Fred Armisen

[Writer, Actor, Comedian, Musician]

in conversation with

Carrie Brownstein

[Writer, Actor, Musician]

“I get angry in airports when people think a flip-flop is appropriate coverage for their foot.”
Minor deformities that first attract bullying, then become sexy later in life:
Pigeon-toed-ness
Scars
Different-colored eyes
Chipped teeth

This interview was sent to the Believer as an audio recording. Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen’s voices have the tinny, compressed tone that comes from being transmitted over a laptop. Brownstein and Armisen are comedic actors (and musicians) whose sketch-comedy show, Portlandia, recently began its fourth season on IFC. A radio play written by Brownstein and Armisen can be heard on the current episode of the Believer’s weekly radio-show podcast, the Organist, on KCRW.

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN: One thing that we discovered when we were traveling together for the Portlandia live shows was that we were both pigeon-toed as children. What are your memories of being pigeon-toed?

FRED ARMISEN: I was so little that I couldn’t understand what was happening. I did not know that there was a word for it. I didn’t know there was any kind of description for it, so all I know is that I was this toddler and all of a sudden I had to wear this metal brace that was pretty much a flat stick that went from my left foot to my right foot. And in the middle for some reason there was this sort of screw. It was just this black thing that made it impossible to walk, but there were shoes attached to it and they were white shoes and they were facing outward and I hated it.

CB: Is it one of those memories that you remember because your parents have told you?

FA: No, it’s something that I remember very clearly. In fact, I haven’t talked about it that much with my parents.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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