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'Rent It Out': Portlandia Spoofs The Sharing Economy

There isn't much hipster culture that doesn't get lampooned by the IFC program Portlandia. (Public radio's not immune.) And one of the big cultural shifts of the moment is the move away from ownership and toward access. Younger generations say they care less about owning a home, for instance, or even a car. Why bother, when you can couch surf and car share, bike share and more? It's powering the sharing economy, an economy of bartering and entrepreneurship, where people offer their own excess goods and services.

Your tech reporting team has been covering the sharing economy frontier, here on the blog and on-air, with a December theme week devoted to the topic. So you can imagine our delight when the idea of renting everything — for a profit — got its sendup in a new clip for Portlandia's season 4 premiere. The show's star, Fred Armisen, showed off the "Rent It Out!" sketch during a guest appearance on The Tonight Show:

Portlandia's fourth season starts tonight.

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Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.