for Al, from Bad Santa director Terry Zwigoff. I caught up with Armisen over the phone from Portland to talk about great sketch shows and how Game of Thrones influenced Portlandia.
IFC hired famed political strategist James Carville to run the show's campaign for an Emmy award, which looks like it's going to get pretty intense and will hopefully involve a lot of mudslinging at other basic cable sketch comedy shows.
Here's a short profile on Portlandia director/co-creator Jonathan Krisel that IFC just put out. It's an interesting look into the process of one of the best comedy directors going – and one with a visual style that's rare in the genre. Krisel has also worked on Tim and Eric, SNL, and most recently, Kroll Show, but I'm assuming he doesn't have help from weird, eager Portland residents on those shows like he does here.
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff is joined by the production designer, Tyler Robinson, and the costume designer, Amanda Needham, for Portlandia.
In this episode they talk about what Portlandia did for Portland, the challenges and joys of working on the show, and how much of the show is based on reality.
"It started as this Portland theme where everything was kind of Portland based, but I think as it's moved on in the seasons, other cities has definitely identified with it and they see themselves in it as well. I think it has gone a little bit beyond just being sketches about Portland [...]
Since its debut two years ago, Portlandia has steadily evolved from a quirky takedown of hipster stereotypes to an award-winning hit series that made "Put A Bird On It" part of our national lexicon. Such a combination of street and suit cred ensures a bevy of star cameos in season 3, and tonight's double-episode premiere "Take Back MTV" and "Missionaries" includes guest appearances by Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren, Matt Pinfield, Chloë Sevigny, and everyone's favorite mayor Kyle MacLachlan. I recently spoke with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein about writing the newest season, collaborating with their long list of guest stars, and the most "Portlandy" US cities that aren't [...]
The FBI is using a sketch from IFC's Portlandia in its training program, according to The Hollywood Reporter. An instructor at the FBI Academy in Virginia approached the show's producers in April to request to use the "Sanitation Twins" sketch from the second season, in which Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownsein play a brother and sister educating the public on recycling. "This falls under the surreal category," Brownstein says. "We granted permission, although he didn't tell us why he was interested … Maybe they're just making fun of us?" The instructor asked to use the sketch for the FBI's advanced intelligence classes, which cover espionage, terrorism, IP theft, and [...]
If Portlandia represents the classic hipster, it's now sold out for the mainstream. Real bohemians stick with their deliciously obscure Peabody Awards — they don't go and beat out mainstays like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show for the Best Comedy/Variety Series at the WGA Awards. But by continually changing and challenging itself this season and straying from quotable bird and pickle-related catchiness in favor of bigger-picture connectivity, Portlandia has managed to transform from an IFC curio into a crossover hit that manages to ride the cutting-edge waves of savvy DIY culture that will be "So Over" by tomorrow. Here are my five biggest takeaways from what [...]
Fast Company just put out a field guide for Portlandia's recurring characters, showing the ins and outs of everyone in town from feminist bookstore owners Toni and Candice to entertainment-obsessed to Doug and Claire to Fred and Carrie, themselves. Flipping through the guide really show's how amazing Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's abilities as character chameleons are and a reminder of how many different types of frustrating people they've managed to capture in a funny way.
Quirky public radio program This American Life will have a very special guest this weekend: Fred Armisen as Ira Glass. The episode's theme is "doppelgängers," and Armisen will be co-hosting with the real Ira Glass for the entire hour. You can listen to it tomorrow afternoon on the radio via your local NPR affiliate or download it Sunday in podcast form. According to This American Life's website, Armisen developed his Ira Glass impression for Saturday Night Live but never used it on the show after deciding "the public radio personality isn't quite famous enough to be mocked on network TV." Why didn't he do it on Portlandia then, [...]
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon kicked off 2013 in style last night, with Fallon's SNL war buddy Fred Armisen dropping by for an extended visit that saw them going over fake albums they made together, singing a song off one of those albums, talking SNL and Portlandia, and Fred competing in a drum-off with Questlove. Oh, also, Jimmy Fallon has a beard now. Hit the jump for the rest of the interview.
IFC announced today that they've renewed Portlandia for a fourth and fifth season. Each will consist of 10 episodes each. With Fred Armisen's recent departure from SNL, he'll now have more time to devote to the series, which is the flagship show of IFC's recent original comedy push. It's no surprise that IFC execs are high on Portlandia considering it scores high ratings and has won the network an Emmy, a WGA Award, and a Peabody. The fourth and fifth seasons of the show are expected to premiere in early 2014 and early 2015.
Here's an hour-long interview with Portlandia duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein from last year that was just uploaded online today. The discussion was moderated by serious moderator Julie Klausner and recorded at the Paley Center last year. Armisen and Brownstein talk in depth about the show, music, and how Saddam Hussein brought them together.
Portlandia's Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein teamed up with podcaster/comedian extraordinaire Julie Klausner for Vulture to visit a real feminist bookstore just like the one they depict in Portlandia. Watching the video is like looking at weird books and doing bits with your friends but if your friends were waaaayyyy funnier.
For the past three years, Fred Armisen has been pulling double duty, spending the broadcast season as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and the summer writing/producing/starring in his and Carrie Brownstein's IFC series Portlandia. With longtime cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg's departures last season and Jason Sudeikis expected to leave in May, it seemed like Armisen might leave SNL soon, but that's not the case according to a recent interview with the comedian. When asked how long he plans on staying at the show by ET Online, Armisen answered, "I thrive most when I have to juggle things. The more I keep myself occupied and [...]
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