'Portlandia' Parodies NPR, 'A Prairie Home Companion' - Rolling Stone
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‘Portlandia’ Parodies NPR, ‘A Prairie Home Companion’

Comedy series will return for its fourth season on February 27th

In Portlandia, you don’t tailgate outside of a football game, kicking back brewskies while decked out in oversized jerseys. As this hilarious new sketch – a preview of the IFC series’ fourth season – can attest, the best kind of tailgating happens outside of A Prairie Home Companion shows, swapping stories about Garrison Keillor while sipping piping-hot tea.

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The sketch opens with a flurry of marching band drums as recurring characters Malcolm (Fred Armisen) and Kris (Carrie Brownstein) set up their ridiculously dorky tailgate spread outside of a Portland arena. Joined by a group of fellow middle-aged Prairie fans (let’s say “Prairie dogs”), the couple launch into a spree of sidesplitting one-liners. One of the best bits finds Malcolm sharing a story about a show in Seattle that found none other than NPR host Terry Gross gracing the stage. (As Kris notes, other people in their row fainted and, naturally, “peed their pants.”)

Elsewhere, the group listen to NPR commentary about the South American economy while standing in a semi-circle, talking about seeing Peter Segal in person (“He looks exactly like what you think he looks like,” says Malcolm) and praising the virtuosity of the Old Crow Medicine Show. (“It’s hardcore soothing,” says Kris, while Malcolm tackles a vocal version of a bluegrass bassline.)

But the funniest moment of the sketch is also the most educational, as Malcolm shares the secret to crafting to the perfect soup. “You want a really low flame,” he explains. “You want it off.” Too exhausted from all the wild pre-show partying, Malcolm eventually falls asleep in his green-friendly vehicle (but not before making a sleepy pass at his wife).

Portlandia‘s fourth season premieres on February 27th on IFC. It promises a high-profile roster of guest stars, including Kirsten Dunst, Olivia Wilde, TV on the Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and Armisen’s former Saturday Night Live colleagues Vanessa Bayer and Maya Rudolph.


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