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IFC posts some “hardcore soothing” web-only Portlandia sketches

The fourth season of Portlandia premieres late next month—February 27, to be exact—but for now, IFC is priming the pump with a handful of online-exclusive “Tailgating Prairie Home Companion” sketches. As far as Portlandia subject matter goes, an assembly of fanatical Garrison Keillor aficionados is red meat—organic, locally farmed, grass-fed, antibiotic-free red meat—and the show’s sharp eye for subcultural idiosyncrasies is on display in the first sketch. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein reminisce about past Companion moments like a surprise appearance by Fresh Air’s Terry Gross (“some people peed their pants”) before everyone hunkers down for a dull report about Brazil’s economy, because that is what’s on NPR 60 percent of the time.

That segment will air on Portlandia proper in March, but IFC’s website has four other sketches that are available only to those of you with access to the online Internet. As you might imagine, these web exclusives aren’t prime Portlandia fare, but they’re not bad. Armisen and Brownstein handle the Subaru product placement in the now-accepted manner of noting the intrusive sponsorship, gently mocking it, and then proceeding to pay the bills. This T-shirt vendor sketch is the best of the lot:

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