'Portlandia' star loves Pittsburgh

Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:00 AM Written by 

portlandia season 3 finale

PASADENA, Calif. -- In a teleconference late last year, "Portlandia" and "Saturday Night Live" star Fred Armisen raved about Pittsburgh, semi-unprompted (the operator announced me and my affiliation but that was it). 

"As a side note, Pittsburgh is a really beautiful city," Armisen said in the December call. "I mean it’s a really interesting place."

I didn't get a chance on that call to ask him about his appreciation for Pittsburgh but I was curious why he was a Pittsburgh booster. I didn't know of any Pittsburgh connection for him and I couldn't think of any movie or TV show he was in that filmed locally and would have brough him to town.

So when he was at the TV critics press tour in January, I knew I had to follow up.

Read more after the jump. ...

Turns out Armisen has visited Pittsburgh on numerous occasions.

"I was in a band called Trenchmouth and we played there maybe three times and I went back to Pittsburgh to see Prince in, like, 2004 maybe," Armisen said, noting it was Manny Theiner who booked his band's gigs locally. "The times I've been to Pittsburgh it just reminds me of, like, a German city up in those hills. It just looks cool and seems solid.

"And then the little bits and pieces I keep learning about Pittsburgh, things make more and more sense. One thing is all the art and Andy Warhol. That's really interesting that for all the places for him to come from, it's Pittsburgh. That kicks [butt].

"And then, I'm not a religious person at all, I'm an atheist, but I once heard the Dalai Lama said Pittsburgh has a lot of energy because of those three rivers, so all these things make sense to me or speak to me. It's a cool city. There's something about it I like."

The third season finale of "Portlandia" airs at 10 p.m. Friday on IFC. It's a largely single plot episode about a blackout hitting Portland. The episode also dispatches with Fred and Carrie's roommate, Alexandra (Chloe Sevigny) and returns the Mayor (Kyle MacLachlan).

So far IFC has not announced a fourth season renewal, although given the improved ratings at the time of the season premiere in January, renewal seems likely unless Fred and co-star Carrie Brownstein simply don't want to continue the show.

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