FBI requests 'Portlandia' clip for training

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in the 'Portlandia' sketch 'Sanitation Twins.'

Does FBI stand for Federal Bureau of Irony? The Bureau has asked IFC sketch comedy show “Portlandia” for rights to use a clip from the program in its advanced intelligence training classes. Here's the Hollywood Reporter with the details:

In April, an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., approached the producers of Portlandia, requesting to use a clip from the show's "Sanitation Twins" sketch (it spoofs recycling culture) in its advanced-intelligence classes, which focus on terrorism, espionage, IP theft and other crime.

"This falls under the surreal category," says co-star Carrie Brownstein. "We granted permission, although he didn't tell us why he was interested."

The clip features co-stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen dressed up as sanitation workers demonstrating how to sort recycling into no less than 20 different color-coded bins. Blue for cardboard, black for aluminum, yellow for yardwaste...cobalt for finger nails and egg shells.

 

What does the FBI stand to learn from the sketch? Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio suggests the clip is a useful caution against complexity, that too many categories equals stupid. What do you think? Tell us in a comment below or on Twitter @MarketplaceAPM.

 

About the author

Katie Long is a contributing digital producer for Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Tech.

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