The Punchline

FBI requests ‘Portlandia’ clip for training

Katie Long and David Brancaccio Jun 24, 2013

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.

 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.