Fred Robert Armisen is an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer, director, singer, musician, and comedian. Widely known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2002 until 2013, Armisen has portrayed characters in comedy films, including EuroTrip, Anchorman, and Cop Out. With his comedy partner, Carrie Brownstein, Armisen is the co-creator and co-star of the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia. Armisen founded ThunderAnt.com, a website that features the comedy sketches created with Brownstein, and is the bandleader for the Late Night with Seth Meyers house band, "The 8G Band". Armisen was nominated in 2012 for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.
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Hey guys, we're at the reddit office in NYC with Victoria bright and early. How are you?
Season 5 of Portlandia premieres tomorrow night, Thursday, Jan. 8 at 10pm ET/PT on IFC... and for a sneak preview you can watch this clip.
Ask us anything!
playing with Adventure Time figure
We are really proud of this season, and it premieres this Thursday on IFC. I love reddit. I think it's so much fun. And I veryveryverymuch thank everybody for asking questions and being interested in the show at all!
Carrie I second Fred's enthusiasm and gratitude. And it's always a pleasure to get to talk with our fans. And we appreciate you so much!
Do people yell cacao at you in the streets?
ALL. THE. TIME.
It's actually very nice, very sweet.
People will also post photos on instagram just saying Cacao. Like, all the time.
I think this involves 2 different kinds of knowing. One is experiential, and one is forensic. One has the benefit of time, which allows perspective, and critical analysis, and one has the benefit of oral history and tradition that feels very recent.
Cuz there must've been a million stories that just evaporated because of time.
Portland is suing pbr. Is it a hipster civil war?
I am not aware of this.
I will research it.
If it involved bodily fluids, yes. Otherwise, no.
I'm always fine with it.
Well, it's Fred's new last name.
I'm going to adopt it as a name.
But "artisan" means... made slowly and carefully. Somebody who makes something slowly and carefully, with their bare hands. If it was chocolate, it would with powdered latex gloves.
Awarding you for your efforts and loyalty!
Print it out, sign our names...
When and where will I receive this time-honoured award for being up on the west coast?
This message is an official CERTIFICATE!
And Carrie Brownstone.
I live in a brownstone in New York, in the village...
I'm Fred Artisan, and I create!
Calling /r/AskHistorians! I'm assuming they all get notified when I link this. Otherwise, we're kind of outta luck.
That'd be great.
He was raised by cats.
I love those "animal friends" videos. Did you ever see the one of the Tiger & the Bear who are friends? They're adults now.
Monkeys with cats is interesting.
I like to hike up and down Fred all day.
And then I have to move.
Fred smells good.
Carrie smells great.
That's very accurate.
I don't know why.
My doctor asked me just the other day if i was on a desert island, would I still do PORTLANDIA...
The FBI called me the other day with that question...
The President asked me once, through his advisors...
I would classify that as non-dumb.
That sounds sexual, but it's not.
I have a very flat back. It's a good workout.
BIRDMAN! We loved it!
2 Thumbs up! 4 thumbs up!
Toni & Candice want to do publicity for those guys.
Yeah, they would want to be their publicists.
It always seem so precarious. They don't know.
We're overly careful with them. But cats don't care.
Can you tell me a bit more about my chicken?
Your chicken was... a friendly sort.
A dominant chicken in the chicken pecking order.
Why don't we give that one to you?
I would classify it as "non-dumb."
I think it's an innocent question. A sweet question. An American question.
And I think we have to continue with the AMA, so I can't get to the answer yet, but some other time.
I feel like you're not sharing the entire story.
Like "Do you want to see my record?" and then WHOA! it fell into an ice bucket!
Hi! I'm a huge fan of you both. If you ever visit Melbourne, Australia, the drinks are on me :)
Fred: If Nina were to be proposed to by Lance, how would Nina prefer it to be done?
Carrie: If you had to be neighbours with one or two of the show's characters, who would you like to be neighbours with and why?
Both: Which 'Portlandia' skit took the longest to film due to an inability to hold back laughter?
Coincidentally, this is something that happens in season 5. And I'll just say that it's all about... making a video of a proposal.
I have a definite one and that is "No Olympics in Portland." We were supposed to run down the street with fake torches, saying "No Olympics in Portland", and for some reason we just kept on laughing.
It went to the level where the crew didn't find it charming. It was a simple thing to shoot, really simple.
You guys are basically the best humans. In life, how can I find the Fred to my Carrie or vice versa?
I would say that person's probably already in your life.
That's like a Wizard of Oz answer, right?
What does Kyle Maclachlan smell like?
A little aftershave. Very clean.
Hey Fred and Carrie! My question for you both: do you have a favorite costume/wig?
For some reason, I like the... eco-terrorists.
Or the gutter punks? A hat with a little wisp of hair?
Hi! Big fan.
Once I was in a high school play and I had the opening monologue. I forgot all of the words and it was awful. Has anything like that ever happened to either of you?
I was never asked to do a monologue at your school, so...
But I'm open to doing it.
i know a lot about the food pyramid.
Does that still exist? it seems like something from the 1950's.
Fred, how and when did you know guitar playing Carrie Brownstein was a comical genius?
Immediately. As soon as we started coming with ideas, and performing, I saw it immediately.
I like Pip's Donuts, and Blue Star Donuts. Even though I love Voodoo, and we love Tres, who's on the show this year.
I thought it was "Trace."
I agree with Fred, that the only one of us that made an edible meal was Rachael Ray and her crew.
I made an edible meal the other morning when I poured milk into a cereal bowl.
I've done that wrong before.
There are parts of Portland that feel so "Portland-y."
Sometimes I drive down the street in Portland, and I say This place is SOOO Portland.
If you were stranded on a desert island, would you still make Portlandia from there? What about if it were just a regular island, like Oahu or something? Is this a dumb thing to ask?
It's a very, very intelligent question.
We get asked this all. The. Time.
We get asked at airports...
And Ken's Artisan Pizza is great in Portland.
I wish my name was "Artisan." Fred Artisan.
Well, Jello Biafra from The Dead Kennedys for his dedication and seriousness about the craft...
I think we're in agreement on that.
But Jeff Goldblum is the most entertaining on the set. He really keeps everyone laughing, and is just... he's really great.
I can honestly say I haven't. I've been living bird-free for a long time now.
That's true. I don't think you have a bird on anything.
For me, it's definitely Williamsburg and Silverlake.
And Echo Park!
Who do you think is the sexiest Trailblazer?
I was just talking with Kerry Dornetto, who is one of our writers, and we were both saying that the premiere episode of Season 5 - the story of Toni & Candace - is the episode we are most proud of having written.
I like Carrie's quote for that, so I am just going to leave it at that.
I like cereal with almond milk, with blueberries or raspberries, and coffee.
I was going to say GRANOLA with almond milk - hopefully nothing too sugary- also with blueberries, and almond milk, and really strong coffee.
When I was 15, I worked the concession stand and took tickets at a movie theater. It was a Regal Cinemas or something.
And I delivered newspapers and worked at Taco Bell. I was 15 or 16? Newspapers was 15 or 14 even, I can't remember? Somewhere like 14,15,16, somewhere in there was Taco Bell. Taco Bell must've been 16.
Favorite places to eat: I like... Tasty and Sons. Lardo. Gruner.
I like Toro Bravo... what else is good? So many places?
Voodoo Donuts, what's your usual pastry? If you don't eat there, then please recommend a really amazing place to get pizza in Portland.
There's a chocolate bacon one that's really popular, but it's actually really good.
If you had to enter into a long term sexual relationship with a plant, which would you choose?
I feel like a venus fly trap is the way to go for me, right?
I think tequila, soda, lime, ice... laughs
And it would be called...?
The "Sleater Gin-y."
But there's no gin in it! That's the catch!
Will catnap be making a comeback this season?
No, they don't appear this season, but someday we'll do it again.
Why is it so early?
Because somewhere in history, somebody decided the morning was a good time to work. I don't know why. We should all band together as humans and say We want to work at 10! Why are we doing this to ourselves!
What do you smell like? Together and individually?
I don't even know what I smell like.
What does Carrie smell like?
I'm having a hard time answering that.
I'll just say this: i always worry what I smell like. I want to smell good, I want to smell clean, but you know... sometimes it's 7 AM, and we're shooting...
Smallware, Luce... that to me, is like my new favorite place.
And I'm sure you can get marionberry pancakes somewhere around town. They are real berries.
I have a Cannondale Road Bike.
I have a Republic one.
There has been some weird explosion in a lab and suddenly both of you have morphed into one of your Portlandia characters for the rest of your life! Who are you?
Boy, rest of your life?
I feel like... like Dave, from Captain Dave, is probably best at taking care of himself through the rest of his life, like medically, his house, he'll keep getting new things...
Favorite place to hike in the US?
Highway 95. In the median.
He's a dream.
Funny, thoughtful, really seems to enjoy life.
i love you guys but i cringed so hard watching the both of you on rachel ray! i wanted to know out of the both of you who can actually manage to make an edible meal?
Um... I think we had tremendous help from Rachael. Remember those little toasty things with the eggs? I want to say after we shot that episode, we actually did eat those eggs toast things. And I was actually hungry, so we ate it.
I'm a huge fan of the show the new season cannot come any sooner. My question is for Fred:
Will this new season have any cameos from you're former SNL alum?
Oh yes! Vanessa Bayer, and Seth Meyers....and I think that's it!
Have either of you ever actually put a bird on anything?
I did, by mistake. I didn't realize - this was early on when Carrie had this idea for the sketch, and then I laughed, and then I went home and realized that my doormat was a black raven motif... and I felt embarrassed. I was like "Those dummies, putting birds on things" and then I realized i totally bought into it.
If each of you were a mixed drink, what would be in it, and would you drink it?
I would be water and ice cubes.
It would be called a "Frozen Marga-fredda."
I would not drink it. That's for other people.
It's the first day of classes at the University of Michigan; what advice can I get from Candice and Toni to help me succeed?
"GO TO THE STUDENT CENTER... and march around, with your fist in the air, all day until dusk!"
What were your first jobs?
What surprised you most about the real Portland?
What surprised me the most about the REAL Portland?
I would say... the shipping world. That there are these... ships that come in, that have to be very light, because the river is so shallow, so there are these tremendous ships that kind of go into - just down the river - I forget that Portland is named for that whole world of ships and shipping. I just never thought that would be a part of it.