Hi! I am going to try to answer questions. I'll try. Here are some I saw already:

-What was your main inspiration for Portlandia? Working on projects with Carrie. That turned into making videos which then turned into the show. Our surroundings in Portland became the setting. -How much of your material do you write for your SNL skits? I write with other writers there. It's the most fun, getting to collaborate with smart and funny people. -Is it amazing playing the most well-known parody of the President? I love doing it.
-Are most Portlandia characters based on people you've met? For some reason, it's the other way around. We make people up, then somehow we see them walking around. Or biking around. -Who have been the best hosts on SNL while you've been on the show? So many and for different reasons. I like ex-SNL cast members. Like, Molly Shannon for example. I get star struck. I watched them on this show. 10

Comments: 2330 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

Acenate913 karma

Ugh, this kinda guy's doing an IAmA? IAmA's are OVER!

rattus771160 karma

Someone is commenting? Commenting is OVER!

ironic_nachos325 karma

Will Candance and Toni ever make a sale?

rattus77489 karma

Only to each other.

informedtexan307 karma

Hi Fred. I, of course, love Portlandia. My question is, why haven't we seen more of the little old lady from the Hide and Seek sketch? If you don't mind my saying so, she stole every scene she was in!

rattus77385 karma

She is back in another episode. Her name is Ellen Bloodworth and she is so funny.

rattus77292 karma

I'll do more another time

schnauzieslol264 karma

Does Carrie have as impressive a vocabulary in real life as she does in written things? She kinda makes me feel dumb in a good way.

rattus77425 karma

It's the same for me. I feel like a caveman

rattus77225 karma

Hi everyone! I have to leave in a few minutes. Thank you all so much, F

ceanders205 karma

Hey Fred, thanks for doing this!

Portlandia is so, SO good at absurdist comedy, even as it relies so heavily on parody - but are there any ideas that you guys have had for stories or vignettes on the show that you thought you wouldn't be able to pull off, or that you wouldn't be able to do on TV for whatever reason?

only_solipsist735 karma

I'm sorry to Interrupt but I had that exact same question

rattus77383 karma

That made me laugh!

rattus77195 karma

Yeah. Sometimes we can't think of a good enough idea for it. We wanted to do something about the tram system in Portland. But there was no way to do it. How do you end it? What is it? So we just left it.

rattus7760 karma

and no prob!

Judas250200 karma

Hey Fred! I'm a Portland native and am wondering if you have taken part in Zoobombing yet?

rattus77185 karma

No! What is it?

Walrusamongus194 karma

How did you manage to squeeze all the filming for the show into the two nice days we get in Portland per year? :P

rattus77307 karma

It's rainier than you think in those shots.

only_solipsist177 karma

Have you met Aliki?

rattus77233 karma

He is stunning

teachingelder175 karma

Which character on 30 Rock is based on you?

rattus77234 karma

Oh wow. Interesting question. I don't think any of them.

pbjilly170 karma

More skits about dogs-dogs are treated better than people here.

rattus77200 karma

There's one coming up soon

Eustis144 karma

Me Scusi, me scusi!

That's the best thing I've ever seen. I desperately want to do it to someone and hope that they catch the reference before nailing me in the balls/face.

Ninja Edit: I guess I should ask a question. What's been your favorite project to work on?

rattus77116 karma

Portlandia. But also SNL

harmala138 karma

I loved your "scene" with Jeff Tweedy in Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" documentary. How did that come about?

rattus77174 karma

Total crazy luck. I was opening for Jeff on this tour. And that director, Sam, was just this guy with a video camera. I did not take him seriously at all. Yes, good luck with your movie. A few months later it was for me the first time I was on a big screen. That movie is so good.

[deleted]137 karma

Mr. Armisen, would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or fifty duck-sized horses?

rattus77162 karma

The fifty

burroughsfan101 karma

Fred! Were you at the latest Kills concert a few months back at the Crystal Ballroom here in Portland? I thought I saw you walking by, but I wasn't sure if it was you. Killer concert too!

rattus77112 karma


hobbbz97 karma

What parts of your upbringing turned you into the comedian that you are today?

rattus77196 karma

Mad magazine, Benny Hill, SNL, my dad, George Carlin, Steve Martin, Martin Lawrence.

[deleted]90 karma

How much longer do you plan on staying with Saturday Night Live? Any big plans after?

rattus77152 karma

I never think ahead too far. I will say that I love it. But every time I try to plan things out, something completely different happens. After? Movies, more Portlandia, and another type of TV show maybe?

tylerblack8489 karma

What bands are hot right now?

rattus77225 karma

Youth Lagoon

lindsayadult42 karma

I'm curious actually... what kind of music do you (Fred) enjoy?

rattus77145 karma

Youth Lagoon, Harry Nilsson, Big Audio Dynamite, Liturgy

forgotpassword7885 karma

How do you remain so awesome?

rattus77174 karma

You are very nice to say that

[deleted]74 karma

Who is one guest star who you most want to appear in Portlandia?

rattus77284 karma


galliso272 karma

Who is your favorite guest star on this season of Portlandia?

rattus77181 karma

Kyle is always great, but now he's more of a regular cast member. The Battlestar Galactica cast were so cool. I couldn't believe I met them. Steve Jones too.

lindsayadult66 karma

How did you become friends with Carrie Brownstein? What inspired you two to work together? How do you feel when you see skits like "Shit Girls Say," which totally feels like it should be on Portlandia.... LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

rattus77141 karma

Thank you!
I saw that! So funny.

Carrie and I had many mutual friends. Then she came to an SNL years ago. And right away we were like 'we are friends'

exoskull61 karma

where are all of the stoner characters hiding?

rattus77140 karma

Behind a bush

UlisesBrambila59 karma

Who are the guests for this second season?! Keep up the good work!

rattus77186 karma

let's see..Jeff Goldblum, Miranda July, Ed Begley Jr., Steve Jones, Johnny Marr, Andy Samberg, Amber Tamblyn, Penny Marshall, Tim Robbins, Jack McBrayer, Kristen Wiig

buildingsonfire58 karma

Top 5 80's Hardcore songs?

rattus77202 karma

Pay To Cum Salad Days Rise Above Brick Wall Holiday In Cambodia

hg_swell57 karma

I think I read about this somewhere, but with Portlandia on tour now, would you ever consider doing a show in the same vein of various cities around the country?

rattus7788 karma

Yes. We are trying. But we have to work on other things too. We'll do more.

dashtyle54 karma

Who's the funniest person you've ever gotten to work with? Who are your biggest comedic influences? Do you ever wish your music career had panned out?

rattus77117 karma

Kristen Wiig. Jason too.
And influences..I answered above.
But also... Many SNL casts. Howard Stern. Monty Python. SCTV

bezko54 karma

About Carrie... can you pickle that?

rattus77112 karma


dacos9252 karma

Would there ever be some Portlandia-esque characters appearing on SNL skits?

rattus77119 karma

Maybe. Some characters can live in both worlds

gaspumpkin49 karma

do you have any scrap metal that i can have?

rattus7755 karma

of course

threeseashells49 karma

So this can't be authentic, right?

If it is, I would like you to know that I would, indeed, eat the cat poop.

edit: Verified, so, that's good.

rattus7793 karma

That was a punishment! Not for you!

mappyman45 karma

Why would you say I seem to find more fans of the show outside of Portland than people actually living here?

rattus77199 karma

People don't have cable there?

gfunktastic43 karma


rattus77121 karma

They were starting to do comedy. They've done a great job I think

catbustime43 karma

do you live in portland? where do you recommend to visit?

rattus77107 karma

Only four months out of the year.


avapepper39 karma

Is Lorne Michaels really Mephistopheles, and did you have to sign your soul over to him in a contract signed in blood? If so, when is the contract up and what's next?

If not, does he intimidate the shit out of you anyway?

If so, or if not, can you do a decent impression of him? And would you dare?

Also, the Wieden + Kennedy sketch was the best thing ever.

rattus7758 karma

He is a kind genius. I am here because of him. I loved doing that W&K one

[deleted]33 karma

I based my username off of your show. How much of the show is improvisation?

rattus7780 karma

Aw thanks! I guess like 60%?

duck_jb31 karma

I just want to say that Portlandia has totally tainted (in the very best of ways) the running commentary in my head. I now try to slip in lines and references into daily conversation, even if I am the only one who gets them, just to amuse myself. My questions is, what was the "Put a Bird On It" and Jennifer Lawson (thebloggess.com) issue like from your side? Because the ending of that whole deal... awesome and you got another fan over here for life.

rattus7735 karma

Yaaay! Good. Thank you.

[deleted]27 karma

How did you start your comedy career?

rattus7771 karma

By accident. I started making tapes of me interviewing musicians.

Shut_Up_Dude23 karma

How did you and Carrie get together originally (where did you meet)?

Do you enjoy writing or acting on SNL/Portlandia more?

How did you get in touch with Wilco/Jeff Tweedy?

Love your work, by the way. You're an inspiration to me!

rattus7747 karma

We had mutual friends but met at an SNL party Both I used to work for his wife.

brucegoosejuice22 karma

What's your favorite character to play in SNL and Portlandia?

How much does your interest in music play into Portlandia?

rattus7757 karma

SNL: garth and kat PDXIA: Candace A lot. For sure

WeatherResize19 karma

What amount of work goes into developing a skit to be put into production? Does your inspiration come from observing locals?

rattus7738 karma

A lot. Writing, scripting everything, casting, sets, sound, music clearance, there is so much that must be done.
And yes.

Buckbeak6919 karma

I saw that you played drums on some songs for Les Savy Fav's album Let's Stay Friends, do you have any music related projects planned for the future?

rattus7728 karma

Maybe another jens hannemann dvd