"Who would go to a sports bar and also come here?"
That's the question that Fred Armisen's gender-bending character asks of Carrie Brownstein's fellow bookstore worker on the underrated show Portlandia. The answer: Martina Navratilova.
In a subtly hilarious appearance, the multi-decorated Grand Slam champion shares a shoddy Yelp review of the pair's bookstore, Women and Women First, but outs herself by also reviewing a local tavern and raving about its "burn your face off" margarita, replete "with a splash of Tabasco and lemon instead of lime." Armisen and Brownstein's deadpan characters—Candace and Toni, respectively—proceed to accost Navratilova at said sports bar. See it here:
Among the understated zingers: "That's what feminism is about, is giving good reviews" and Navratilova's own smartly delivered line, "You walk around with my book in your ... purse?" But what Candace and Toni request of Navratilova next remains to be seen. Talk about an awkward (figurative) slap to the face—not to mention "Candace's" volley-motion middle finger that leaves Navratilova thoroughly nonplussed.
This cameo showing is a win-win. Navratilova comes off an adept actress, knows the role and the vibe of the show. It's uncanny, too, in that I just went to a new Indianapolis bookstore over the holidays, Indy Reads Books, and picked up a read on Navratilova herself. When all is said and done, count this guest spot among the best tennis-meets-TV incidents in history—unexpected, well written, and sharply executed, much like Navratilova's tennis itself.
[Thanks to @iheartrico for the tip.]
—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)