On the final day of New York Comic Con, also known as the wind-down, we were happy to make a pit stop at the IFC panel. Perhaps it was the spirit of the last day or the fact that the folks at Comic Con left it up to a bunch of comedians to run a productive panel, but aside from a few little nuggets of intel and some brand new footage for Season 2 of Portlandia and Series 2 of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (because it’s “British or something”), the hour was more of a tete-a-tete between a few hilarious folks and the fans whose questions more often than not perplexed them. H. Jon Benjamin and Seth Meyers served as moderators while stars David Cross, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and Portlandia director Jonathan Krisel were onhand to tease us about upcoming episodes of both IFC series. So while there were mostly laughs, we did learn a few things.
First, we learned that there will be two SNL guest stars on Portlandia this season. The first is Kristen Wiig, who’ll play the number-one fan to Armisen and Brownstein’s “relaxation band” as they look for their next gig outside of the acupunture establishment. Andy Samberg will also make an appearance as a “fancy” mixologist at an upscale Portland bar. Brownstein and Armisen also teased musician guest stars but said nothing more than “they’re really good” and that it’s “someone in a band.” Thanks for that glorious intel, guys. Armisen also dished that Portlandia is sometimes the place where fallen SNL skits get a second life, like a Sacajawea skit which he originally pitched when Robert DeNiro hosted the show. “So it’s not going to work with Robert DeNiro, but it will work with Carrie Brownstein,” Meyers joked.
When it came to Todd Margaret, there was less information to go on. Cross took the opportunity to make his series look better than a former Comic Con favorite: “Unlike Lost, I know what the ending is.” He’s referring to the fact that Todd Magaret, which is told backwards is a series that has a definite endpoint. Cross said, “I wanted to tell a story first and put the comedy in that,” as opposed to the way most other comedies are made, which is comedy first, then story. Of course, the biggest topic of discussion was about what we can expect out of the recent Arrested Development announcement that there will in fact be new episodes and a movie. Unfortunately for thirsty fans, Cross’ response to that question was the same thing he responded with to one fan’s question, “When was the last time you blue yourself?” Cross said both times, “August 13, 2004.” Sorry, folks.
Of course, Cross did tease the Jon Hamm cameo on Todd Margaret: “Jon Hamm really stepped it up from not being in Series One.” And because it was a comedy panel with little content, we’ll leave you with a few of our favorite moments and one-liners:
H.Jon Benjamin’s act was to pretend he’d never seen Cross’ show, to which Cross responded: “You’re dissappointing as a friend.” To which Benjamin responded by hijacking the last question of the panel to ask Cross why he hasn’t been asked to be on the show. It’s simple: he’s the “laziest actor” he knows.Meyers once saw Kyle McLaughlin, who plays the mayor of Portland on Portlandia, and actually thought he was the mayor of Portland. “The Spirit of the 90s is Alive in Portland” was a spur of the moment creation after the crew witnessed what Armisen calls “that whole Lollapalooza sensibility” while filming in Portland.Krisel delivered the best endorsement for moving to Portland ever: “I love the 90s. There’s a place where you can just live there.” Even the show is free-range and locally grown: Armisen said “We just stand there and make up stuff” and he made sure to note the whole crew is Portlandian, “very local.”Finally, an impromptu round of Ultimate Frisbee broke out, meaning one fan threw a frisbee at Armisen and we all learned just how uncoordinated he actually is.