Fred Armisen talks working with his friends and 'Portlandia' Emmy nods
Fred Armisen is everywhere — Broad City, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers — and now, he can add being on 2014’s Emmy nominations list to his resume.
Armisen was nominated for his acting in IFC sketch comedy Portlandia, as well as his work as part of the show’s writing team. “Even though I’ve heard the expression before, I really do truly mean it when I say it really is an honor,” Armisen told EW. “It’s like, I love TV, and I love the history of TV, so the true word for being part of that community or whatever it is, it’s a sense of honor.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What were you doing when you found out?
FRED ARMISEN: I was just waking up. I’m in Portland right now, I’m on my way to work. I was just waking up and I looked at my phone and there were all these texts and it was really nice, it’s very exciting. I love TV, as you guys love TV. I’m a fan of it all. It’s just very nice. It’s very exciting.
What was your favorite scene to shoot this past season for Portlandia?
There was an episode called “Celery.” It was about the vegetable celery, trying to get it to become a popular vegetable at restaurants. That really felt like it was bigger than us. We got ambitious when we were shooting it, but everything came together very nicely. So I would say definitely that was fun to shoot. Carrie Brownstein is great in it. I love watching her in it.
Portlandia is known for its kooky characters. If you could be friends with any of the characters you’ve played on that show, which would you choose?
I would want to be friends with Candace from the feminist bookstore, Candace and Toni. Those would be some very good and loyal friends.
You seem to always be busy—you’re on Late Night, you’re always popping up on other shows. When do you sleep?
I get very, very little sleep. I’m up late, and I wake up pretty early, and yeah, I like being busy because I really enjoy doing it. I don’t have a jokey answer in that I actually really, feel really lucky. I feel really lucky to get to do comedy, and music, at all. I want to do as much as I can. The other added bonus to all that, there’s the act of actually doing comedy, and there’s this other thing where I get to hang out with my best friends. I do this show with Carrie, my best friend in my life, then Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I get to hang out with Andy [Samberg], then Seth [Meyers] on Seth’s show. It’s like, these are people I love. And to spend the day with them, what could be better than that?
And we’re asking everybody this today, what show—
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. What do you mean, “everybody?” Are you telling me I’m not your only interview of the day?
There are others. I’m so sorry to break that to you.
Are you still going to do this interview?
You can ask your question, but I’m going to think about whether or not I’m going to answer. [Laughs]
I can deal with that. What show, on or off the air, old or new, would you give your own special Emmy to just because you love it so much?
SCTV. This Canadian show, Second City TV, that Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy, and Andrea Martin, all these people were on it. I really grew up on this show that really was very experimental and very funny, and John Candy was on it, and it’s this sketch show that’s just really, really brilliant. So that’s the first thing that pops into my head. That’s me not even thinking about. That show will always just shine bright throughout my whole life.