It’s been extremely exciting past few weeks as the Helium Comedy Club has been hosting Portland’s Funniest Person contest. The preliminaries started out strong as over 100 comics both well-known and up-and-coming competed to be the funniest person. At the end of each show, the audience decided the fate of the competing comics, voting on original material, audience reaction and the obvious quality of the material. This round took about 2 weeks to complete.
Comedians were judged on very similar terms, gauging audience reaction as the show progressed, leaving the audience free to enjoy the show without the burden of moving comics through to the final round. As an audience member, this was quite a relief because every comic participating gave incredible performances.
In 2010, Portland welcomed its new comedy spot Helium Comedy Club to the scene. Helium was the first club in Portland to take on the semi-circle organization (similar to the normal Improv layout). It comes highly regarded amongst the comedians that perform there for being timely with comedians, quick with service and prompt in handling all hecklers. Helium has definitely made its name in the comedy club world, hosting such shows as Doug Loves Movies with Doug Benson, Norm MacDonald, Michael Ian Black and many more.
One year after beginning, Helium hosted its very first Portland’s Funniest Person contest. The winner was Ian Karmel, current writer and roundtable regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately. Since then, Nathan Brannon, Shane Torres, Steve Wilbur and Amy Miller have all taken the stage and come out victorious as the winners of their respective years. You may remember seeing them at the very recent Bridgetown Comedy Festival. If you didn’t get the chance, your weekend was nowhere near as good as mine. (Portland Notes was granted an all-access pass to the festival, and certainly took advantage of the much needed laughs!)
Starting June 7th all the way through June 29th, the Funniest Person Preliminaries will be held at Helium. Such Portland favorites including Gabe Dinger, Bri Pruett, Adam Posi, Caitlin Weierhauser, Jeremy Eli and Wendy Weiss will be competing this year. Tickets are currently on sale for the preliminaries. Semi-finals are held on July 5th & 6th and the finals being held on July 13th. Be sure to visit Helium’s website to see a full calendar of performers and don’t miss this competition!