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Bicycle Rights! Watch the new clip from Portlandia

Posted by on January 21st, 2011 at 9:51 am


-Watch clip below-
Fred Armisen as a Portland bike messenger.

Portlandia is the new, six-part IFC miniseries that’s getting a lot of buzz around these parts for its attempts to poke fun at Portland’s idiosyncrasies. Back before the holidays, we shared a bit about it over on Page Two because, as you might expect, bicycling figures prominently into the show.

Now, in a newly released teaser clip titled Bicycle Rights!, Portlandia’s co-lead actor Fred Armisen gives us a taste of how they’ll handle the subject…

I can’t wait to see the full skit. I think it’s hilarious. How about you?

More on Portlandia here.

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  • Tony Fuentes January 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    This is the first Portlandia clip that had me laughing out loud. There is just too much there to even take in a single viewing. Man, I love this town.

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  • Jason Skelton January 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I wonder if people outside of Portland get the crazy funny of this show.

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    • Richard in Santa Cruz January 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      PDX has it’s unique charms, but dumpster diving freegans, loopy creative decorators, militant cyclists, mumbly locavores and all the rest aren’t limited to northwestern Oregon.

      So yeah, us provincials get the humor as well; I think it’s hilarious.

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  • Jerry_W January 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Looks like a fun show, too bad you need $120 a month cable TV to see it (Comcast).

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    • Paul Manson January 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

      The first episode is on Hulu for free and iTunes may sell episodes too.

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    • Lance P January 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

      free at Mission Theater on Fridays

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    • Sean G January 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

      It’s also available streaming on Hulu.

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    • jim January 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      its on directv also

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  • kerry January 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Hulu

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  • Dude January 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Hilarious.

    I’m still trying to figure out how they do such a great job of understanding Portland culture. It is so accurate that it’s almost as if they’re filming by hidden camera rather than acting. I guess it is the time Brownstein spent in Portland because the other three writers (Armisen & two others) have not been Portland residents.

    And I do hold out some hope that this amazing piece of art will help some Portlanders to realize just how pretentious they seem to others and perhaps take it down a notch. Or just keep it up so we can keep laughing.

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    • Jeff January 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      its not difficult to understand “portland culture”…if that’s what you want to call it. Fred’s not laughing with you, by the way…

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    • phreadi January 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      The female co-star is from the Portland band Quasi and also from a band called Sleater-Kinney.

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  • Gabriel Amadeus January 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    But he’s not wearing a helmet!!!!!!

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  • maculsay January 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Definitely the best Portlandia clip yet. Superb!

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  • Donald Baxter, Iowa City, IA January 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

    love it, can’t wait to see this tonight. Nice piece on NPR today as well on this.

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  • Nick V January 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “Ugh……Cars, man, whyyyyyy-uh?!?”

    I watched the first episode on hulu and the show does seem to touch on the things I love and the things I hate about this town. I came away smiling yet irritated.

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    • craig January 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Why can’t I see it on Hulu? Yesterday it said the video is “unavailable” and today it says it’s “expired”. I don’t have IFC either.

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  • RyNO Dan January 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

    10 FOOT RULE !

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  • thefuture January 21, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love Portland more came Portlandia.

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  • SilkySlim January 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Ughghg, lofts, why?

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  • Joe January 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    hahah I live that. LOL bike lane bike lane..

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  • Brad January 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    B**ching at the dumpster…priceless!

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  • Andrew January 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Like Tony, this was the first clip from Portlandia that really had me laughing.

    It’s me. In fact, I just rode through a Walgreen’s to get out of the rain.

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  • craig January 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

    is the whistle a new york thing? never seen that here, even on a messenger

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    • matt picio January 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      That’s because using a whistle while on a bike is illegal in Oregon – and one of the things the cops will bust you for downtown. Messengers are smart, or more to the point, street-savvy.

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      • craig January 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        Doh! ORS 815.280, #2-b.

        https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/815.280
        http://www.stc-law.com/pdf/PP7thEdition.pdf Pedal Power p.71

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      • Carl January 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        Sorry to nitpick here but you’ve heard of that law being enforced, Matt? Really? My sense is that bikers don’t use whistles in Portland the way some do in bigger, nastier cities…because it’s PORTLAND and it’s pretty safe and mellow. I don’t get the sense that it has anything to do with our messengers’ intelligence and respect for the law. If you know of PPB actually cracking down on whistles, though, I’d be curious to know. I’ll tell Coach Dan.

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        • Paul Johnson January 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm

          I used to use a whistle while riding, but on the other hand, at the time I had a whistle, I was a campus policeman (and thus in the class of bicyclists that they’re explicitly reserved for most of the time, though I was unaware of this regulation at the time). I lost my whistle when I forgot it on the counter of some anonymous greasy spoon in Depoe Bay while on vacation, something I desperately missed on the ride back to camp near Tillamook…

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  • Joe January 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I almost got a whistle, still busting up, nice work..

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  • Paul Souders January 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    A whistle, huh? That’s…actually a good idea (if your goal is to annoy, anyway). In my younger less civil days I would fill my pockets with gravel to fling at drivers who cut me off etc.

    Or an air horn, that’s good times too.

    These days I think I’d reserve it for people texting & driving.

    I’m with Tony, this was the first Portlandia clip that made me LOL.

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  • Joe January 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    bike right bike right move move move, hey I get the whole lane. haha

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  • Tony Fuentes January 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Attention Portland Bike Shops! It’s time to stock up on bike whistles!

    Ideally… locally crafted organic bike whistles made from aluminum that has been recycled from Caldera and PBR cans.

    And no Portland bike whistle set-up is complete unless it has been accessorized with a unique wool leash knitted from fibers reclaimed by hand from retired Pendleton blankets.

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    • Paulie January 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

      New product for Portlanders — bike whistle cozies!

      Mount your bike whistle to your handlebars, and let the breeze blow it — constantly tweeting … now that’s Portland!

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      • Tony Fuentes January 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

        And put a bird on it!

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        • Rebecca January 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

          And of course each whistle should be kissed by a humanely-raised free-grazing chicken.

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  • jason January 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Skits are for church camp. That was a sketch.

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  • Ron January 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Howdy–

    My grandfather used to command Boston traffic with his whistle. Following him was like being in the wake of an ice-breaker; a clear space would open ahead, then close up behind. It was at once thrilling and mortifying.

    He was on a 70s touring bike (I’m thinking back to that era), and he didn’t have any tribal jewelry or ironic facial hair, but he still startled drivers into compliance with force of will and a shrill blast.

    I got a little dose of nostalgia along with a great laugh. The whistle may have been a little misplaced on a Portland rider, but it was a great device.
    Happy Trails,
    Ron

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  • Joe January 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Tony Fuentes
    Attention Portland Bike Shops! It’s time to stock up on bike whistles!
    Ideally… locally crafted organic bike whistles made from aluminum that has been recycled from Caldera and PBR cans.
    And no Portland bike whistle set-up is complete unless it has been accessorized with a unique wool leash knitted from fibers reclaimed by hand from retired Pendleton blankets.

    Id buy one for sure.. haha PBR

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  • Paul Johnson January 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Are the full episodes online someplace? I don’t get IFC.

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    • April January 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Hulu.com

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  • Bridgetown Bearings™ January 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Excellent, just excellent. “I’m on a bike!”.

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  • Spiffy January 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

    hahaha! awesome!

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  • Deedlebug January 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Whistles? Oh please no. But how about kazoos?

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  • jeff January 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    fabulous!

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  • RC January 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    hilarious. I’m amazed at how much press this show is getting too. NPR piece was good.

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  • BURR January 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    it looks kind of dumb to me

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    • are January 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      agreed. makes me glad i don’t have a television.

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      • lothar January 22, 2011 at 3:09 am

        The computer is the new television. Just as much a time suck to post a negative comments as it is watching Faux news.

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    • Jackattak January 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      That’s because it is dumb. The two sketches I’ve seen made me laugh twice. Quietly.

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  • anab January 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I’m *terrified* at how much press this show is getting. Especially if it inspires hordes of unemployed, newly-minted bachelor’s degrees to move here from Everywhere Else. We already have enough underemployed creatives in this town. Seriously.

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    • middle of the road guy January 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      It’s where they go to retire.

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      • Mike Fish January 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

        Funniest line of the show – my girlfriend and I have been cracking up about that for weeks!

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  • beth h January 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    If someone wants to step up and make those recycled PBR-can whistles I’m sure at least half a dozen bike shops would carry them. This could be The Next Big Thing at Bike-Craft 2011…

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  • jocko January 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Agent cooper likes his style!

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  • deborah January 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    freaking hilarious. my favorite sketch by far. though the one shot at the Gilt club is pretty funny too. “I’m only going to ask you one more time – this is LOCAL?”

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  • Paul Tay January 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    BURR
    it looks kind of dumb to me

    Ditto.

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  • Bob January 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    That WAS Agent Cooper! LOL! He’s in the right town for that cup o’ joe and piece of pie. That constant chatter is certainly inside every bike riders head. The whistle though …. doesn’t ring true.

    1st episode was a too long SNL skit. let’s hope it improves.

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    • Spencer Boomhower January 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Agent Cooper plays the Mayor :). (And Sam Adams plays his assistant.) It’d be great if he’d get the whole pie ‘n’ coffee thing going on in Portlandia, if only to encourage the availability of good pie in more places. That’s the only problem I have about this town: not enough pie.

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      • craig January 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

        Amen. ‘Round here (Irvington) we got Grand Central and Random Order for the pie fix, but it’s not nearly enough.

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      • Paul Johnson January 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm

        Y’all haven’t heard of Shari’s? I miss that a lot. And the availability of salmon bento. As a bear, I miss salmon.

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  • Leslie January 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I want the bike whistle too, if only so I can blow it and say: “Stopped! That means I’m stopped!”

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  • Ted Buehler January 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I think it’s okay. But, I haven’t seen any bicyclists like this in Portland. Seems that there’s enough freakish bicyclists here that they could have simply chosen an existing style of bike nut and portrayed them, rather than choose a caricature that exists in the hard core bike culture of other cities, but does not represent the culture here.

    That’s my $0.02, FWIW.
    Ted Buehler

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    • spare_wheel January 22, 2011 at 9:14 am

      i think you are in denial, ted.

      …wtf

      ***BIKE LANE***!!1!!!!

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    • Paul Johnson January 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      You’ve never seen C.H.U.N.K. 666 or Zoobomb?

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    • naess January 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      have you not been reading bikeportlands comments section for very long?

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  • Bridgetown Bearings™ January 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Maybe.

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  • Portlandiacritique January 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I enjoyed this sketch. As a former Portland bike messenger, I assure you all that no Portland bike messenger in history has ever rocked the whistle. Regardless, although this isn’t authentic to the local bike messenger scene. Who cares!

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  • adam January 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

    well, whether it is funny or not, literally, I still get yelled at on alberta – which I tried to close to autos – while I am riding home. unbelievable ;)

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  • Hollie January 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    meh.

    i feel like one of maybe 15 portland residents who doesn’t think this show is the funniest thing in the world.

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    • Jackattak January 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      You’d be surprised. I’ve found the majority of my friends didn’t like it (neither do I). We’re all natives. Go figure.

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  • Isaac Porras January 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Haha, “Please don’t be working at the co-op.”

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  • Milholland Cycles January 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    It hurts so good! I feel like everyone is allowed one of those “everything is out to kill me” weeks in the winter.

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  • Todd January 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    You spoke and we listened! Available soon at Pedal Bike Tours: locally crafted organic bike whistles made from aluminum that has been recycled from Caldera and PBR cans, accessorized with a unique wool leash knitted from fibers reclaimed by hand from retired Pendleton blankets!

    Kazoos too!

    And check out our full width bike lane running through the entire store (no cars allowed)

    Thanks Fred and Carrie for giving us the gift of laughter!

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  • Dabby January 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Ditto on the whole messenger whistle scenarion…
    I even tried to use one working, really just a logistical nightmare……especially yelling and whistling, when the whistle is caught up in your radio/ bag strap.
    The show, I think, may be almost funny.
    Almost.

    Bike polo is in the opening credits, for why I do not know.

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  • Barney January 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    The show uses Portland as a foil for the real target: hipster culture. This exists in most cities worth moving to. So the writers being from elsewhere isn’t that surprising because this could be set in Williamsburg or The Mission or Capitol Hill and be equally funny. I think it would be a funnier show if they took the satire even further. This clip just seems pretty accurate, not necessarily that over-the-top. More yelling at dumpsters, please.

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  • Paul Johnson January 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Barney
    The show uses Portland as a foil for the real target: hipster culture. This exists in most cities worth moving to.

    As a Portland native, I gotta say: The Detroit, MI of the Pacific is worth moving to?

    So the writers being from elsewhere isn’t that surprising because this could be set in Williamsburg or The Mission or Capitol Hill and be equally funny.

    Not sure those would work quite as well as Vancouver, BC or St. Paul, MN for the particular brand of hipster we’re talking about.

    I think it would be a funnier show if they took the satire even further. This clip just seems pretty accurate, not necessarily that over-the-top. More yelling at dumpsters, please.

    They manage to pace the comedy death spiral just right and make it stop at just the right point to make it funny. And you’re right, for Portland, most of this isn’t that over the top or outlandish; I mean, we’re talking about a city that is probably best known on Youtube for a man having sex with the front of a Toyota 4Runner on Northwest 10th.

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    • Barney January 23, 2011 at 3:44 am

      Sure, every city has its own personality, but there is still a monoculture (and monosubculture) that pervades with the help of the internet. And yes, Portland is a destination city, unlike Detroit, which is becoming a ghost town. Portland continues to attract young people (many of whom fit the demographic skewered by Portlandia). So I don’t really see Portland as the Detroit of the Pacific. Maybe Tacoma would be more analogous.

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      • Paul Johnson January 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

        I meant in terms of the idea that Portland is dying a long, slow death from lack of affordable housing and jobs.

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        • Jackattak January 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

          Doesn’t matter. Hipsters are moving here in droves, mostly from SF, regardless of jobs (or lack there of). Two separate groups of MIssion Street hipsters just moved onto my floor in my apartment building Downtown.

          Willy Week had a great article on it I think early of last year. The “creative types” are moving here in droves even though our economic status is in the toilet. And that, sir, makes it that much more difficult to bounce back. The same kids that just moved in just took six jobs that could’ve gone to unemployed Oregonians.

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          • Paul Johnson January 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm

            Reason enough alone to close the state border.

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  • Lady Fuchsia January 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Here’s a quote from Carrie Brownstein from the Willamette Week, Nov. 3, 2010:

    “For the record, I am not afraid to hit someone with my car as an act of aggression,” she says. “I think polite drivers should be met only with aggression, to teach them a lesson.”

    That’s real humor, just like Portlandia is so funny too! I laughed so hard when I read that that I threw all my Sleater-Kinney CDs in a free box in the rain after riding over them with my tall bike.

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  • GlowBoy January 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    That WW article lowered my hopes for Portlandia and made me expect it to be making fun of Portland in a bashing way … and the “act of aggression” quote, whether meant in jest (and I don’t think it was) is not in the least funny.

    But you know what? So far, Portlandia’s pretty damned funny. We’ll see if it continues to give Seattle’s old “Almost Live” sketch series a run for its money.

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    • VTRC January 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Cops in Kent remains a benchmark of comedy.

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      • craig January 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        Yes!!! And I recall “Boyz ON the Hood… In Kent”. Priceless.

        Aaaand, “The LAME List”… Ahem: “Girls who won’t spring for beer: LAME!!!”

        John Keester!!! Pat Cashman!!! Please come back!!!!!! Or better, come to Portland, please?!?!?

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  • GlowBoy January 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    We COULD use an episode of “Spokes of Fury.” Be like Billy!

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  • Freeman January 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    As a courier…the caricature isn’t insulting to me in particular….but others may find it so. I can laugh at myself with or without being emmulated just fine. If and when local auto commuters are satired in this fashion…sitting in traffic, grumbling at the high cost of gas….etc., WHILE the biker rides by blithely…now thats funny.

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