Fred Armisen, born Fereydun Robert “Fred” Armisen, is best known for being a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2002 until 2013. During his time on the sketch comedy series, he created iconic characters such as Garth of “Garth and Kat” and showed off his impressive celebrity impersonations, including former President Barack Obama. Following his exit, the comedian has made frequent returns to SNL for surprise cameo appearances.
Before making it big on SNL, he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York but dropped out to focus on his musical aspirations. He played the drums for Trenchmouth in the late ‘80s and became a background drummer with Blue Man Group in the ‘90s. He eventually began to make frequent appearances for Late Night with Seth Meyers’ in-house band, 8G Band, in 2014.
Armisen’s early comedic performances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers led to his eventual SNL casting. Toward the end of Armisen’s 11-year SNL career, he began starring on the IFC sketch series Portlandia in 2011 until the series concluded in 2018 after eight seasons.
He has also appeared on other shows including Big Mouth, Forever, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Documentary Now! as well as films such as The Smurfs, The Little Hours and The Rocker.
In his personal life, Armisen was married to English singer Sally Timms from 1998 to 2004 and Elisabeth Moss from 2009 to 2011.
He is now dating Natasha Lyonne, to whom he was first linked in 2014.