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'Portlandia' Returns!08:39

This article is more than 6 years old.

The quirky comedy show "Portlandia" begins its fourth season on IFC tonight. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson checks in with co-creators and stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.

The two are also out with a new book, "The Portlandia Activity Book," an excerpt of which is below.

Interview Highlights: Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen

Brownstein on how the show came about

"'Portlandia' was such an organic process. It grew out of my friendship with Fred, and we approach things in a way that's very loving and with the interest of both the show in mind, but also our friendship, and protecting both those things."

Armisen on the surprise success of the show

"We really had no idea. We were just happy to have a pilot made and that first season, and every year has been sort of a surprise. We've been very fortunate. I can't believe it, how fast it's all gone."

Brownstein on how episodes are written

"Our goal with any of our sketches is to start with a relatable premise, and to deviate from that into absurdity, and then to hopefully push it even further into surrealism, because then you have the ability to surprise people. And I think our most successful sketches have done that. The root of it is always something people find authentic, or they see in themselves."

Armisen on his favorite episode of season four, 'Getting Away'

"It's about the concept of being away from a place — you know, how we all have that place that we like to go to or need to go to, vacation spots of whatever — the idea of what that means. Even aside from that, just the way that episode came out, I really love."

Brownstein on the role of music in 'Portlandia'

"I think music was a lens through which Fred and I saw the world, especially during our formative years. And that's really stuck with us in terms of how to shape a show, or how to embark on something creatively. We think about things in terms of timing and rhythm and texture. And I think our director, Jonathan Krisel, and our editors also approach the show like that. It has a percussive feel. It sometimes relies on repetition to be funny. Other times, it relies on space and kind of an awkward silence in order to really enhance a moment."

Book Excerpt: 'The Portlandia Activity Book'


  • Fred Armisen, co-creator, co-writer and co-star of "Portlandia."
  • Carrie Brownstein, co-creator, co-writer and co-star of "Portlandia." She was also a guitarist and vocalist in the band Sleater-Kinney. She tweets @Carrie_Rachel.

This segment aired on February 27, 2014.

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