Sunday, October 16, 2011

NYCC: IFC's Portlandia and Todd Margeret Panel

IFC had a two-part panel, the first of which featured David Cross speaking about his IFC comedy The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Extra special bonus? The "moderator" was H. Ron Benjmain of Archer and other fame (he has the greatest voice known to man.)

I came a little late and thus missed a lot of the spiel about the show, which quite honestly is not a personal favorite. Being one of those series where horrible, embarrassing things continue to happen and snowball into even more humiliating situations, it's rather hard to watch.

Nonetheless having David Cross and H. Ron on a panel at the same time led to some pretty hilarious spontaneous comedy. A lot of the questions were actually for H. Ron, who responded with his trademark sarcasm delivered in a deep bass. He even got a bit mean with some of them, but the audience seemed to appreciate the humor of it. Cross fielded several questions about Arrested Development, including "When was the last time you blue yourself?" to which he answered without a second of hesitation, "August 14th, 2004."

When time for questions was running low and only one more was allowed, H.Ron ran off stage and bumped the poor kid in a wrestling mask who had been waiting, to pose the final question himself. Which turned out to be a funny-awkward demand for why Cross didn't call him to have a role on the show, considering his affinity for using friends as guest stars. Cross made it clear that H. Ron being the laziest man in show business naturally didn't put him at the top of the list.

H. Ron stealing the mike.

The Portlandia panel was more dull, and had an unfortunate moderator in Seth Meyers who is not someone I'm a fan of, and who also received several questions, despite the panel not being about him. (The best of which was an 8yo boy in a Deadpool outfit who's sweet voice belied the edge of his question: When are you going to get a co-host on SNL? I certainly appreciated that one.)

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein spoke to the method they use in creating the show, the fact that it was born from their personal videos posted on a website years prior called ThunderAnt, and how they generally don't write specific scripts and lines and instead spend the day shooting on location and seeing what comes out of their mouths. They also hinted that more musical guest stars will be on the second season, and revealed that the episode where Aimee Mann was Carrie's housekeeper is based on a real life situation, where a once-famous musician whose records Carrie had worked as her maid, though they refused to name any names.

One tense question asked if Armisen would be leaving SNL, to which he simply said he "doesn't think that far ahead." Considering the size of the current SNL cast and the infrequency of Armisen's screen time, I think it's safe to say this is his final season.

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