The Best D.C. Pandering at Tuesday’s Portlandia Show
It seems the stars of Portlandia have found the key to D.C.'s eternal love: validation.
That D.C. name-dropping episode got us so hot and bothered, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are just rollin' with it. Plus: What's one way to save a lackluster variety show? Talk about what town you're in!
At Tuesday's late show at the 9:30 club, Armisen and Brownstein dispensed with D.C. knowledge and heavily played the audience-participation card. For the most part, the formula worked: The sold-out crowd—lubricated by beers and generous regional pandering—lapped it up. Here are some highlights:
1. Brownstein slips on a beanie hat and a slouchy top. Armisen says something like, "You look so H Street." Crowd approves. Brownstein says, "It's a deep cut, right? H Street?"
2. They spend a couple minutes asking the audience about D.C.'s cool neighborhoods. Many agree that H Street NE is "a little hipstery." Armisen name-checks U Street NW. Then someone bellows, "BALTIMORE!" Armisen picks up on the sad truth that Baltimore is still considered a D.C. hipster neighborhood.
3. Conversation turns to the best coffee shops. People are screaming Tryst, Big Bear, etc. "Isn't Tryst in Alexandria?" asks Brownstein. Somehow, people are also screaming for Starbucks.
4. They ask where we're from. D.C. gets huge applause. Maryland, moderate applause. Virginia is booed.
5. "This is the most booiest city!" says Armisen.
6. Armisen refers to our baseball team as the "Washington Generals."
7. A video about jewelry-makers prompts Brownstein to say, "A city of jewelry lovers—that's the motto on the license plates here, right?"
8. Famous D.C. guests: Ian Svenonius in the early show; Mary Timony in the early and late shows. (Famous non-D.C. guests: drummer Michael Lerner; guitarist/vocalist Eleanor Friedberger; keyboardist Rebecca Cole)
Photos from the early show by Erica Bruce:
See more photos from the show here.