Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein write and star in the new sketch comedy series Portlandia, an affectionate skewering of the young people's bohemian paradise that is Portland, Oregon. Fred and Carrie began making web videos together as the group ThunderAnt.
Fred Armisen is a longtime cast member (playing many beloved characters) on Saturday Night Live. He started his entertainment career in the late 80s, playing in the punk band Trenchmouth. Carrie Brownstein also comes from a musical background, as a guitarist and vocalist in the highly acclaimed (and Portland-based) indie rock group Sleater-Kinney.
Portlandia airs Fridays at 10:30pm on IFC.
JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guests on the program are Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. They’re the co-creators and stars of the new IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia. Fred Armisen is, of course, well known for his sketch comedy work; he’s been a cast member of Saturday Night Live for many years now; Carrie Brownstein, not so much. She was one of the founding members of Sleater-Kinney, the indie rock group of the 1990s and 2000s. It turns out Fred Armisen has his roots in music as well. He had a ten year music career before he even tried his hand at comedy. Their new show is an affectionate look at Portland, Oregon; that refuge of the creative and place where people go to not have jobs. Here’s a clip from a sketch on the show that’s almost a thesis statement for it. It’s a song called “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland.” In this scene Fred and Carrie are discussing Portland while standing on the streets of Los Angeles.
JESSE THORN: Fred, welcome back to The Sound of Young America; Carrie, welcome to The Sound of Young America.
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
FRED ARMISEN: Thank you for having me and us.
Click here for a full transcript of this interview.