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Apocalypse Whaaa?: Where to spend your Portland Armageddon


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As we all know, the world is ending this year. (If Roland Emmerich makes a movie about it, then it must be true.) What the Mayans didn’t tell us is exactly what that means. What specific brand of doom is coming our way? Is the earth going to collapse into a giant sinkhole? Are aliens invading to steal our precious fluids? Monkey-pox outbreak? Waterworld?

Don’t fret, though. Whatever the cause of our utter annihilation, Portland is prepared. If you just happen to be visiting the Rose City when the meteor hits or the sun explodes or the grain starts to overrun the planet, don’t let a little apocalypse ruin your vacation. Even if all existence begins to crumble around you, there are still plenty of places to go and things to see. It just requires a minor tweak of your plans. Here now are just a few suggestions on how to spend your end-times in Stumptown, depending on the cataclysmic scenario. Calm down: We’re going to get through this together. The end of the world doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Natural disaster: Andy & Bax
324 SE Grand Ave., (503) 234-7538

A military surplus store on mushrooms, Andy and Bax has essentially been stockpiling for Armageddon since it opened. What kind of Armageddon? Any kind, really: tectonic plate-shifting earthquake; Ice Age; ninja-pocalypse (a longshot, but there are throwing stars and nunchucks available just in case). Half the store looks like a costume shop specifically designed for World War II battle reenactors, with country-specific combat helmets, uniforms, boots, gas masks and a mannequin posed in a flight suit purportedly worn by a pilot in an observer plane during the nuking of Nagasaki. For the Outward Bound set—and really, that’s going to include all of us once the infrastructure collapses—there’s all sorts of affordable camping gear, from propane stoves and lanterns to instant hot shower kits, Dutch ovens, government-issued extreme-cold sleeping bags and skillets big enough to fry a baby bear in. Oh, and what the hell: While you’re at it, why not pick up a pink bedazzled cowboy hat and Mexican wrestling mask? Live it up! There’s no one left to judge you, anyway.

Nuclear war: Glowing Greens
509 SW Taylor St., (503) 222-5554

In a city where every home has a basement and every street corner a subterranean bar (not to mention the Shanghai Tunnels beneath Old Town), there are plenty of potential places to take cover when the bombs begin to fall. Keep in mind, however, that there’s only one pirate-themed indoor miniature golf course. Why hide there? Well, first of all, it’s underground. Second, everything is neon colored and illuminated by blacklight, which will help survivors get acclimated to the new psychedelicized radioactive environment they’ll encounter once the smoke clears. And most importantly, when the earth is repopulated, future humans of the dystopian wasteland are going to need some method of blowing off steam, and someone must pass down to the next, possibly horribly mutated generation the concept of leisure. All hail the post-apocalyptic pastime: glow-in-the-dark 3D putt-putt golf!

Zombie fever: The Safari Club
116 SE 4th Ave., Estacada OR, (503) 630-3208

Technically, this place is located in Estacada, a small, rural town about 25 minutes outside Portland proper, but when the dead begin to rise and feast on the flesh of the living, it’ll be a good idea to flee the metropolitan area. And when escaping masses of the shambling undead, you’re going to want to be in a place with a lot of taxidermied animals. A rare combination of Portland kitsch with the, um, “redder” sensibilities of the rest of Oregon, the Safari Club is a 40-year-old roadside landmark, a restaurant and dance club decorated with dozens of stuffed big-game beasts, hanging on the walls and posed behind glass. Frankly, it doesn’t have much strategic value in a zombie apocalypse. It just looks like the kind of weird setting from a low-budget mid-’80s horror movie where people would hole up to fight off the zombie hordes. Sorry if this isn’t much help. I’d recommend my friends’ heavily fortified compound nearby, which is where I’m going the moment the first corpses stand upright, but the invitation is somewhat exclusive.

Rise of the machines: Sauvie Island

In the case of a “Terminator”- (or, if you prefer, “Maximum Overdrive”-) style mechanical revolution, getting back to nature and away from murderous little toasters is going to be key. Sauvie Island is the largest island on the Columbia River and located only 10 miles from downtown, and from what I’ve gleaned, modernity stopped moving forward there in the 1700s, as it appears to exist only to provide land for corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and clothing-optional beaches. Yes, there is a nude beach there. What? Oh, just because it’s the apocalypse, men are supposed to be less enthused about the prospect of ogling naked women? Whatever. Be careful, though: It is not far from Portland’s industrial northwest, which could come alive with homicidal machinery. But again: Nude beach.

The Rapture: 24 Hour Church of Elvis
408 NW Couch St., (503) 226-3671

Let’s face it: If this apocalypse is the work of a deity—any deity—Portland is royally screwed. We’ve been living in hedonistic decadence (well, decadence on the level of a really awesome thrift store, anyway) for too long to repent now. Of course, on the off chance that the King of Kings is actually the King, the best hope for us sinners of getting into Hunka-Hunka-Heaven when it comes time for His ultimate comeback special is to haul ass to Chinatown and humble ourselves before the shrine at the 24 Hour Church of Elvis. And by “shrine,” I mean the coin-operated machine at the above address, which offers a blessing from the Sideburned One himself. An institution of Old Weird Portland, the Church has changed locations several times since the mid-’80s, yet it always seems to magically reappear somewhere else in town, which is enough of a sign of divine providence for me. And unlike other churches, it only charges a quarter to save your rock’n’roll soul. Salvation has never come so cheap!

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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