Fereydun Robert “Fred” Armisen is a multi-faceted entertainer and performer who brought a unique style of comedy to SNL after a string of classic cameos across the comedy circuit. Soon, he became a worldwide sensation and a household name, thanks to his always memorable artistic expressions. Check out these highlights from the talented filmography of Fred Armisen.
10. Final Space (2018-2019)
Armisen teams with Conan O’Brien as the voice of KVN, Gary Goodspeed’s Deep Space Insanity Avoidance Companion. KVN is the perfect animated character to showcase Armisen’s robot-like qualities, dry wit, and nonsensical twists (KVN, for example, isn’t an acronym).
9. Archer (2014)
Armisen joins the cast of Archer, playing Gustavo Calderon, a power-hungry dictator who keeps the clan hostage during a hostage situation. The revolting guerrillas are being armed by a U.S. agent played by Christian Slater.
8. Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014-Current)
Armisen is the bandleader and sometimes drummer for Seth Meyer’s house band. He participates in skits, which often rely on his unpredictable conversations. Often, he’ll tell a random ad hoc story that’s obviously not true.
7. Band Aid (2017)
Armisen is Dave, the drummer for a band formed by an arguing couple (Adam Pally, Zoe Lister-Jones) whose psychiatrist advised them to put their arguments into song. This offbeat dramedy is an underrated film starring its writer director (Lister-Jones)
6. The Smurfs (2011)/The Smurfs 2 (2013)
Brainy Smurf (Armisen) is the brains of the Smurfs village, a bespectacled nerd who’s always trying zany inventions.
5. Saturday Night Live (2002-2018)
Armisen spent just over a decade on SNL and still returns for occasional cameo appearances. He created dozens of recurring characters, while nailing impressions of Barack Obama, Prince, Steve Jobs, and Ira Glass, who later invited him to co-host an episode of This American Life on doppelgangers.
4. Eurotrip (2004)
Armisen is a master of the hilariously memorable cameo, and he became known early in his career for stealing scenes. This classic shows why – as a random Italian train passenger, he seems not to understand social norms, but as the scene continues, it becomes clear they’re sharing a car with an insane pervert. The term “mi scusi” will forever make me laugh, thanks to this scene.
3. Documentary Now! (2015-2019)
Helen Mirren hosts this IFC series that spoofs the documentary style using fictional stories The cast is constantly rotating, but Bill Hader and Armisen are staples throughout.
2. Forever (2018)
Armisen and Maya Rudolph shine in this one-season Amazon miniseries about love, life, and the afterlife. A couple dies and winds up in a strange neighborhood together, where there are strange rules and opportunities for them to explore what “forever” really means.
1. Portlandia (2011-2016)
Armisen and Carrie Brownstein created a pop culture phenomenon with this sketch show that skewers everything Oregon while pointing out the major cultural differences between the West Coast mecca and other major cities like NYC and Los Angeles. Although it’s no longer on, the dream of the 90s is still alive in Portland.