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“Portlandia” Star Fred Armisen Loves Him Some “Red Dead Redemption”

“Portlandia” Star Fred Armisen Loves Him Some “Red Dead Redemption” (photo)

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In this weekend’s New York Times, actor/comedian/musician Fred Armisen talks about his Sunday rituals, part of which includes chunks of time devoted to Rockstar Games’ hit western. Armisen–one-half of the ThunderAnt sketch duo that powers “Portlandia”–owns up to a significant relationship with “RDR,” saying:

I play Red Dead Redemption — it comes from the same company that made Grand Theft Auto. I have a part in it: I’m the pharmacist. But I play it because it’s a beautiful game. The words “video game” seem a teeny way to describe it: it’s pure art, this whole universe of intense little interactions and consequences. It’s relaxing because it’s stressful. You get yourself into a physical panic whenever you play.

I didn’t even know that Armisen played that pharmacist character, but Rockstar’s games tend to sneak in a lot of unheralded, stealth cameos. Samuel L. Jackson voiced a crooked cop in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and all kinds of cult-fave musicians–Femi Kuti, DJ Premier, Roy Ayers and Iggy Pop–showed up as DJs in “Grand Theft Auto IV.” Speaking of “GTA IV,” SNL celebrated its release with this Weekend Update skit with Armisen playing the game’s infamous Vlad character.

Jokes aside, Armisen’s comments hit at the allure of “Red Dead Redemption,” as well as many of the best video games, right on the head. Master craftsmen like the folks at Rockstar transcend mainstream stereotypes of video games and deliver interactive fiction that stitches together emotional crossroads, reluctant violence and player agency into a “whole universe.” All Rockstar needs to do now is a put a bird on “L.A. Noire” and it’d be perfect.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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