Put a Bird on It

Put a Bird on It

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Updated Jan 19, 2020 at 09:35AM EST by Y F.

Added May 05, 2016 at 12:50PM EDT by Brad.

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About

"Put a Bird on It" is a catchphrase that stems from a comedic skit featured in an episode of the American sketch comedy TV series Portlandia. While originally intended as a satire of the avian motif that became a trend in hipster fashion and home décor merchandises during the early 2010s, the phrase has been since incorporated into the aforementioned products as an ironic tagline.

Origin

The phrase was first introduced in a sketch from the pilot episode of IFC's hipster-satire comedy TV show Portlandia wherein Bryce Shivers (portrayed by Fred Armisen) and Lisa Eversman (Carrie Brownstein) work as a duo of interior décor specialists who visit businesses and homes to put birds on a variety of objects and call them art. The episode premiered on January 21th, 2011.



Spread

Immediately after the series premiere of Portlandia, the skit was cited by several pop culture blogs and entertainment news sites as a notable moment from the show that exemplifies its satirical take on the hipster culture, including Gawker, Los Angeles Times, The Oregonian, Pop Sugar and USA Today. In addition, IFC launched a promotional bookmarklet at PutaBirdOnIt.com which allows its users to add a large sprite of the orange bird, as seen in the skit, on any webpage (shown below).


PUT A BIRD ON IT! "IN PORTLAND, YOU CAN PUT A BIRD ON SOMETHING AND JUST CALL IT ART. HERE'S HOW TO PUT A BIRD ON IT. BOOKMARK THIS LINK BY DRAGGING IT TO YOUR BROWSER'S BOOKMARK TOOLBAR OR BY RIGHT-CLICKING THE LINK: PUTABIRDONIT.COM OPEN UP ANY URL AND CLICK THE BOOKMARK TAB, AND VOILA! YOU JUST PUT A BIRD ON IT! FOR MORE BIRDS AND THINGS, WATCH PORTLANDIA ON IFC, FRIDAYS AT 10:30/9:30C, STARTING JANUARY 21 AND LIKE US ON FACEB00K 92011 The Independent Film Channel LLC. 11 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 ey can put a bird on something and just cal it a travelocity ALWAYS ON SPRING VACATIONS SALE ENDS 1/ GOt HOME ON AIR NEWS WEB SERIES MEDIA LAB VIDEOS PORTLANDIA Portlandia Jain Fred Amsen und Came Brownstoin Fr 10:3013 Latest from LUSIVE VIDES Heroic Developer Memorialized by St Internship Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult his famly iA t 1 28 2011

Throughout 2011, "Put a Bird on It" continued to grow into a parody video meme with many fans of Portlandia sharing their re-enactments of the original skit on YouTube, while some brought their own twists into the joke by replacing the bird with other animal mascots representing their local regions. Meanwhile, the joke also caught on Etsy and other online marketplaces specializing in handmade merchandises, where many artists and merchants began offering a variety accessories, jewelries and household items bearing the now-iconic bird, with some even openly embracing the phrase "Put a bird on it!" in ironic humor.


ut Puta bird on it st working papers KEEP CALM AND PUT A BIRD

On October 15th, 2011, Urban Dictionary user ValleyoftheLOLs submitted a definition for "Put a Bird on It," describing it as:

A phrase exclaimed when placing an image of an avian creature on any item, especially one that was "handcrafted" or "thrifted" so as to make it totally adorable and artistic. It's, like, soooooooo cute! Whether it's a necklace or a t-shirt or an iPad cover or a corset, it could probably use a bird on it.

On October 24th, 2011, Salon ran an article titled "Put a Bird on It: The aftermath," which reflected upon the cultural impact of the Portlandia sketch on the once-popular trend of the avian decoration in fashion and handcraft merchandises.

2016: Birdie Sanders

On March 25th, 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made an appearance at a campaign rally in Portland, Oregon. During his speech, a brown house finch flew onto the stage and perched onto the podium, which immediately prompted cheers and laughters from the crowd and quickly went viral on the social media, with many supporters and local news outlets drawing references to the catchphrase in describing the amusing encounter between the candidate and the bird. That same day, the instantly iconic image of Bernie Sanders smiling at the bird was tweeted along with the catchphrase via Portlandia's official Twitter account.


Portlandia @portlandia Put. A. Bern. On. lt. #BirdieSanders AFUTURE TO BELIEVE IN TURE TO BELIEVEIN

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