Apparently, comedian Fred Armisen (of SNL and Portlandia fame) enjoys some measure of renown as a douchebag. But like the characters he plays, he’s a nonchalant, unstudied sort of douche. Scratch the surface it’s just more irony and snark. And more surface.
So he’s a superficial Hollywood guy who has a reputation for fucking around — and this is news why?
Poor Fred has a sex addiction.
It’s not easy being him, as he shared on a podcast interview WTF With Marc Maron last September. An alert chump sent me a transcribed portion of the interview for the Universal Bullshit Translator, including Armisen’s thoughts on marriage to Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men (he sucked at it), monogamy (he sucks at it), and sex addiction (pity him).
Why would you get married again?
Because it’s so intoxicating.
Ah the ice swan sculptures, the engraved invitations to my lavishly catered farce. Pretend commitment is exhilarating.
The idea of it, or the actual being of it?
All of it.
Holding a chump heart captive… a one-way lifetime supply of kibbles. Who wouldn’t thrill to that?
How long were you married to Elisabeth Moss?
Under a year.
Was that heartbreaking?
I was very heartbroken at myself. I felt very … I gave myself a hard time.
I myself I very myself.
Elisabeth, defrauding you hurts me too. More.
I felt very bad. At how little true work I would put into something. That I got so caught up in the beginning. The beginning is so intoxicating.
Beginnings sparkle! How could I not get caught up? Like a turkey drawn to a chrome bumper — marriage was a reflective surface and I gazed. Until, you know, something else sparkled.
How long had you known her?
A year. So the whole thing was very short.
Intoxication wears off, naturally. Then there’s the hangover.
And you were like, ‘Let’s get married?’
It’s so exciting, and this is gonna sound so shallow, but I get lost in fantasy a lot … the fantasy of this person from Mad Men, you know, great actress. And then as a person is interesting … all of a sudden, it’s like a slide. Like, ‘This is great!’
This is going to sound so shallow, but I compare life commitments to playground equipment. Monogamy! Whee! Let’s run up it backwards this time!
I married a fantasy person from the TV. When you turn the TV off, the little people inside disappear! And if you get tired of them, you can just flip the channel!
It’s like being starstruck, in a way?
It is like being starstruck, and I was getting to know the other people from the show and her and it was very, very exciting, and I only got caught up in that part of it. And the problem, and we’re talking about this relationship, but this is something that’s happened to me a million times.
The part I loved about my wife was the other people from her show.
Group kibble dynamics are exciting. I’ve conflated individual people with the circles they keep millions of times.
I like being
What the fuck happened?
I have a problem with intimacy,
You don’t say, Fred.
where all of a sudden, there’s a real person there … and now, there’s a person behind this. It’s not the girl on Mad Men.
YOU MEAN LITTLE PEOPLE DON’T LIVE INSIDE MY TV SET?!
The same thing happened with Sally [Timms. His first wife]. She had this accent, this British woman who is in a band, and then all of a sudden, there’s a person there … something happens in me.
I wanted the ACCENT and instead they gave me a WOMAN.
It’s almost like an amnesia. It’s almost like waking up and going, ‘Where am I? Who is this person? Why is this person looking at me directly in the eye and having a conversation with me?’”
The horror, Fred. The UBT shudders.
It’s like a spell?
Yes, and that was a public one, but when I lived in Chicago, I moved from apartment to apartment. I remember, I would move in with so many people, and live with them, and then I’d meet someone else and move in with them. The amount of times I’ve had furniture handed to me. It’s happened a lot.
Someone cast me under a sofa-surfing spell. One day I’m mooching off a new acquaintance, then I awake and am handed my crap.
Can anyone save me from this enchantment?
Who ends it. You or her?
It’s me becoming impossible. I make it happen.
People are a game. I want to see how far I can push them.
It’s like, ‘You’re going to go?’
It’s like cheating and infidelity. I’m neither ashamed or proud of it. It’s just something that happens in my life.
To be ashamed or proud, I would have to have feelings. To sociopaths, cheating is just something that happens. I ascribe no meaning to it.
I share this. I know this compulsion. The compulsion of connecting, of engaging sexually with strangers. It’s like there’s nothing like it.
There’s nothing like it!
I have a kibble compulsion too, Fred! Marc! You GET me! Thank you for your lack of judgment and the softball questions! There’s nothing like connecting and discarding people! NOTHING!
Now you got like a public rap. A weird thing on the street. And the weird thing about [your marriage to Moss] in particular, it’s like, when I hear that, it’s not unusual. It’s like, OK, so he fucks around a lot.
You fuck people over and you get a reputation for it. It’s so weird.
When you’re a man who likes to have sex with people and you get to a place in your life where you can do that more frequently, how the fuck are you not going to do that?
I don’t know… self-control. Empathy and respect for your partner. The UBT is a crazy dreamer. Anyway, fuck around, gentleman. People just wonder why the hell you got married.
When you want to be that type of adult that restrains himself or not, that’s a life choice
Yes. Yeah. I agree with you. And that’s OK. Because even negative things help me go forward, because it could be a lot worse. I think of the lucky side of it. I didn’t have a string of children along the way or anything like that. I am actually fortunate.
The UBT thinks your unborn children are fortunate, Fred.
It could be a lot worse. Now I fuck around with impunity. One errant sperm, and I could have child support payments. Thank God my sperm restrains itself.
What’s your hope, ultimately, in that area. Do you find intimacy in that area as you access it. Do you find that rewarding?
I do, in that — a person I can be intimate with is a person who I don’t have sex with, which is to say, Carrie Brownstein [his Portlandia partner]. I find true intimacy there, so I know I have it. I know that I’m not shut down. I know that I can be myself. Also with my friends. And through program stuff, I know that I can, there are ways every day that I can see the difference. So, today, I don’t have to worry about the phone or some stranger I hooked up with … I can, little by little … I’m having a good day today.
I know that I can be myself and share that person with others. And then share a different persona, and another one after that…
So, you’re learning how not to act out and use people in that way?
Yes, and it’s hard. It’s very very hard.
Pity me. I mustn’t use people.
They have breath, and accents, and don’t live inside my TV. They have needs. Like the need to not have me sleeping on their sofa, drinking all their scotch, and fucking their sister in the coat closet. Needs I have to respect.
It’s very, very hard.
This struggle that I have [sex addiction], I don’t have a choice. It could be a lot worse. I could be dead.
I don’t have a CHOICE! So what? I use people and discard them. It could be worse… for ME. I could be dead!
(I’m sure several people wish you were, Fred. — UBT)
There are worse things than having too much vagina options
Yes. And as long as I understand there is a struggle, that’s the part … where everything else falls away.
Like my word salad? As long as I understand that I struggle with using people — everything else falls away! Like responsibility!
Fred, you’re a sociopath. Find your soul. Put a bird on it.
*Photo from WTF With Marc Maron