Hey guys, we're at the reddit office in NYC with Victoria bright and early. How are you?

Season 5 of Portlandia premieres tomorrow night, Thursday, Jan. 8 at 10pm ET/PT on IFC... and for a sneak preview you can watch this clip.

Ask us anything!



playing with Adventure Time figure

We are really proud of this season, and it premieres this Thursday on IFC. I love reddit. I think it's so much fun. And I veryveryverymuch thank everybody for asking questions and being interested in the show at all!

Carrie I second Fred's enthusiasm and gratitude. And it's always a pleasure to get to talk with our fans. And we appreciate you so much!

Comments: 2483 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

Fred_Armisen1387 karma

Can I put up a question for the /r/science section? Do we know more about history now or did they know more about history better back then because they were closer to the time? In other words, what was a history lesson like in the year 1450?

Like, do we know more because we've unearthed more FACT, or did they know more because they were closer to the time?

I'll just leave that out there.

terattt577 karma

Calling /r/AskHistorians! I'm assuming they all get notified when I link this. Otherwise, we're kind of outta luck.

Fred_Armisen427 karma

That'd be great.

Fred_Armisen1130 karma

How about this: who knows more about the pyramids. US, or people 100 years after the pyramids? The people for whom it was more recent? Like, I actually don't know the answer.

CarrieBrownstein940 karma

I think this involves 2 different kinds of knowing. One is experiential, and one is forensic. One has the benefit of time, which allows perspective, and critical analysis, and one has the benefit of oral history and tradition that feels very recent.

Fred_Armisen790 karma

Cuz there must've been a million stories that just evaporated because of time.

targus_targus311 karma

i know a lot about the food pyramid.

Fred_Armisen563 karma

Does that still exist? it seems like something from the 1950's.

the_danny944 karma

Do people yell cacao at you in the streets?

Fred_Armisen1324 karma


It's actually very nice, very sweet.

People will also post photos on instagram just saying Cacao. Like, all the time.

Pope_of_Fear889 karma

Portland is suing pbr. Is it a hipster civil war?

Fred_Armisen984 karma

I am not aware of this.

I will research it.

wikais641 karma

What would it take to get a Liz and Liz Publizity crossover with Toni and Candice at Women and Women First?

CarrieBrownstein471 karma

We'd do it in a second!

CarrieBrownstein411 karma

Toni & Candice want to do publicity for those guys.

Fred_Armisen416 karma

Yeah, they would want to be their publicists.

dunegig617 karma

When and where will I receive this time-honoured award for being up on the west coast?

Fred_Armisen939 karma

This message is an official CERTIFICATE!

CarrieBrownstein667 karma

Awarding you for your efforts and loyalty!

Fred_Armisen694 karma

Print it out, sign our names...

Fred_Armisen563 karma

Fred-o-vision: http://imgur.com/4NVJqXG

mrburrowdweller375 karma

Can you tell me a bit more about my chicken?

Fred_Armisen616 karma

Your chicken was... a friendly sort.

A dominant chicken in the chicken pecking order.

Why don't we give that one to you?

CarrieBrownstein561 karma

He was raised by cats.

Fred_Armisen463 karma

I love those "animal friends" videos. Did you ever see the one of the Tiger & the Bear who are friends? They're adults now.

Monkeys with cats is interesting.

CarrieBrownstein380 karma

It always seem so precarious. They don't know.

Fred_Armisen340 karma

We're overly careful with them. But cats don't care.

BucketInTheSand361 karma

Hi! I'm a huge fan of you both. If you ever visit Melbourne, Australia, the drinks are on me :)

Fred: If Nina were to be proposed to by Lance, how would Nina prefer it to be done?

Carrie: If you had to be neighbours with one or two of the show's characters, who would you like to be neighbours with and why?

Both: Which 'Portlandia' skit took the longest to film due to an inability to hold back laughter?

  • Caitlin.

Fred_Armisen742 karma

I have a definite one and that is "No Olympics in Portland." We were supposed to run down the street with fake torches, saying "No Olympics in Portland", and for some reason we just kept on laughing.

It went to the level where the crew didn't find it charming. It was a simple thing to shoot, really simple.

CarrieBrownstein474 karma

That's very accurate.

Fred_Armisen392 karma

I don't know why.

Fred_Armisen359 karma

Coincidentally, this is something that happens in season 5. And I'll just say that it's all about... making a video of a proposal.

twominutemeal335 karma

You guys are basically the best humans. In life, how can I find the Fred to my Carrie or vice versa?

Fred_Armisen805 karma

I would say that person's probably already in your life.

That's like a Wizard of Oz answer, right?

stirfried324 karma

What does Kyle Maclachlan smell like?

Fred_Armisen471 karma


A little aftershave. Very clean.

rizzobeth309 karma

Hi! Big fan. Once I was in a high school play and I had the opening monologue. I forgot all of the words and it was awful. Has anything like that ever happened to either of you?

Fred_Armisen1245 karma

I was never asked to do a monologue at your school, so...

But I'm open to doing it.

DemureDuck309 karma

If I saw you on the street and confessed my love for you, would it creep you out?

CarrieBrownstein834 karma

If it involved bodily fluids, yes. Otherwise, no.

Fred_Armisen945 karma

I'm always fine with it.

turangaleah307 karma

Hey Fred and Carrie! My question for you both: do you have a favorite costume/wig?

Fred_Armisen651 karma

For some reason, I like the... eco-terrorists.

Fred_Armisen591 karma

Or the gutter punks? A hat with a little wisp of hair?

pearlbullets304 karma

Fred, how and when did you know guitar playing Carrie Brownstein was a comical genius?

Fred_Armisen420 karma

Immediately. As soon as we started coming with ideas, and performing, I saw it immediately.

terattt250 karma

If you were stranded on a desert island, would you still make Portlandia from there? What about if it were just a regular island, like Oahu or something? Is this a dumb thing to ask?

Fred_Armisen508 karma

It's a very, very intelligent question.

We get asked this all. The. Time.

We get asked at airports...

CarrieBrownstein479 karma

My doctor asked me just the other day if i was on a desert island, would I still do PORTLANDIA...

The FBI called me the other day with that question...

Fred_Armisen441 karma

The President asked me once, through his advisors...

I would classify that as non-dumb.

CarrieBrownstein379 karma

I would classify it as "non-dumb."

Fred_Armisen511 karma

I think it's an innocent question. A sweet question. An American question.

And I think we have to continue with the AMA, so I can't get to the answer yet, but some other time.

technicalityNDBO239 karma

Did you get to see that new Michael Keaton movie....uhh...what's it called?

CarrieBrownstein423 karma

BIRDMAN! We loved it!

Fred_Armisen420 karma

2 Thumbs up! 4 thumbs up!

ChrisTheCatMan211 karma

Who do you think is the sexiest Trailblazer?

Fred_Armisen323 karma

Robin Lopez.

Wierdmin201 karma

If you had to enter into a long term sexual relationship with a plant, which would you choose?

Fred_Armisen400 karma

I feel like a venus fly trap is the way to go for me, right?

snappsny190 karma

Will catnap be making a comeback this season?

Fred_Armisen235 karma

No, they don't appear this season, but someday we'll do it again.

karmatsunami85185 karma

Voodoo Donuts, what's your usual pastry? If you don't eat there, then please recommend a really amazing place to get pizza in Portland.

Fred_Armisen316 karma

There's a chocolate bacon one that's really popular, but it's actually really good.

CarrieBrownstein297 karma

I like Pip's Donuts, and Blue Star Donuts. Even though I love Voodoo, and we love Tres, who's on the show this year.

Fred_Armisen244 karma

I thought it was "Trace."

CarrieBrownstein249 karma

And Ken's Artisan Pizza is great in Portland.

Fred_Armisen778 karma

I wish my name was "Artisan." Fred Artisan.

CarrieBrownstein590 karma

And Carrie Brownstone.

Fred_Armisen609 karma

I live in a brownstone in New York, in the village...

I'm Fred Artisan, and I create!

DemureDuck175 karma

Why is it so early?

Fred_Armisen632 karma

Because somewhere in history, somebody decided the morning was a good time to work. I don't know why. We should all band together as humans and say We want to work at 10! Why are we doing this to ourselves!

cooleyebrows162 karma

Hi, I'm a huge fan of Portlandia! My question is, Fred and Carrie, what does the word artisan mean to you?

CarrieBrownstein835 karma

Well, it's Fred's new last name.

Fred_Armisen377 karma

I'm going to adopt it as a name.

But "artisan" means... made slowly and carefully. Somebody who makes something slowly and carefully, with their bare hands. If it was chocolate, it would with powdered latex gloves.

ydaltac162 karma

What do you smell like? Together and individually?

Fred_Armisen262 karma

I don't even know what I smell like.

What does Carrie smell like?

I'm having a hard time answering that.

Fred_Armisen291 karma

I'll just say this: i always worry what I smell like. I want to smell good, I want to smell clean, but you know... sometimes it's 7 AM, and we're shooting...

CarrieBrownstein494 karma

Fred smells good.

Fred_Armisen497 karma

Carrie smells great.

Inglourious_Ryan148 karma

Hi Fred and Carrie,

My fiancée and I are going to Portland on our honeymoon in June. What are some of your favorite activities and places to eat in or around the city? Oh, and and and and and and and and and and are marionberry pancakes really that good?

CarrieBrownstein200 karma

Favorite places to eat: I like... Tasty and Sons. Lardo. Gruner.

Fred_Armisen171 karma

I like Toro Bravo... what else is good? So many places?

CarrieBrownstein152 karma

Smallware, Luce... that to me, is like my new favorite place.

Fred_Armisen123 karma

So simple.

Fred_Armisen193 karma

And I'm sure you can get marionberry pancakes somewhere around town. They are real berries.

Michaeltlasley139 karma

Favorite place to hike in the US?

Fred_Armisen610 karma

Highway 95. In the median.

CarrieBrownstein545 karma

I like to hike up and down Fred all day.

Fred_Armisen345 karma

And then I have to move.

CarrieBrownstein468 karma

That sounds sexual, but it's not.

Fred_Armisen602 karma

I have a very flat back. It's a good workout.

sailormono137 karma

There has been some weird explosion in a lab and suddenly both of you have morphed into one of your Portlandia characters for the rest of your life! Who are you?

Fred_Armisen209 karma

Boy, rest of your life?

I feel like... like Dave, from Captain Dave, is probably best at taking care of himself through the rest of his life, like medically, his house, he'll keep getting new things...

sweatnap134 karma

At a New Years party last week I was showing off my Call The Doctor record and dropped it into an ice chest full of water. Will it still work?

CarrieBrownstein374 karma

I feel like you're not sharing the entire story.

Fred_Armisen377 karma

Like "Do you want to see my record?" and then WHOA! it fell into an ice bucket!

lifecraze122 karma

Have either of you ever actually put a bird on anything?

Fred_Armisen321 karma

I did, by mistake. I didn't realize - this was early on when Carrie had this idea for the sketch, and then I laughed, and then I went home and realized that my doormat was a black raven motif... and I felt embarrassed. I was like "Those dummies, putting birds on things" and then I realized i totally bought into it.

CarrieBrownstein229 karma

I can honestly say I haven't. I've been living bird-free for a long time now.

Fred_Armisen172 karma

That's true. I don't think you have a bird on anything.

monkeybuttsarecool115 karma

i love you guys but i cringed so hard watching the both of you on rachel ray! i wanted to know out of the both of you who can actually manage to make an edible meal?

Fred_Armisen177 karma

Um... I think we had tremendous help from Rachael. Remember those little toasty things with the eggs? I want to say after we shot that episode, we actually did eat those eggs toast things. And I was actually hungry, so we ate it.

CarrieBrownstein292 karma

I agree with Fred, that the only one of us that made an edible meal was Rachael Ray and her crew.

I made an edible meal the other morning when I poured milk into a cereal bowl.

Fred_Armisen459 karma

I've done that wrong before.

lvest112 karma

Do you have any personal favorite skits? I really enjoy the baseball team tryouts.

CarrieBrownstein202 karma

I was just talking with Kerry Dornetto, who is one of our writers, and we were both saying that the premiere episode of Season 5 - the story of Toni & Candace - is the episode we are most proud of having written.

Fred_Armisen143 karma

I like Carrie's quote for that, so I am just going to leave it at that.

cstviz108 karma

It seems like a lot of cities tend to have their own Portland-esque neighborhoods (the Village in New York, Jamaica Plain in Boston, etc.). What’s the most similar place to Portland you guys have been to?

CarrieBrownstein223 karma

For me, it's definitely Williamsburg and Silverlake.

Fred_Armisen195 karma

And Echo Park!

CarrieBrownstein266 karma

There are parts of Portland that feel so "Portland-y."

Fred_Armisen655 karma

Sometimes I drive down the street in Portland, and I say This place is SOOO Portland.

empossible107 karma

Out of all the guests you've had on Portlandia, who surprised you the most with what they brought to the skit and why?

CarrieBrownstein231 karma

Well, Jello Biafra from The Dead Kennedys for his dedication and seriousness about the craft...

Fred_Armisen366 karma

I think we're in agreement on that.

But Jeff Goldblum is the most entertaining on the set. He really keeps everyone laughing, and is just... he's really great.

mccostco106 karma

If each of you were a mixed drink, what would be in it, and would you drink it?

Fred_Armisen307 karma

I would be water and ice cubes.


It would be called a "Frozen Marga-fredda."

I would not drink it. That's for other people.

CarrieBrownstein188 karma

I think tequila, soda, lime, ice... laughs

And it would be called...?

Fred_Armisen373 karma

The "Sleater Gin-y."

But there's no gin in it! That's the catch!

aroad106 karma

Hi, I'm a huge fan of the show the new season cannot come any sooner. My question is for Fred:

Will this new season have any cameos from you're former SNL alum?

Fred_Armisen250 karma

Oh yes! Vanessa Bayer, and Seth Meyers....and I think that's it!

FatalFettuccine104 karma

It's the first day of classes at the University of Michigan; what advice can I get from Candice and Toni to help me succeed?

Fred_Armisen295 karma

"GO TO THE STUDENT CENTER... and march around, with your fist in the air, all day until dusk!"

SupermarketSweep93 karma

How awesome is Kyle MacLachlan?

CarrieBrownstein142 karma

Very awesome.

Fred_Armisen153 karma

He's a dream.

Funny, thoughtful, really seems to enjoy life.

roxaboxen89 karma


CarrieBrownstein207 karma

When I was 15, I worked the concession stand and took tickets at a movie theater. It was a Regal Cinemas or something.

Fred_Armisen210 karma

And I delivered newspapers and worked at Taco Bell. I was 15 or 16? Newspapers was 15 or 14 even, I can't remember? Somewhere like 14,15,16, somewhere in there was Taco Bell. Taco Bell must've been 16.

Fred_Armisen141 karma


audiense79 karma

Hi Carrie and Fred what should I eat for breakfast?

CarrieBrownstein206 karma

I like cereal with almond milk, with blueberries or raspberries, and coffee.

Fred_Armisen223 karma

I was going to say GRANOLA with almond milk - hopefully nothing too sugary- also with blueberries, and almond milk, and really strong coffee.

vcollignon68 karma

What kind of bikes do you ride?

CarrieBrownstein137 karma

I have a Cannondale Road Bike.

Fred_Armisen115 karma

I have a Republic one.

ObscureSaint59 karma

What surprised you most about the real Portland?

Fred_Armisen132 karma


What surprised me the most about the REAL Portland?

I would say... the shipping world. That there are these... ships that come in, that have to be very light, because the river is so shallow, so there are these tremendous ships that kind of go into - just down the river - I forget that Portland is named for that whole world of ships and shipping. I just never thought that would be a part of it.

ShoottheJ33 karma

What's your favorite type of cookie?

Fred_Armisen60 karma

I gotta say... chocolate chip with peanuts. Like peanut butter chocolate chip?

notjane13 karma

Do y'all like cheese?

CarrieBrownstein18 karma


Fred_Armisen17 karma


Austin448811 karma

Which of the characters you play are directly based off someone you've met/known?

Fred_Armisen15 karma

I would say the recording studio guy, whose name is "Gavin"... actually there's an H in there, he's based off of a recording studio engineer in Los Angeles by the name of "Woody." So that one's based on a real person.

Flossgood10 karma

What were your favorite hip hop CDs of the year?

Fred_Armisen30 karma

I would say Death Grips, but I'm not sure if that was this year or last year.

Thegreatjaygatz9 karma

What are your respective spirit animals and which one would win in an all out brawl between the two?

Fred_Armisen11 karma

For me, it's the calculator.

And in a brawl? Carrie would win.

CarrieBrownstein19 karma

Mine would be a giraffe. I would carry around Fred and do math, adding up all the ways I love him.

Fred_Armisen8 karma


bobbythecorky9 karma

As both (talented) humorist, writer and artist, what's your main inspiration in the absurd creative process of Portlandia ?

FYI you have a huge fanbase in France ;) Greetings from Cannes !

Fred_Armisen14 karma

Hello France!

Fred_Armisen15 karma

It's nice to know we have fans in France.

I would say our inspiration is day-to-day life and the writers just compare notes with each other - we have 5 writers - and whatever resonates, we go with.