TV Junkie Interview: Fred Armisen - 'Portlandia' Premieres Tomorrow
For "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen, wearing many hats is part of the job of a sketch comedy performer. This reality is even more in effect on his new show, a project he co-writes, co-produces, and co-stars in, IFC's "Portlandia," which premieres tomorrow night at 10:30pm. Executive produced by Armisen's "SNL" boss, Lorne Michaels, "Portlandia" takes the viewer to Portland, Oregon, to encounter just some of the many strange characters who call that place home. Shot entirely on the streets of Portland, the show humorously explores the lives of the city's denizens who seem determined to take their ideals to the sometimes illogical extreme.
Austin, Texas, may have to print bumper stickers in order to rally behind their weirdness but, from our experience, Portland has never had to resort to that. A lot of people, some of our friends included, move to Portland in order to become devoted "hardcore" (fill in the blank here), and after living in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, the characters that Armisen and fellow conspirator Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney fame, have created, don't seem that extreme to me. I've ridden in Critical Mass next to Armisen's militant cyclist, I've encountered people proud to procure all of their groceries via dumpster diving, and have attempted to find a restaurant that would satisfy a 100%-locally-sourced/free range/zero-carbon-footprint devoted friend. These people are real, and, as Armisen tells us, they live all over this country, but are perhaps more highly concentrated in Portland.