Throw out all your kale and swiss chard, because there’s a new vegetable in town — if your town is Portlandia, that is.
In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, we asked Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein to give us the lowdown on their favorite sketches and characters from the IFC show’s past three seasons. And with the fourth season premiere coming up next week (Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET), we also cajoled them into discussing an upcoming series of sketches that’s sure to become a fan favorite: “The Celery Incident,” which you can watch in its entirety below.
It stars Steve Buscemi as a down-on-his luck salesman trying hard to get the humble vegetable’s brand to take off; think of it as Glengarry Glen Ross meets Gil from The Simpsons. Take a look at the clip below, and read on to see what Fred and Carrie had to say about the sketch.
“There’s many different things that we like about it,” Armisen said. “First of all, Steve Buscemi is perfect! When I texted him to see if he’d do it, he really liked it because by coincidence, he was just talking to somebody about how much he liked celery and how he’s trying to include it in his cooking.”
As for how they decided on celery, Brownstein says, “You can really personify celery. Like, when we were trying to think of human analogs to the vegetables, you can really see celery as this outmoded, old-fashioned sales guy who’s just down on his luck. So it seemed like the right one to create this whole story around.
“Once we started thinking of it like that, it became very easy and fun to write,” she continued. “It just kept escalating, coming up with the John Grisham ending. It’s so ridiculous. And I feel like our DP was so excited when we were shooting all of it, because he was able to light everything differently. He really wanted to light it like a thriller, all shadowy. We had never really done that genre before.”
So do they hope that celery takes off after people see the episode? “That would be a dream come true,” Armisen said. “It really would. Because it’s one thing to have any kind of an effect on entertainment, but to have an effect on menus and food?”
Brownstein, however, was a little less excited: “I don’t know how much celery I can eat.”