DID YOU READ

Fred Armisen talks about the new season of Portlandia, airing tonight at 10/9c

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Last week, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein debuted a brand-new holiday special, “Winter in Portlandia.” As fans clamor for more, on Friday Jan 4th at 10/9c, the much-anticipated third season of IFC’s original sketch comedy show, Portlandia, premieres. The show’s co-writer, co-creator, and co-star Fred Armisen, sat down for a lightning round of questions about the show.

What is the biggest difference in creating seasons one and three of Portlandia?

Season one was kind of like a camping trip. We just didn’t even know what we were, which isn’t a bad thing. We were just figuring out what we were. During the first season, we hadn’t worked with Jon much and we were just sorting ourselves out. By season three we were open with ourselves about what we wanted. This time around we wanted to do more stories that went from episode to episode.

There’s more of a story arc?

Yes, but we also knew to ask not just what is it, but what we want. In the beginning it was walking in the dark. Now, instead it’s more thoughtful. It’s “let’s try and go this direction. “

You have some amazing guest stars in season three including Roseanne Barr, Patton Oswalt, J Mascis, and more. Do you write parts for them specifically or just work them into stories?

It’s both. Sometimes we’ll write out a whole story and we’ll need someone to play a part, like an ex-girlfriend. All the people we picked were people we’re fans of. But then in like Patton Oswalt’s case we just liked him and wanted to fit him in. But with the ex-girlfriend we wanted someone a little crazy and a little …we really like her, but Juliette Lewis seems really explosive and we got in touch with her and asked her to play the part. And Patton we love and just had to work around his schedule.

Is it fun playing host to all these stars in Portland?

It is! They all come and start making comments about Portland. Patton was also doing stand up in town and ended up being there for a few days and he commented that he hadn’t seen anyone wearing a tie the whole time he was there.

How much of Gavhan Quinn is really you?

That’s my favorite character to do at the moment.

The studio tour scene with him in Winter in Portlandia was kind of amazing.

It’s very much a Chicago thing. So many guys I know in Chicago are like that. It’s like how guys in the 70s talked about cars all the time and now so many guys I know are talking about recording studios. Guys just sitting around talking about microphones.

Do you ever walk around in that wig and mustache?

Only at work, which is actually a lot of time, you know?

Is he the character you most relate to?

Yes, without a doubt. Although sometimes I relate to Peter, lately it’s Gavhan.

Are we going to see new characters in season three or have you found your cast?

There’s a few new ones definitely, but we also have a few characters that we really like and are getting to know.

Will the characters have grown at all during the hiatus? Or is it more of a “Seinfeld”-ian no hugs, no growing idea?

Oh they definitely have grown, but it’s less about them growing and more about us getting to know them.

What is it like to play an enhanced version yourself on the show? Is it strange?

It’s good, because I can edit who I am really am. So it’s a good way to work. It makes me look better than I am. I’m always wearing nice clothes, I have glasses and my hair looks nice.

When I asked which character you most related to, you didn’t choose that one.

I took that out of choices of characters. I made that one moot.

Does how you write things on SNL influence Portlandia and what can you do on Portlandia that you can’t on SNL?

I don’t really think about it when I’m writing. Whatever is in front of me is what I write for. If it’s February it ends up on SNL, if it’s June it ends up on Portlandia. They are both forgiving and gratifying. Portlandia has some stuff that can be really broad, even though it’s seen as subtle, and Saturday Night Live can be experimental, too.

Is there another Portlandia live show in the works?

Not at the moment. The timing worked out last year to do some touring to promote the show. We had a lot of fun, but the timing just isn’t there for a whole tour. Maybe we’ll do a one off.

You’ve done a television, a special, a live show and a book. Is a movie next? Or are you going Trapped in the Closet style and heading to Broadway?

I would really like to do a movie. Schedule-wise I don’t know when exactly, but I think it would be great to do a Portlandia movie. Some of my favorite television shows have done it and they’ve been great. Like Monty Python. I think it would be great.

You’ve mentioned schedule restrictions a few times in this chat. Obviously both you and Carrie have other day jobs, how hard is it to schedule around them?

In a positive way, it’s hard, but I like scheduling to be hard. There’s good results in that. When time is limited you really focus on things you want to do. If we do get to do a Portlandia tour it will be cities we really want to go to. Time restrictions are a good police officer for things we want to do.

Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia returns to IFC on Friday, January 4th at 10/9c

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Democracy Works

Tune In This Sunday For a Comedy Bang! Bang! Marathon…Chosen By You!

Catch a marathon of fan favorite CB!B! episodes Sunday, June 26th starting at 8A on IFC.

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Voting has been getting a bad rap lately. Many call it flawed, skewed, or — get this — “rigged.” But we here at IFC value the integrity of One Person, One Vote and wish to offer an example of democracy in action. Recently, you voted via Twitter for your favorite Comedy Bang! Bang! episodes, and we listened.

This Sunday, in honor of CB!B!‘s 100th episode on July 1st, we’re giving you a marathon of classic episodes that YOU demanded.

Starting at 8A EST on IFC, catch these fan-selected favorites:

“Fred Armisen Wears Black Jeans and Glasses”

“Ellie Kemper Wears a Purple Ruffled Sleeveless Top & Lavender Flats”

“Joel McHale Wears a Navy Zip-up and High Tops”

“Weird Al Yankovic Wears a Different Hawaiian Shirt”

Ain’t democracy great???

Tune in to back-to-back Comedy Bang! Bang! episodes Fridays starting at 11P. 

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Joe Jonas Concert Movie

Pop Life

The Craziest Moments From 3-D Concert Movies

Joe Jonas brings the funk to Comedy Bang! Bang! tonight at 11P.

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Photo Credit: Walt Disney/Everett Collection

Before they went off in their own directions, The Jonas Brothers were beloved by tweens everywhere. Which may explain why they appear in not just one, but two, of the biggest pop concert 3-D movies ever made. If you’re unfamiliar with this burgeoning subgenre, below is everything you need to know about seven of the biggest 3-D “popumentaries” out there. And be sure to catch the all grown up Joe Jonas when he appears on Comedy Bang! Bang! tonight at 11P on IFC. We can’t guarantee he’ll be 3-D, though you never know what will happen when Scott and “Weird Al” are involved.

1. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie

What Is It? A jukebox medley sing-along based on the long-running TV series/cover song hit making machine.
Big 3-D Moment: The closing credits in which a succession of fluorescent-hued cartoon Slurpies splash across the screen. Because, remember season one when everyone threw Slurpies at Lea Michele’s character? Yeah, that was a long time ago…
Concert Highlights: Although Tumblr no doubt freaked out over the Chris Colfer/Lea Michele recreation of a famous Judy Garland/Barbra Streisand duet, Gwyneth Paltrow’s sex kitten rendition of “Forget You” is by far the best part of the movie. (Didn’t she play a teacher on the show? Honestly, we’ve forgotten 90% of it. )
Celeb Sighting: Barbra Streisand’s mannerisms and vocal affectations are well-represented. But alas, no Babs herself. Sigh.
WTF Moment: Heather Morris’ stripper-style routine to Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave for You” suggests a PG-13 rating at least. But nope, this movie’s PG.


2. Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds

What Is It? An accelerated musical puberty in which Miley sheds her flirty, virginal Disney persona then begins to vamp like a grown-up. Who knew how far she’d take THAT?!
Big 3-D Moments: A guitar pick gets flicked out at the camera (Hannah section); a drumstick gets tossed up at the camera (Miley section).
Concert Highlights: Disney pop is best consumed in small doses, which explains why the Jonas Brothers’ three-song set is the highlight here. That said, Miley’s sultry vocals for “See You Again” hint at the VMA twerking and Robin Thicke-humping to come.
Celeb Sightings: Inevitable but welcome: Miley teaches her “Achy Breaky” dad Billy Ray how to play “I Miss You,” a song about her grandfather.
WTF Moment: Continuity issues show Miley wearing a jean vest, then the vest is gone, then it’s back again. Wardrobe, I think we have a problem.


3. Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience

What Is It? Disney’s greatest band of brothers (after Huey, Dewey, and Louie) perform at Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park and Central Park while young girls’ scream at ear-piercing levels.
Big 3-D Moment: CGI pigeons fly towards the camera during the music video for “Love Is on Its Way.” As far as 3-D effects go, it’s a stretch.
Concert Highlight: With a sexy strut and his sports jacket with T-shirt ensemble, Joe Jonas channels his inner Rick Springfield for “BB Good.” Here comes trouble!
Celeb Sightings: Demi Lovato shows up to sing “This Is Me,” then Taylor Swift one-ups her by singing “Should’ve Said No.” We’re surprised this moment didn’t start a boring feud between the two pop starlets.
WTF Moment: The clearly staged scene where the producers hired girls to chase the boys in the streets of Manhattan, as if that couldn’t have just happened on its own literally anywhere they go.


4. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

What Is It? Flashbacks of Bieber’s early days as a musical prodigy turned Internet sensation lead to the pop icon’s first MSG concert. Also, lots of praying before shows.
Big 3-D Moment: There’s a very cute interruption during which Bieber and producer Ryan Good point at the camera and insist that people not text during the movie. Remember when The Biebs was adorable?
Concert Highlight: All the duets, whether they involve Boyz II Men or Ludacris, bring a bit of a thrill, but the one between Bieber and his mentor Usher (“Somebody to Love”) surely had tween girls feeling a flood of sparkles just like those that announce Usher’s arrival.
Celeb Sightings: Boyz II Men, Miley Cyrus, Ludacris, Jaden Smith, Usher, Drake, Chelsea Handler, and Snoop Dogg all rode the Biebs-wave.
WTF Moment: Justin repeatedly slaps adults in the face and they all go with it, proving that, even at 16, he was kind of a jerk.


5. Katy Perry: Part of Me

What Is It? Concert biopic including interviews with family and friends and documentation of the disintegration of her relationship with Russell Brand. (Remember “Kussell”? Did they even merit a portmanteau?)
Big 3-D Moment: The foam-shooting hose aimed at the audience tops off all the 3-D effects and shows clearly who is in control here: Katy, all the way.
Concert Highlight: While you wouldn’t wish it on anyone, the break-up with Russell Brand does add a nice bit of drama to this candy-colored popumentary, and makes Katy’s “verge of a nervous breakdown” performance in Sao Paolo unforgettable.
Celeb Sightings: Break-up queen Adele, Britney Spears, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie J, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Whoopi Goldberg for some reason…
WTF Moment: Those pinwheels on her breasts.


6. Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour

What Is It? An extravagant, high-camp parade of Dolce & Gabbana showgirl costumes (sometimes worn by men) in support of Kylie’s Aphrodite album.
Big 3-D Moments: The “swimming” acrobats mid-air prior to Kylie’s entrance and the spinning aerialist above the jets of water (created by Disneyland technicians) during her finale performance of “Only Lovers.”
Concert Highlight: Kylie singing “Aphrodite” (because you can’t beat her arrival on a golden half-shell) while surrounded by male dancers in peekaboo togas.
Celeb Sighting: Does a winged man representing Icarus and hanging from the ceiling count?
WTF Moment: Your jaw may drop every time Kylie must be escorted down some stairs (even if it’s just three) because her heels are so preposterously high.


7. One Direction: This Is Us

What Is It? Morgan Spurlock’s (yes, the Super Size Me guy) earnest travelogue/92-minute advertisement follows The X Factor‘s Fab Five from London to Tokyo and beyond.
Concert Highlight: Each time you hear “What Makes You Beautiful,” you realize why young girls fill stadiums and devote their lives to this band of slick pretty boys.
Big 3-D Moments: Video game spaceships flying over the audience as well as the bubblegum pink balls which delirious fans keep afloat in Mexico City.
Celeb Sightings: Fans include Martin Scorsese, Chris Rock, and soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo.
WTF Moment: When the fivesome get mobbed in a Nike store in Amsterdam, you realize that their fans may be cannibals and the band is in mortal danger.

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Maya Makes Sense

Maya Rudolph To Star in Talking Heads-Inspired Episode of Documentary Now!

The SNL alum will join Fred and Bill for season two's music-centric "Test Pattern" episode.

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With the recent tease of “Globesmen,” a spot-on homage to the 1968 documentary Salesman, we know we’re in for a treat when the second season of IFC’s critically-acclaimed series Documentary Now! returns this fall. Today, IFC released news of another upcoming episode and even more comedic talent joining the mix.

Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Maya & Marty, and IFC’s own The Spoils Before Dying) will co-star in a music-centric episode of Documentary Now!. In “Test Pattern,” Rudolph joins series’ regulars Fred Armisen and Bill Hader on the stage as they perform one of the greatest concerts that never really happened.

Inspired by the groundbreaking 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary Stop Making Sense, “Test Pattern” features an eponymous hit band (Armisen, Hader and Rudolph) performing a riveting, high-energy final concert to an eager audience of fans. The innovative episode includes a musically-diverse set list of songs written by Armisen himself. (Just like last season’s hummable tunes from the Blue Jean Committee.) Outside of the concert, the episode will delve deep into the musicians’ interwoven backstories and reveal the inspirations behind their ’80s classics such as “Free David Ness” and “Indeng Indeng.”

“Test Pattern” joins the four previously announced titles “The Bunker,” “Globesmen,” “Juan Likes Rice and Chicken,” and the two-part Hollywood-themed doc “Mr. Runner Up,” all premiering on IFC this fall.

While you wait for the fictional concert of a lifetime, catch up on the entire first season of Documentary Now! with a marathon this Sunday starting at 10A. Season 2 premieres with seven new episodes this fall on IFC.

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