Shady Things Everyone Just Ignores About Comedian Fred Armisen

Comedian Fred Armisen has made quite a name for himself in the comedy world over the past few years, what with his star turns on Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, and Documentary Now! Unfortunately for Armisen, however, it's not just his comedic impressions that have gone viral. Rumors of some shady behavior on his part have been spreading like wildfire. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

He was a self-admitted 'terrible husband'

It's no secret that celebs frequently reveal quite a bit when they get together to chat with shock jock Howard Stern. For his part, Armisen was brutally honest when he went on The Howard Stern Show and admitted, point blank, that during his brief marriage to Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss (which ended in 2010 after less than a year), "I was a terrible husband." He added, "I feel bad for everyone I've gone out with." 

His comedy may have ruined his marriage

When Armisen's ex-wife, actress Elisabeth Moss, was asked about her relationship with Armisen in 2012, she was brutally honest about how his comedic antics didn't translate so well when it came time to negotiate a relationship. In a revealing interview, she told Page Six (via The Atlantic), "One of the greatest things I heard someone say about him is, 'He's so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person.' To me, that sums it up." Ouch. And a little terrifying.

He's a rumored womanizer

Gawker got a lot of mileage out of Armisen's rumored shady behavior with the ladies. One Gawker post collected comments (since deleted) from a piece Armisen penned for Brooklyn Vegan that accused him of "dating" many ladies and detailed his allegedly dishonest and NSFW behavior. A second Gawker piece addressed a post (from a lesbian discussion forum) that alleged Armisen was "conducting a texting relationship with said poster despite being [actress Natasha] Lyonne's boyfriend." Of course, all this might just be the rumblings of internet trolls, so take it with a grain of salt. Still, where there's smoke, there just might be fire.

He's been called (and portrayed as) a sociopath

In September 2014, the New York Daily News reported that another one of Armisen's exes, NYC-based artist Alice Lancaster, had left their relationship with less than warm feelings. In fact, she painted a portrait of him that she titled "Fred Armisen: Portrait of a Sociopath." Lancaster didn't have much to add when she posted an image of the painting to her Instagram account, simply captioning it #sociopath. That post has since been deleted, but you can still see it in on Gawker.

He's admitted to having a hard time not using people

In a candid conversation with comedian Marc Maron for his WTF podcast, Armisen admitted he struggles to maintain serious relationships because he loses interest quickly. He referred specifically to his relationship with ex-wife Moss. "This is gonna sound so shallow, but I get lost in fantasy a lot," he said. "...The fantasy of this person from Mad Men, you know, great actress ... 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." He added, "This is something that's happened to me a million times."

Armisen admitted that after the initial rush of a relationship, he struggles to contend with the totality of the other person. "I have a problem with intimacy, where all of a sudden, there's a real person there ... and now, there's a person behind this ... It's almost like an amnesia," he said. "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?'" With an attitude like that, it's likely that "this person" won't be having a conversation with you for much longer.

He ridiculed disability on SNL

In 2008, Armisen's impression for Saturday Night Live of then-New York Gov. David Patterson (who is legally blind) raised some serious concerns about the TV show making fun of people with disabilities. The skit saw Armisen's Patterson acting disoriented and seeming to have a difficult time figuring out where he was, wandering into other actors' scenes.

After the episode aired, Paterson's spokesperson said: "The governor engages in humor all the time, and he can certainly take a joke ... However, this particular Saturday Night Live skit unfortunately chose to ridicule people with physical disabilities and imply that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities." Not a good look, Armisen.

He's been accused of ruining Portland

Armisen's show Portlandia made waves in October 2016 when In Other Words, a Portland bookstore where the show had filmed a number of sketches, posted to its website that it was ending its relationship with Armisen and his creative partner, Carrie Brownstein. Their beef? The perceived negative effects the show had on the city and also displeasure of what the book store felt were "trans-antagonistic and trans-misogynist" sketches. The business was also less than pleased about the the cast and crew of the show allegedly making a mess in the store.

The store claimed "Portlandia is fueling mass displacement in Portland. Fred and Carrie are on billboards and realtors have gleefully begun using Portlandia's popularity and insipid humor ('put a bird on it!') to make displacing the communities that made Portland a great place in the first place something twee and whimsical for the incoming technocrat hordes."

Armisen responded to the store's concerns by saying: "I think what's changing about this city is what's changing about any city that I live in ... every city I go to has more buildings going up."