The third season of everyone’s favorite IFC comedy-sketch show is fast upon us, with Portlandia slated to begin on January 4. In advance of the inevitable onslaught of new hipsterisms, hereto-unknown eccentricities and brand new organic fetishes, The Observer cornered co-creator Fred Armisen about what new “dreams of the Nineties” he would bring to life. Read More
New York Comic Con
First, a little bit of back story: The night before The Observer was to go to the screening party for the sequel season of Portlandia, the IFC comedy show starring Saturday Night Live fixture Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, an Irishman stepped on our lighter in a bar. In exchange for the gaffe, the gentleman offered us a fist-sized piece of homemade organic chocolate truffle, wrapped in decorative foil. How sweet!
As we dashed our way to the Museum of Natural History last night in order to see what could possibly top the catchphrase “Put a Bird On It,” we split the giant confection with a fellow famished coworker. Which would have all been fine, if we hadn’t made the completely understandable mistake of confusing “chocolate truffles” for “chocolate-covered mushrooms.” No, not truffle mushrooms. The other kind. (In hindsight, putting actual truffle mushrooms into chocolate doesn’t make any sense either.)
We guess that’s why your parents warned you never to take organic candy from strangers. Ooh look, there’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! Are those two glowing, or is just the hallucinogens kicking in?
Today is the official start date of New York’s annual Comic Con, the sad stepbrother of San Diego’s way more famous nerd convention. Still, New York has its fair share of amazing graphic novel writers and artists (which was what Comic Con is all about, right?), and DC and Marvel have spent a good chunk of cash flying out some big name celebrities for panels as well.
How much Portland is in “Portlandia?”
The new show, which premiered Friday on IFC, depicts a eco-friendly wonderland where the denizens of this magical Portlandia enjoy a rigorous pursuit of the liberal ideal. There are militant feminist bookstores, restaurants with overly extensive information about your dish’s living experience on a sustainable farm, and the openness Read More
There was flannel everywhere.
It was the premiere of “Portlandia,” the sure-fire TV hit from Fred Armisen (of Saturday Night Live fame) and Carrie Brownstein (of now-defunct rock heroes Sleater-Kinney), and everywhere we looked we were greeted with a wash of that plaid-heavy cozy super-nineties fabric, flannel.
The bartenders serving up Portland’s own Rogue Ale? Read More
We weren’t expecting a New York screening of a film about a Chinese dancer to be a heavily Australian event, but that’s what Monday night’s special showing of Mao’s Last Dancer at the Crosby Street Hotel was-its director, Bruce Beresford, is an Aussie, and the screening was presented by Australian Consul General Phillip Scanlan. The Read More
We love former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein. We love SNL funny-man Fred Armisen. And you should love ThunderAnt, a video blog in which Armisen and Brownstein collaborate on a particularly quirky brand of sketch comedy parodying everything from feminist bookstores to Mr. Saddam Hussein. Their riotous new sketch, "One Man Show," Read More
A trustworthy rule of thumb: Critics should never write critically about other critics. Not only does this make a certain career sense, but one falls into the Pauline Kael-esque trap of assigning straw-man motivations to one’s nemeses in order to score points with larger issues that may or may not apply to the work being Read More