Spoofing the spoofers: Five YouTube tributes to “Portlandia”


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In one season, “Portlandia” created catchphrases and viral videos potent enough to nearly kill off an artistic cliché. If that’s not evidence enough of the show’s impact, just look on YouTube. Sure, searching “Portlandia + parody” won’t yield as many results as, say, “dog with eyebrows”—and really, what can compete with that juggernaut?—but if you’re measuring quality over quantity, Fred and Carrie have inspired some top-shelf spoofs. With Season 2 debuting this Friday night, we can only imagine what hobbies will be threatened by the popularity of certain sketches (pickling, your days are numbered), but for now, here’s an assemblage of just a few of the ways “Portlandia” influenced the zeitgeist last year.

The Dream of the Suburbs

Portland might represent a very specific kind of youth culture, but the suburbs are always the suburbs. About two weeks ago, this clip by filmmaker Brighton West—which uses “The Dream of the ’90s” to lampoon Portland’s northernly neighbor, Vancouver, Washington—enjoyed a “Meme of the Day” moment in local media. Making fun of Vancouver is a favorite pastime of elitist Portlanders, but according to West—who lives in Portland—the jabs about dads wearing Old Navy, eating at Applebee’s and never having to make chit-chat with your neighbors were crowd-sourced for accuracy among actual Vancouverians (and while anyone who’s ever visited a Wal-Mart anywhere in America will get the jokes, there’s at least one gag specific to the humble Couve, involving the much-debated Columbia River Crossing). It’s pretty much spot-on satire, not just of the cross-bridge rivalry but of the sketch that inspired the spoof. Only inaccuracy: The dude playing Fred Armisen looks more like Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement. Eh, we’ll let it slide.

One Night in Portlandia

Something you might not know: “Portlandia” takes its name from a statue located downtown, depicting the trident-wielding woman found on the city seal. It is the second-largest copper reppouse statue in the country, behind the Statue of Liberty (thanks, Wikipedia!). And here’s a factoid not even native Portlanders were probably aware of: Portlandia is kind of a slut. Upset over having her name co-opted by a cable sketch comedy show, she apparently leaked a sex tape in an ill-advised attempt to steal back some of her fame. Filmmaker Mike Vogel went out and recorded reactions from other local statues, including the fountain beavers near Pioneer Place, who are much cattier than you’d imagine.

Milktooth Tour America

Milktooth is an indie rock band from Tennessee, but when a band’s on the road, they’re really no less a tourist than the guy standing on the downtown street corner in Bermuda shorts confusedly reading a bus schedule. As such, after reconstructing the “Portlandia” opening—complete with the theme song, Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around”—they do one of the top three most touristy things any Portland visitor can do: Go to Voodoo Doughnuts and marvel at the bacon maple bar.

Ken Finds Birds

As one might guess from the title, a graduate student named Ken went to Portland expecting to find birds in every tree and on every tote bag, mug, hat and bicycle helmet. He is shocked to find that birds are not quite as plentiful as “Portlandia” led him to believe. He does leave with a nice shirt, though.

Watch the video here.

Put a Bird on It (All the Seagull Ladies)

You’ve probably already seen this, but it bears re-posting. Two girls, one Beyonce parody, and a whole lot of blank canvasses on which to apply birds.


THE EXORCIST [US 1973]  LINDA BLAIR     Date: 1973

Take This Quiz for a Spin

The Power Compels You to Take the Exorcist Movie Quiz

Catch an all-day Exorcist marathon on Sunday, November 1st.

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The Exorcist is a modern horror classic thanks to many of its haunting images: the ominous stairwell, the spider walk, the face of the demon. Before you catch IFC’s all-day Exorcist movie marathon on November 1st, take this quiz to see how well you remember the film, its sequels and its influence in pop culture.



'Soft' Rock

Get Gentle and Soft With The Blue Jean Committee’s New EP

The Documentary Now! band has a new EP.

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The Blue Jean Committee is about to head straight up the charts with their new song “Gentle & Soft.” Is it us, or did it just get really smooth in here?

The band, whose tumultuous history was chronicled in a compelling two-part episode of Documentary Now!, is back with an extremely soft bullet with the release of Catalina Breeze, an actual 12″ EP with actual songs that you can actually (and should actually) buy. As Fred Armisen, who sings in the Blue Jean Committee along with his Documentary Now! cohort Bill Hadertold EW, he wanted the band to capture the ’70s California soft rock sound. “So the best way to do it for us would be to just spell it out and call the song ‘Gentle and Soft,'” Armisen said.

The EP, which will be released on November 20th, also features the classic BJC tracks “Mama You’re a Dancer,” “Walking Shoes” and the titular jam all about relaxing Catalina breezes. True to its name, the Catalina Breeze EP will hit you like the wind, rushing your hair into a halo, which is as gentle and soft as it comes. Head over to Drag City to listen to song samples and grab the EP.

For more Documentary Now!, check out the complete archive, episode clips, and music from the show.

That 70s Show Fez

Fez Fever!

Think You Know Fez? Take This Quiz!

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-11P ET/PT.

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Fez played the role of the outsider on That ’70s Show, but was quickly welcomed into the Circle. How deeply have you accepted Fez into your life? Click below to start the quiz and find out!



Lorne Visits the Cat Ranch

Lorne Michaels Finally Talks to Marc Maron on WTF

Maron returns to IFC in 2016.

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A historic summit of comedic minds has finally happened in the Cat Ranch — Lorne Michaels sat down for an interview on Marc Maron‘s WTF Podcast. And you can listen to it here.


20 years ago, Marc had a meeting with Lorne about possibly taking over Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. But then Marc never got a a callback—and his brief meeting with the SNL guru has haunted him ever since. This week on his WTF podcast, Marc finally got closure. As Marc wrote on his website, “In the history of WTF, Lorne Michaels is talked about more than any other person. Now he is finally a guest.”

In addition to discussing why Marc wasn’t ready to join the Not Ready for Primetime Players, the episode’s wide-ranging conversation also covers the reason Michaels started the show back in 1975 and what keeps him doing it each and every season.

Listen to WTF on iTunes or download from the WTF podcast website. And be sure to check IFC.com for more updates on Marc and season 4 of his comedy series Maron, which returns to IFC spring 2016.

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