Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Steve Buscemi- Photo Credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC

The Year in Fred

Fred Armisen’s 5 Funniest Moments of 2015

Fred Armisen returns to Portlandia starting January 21st at 10P on IFC.

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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

Paul Reubens Weirdos 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

Dronez

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.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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