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The 10 Funniest People, Videos and Things of the Coming Year

'Portlandia,' Hannibal Buress, the Onion News Network and more

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'Portlandia'

Portland, Oregon is almost too easy to satirize as a kind of real-life Stuff White People Like: It's a land where everyone's in bands, eats only locally grown food they buy at the food co-op, works in coffeeshops or bookstores, lives with several roommates, has tattoos and wears glasses. At least, that's the premise of Portlandia, the new IFC sketch-comedy series debuting Jan. 21 from Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen (SNL's Lorne Michaels is the executive producer) and former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein, who's lived in Portland for 10 years. In the first episode, Fred and Carrie travel to a farm 30 miles outside of Portland to find the farm where the chicken they were about to order in a restaurant was raised (where Jason Sudekis, in a hilarious cameo, plays a polygamous farmer); become overwhelmed by techno-geekery; and reprise one of the sketches, "Feminist Bookstore," from their popular YouTube series ThunderAnt—this time with an appearance by Steve Buscemi as a customer who just really, really wants to use the bathroom. "It's almost all improvised," says Brownstein. "A lot of the characters come to life when we're in costume. Steve just invented that person on the spot and we played off him." Did they ever worry that Portlanders would take offense at their portrayal? "We come at it without thinking we're making fun of anybody," says Armisen. "I don't think we would do any character or person we don't like — because they're a little bit like us. We never think of it as targets or bringing down anything. It's all stuff I really like about Portland."

Doree Shafrir

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