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Fred Armisen brings hipster 'Portlandia' to New York

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Photo Credit: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (Danielle Mathias/IFC)

While it may be 3,000 miles away, the city of Portland, Ore., as parodied by comedian/musicians Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in their IFC sketch-comedy show "Portlandia," should be familiar to anyone who has spent time in any of Brooklyn's hipper neighborhoods.

Described as a place "where young people go to retire," Armisen and Brownstein's Portland features self-absorbed feminist bookstore owners, a bass-playing mayor and a couple that's just a little too eco-conscious.

amNewYork spoke with Armisen as he prepared to bring "Portlandia" from the small screen to the stage.

What can people expect from "Portlandia: The Tour"? We'll play some music - songs we like and maybe some stuff from the show; we'll show some video of upcoming episodes; and some of our friends will come up and play music with us, too.

Will there be any live comedy sketches? It won't be a sketch per se, but there may be a quick visit with two of the characters [from the TV show].

Are you surprised at how popular the show has become? We were very surprised. At first, we just wanted to make [online] videos. Then we just wanted to make a pilot. Then we were surprised to find out we were doing a series.

As a New Yorker, why did you set the show in Portland? Don't we have just as many of these types here? Portland is where Carrie lives, but I've experienced those communities in Chicago, in Wicker Park. In New York, it's Williamsburg and more and more in Bushwick. In Los Angeles, it's Echo Park. And I'm sure there's many more.

Were you worried that people in Portland might not like the way they were being portrayed? I wasn't worried, because we do it with love. I love it there - I love the way people are and the way the city is. I don't portray anyone I don't like.


If you go: "Portlandia: The Tour" is at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday at 9 p.m., 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg, 718-486-5400, $30.

The tour hits the Bowery Ballroom Saturday at 9 p.m., 6 Delancey St., 212-533-2111, $30.

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