Emmy Episode Analysis: Will Fred Armisen (‘Portlandia’) be able to ‘pull out’ an Emmy win?

Fred Armisen recently earned his first Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Supporting Actor for the sketch show “Portlandia.” He co-created the IFC variety program with Carrie Brownstein. Combined with his nominations as one of the show’s writers for the past three years, Armisen has amassed four total nods. He’s submitted the episode “Pull-Out King” to the Emmy judging panel.

Watch our video chat Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (‘Portlandia’)

SYNOPSIS: The overarching story of the episode centers on Nina (Armisen) and Lance (Brownstein), a couple that lives in Portland. Nina tells Lance that she think she might be pregnant. Lance is not happy about this because of his reputation of being the “pull-out king” when it comes to sex. Nina, however, is excited and hopes that Lance might entertain the idea of being a stay-at-home dad. She takes him to a group of stay at home fathers to try to convince him of the idea but it’s interrupted when Lance finds out there is a salesman (Jeff Goldblum) who also goes by the title, “The Pull-Out King.” Lance goes to confront the salesman, but ultimately he and Nina end up buying a pull-out sofa. They get it delivered to their place, and it is too big for their living room. Nina also finds out she’s not really pregnant, but they decide to try having a family anyway, awkwardly having sex on their partially folded-out mattress.

Since it is a sketch show, Armisen also plays various characters around Portland: a man emerging from a 27-year coma who is frightened by all of the yuppies now in the town; the coordinator of a Garrison Keillor tailgate prior to “A Prairie Home Companion” concert; the owner of Pet Haven being freaked out by a bird; a man who responds to a newborn baby notice 10 years late; and Brownstein’s friend while she’s dating a tax lawyer.

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Can Armisen actually pull this one out at the Emmys? Let’s analyze the pros and cons:

PROS
–    He is actually the lead of the show (along with Brownstein), and he’s pretty much always on screen throughout the episode.
–    His ability to seamlessly play all these different characters throughout the episode is not only funny, but something that a lot of actors will respect.
–    The sight of him as Nina may be too funny for some voters to ignore.

CONS
–    The humor of the show is definitely not on a traditional level, and this may leave some voters feeling confused instead of laughing.
–    Since being allowed to compete in the supporting categories, no cast regular from a variety show has ever won.
–    The show missed out on a nomination for Best Variety Series, which could indicate limited support.

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The Gold Derby predictions center currently has Armisen in fifth place with odds of winning at 50/1. Do you think he has a stronger chance? Make your predictions below with our easy drag-and-drop menu.

One thought on “Emmy Episode Analysis: Will Fred Armisen (‘Portlandia’) be able to ‘pull out’ an Emmy win?

  1. Though I felt the episode more showed Carrie Brownstein’s talents (but she had Armisen’s voice in the episode so it is kinda confusing), I loved the nomination and really am pushing for him to pull off a surprise win.

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