Portland Walking Tours

The City That Laughs

January 18th, 2011

The new sketch comedy show “Portlandia” premiers this Friday on IFC, and some are worried that it could tarnish Portland’s image.

But the city that sports “Keep Portland Weird” bumper stickers on SUV hybrids and neon VW Beetles isn’t going to run for cover from a show celebrates Portland as keeping alive “the dream of the 90’s”. To the contrary.

Written by and starring Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen (SNL) and vocalist/guitarist Carrie Brownstein, the show pokes ever so gentle fun at Portland’s self-celebrated quirkiness. The debut episode lampoons city residents penchant for peppering our ever-so-knowledgeable wait staff – not about beer, but about the heritage and upbringing of the organic chicken they’re about to eat… and ending up as members of a polygamous cult farm. A later episode features a cameo appearance by the city’s current mayor.

Clearly, Portlanders have retained their sense of humor, and aren’t afraid of enduring a few laughs at our expense. We aren’t so stuffy that we can’t take (and even heighten) a joke. We are the City That Works, the City that rides mass transit, the City that bikes… and the City that laughs.

That’s another one of those things that makes Portland a great city in which to live, work, and play.