As we bid adieu to 2015, it’s safe to say that Fred Armisen has had quite the year. Hosting the Spirit Awards, wearing a Freddy Krueger glove to the Emmys, fronting the 8G Band on Late Night, all while cocreating and starring in IFC’s Documentary Now!. Oh, and did we mention he’s got a new season of Portlandia debuting on January 21st? He’s very much like the hipster U.S. Army, doing more before 9am then most of us do all day. Here are a few of Fred’s moments from the last year that made us laugh out loud.
5. The “Catalina Breeze” Music Video
With Documentary Now!, Fred Armisen, along with his old SNL cohorts Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, created a comedic love letter to the documentaries they clearly know so well. Precisely aping the look and feel of a range of docs, and then putting their own unique spin on them, helped turn a fun premise into a tour-de-force. If the music video the gang dropped for the Blue Jean Committee’s “Catalina Breeze” — featured in the hilarious and moving two-part episode “Gentle & Soft: The Story of The Blue Jean Committee” — is any indication, there’s a lot more where that came from.
4. Spoofing Birdman on the Spirit Awards
Armisen, along with Kristen Bell, hosted the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards, showing how high he’s climbed in the Hollywood firmament. This pitch perfect spoof of Birdman, which would clean up at the ceremony that night, shows that Armisen gets the little details. And it’s no surprise that Hader pops up, as these two seem to be comedic soulmates every bit as much as Fred and Carrie Brownstein.
3. Late Night Lip Dub with Kristen Wiig
The genius of having Fred Armisen as your late night bandleader is obvious here, as he jumps right into this inspired bit of silliness. Where other bandleaders have gone big, Armisen uses his role on the show as an exercise to see how much he can undersell a joke. Deadpan is the name of the game, and Armisen always delivers.
2. Standing up for “weirdos” on Portlandia
The world of Candace, Toni, Kath, Dave and more expanded even further with the many hilarious storylines in Portlandia season five. Everything culiminated in an epic season finale, featuring Paul Reubens as the patron saint of “weirdos.”
1. The Dronez search for El Chingon
Documentary Now! was so rich, and so diverse, that there could be any number of moments to highlight from the first season. But one of our favorites comes from the “DRONEZ: The Hunt for El Chingon” episode, in which Bill and Fred explore the absurd ways in which the new age of participant journalists pursue a story.