Fred Armisen Gets a Netflix Stand Up Special

Continuing to add to their pool of talent across the various entertainment media forms, Netflix announced it would be giving Fred Armisen his own stand up special, Fred Armisen: Standup For Drummers. Armisen is best known for his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and in the HBO series “Portlandia.” The special will be a combination of music and standup comedy. The music fits right in with the comedy routine, as Armisen admits to not understanding Jazz. Other bits he will do include the difference in the wide number of American accents and why photography is an overrated profession.

But the title of the one hour special is more of a reflection and commentary on his previous life in entertainment as a drummer for a number of Indie rock bands. He moved over to comedy, and while the drumming part of his life is apparently behind him, his routine will be one that drummers specifically can relate to. They say the best comedy is reflecting on the truths of life, so drummers should tune in and see what Armisen will do with the material. There will be feature cameos throughout the performance by Sheila E., Clem Burk from Blondie, Tre Cool of Greenday, Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Thomas Lang and Vinnie Colaiuta who need no introduction.

In fact, the one hour show will have musical themes running through it from beginning to end. Music and comedy find an intersection in Standup For Drummers as both are very people oriented businesses where you meet many different types of people along the way. Armisen’s comedy repertoire will largely focus on those experiences. However, you might not find the beat of the comedy to your liking if you are not interested in the drums as a form of music, because there is a drumfull said about the instrument and its influence on rock bands and drummers alike.

Looking back on his career, Armisen, 51, has picked up a few pieces of hardware, including being nominated for his writing in the “Portlandia” series for three consecutive years, 2012 – 2014. He also received a Peabody award in 2011 for his work in “Portlandia.” Peabody’s are given to storytellers who deliver excellence in quality storytelling regardless of the popularity or commercial success of the writing.

He was married to actress Elisabeth Moss for a short two years, which ended in 2011. He has since remained unmarried, choosing to focus on his career. He doesn’t have a long, recent history of doing standup comedy, so it might explain the music-comedy mix in this Netflix special. Netflix is inclined to give Armisen a chance to prove himself and jumpstart a career that has been slow moving since “Portlandia.” It should be a comfortable venue for him, as he can fall back on his SNL days for some audience experience.

This special may be great news for Netflix viewers because it shows that they are willing to take some moderate risks in making a wide variety of original content available. Not every decision will result in a crowd pleasing hit, but at the same time people need to give Netflix credit for trying something different. If Armisen gets solid reviews we can expect another standup routine in the near future, with hopefully a routine that is broader in appeal.


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