Ben & I got passes to the 2011 Bridgetown Comedy Festival and had a great time, although I did feel a bit like I had binged on too much chocolate and was ready to just eat salad for a while. But I’m looking forward to watching more comedy in Portland and probably getting a pass again next year. This post is intended to the flag the comics we saw who I’ll track down again and try to document the packed 4 days before I forget everything.
Thursday, April 21 is my mother’s birthday. Fortunately my brother was out of town so I seem somewhat less douchy for not spending her birthday with her. On the upside, she seemed to have made plans without me just fine!
Pop & Politics with Jimmy Dore at the Mt. Tabor Theater
I don’t think I’d been in this venue for a very long time. We showed up about 6:45 and were ready to purchase a drink, but no alcohol until 7pm! We ended up drinking no alcohol, but enjoyed the show none the less.
The general idea of Pop & Politics (I’m pretty sure) is that Jimmy Dore riffs on video clips focusing on popular culture or politics, and is eventually accompanied by a panel that also riffs. When he hit his stride, things were pretty funny. Before the panel came out, one of them spoofed a mid-western Republican representative and did a lovely job. I think his outfit really brought it all together. Maybe played by Paul Glimartin, but I’m not sure now!
W. Kamau Bell was going to be part of this, which didn’t mean anything at the time but made me sad later as he was pretty damn funny. I think Andy Wood (the organizer and a comic) subbed for him. I particularly liked Kyle Kinane and Auggie Smith. I’m pretty sure Auggie is based in Portland so hopefully we’ll see him again (Auggie’s website).
A collection of comics at Bagdad Theater at 10pm
We then walked down the street to the Bagdad to watch a collection of comics. We were sort of interested in seeing Andy Dick, and Thursday night seemed like a calmer time to see him. On the way we stopped at Toji Korean Grill House somewhat randomly and had a unexpectedly good meal of noodles.
We then crammed into the front lobby of the Bagdad with a bunch of other passholders thinking we were not going to get a seat. But then they let us in and there was a ton of room. Oh well. Comfy chairs are good, and the drinks are remarkably cheap.
This must not have been the most memorable show, because I’m managed to forget most of it in retrospect. Or maybe just the perils of having been the late show at the Bagdad on Thursday. I do remember thinking Andy Dick was remarkably normal seeming and somewhat self-aware, but apparently this was not true of the whole weekend.
Ah, with a little reviewing of names on the Bridgetown Comedy Festival: I really enjoyed Ron Lynch’s magician character but Ben was not sure he was following the humor. There was something so lovely and gentle about the extraordinarily ordinary magic that seemed just right to me! Ben really liked Adam Burke, a Brit who now lives in Chicago. I can’t remember the details of his set, but I remember thinking the whole set of riffs were really tightly put together. Erin Lennox came out and had some very funny riffs about WNBA, relationships, and an amazing vagina of truth. I don’t think the folks around us fully appreciated her. Andrew Overdahl seemed like he would be a very cool dad.
I think one of the best things about this show was the host, Karl Hess. He shared with many of the California performers a fine appreciation of the medical marijuana card, and was still funny about it. He managed to do a great job of setting up the performers and keeping things moving along. I believe Karl was the performer who talked about feeling productive when he spent time cleaning up his Facebook feed by hiding friends who were sharing really boring things. I thought this was excellent. The older guy in front of me seemed confused and left shortly thereafter. Probably because he didn’t realize he could hide people in his Facebook feed and had some urgent cleaning to do.
And that was Thursday night. I think things ended around midnight which was very late for me.