Portlandia Visits Springfield

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein guest star in Sunday's "The Simpsons" as cool parents from Portland. Also appearing: The Decemberists.

By John Chandler December 5, 2012


Image courtesy Fox Television

If Portland’s TV profile were any higher, we’d be guest-hosting Saturday Night Live. Our latest turn in the national spotlight comes this Sunday, as Portlandia wisecrackers Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein guest star on The Simpsons as Terrence and Emily, hipster parents from (you guessed it!) Portland, who move in next door to Homer and his brood. And wouldn’t you know it? Terrence opens a donut shop “that bears a striking resemblance to Portland's famous Voodoo Doughnuts.”

Since the very beginning of the show's improbable 23-year run, Simpsons creator and Portland native (Lincoln High School, Class of 1973) Matt Groening has had a blast peppering the mythical town of Springfield with Rose City references (Ned Flanders, Mayor Quimby, Reverend Lovejoy, etc.), but this is the first time that Portland itself, portrayed as a bastion of all that is cool and vaguely pretentious, is part of the storyline.

Not quite enough Portland, you say? OK, well how about if the episode also features The Decemberists playing a song composed especially for the occasion? Cripes, what next? Lisa goes on tour with Pink Martini? 

But wait, there’s more! Busy comedian, actor, and Twitter wit Patton Oswalt, (who isn’t from Portland, but might as well be), not only plays Terrence and Emily’s son, T-Rex in the coming episode, but he’ll be among the galaxy of guest starts slated to appear in Portlandia’s third season, which rolls out January 4 on IFC. Patton joins the likes of Chloe Sevigny, Bill Hader, Rose Byrne, Juliette Lewis, George Wendt (Norm!!!), Martina Navratilova, and Roseanne, all of whom will soon be decked out in the guise of some lovable local stereotype. Remember, they’re not laughing at us, they’re laughing with us. And as long as they're laughing, we shouldn't panic. But if all of this media attention is just a bit much, there’s a Storage Wars marathon on A&E.

What: The Simpsons "The Day The Earth Stood Cool"

When: Sunday, December 9 at 8pm on Fox 12


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