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The most absurd disguises of Gene Parmesan


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A staple of “Arrested Development” is the writers’ penchant for running jokes. One of their greatest and most underrated gags is the use of Lucille’s private investigator Gene Parmasan. He was originally hired to find out if George Sr. ever had an affair but never found anything. So he might not be that much of a detective, but much to Lucille’s delight, he is a master of disguise who pops up when you least expect him. He disappeared throughout season 3 but it’s been said he’ll be back to surprise us in season 4. To prepare ourselves, we’ve compiled a list of Gene’s most absurd disguises.

1. The Bear Suit

Gene surprises Lucille yet again (though she knew it!!!) as a bear delivering balloons. To be fair, at least his face is covered in this one.

Photo courtesy of FOX Television

2. The Mexican

Gene follows Michael to find GOB in Mexico. The only thing hiding his identity is a sombrero, but Michael still doesn't realize it's him until GOB has been tackled to the ground

Photo courtesy of FOX Television

3. The Doctor

Bad news! It's not a doctor, it's Gene. While Lindsay and Maeby rolled their eyes at the obvious decoy, Lucille was still tickled at the reveal of her favorite private investigator.

Photo courtesy of FOX Television

4. The firefighter

Gene Parmesan proves he's ready to audition as any civil servant you may need when he shows up as a fireman to update the Bluth's on George Sr.

Photo courtesy of FOX Television

5. The Janitor

We first meet Gene when he dresses as a janitor, with a mustache over his own mustache as his only disguise. It is by far his most absurd attempt at hiding his identity

Photo courtesy of FOX Television

What is your favorite Gene Parmesan disguise? What do you hope he shows up as in Season 4? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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