The PJ Tatler

Armisen pokes fun at progressives in 'Portlandia'

“Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show” take occasional shots at President Barack Obama, but humor aimed at liberals remains in short supply.

“SNL” regular Fred Armisen is trying to balance the ledger. His new series “Portlandia,” airing at 10:30 p.m. EST Friday nights on the IFC Channel, mocks the city’s uber-progressive citizens. The six-episode series serves up loosely connected skits starring Armisen and show co-creator Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney fame).

It’s a gentle ribbing, to be sure, but it’s refreshing to see comedians traffic in material that doesn’t include obtuse swipes at Tea Party patriots, rednecks or other overused targets.

And “Portlandia” is often rigorously clever. Consider a scene where a couple quizzes a waitress about the organic, free range chicken they’re about to order. “His name was Colin,” the waitress tells them patiently as she describes the fowl’s local roots in painstaking detail. That isn’t good enough for the couple who insist on seeing where Colin met his untimely end before placing their order.

Not every skit is a knee slapper, but the show offers up some fun cameos by Aimee Mann, Jason Sudeikis, Heather Graham and Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) to make amends.

“Portlandia” is the first program of its kind since ABC’s short-lived “Goode Family,” another comedy taking tree hugger types to task for their liberal extremes.