Rose Byrne and Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale clutched hands as they surreptitiously made their way through the crowd inside the Hall of Ocean Life at New York's American Museum of Natural History Monday night. Though the duo never posed for pictures together on the red carpet, they looked to be very much together and enjoying each other's company at a bash to celebrate IFC's hit comedy Portlandia's upcoming third season (Jan. 4, 10 p.m. ET). (When asked if they were dating, Byrne's rep had no comment.)
The soiree, which began with a screening of two upcoming episodes from the series and an introduction by its stars and writers, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, continued into the vast ocean-themed room, lined with hundreds of models of sea creatures and bathed purplish-blue lights as a 94 ft. long blue whale hung from the ceiling.
A who's who of the comedy world stars – Martin Short; David Cross and wife Amber Tamblyn; and most of the current cast of SNL – mingled in the large room, chatting with each other and with fans (there was no separate VIP section) and grabbing drinks from the large bar in the center of the room or nibbling passed Hors d'oeuvre such as bite-sized waffles with Camembert cheese.
Former SNL star Andy Samberg stuck near his longtime girlfriend, indie harpist Joanna Newsom, who also talked with fellow musician David Longstreth (of the Dirty Projectors) whose music blared over the speakers. Much like the show, which often includes guests from the music world, the party's soundtrack came from a diverse array of artists, including recent Grammy nominee Frank Ocean.
Meanwhile, Brownstein, in very high heels, and Armisen played perfect hosts, talking with their guests, such as rocker St. Vincent, and circulating around the party, which also featured funny signs referencing jokes from the show.
Other stars at the bash, which stretched on past 11 p.m., included: Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino; Kyle McLachlan (who plays the fictional mayor of Portland on the show); Questlove; and comedian Jim Gaffigan.
– Brian Orloff