A Man Of Many Talents: The Musical Stylings Of Fred Armisen

With comedic actor Fred Armisen taking on the role of bandleader for Seth Meyers’ Late Night show, many fans of the Portlandia star get to remember that he’s quite a pretty versatile musician. He actually played in various bands before ramping up his acting career, and as we can tell, the music has never really left him. In the video above, watch him show VH1 some vocal love with Portlandia co-star Carrie Brownstein.

During his run on Saturday Night Live, Fred took plenty of opportunities to strum guitars, run his fingers across keyboards, and comedically flex his vocal pipes. He managed to star in some of the quirkiest sketches that allowed him to blend all facets of his stage presence, and took that same magic over to Portlandia. In the clip below, watch him engage in a `90s quiz with Carrie, you know, since the dream of that decade is still alive in Portland.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look through the SNL and Portlandia clips in the subsequent webpages to see just how hard Fred Armisen really rocks!

10. If you’re a tourist in New York City, you probably can’t tell the difference between struggling musicians and homeless people. Well, that’s what the organizers at this hotel seem to think.

9. Even though Fred pretty much played the background in the sketch, the most ardent bossa nova fan has to admit that he and Maya Rudolph have that Brazilian spirit down pat. Sadly, it doesn’t help Alec Baldwin’s game very much.
8. Only in Portland would you have bands try purposefully try to keep the noise down. We’re not sure if “The Battle Of The Gentle Bands” is really much of a battle, but it seems like that’s how they get down in the Pacific Northwest.

7. Is New York City’s underground music scene really what it used to be? Judging by this clip, you’d certainly have to wonder.

6. The Bjelland Brothers have to realize that if your hometown isn’t willing to pack a venue to come see you, you might as well throw in the towel.

5. Do we really think the Blue Jean Committee will ever really make it outside of Massachusetts? All we can say is that the guys should keep their expectations in check.

4. Everyone’s favorite improvisational (well, unprepared) singers try to spread the love for Valentine’s Day. Don’t Garth and Kat realize they’ll never get their big break if they keep winging it?

3. Maybe your dad shouldn’t get his anti-establishment band back together at your wedding.

2. Fred may not have picked up an instrument in this sketch, but this ode to youth culture in the ’90s is iconic.

1. Fred played Ian Rubbish, the lead of a Sex Pistols-like punk band, whose bent on anarchy couldn’t survive Margaret Thatcher’s charm.