Fred Armisen nails Ira Glass on ‘This American Life’

Fred Armisen is known for his work on Saturday Night Live, and for his partnership with fellow rocker/writer Carrie Brownstein on the popular sketch comedy show Portlandia.

But after this past weekend, Fred Armisen will be known amongst public radio fans for his dead-on imitation of Ira Glass, host of “This American Life.”

Fred Armisen and Ira Glass in the “This American Life” studio. Adrianne Mathiowetz/This American Life

The theme of Episode 484 of TAL was “Doppelgangers,” and in honor of the occasion, Fred Armisen was invited to co-host the show. Armisen had once impersonated Ira Glass for an SNL skit, but the show never aired because Glass “wasn’t famous enough.”

But within the realm of public radio, Glass IS famous, and so Armisen’s impersonation finally found a home.

For listeners the experience was both comic and confusing. Is that Ira talking? Or is it Fred? At one point they both laugh, and Fred’s ‘imitation’ laughter inspires Glass to laugh even harder… an upward spiral of dizzying mimicry.

You can listen to the entire episode here.

A warning: Act 1 deals primarily with pork rectum, and the possibility of passing it off as calamari. Blech!

  • Sena Stark

    Last night on the way to work I was listening to the Armisen story about his adventures to finding the origins of pork rectums and calamari. It was so fun and brightened up my night working at the hospital through out my shift. Thank you