Category Archives: Noteworthy Humor

For comedy: Bridgetown Comedy Festival hits home with locals!

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Bridgetown Comedy Festival is just under a week away. June 1-5, at venues all over Portland! In this spotlight feature, we’re asking 4 former and current local comedians about the impact and reach of the innovative festival. All of the participants are very excited about the community spirit presented by the festival, as well as the national attention that is brought to our fair city.

Curtis Cook is one of the hosts of Earthquake Hurricane, a weekly local comedy showcase at the Velo Cult Bike Shop. Originally from Ohio, Curtis relocated to Portland,is a writer for the Willamette Week and has appeared on Daily VICE. Curtis will be a part of 7 different performances throughout Bridgetown including a sample of the Earthquake Hurricane program.

Curtis Cook
Curtis Cook

Randall: How and when did you first become involved with Bridgetown?

Curtis: I applied to Bridgetown a few days after moving to Portland in 2013. When I got an email saying that I’d been accepted into the festival, I called my mom and said, “Mom! I got into Bridgetown!” My mom said, “Oh. That is very nice for you.”

I don’t think she knew what I was talking about, but she’s very supportive.

Shane Torres, Portland native turned New York City resident has made appearances on IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, as well as Last Comic Standing and TBS’s Conan. Shane will be making 6 appearances throughout Bridgetown.

Shane Torres
Shane Torres

Randall: What’s your most memorable experience from BCF in the past?

Shane: There are always memories that pop up. I remember the first year, one of the only sponsors was a porn shop = and they gave DVD’s for gift bags. Plenty of people took the gift bags, but left the videos. As the last show was ending, we started throwing smut out into the audience.

Amy Miller, originally from Oakland, found her way to Portland. She quickly found her footing, winning the title of Portland’s Funniest Comedian at Helium Comedy Club . She then went on to be named “Portland’s Funniest” by Willamette Week in 2013 & 2016. She’s made appearances on Doug Loves Movies as well as Last Comic Standing. Amy will be bringing her Stand Up For Yourself! show to Bridgetown Comedy Festival this year, and we cannot wait to see her again!

Amy Miller
Amy Miller

Randall: Why do you think BCF is important to Portland?

Amy: Bridgetown has helped put Portland comedy on the map for industry, and comics as well. So many people became aware of Portland’s amazing comedy scene from the festival. They also use some unorthodox venues. You can live in Portland for years and see a Bridgetown show and go, “wow I never noticed this place!” I like that the festival showcases the city itself as much as its talent.

Caitlin Weierhauser is a part of Lez Stand Up, a regular showcase in Portland. She’s also performed at All Jane Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot and was included in the AfterEllen list of “40 Hot Queer Women in Comedy”.

Caitlin Weierhauser
Caitlin Weierhauser

Randall: Who are you excited to see this year? How do you think they’ve made/are making an important impact on comedy?

Caitlin: Dulce Sloan, Sam Jay, Yusef Roach, Morgan Murphy, Kate Willett, Sabrina Jalees, Baron Vaughn, Aparna Nancherla, Rhea Butcher, Guy Branum, Solomon Georgio. Their voices are fresh and sharp, and their perspectives are incredibly valuable in a landscape that has been dominated by straight white men for way too long. It’s exciting to see how radically comedy is changing,

With non-stop comedy acts June 1-5, Bridgetown Comedy Festival is the place to be this week. Bring some fun into your life, check out some awesome Portland venues, and share your laughs with the crowd!

Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Spotlight on Amy Miller!

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Bridgetown Comedy Festival is presenting another amazing comic, Amy Miller, now a member of the New York comedy scene. Amy, originally from Oakland, found her way to Portland then quickly found her footing as she won Portland’s Funniest Comedian at Helium Comedy Club then went on to be named Portland’s Funniest in the Willamette Week in 2013 & 2016. She’s made appearances on Doug Loves Movies as well as Last Comic Standing.

Amy will be bringing her Stand Up For Yourself! show to Bridgetown Comedy Festival this year and we cannot wait to see her again! Check out my quick interview with Amy!

Q: How and when did you first become involved with Bridgetown?

A: This is my third year doing the festival, though I went to the shows before that. I’ve been doing comedy 5 1/2 years so it’s been on my radar just as long! As soon as I started, it became a goal of mine to get in. It’s just the best comedy festival.

Spotlight-on-Amy-Miller-02Q: What’s your most memorable experience from BCF in the past?

A: The year that Emo Philips came was pretty incredible. I like that Bridgetown gets the best of young comics but also books our heroes. He’s such a genius and he was so nice and just magical to have around. Same thing with 2015 and Dr. Katz Live. That show was so important to me, it was just surreal to see it in person. Since then I’ve gotten to interact with Jonathan Katz a bit, and he thinks I say “dude” too much in my standup.

Q: Why do you think BCF is important to Portland?

A: Bridgetown has helped put Portland comedy on the map for industry, and comics as well. So many people became aware of Portland’s amazing comedy scene from coming to into town for the festival. They also use some unorthodox venues. You can live in Portland for years and see a Bridgetown show and go, wow I never noticed this place? I like that they showcase the city itself as much as its talent.

Spotlight-on-Amy-Miller-01Q: Who are you excited to see this year? How do you think they’ve made/are making an important impact on comedy?

A: Rachel Bloom! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is one of my favorite new shows and she’s just a powerhouse of a performer. Plus the show is at Revolution Hall, which is a newer and really beautiful venue. Rachel has somehow made an hour-long musical comedy sitcom be not just watchable but hilarious. No small feat. And my talk show! Stand Up For Yourself. The lineup is incredible and the show is so much fun. I can say this, yes? Yes.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival Spotlight on Sean Jordan: Festival Fan!

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As the time draws nigh to Bridgetown Comedy Festival, we take a look at another one of Portland’s great stand-up comics, Sean Jordan. Sean, originally from Sioux Falls, SD relocated to Portland in 2009 to become known by Doug Benson as a “Portland Comedy Phenom”. Sean formerly ran the #1 independent comedy showcase Funny Over Everything, was named the funniest person by the Willamette Week, and was a finalist for Portland’s Funniest Person with Helium Comedy Club in 2014.

Sean has 6 appearances at Bridgetown this year including with the very funny Amy Miller, Shane Torres and festival founder Matt Braunger. Check out my interview with Sean!

Q: How and when did you first become involved with Bridgetown?

Bridgetown-Sean-Jordan-01A: I had been in Portland about 6 months or so and I got a call out of the blue from Andy Wood asking if I wanted to do a set on the festival. I didn’t even know what a comedy festival was! A bigger comedian who has been helping me out for quite some time recommended to Andy that I do a spot on the festival. I was so excited to get that call! I had only done a few shows in Portland so far and wasn’t sure comedy was going anywhere really, and then I got to see my first comedy festival. It was insane! Just the excitement of walking up and down Hawthorne with all these comedy fans that I didn’t know existed was such a good feeling. I only went to a few shows because I was kind of shy and didn’t know any of the comedians but it was a blast!

Q: What’s your most memorable experience from BCF in the past?

Bridgetown-Sean-Jordan-02A: Well this will be my 7th year in the festival and it keeps getting better every year so it’s hard to pick. If I HAD to choose I would say that my favorite memory was getting to do Funny Over Everything at the festival last year. Funny Over Everything is a show I started with Ian Karmel and Shane Torres about 4 years ago. We have done it during the festival a couple times but last year was really special because it kind of put a button on my time in Portland. The show sold out and we got to do it with a bunch of our friends who had done it in the past as headliners. Seeing a theater full of people at the theater to see a show that had the name of the 3 best friends that started it was a big deal for me.

Also, we pulled a kids car off the train tracks at an after party one time! That was pretty buck too but I can’t get into the details too much.

Q: Why do you think BCF is important to Portland?

Bridgetown-Sean-Jordan-03A: I think the festival is important for many reasons. 1. It gives local comedians something to shoot for. It is a very big deal to get accepted into one of the most prestigious festivals in the country. I don’t throw that around lightly either. Bridgetown is run by some of the most knowledgable people there are for festivals. They all care and love comedy just as much as any comedian does. 2. It gives out of town comics something to look forward to every year. Everyone loves coming to Portland and it shows most during this festival. You get to see all of your friends from around the country and entertain one of the best cities in the country for a week. It’s the best! 3. It gives the general public a healthy reminder that stand up comedy is out there and if you seek it out and go to a show you’ll probably enjoy it. It’s good to get out and laugh, just forget about your problems for a while and chill. Have a few drinks and see that life is good.

Bridgetown-Sean-Jordan-04I think Bridgetown is good because it gave me my first real taste of what being a stand up comedian can be like. I think it’s good to have things like that in a city. Comedy festivals, music festivals, arts festivals… The list goes on. The more creative outlets you have in your city, the more creativity will be pumped out from the city and that’s always a good thing. Portland has produced some very talented people in all genres of the arts and they continue to do so. This festival and ones like it are a very important part of that process.

Q: Who are you excited to see this year? How do you think they’ve made/are making an important impact on comedy?

Bridgetown-Sean-Jordan-05A: As I look over the list I’m excited for so many people. Ryan Sickler is a good example. He’s a genuinely happy person and that comes through in his comedy. He’s got one of the best laughs in the game and I love every set he does. Steven Wilber will be great. I’ve been seeing him around LA and he’s got some fantastic new material. I’ve always loved him. Solomon Georgio is a gem and a peach. He was just on the cover of LA weekly and is about to blow the fuck up! Aparna Nancherla, David Gborie, Guy Branum. There are so many!

Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Bri Pruett says, “Do it!”

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We’re days away from Bridgetown Comedy Festival (June 1-5) which means it’s time to shine a light on Portland’s very own Bri Pruett! Pruett is currently one of the hosts of Earthquake Hurricane, a constantly fresh local comedy showcase that has seen the likes of Matt Braunger (Bridgetown Founder), Geoff Tate, Barry Crimmins, James Adomian and more! She has appeared on Doug Loves Movies, Savage Lovecast, NPR’s Live Wire, and is a co-host and writer for Late Night Action with Alex Falcone. Pruett has been named one of 5 Funniest Comedians by the Willamette Week! Notably, she is an active contributor to amazing organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Planned Parenthood advocates of Oregon, JOIN, and The Portland Art Museum.

Pruett has 7 appearances at Bridgetown, including features of her work with the Earthquake Hurricane showcase – all segments will be hosted at the Portland Mercury Stage at Bossanova Ballroom, one of the many fabulous local venues hosting the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. In this interview, Pruett gives credit to Bridgetown Comedy Festival and its organizers for shining that all important spotlight on Portland’s outstanding comedic talent – and for giving a voice to new artists.

Q: How and when did you first become involved with Bridgetown?

Bridgetown-Comedy-Festival-Bri-Pruett-01A: I was first accepted as an improviser, they had Curious Comedy’s ensemble open for improv at the Hawthorne Theater. They threw me a set as a stand-up as well, on a very small stage – the organizers didn’t need to do that (I was a baby comedian – 2 years in), but they are committed to building local talent. Which is why this thing grows.

Q: What’s your most memorable experience from BCF in the past?

A: Dancing with Guy Branum, 2 years ago I got to do the Set List open mic (people still remember me from that) Last year I had my own Thursday show to curate based on my sex/relationship column in the Portland Mercury, Let’s Do It with Bri Pruett – at the beginning of the show I asked the crowd who they were here to see and they were like “you, dummy!” The fact that this festival was able to mobilize and advertise and get a room full of people there for me to do my thing means SO MUCH to an artist at my level.

Q: Why do you think BCF is important to Portland?

Bridgetown-Comedy-Festival-Bri-Pruett-02A: The grow talent, they reach audience members who are excited to see headliners then they present those headliners on diverse shows that showcase local talent. It also lends legitimacy to the Portland scene that the rest of the country now acknowledges. Now headliners, agents, and hollywood types are at the festival, which is immeasurably good for Portland comics.

Q: Who are you excited to see this year? How do you think they’ve made/are making an important impact on comedy?

A: I’m always excited to see Solomon Georgio who I’ve always known was a precious treasure from the gods, but NOW everyone is hip to it – so I’m excited to see him this year to ascend to his throne – he’s got a really unique perspective as a gay african immigrant, but it’s mostly his voice, how he confidently and elegantly brings the truth to people. It’s a thing of beauty.

I love when Baron (Vaughn) brings his New Negroes showcase to Bridgetown. Portland is learning how to talk about race and racism and Baron’s show is very valuable to local audiences who are slowly getting woke. Also Guy Branum is a personal fave. He’s got that big energy that fills a room. I’ve never seen Chris Cubas or Rachel Bloom live before and I’m excited about them as well.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival begins June 1, and tickets are available online now.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Spotlight on Alex Falcone

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Bridgetown Comedy Festival begins June 1st , and tickets are now available! Hosted at a number of venues including Revolution Hall, Bossanova Ballroom, Doug Fir Lounge, Refuge PDX, The Siren Theater, Trio Club, Analog Cafe, Bunk Bar, and My Father’s Place from June 1-5, you are guaranteed to find something to smile about! Over 30 shows are planned, with topics ranging from erotic fan fiction to incompetent science.

Bridgetown-Comedy-Festival-Spotlight-on-Alex-Falcone-01Among the innovative festival’s many local performers is Alex Falcone, one of the amazing hosts of Earthquake Hurricane, an incredible comedy showcase that takes place at Velo Cult Bike Shop every Wednesday at 9pm. Falcone is also the host of Read it and Weep podcast as well as the movie columnist for the Willamette Week. Check out his quick interview below and his spotlight feature page on the Bridgetown Comedy Festival Website!

Q: How and when did you get involved with Bridgetown Comedy Festival?

A: My first year doing comedy they offered a thing to newcomers that you could do one show if you volunteered so I worked a couple shifts, did a show on a patio when it was still light out, and it was the best thing.

Q: Why is a festival like this important to the city and it’s growing comedy scene?

A: For the city, it’s just great to have comedy in the public eye. You get all these people who don’t usually come out to shows to watch these amazing lineups and realize “oh, some of these talented people live here? Crazy.” For comedians, it’s an amazing time meeting people. You see friends you haven’t seen in awhile, you do shows with people who are way out of your league. And you see your fellow Portland comedians in a light you haven’t before.

Q: Who are you excited to see this year? How do you think they’ve made/are making an important impact on comedy?

Bridgetown-Comedy-Festival-Spotlight-on-Alex-Falcone-02A: Greg Behrendt is coming back again this year. I did a show with him two Bridgetowns ago and he’s so funny. He had one of the specials I watched over and over the year I discovered stand up so it meant a ton to get to share a stage with him, plus he wears these great scarves on stage even if it’s hot out. Aparna Nancherla did the festival before too and she’ just makes me want to melt into a puddle, she’s so funny. David Gborie is the most delightful human being I’ve ever experienced. Solomon Georgio, Dave Ross, Josh Androsky, Molly Ruben-Long, and Clare O’Kane. All amazing comics that are just about to explode. And, of course, having Steven Wilber and Shane Torres back in town.

Here is a link to some of Alex Falcone’s hilarity on YouTube!