Home Culture Culture Lists

20 Best ‘Portlandia’ Sketches

From binge-watching panic to bird-improved accessories, here are the funniest, most far-out bits from IFC’s hit show


Goodbye, Portlandia: You’ve given us eight great seasons, and yet it still feels as if you’re gone too soon. The off-kilter IFC comedy series will air its series finale on March 22nd, which means we’ll have to bid adieu to the show’s aggro-bike messengers and bellowing Goths, precious indie-band fans and Battlestar Galactica binge-TV addicts,  singing men’s rights activists and the world’s most passive-aggressive feminist bookstore. (It’s so chilly in there!)

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s satiric look at life in Portland, Oregon frequently struck comedy gold over it’s seven-year run, thanks to the pair’s knack for embodying a wide range of characters, a murderer’s row of guest appearances (Jeff Goldblum to Eddie Vedder, Aimee Mann to Glenn Danzig) and the keen ability to skewer the hell out of the hipster trends and their self-righteous adherents. But out of all of Portlandia’s gluten-intolerant, hemp-heavy bits, there are naturally a few that rise immediately to the top. These are our picks for the 20 best Portlandia sketches. There have been birds put on all of them.

From Rolling Stone US

Play video

‘What About Men?’ (Season 7)

It first aired in 2016 as a stand-alone clip before the start of Portlandia‘s penultimate season, but this canon-worthy sketch would be a blistering takedown regardless of when or where it showed up. Two bros on bikes complain that all of the current movements – from transgender rights to Black Lives Matter – don’t have a place for the most trod upon demographic of them all, the white heterosexual male. When do they get a seat at the table of power, besides all the time, every day, literally for centuries? (Thank god for their one safe space: social media.) What follows is a musical number is that reveals M.R.A.’s as the ridiculous crybaby trolls they are. “The Statue of Liberty!” cries Brownstein’s stubbly dude. “What about our statue – the Statue of Libert-HE!” DF

Play video

‘Battlestar Galactica’ (Season 2)

Brownstein and Armisen got hip to the binge-watching phenomenon early, just in time to churn out this Season Two gem, which takes one couple’s newfound love for the Syfy Channel’s popular series to its terrifying, oddly logical end. Rounded out by star-studded surprise appearances, including Edward James Olmos passed out on a couch (the guy is tuckered out, okay?), the sketch is both hilarious and uncomfortably familiar. Say it with us: One more episode! KE

Play video

‘The Best Part Is Going Home’ (Season 4)

The show may revel in picking apart what the kids are into these days, but it consistently excels at reminding viewers what things are really like once their days of wine and roses are behind them. Depressing? Hardly. Especially if, like Fred and Carrie, you’ve got a pair of twin-sized beds to return to after a long, frustrating, drink-spilling night out at the local musical establishment of your choice. Also: No one is too old to get up early to snag Prince tickets. KE

Play video

‘Put a Bird on It’ (Season 1)

If Portlandia’s legacy could be boiled down to one sketch, “Put a Bird On It” would be our high-flying, heavily feathered pick. This Season One gem displays all the hallmarks of the series’ best work: hipster mockery; some sort of long-simmering emotional issue hitting a boiling point; the duo totally committing to the gag; and a last minute switch-up that ties the whole thing together, much like a spiffy ornithological objet d’art might do to your very own living room. Put. A. Bird. On. It! KE