"SNL" comedian will serve as graduation speaker for Oregon Episcopal School
Fred Armisen has helped put Portland on the entertainment map, joining with Carrie Brownstein in writing and playing a character in the Independent Film Channel hit "Portlandia."
So, when the senior class at Oregon Episcopal School sat down with ideas for a commencement speaker, Isabelle Platt spoke up: How about Fred?
Platt's father, Jay Platt, of the family that owns Platt Electric, knew somebody who knew somebody who worked with Armisen, who also stars on "Saturday Night Live."
Contacts were made, Armisen agreed and "Portlandia" meets OES at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as the seniors bid goodbye to the private school in Garden Home.
He's certainly one of the more famous commencement speakers in OES history, publicist Marty Jones says.
Nothing like reaching for the sky, shooting for the moon. The OES seniors started the year with a theme of 'Hollywood,' with the number '11' (as in their graduating year) replacing the Ls. Now, it ends with Armisen telling them all about life.
'True to our kids, who are very self-aware and self-realized, they put it on themselves to make something happen,' Jones says. 'They have a lot of initiative, which we hope they have after departing us.'
And, Armisen has become a member of the community with "Portlandia," even though the show depicts a huge slice of counterculture about the Rose City.
'We have a very vibrant student body that interacts with all different areas of the community, from science to service and learning,' Jones adds. 'They're dialed-in active citizens. When somebody like Fred became a part of the community, that became of interest to them. A lot of people in Portland are aware of the show because of the obvious homage to Portland.'
The second season of "Portlandia" returns to the IFC in January 2012.
It'll be interesting for the OES folks to see what Armisen does and says at the graduation ceremony. He does great impersonations of President Barack Obama on "Saturday Night Live."
Says Jones: 'Maybe he'll just be himself.'