Possible shows I’m watching at Bridgetown Comedy Festival

Bear with me as I tell you a story of geography and transit. Or go read about my amazing training regimen.

This year, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival has some different venues which is strongly influencing my tentative plan for shows. As a lazy bicyclist (and a city that fails to provide late night mass transit), I have been stuck with waiting for cabs to get from upper Hawthorne to my home at 2am. Apparently we don’t have enough cabs between 1am and 2am. Only really a problem for me once or twice a year, but it has kind of sucked.

This year, the festival venues make an interesting backwards L from the Eagle Lodge (not to be missed) at 49th & Hawthorne down to the Analog Cafe (720 SE Hawthorne) and the White Owl Social Club (1305 SE 8th — pretty much at SE Main) and then back to the Bossanova Ballroom and Doug Fir (both right around 7th/8th on E. Burnside).

As a side note, the Bagdad Theater is out (now showing first run movies), which is a bummer because the seats were more comfortable than other venues but a good thing because the theater just ate up the sound and energy of some shows (which might have been related to my tendency to fall asleep in the more comfortable chairs even though I tried to stay away from the couches in the balcony).

Okay, so we have these new venues — and guess what, I can walk home from E. Burnside and 8th relatively easily. So my schedule is largely based around trying to end my night at the Bossanova or Doug Fir. So there are probably great late shows near 50th and Hawthorne that you might want to explore depending on your eventual destination as well.

Without further ado, my tentative plan (no links but you can see the whole schedule on the Bridgetown website):


  • 8pm: Dead Authors Podcast with Paul F. Tompkins at Bossanova (I love Paul F. Tompkins and will pretty much watch him do anything. Full stop, as HG Wells would say).
  • 10pm: Late Night @ Doug Fir (Yay, Late Night!) OR Stand up with Anthony Lopez @ Bossanova (Yay, stand up and Anthony Lopez).


  • 7pm: Early show @ Eagles Lodge (I like going to the Eagles Lounge and as stated above, gotta go first thing to the far end of the backwards L. I don’t know any of these comedians yet, but I bet they will be delightful.)
  • Go have dinner?
  • 10pm: Stand up with Reggie Watts @ Bossanova (I think all of Portland loves Reggie Watts, but note that this is a show of lots of comedians along w/ Reggie Watts) OR Baron Vaughn Presents: The New Negroes @ White Owl (I love Baron Vaughn and the uncomfortable show name of the New Negroes)
  • 11:30pm: Bossanova late show (better hope I like this venue!)


Okay, by now, I may have either seen or heard about performers that cause me to change my plans or I’ve come to hate or love certain venues. So, things are starting to get quite tentative. But, I like having a plan!

  • 2pm: Probably Science @ Alhambra (I like imaginary science and I can get to 48th & Hawthorne in the middle of the day. Maybe start with lunch somewhere beforehand?)
  • 4pm: Hang out with me @ Alhambra (Why not? Sounds like fun!)
  • 7pm: Portland Masters @ Analog (leaning towards this, but there are a bunch of other great shows at 6pm or 7pm.)
  • 10pm: Brew HaHa @ White Owl OR W. Kamau Bell @ Doug Fir.
  • 11:30pm: White Owl or Doug Fir shows (Probably depends where we have ended up.)


Hope I have paced myself, because some years I don’t make to any Sunday shows.

  • 4pm: This Feels Terrible @ Doug Fir (I will probably be feeling a bit terrible by now)
  • Dinner and maybe another show along the bottom of the backwards L of venue.
  • 10pm: Prompter @ Bossanova (I have very mixed feelings about Ted talks, so I think this show will do me good and would be a nice way to end the festival)


Make sure I am taking the morning off.

Did you note that my punctuation was inconsistent regarding parenthesis? Guess what, it doesn’t matter! This note is mostly to myself.

Do you have questions about the grammar regarding my use of “regarding” above? Me too! But it still doesn’t matter!

Thoughts on Day One of Bridgetown 2014

First night of Bridgetown was fun (as expected), a bit of an organizational mess (partly my own fault), and taking off Friday from work was a great idea.


Dead Authors Podcast with Paul F. Tompkins as HG Wells and Jon Daly as Oscar Wilde (who is not, despite having the same initials, Orson Welles) was all that I hoped it would be. Fun fun fun. Yay!

Sticking with my geography plan, we were looking at a collection of comics at Bossanova hosted by Anthony Lopez or Late Night Action at Doug Fir. Having the opportunity to see Late Night Action regularly (and availing ourselves of said opportunity fairly regularly) we made the perhaps flawed choice to stick at Bossanova. More on that in a moment. However, highlights:

  • Sean Cullen: His rambling exploration of the audience and venue was fun, and makes me want to see other shows by him this weekend to see how they vary. I’m sure the more intense show for the small people on the tiny stage behind the regular stage was pretty amazing after we were all sent home.
  • Emily Maya Mills: I really wanted some cake after this set.
  • Janine Brito: I’m bummed I’m not sure schedules will line up to see her again. But go see her.
  • Wil Anderson: Everything sounds better in an Australian accent. I think.

Organizational mess

Me: left my drivers license in bag from when traveling last weekend. This was discovered about 15 minutes before picking up wristbands at Doug Fir. Grabbed bus home and ran back to Doug Fir. I DO NOT RUN. This was for you, Paul F. Tompkins (and HG Wells). I had earlier had a nightmare about missing this show and having to climb up the outside of the building and then dangle off the balcony to get in. Fortunately I did not have to do this and got in and had a delightful time.

Festival: wristband pickup was muddled. But hey, it was the first night with volunteers. So no big deal.

Late show at Bossanova: I’m not sure if it was a weeknight crowd, the venue not at capacity, or the venue itself, but this show was dragging for sure. There was a lot of yelling at the crowd by the comics, even though we seemed like we were laughing plenty in the audience (and no one got heckly which was pretty nice on our part). Maybe it just felt dead from the stage? Maybe there were just a lot of comics who were planning to yell? Maybe I just don’t like being yelled at? Anyway, with the geography plan for shows, we may have a few more late shows at the Bossanova, so we’ll see how it goes…

Lazy Portland tropes covered: it’s rainy! lots of white people!

Plan for tonight!

  • Eagles Lodge at 7pm
  • Reggie Watts or Baran Vaughn shows at 10pm
  • Bossanova late show at 11:30pm? Completely different set of folks except for hometown favorite of Anthony Lopez, so we shall see…

Training for Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2014

Okay, folks, it’s that time of year again when I post a series of updates about the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. The schedule is posted and it’s time to make a plan. You got your pass, right? This assumes you have a pass.

Training for the festival: notes to self

  • Start working on staying up late. This is important. Shows are going to be running until 1:30am or so in the morning. If you’re falling asleep in a food coma on weekends by 10pm, you’re never going to make (by which I mean, if I keep falling asleep by 10pm in a food coma, I’m never going to make it).
  • Think about how much alcohol you want to drink. If you want a couple of drinks per show, remember you might see 2, 3, 4, or more shows in a day. That’s a lot of gin & tonics (at least for me). It’s worth thinking about where the cheapest (or tastiest) drinks will be available and plan accordingly.
  • Planning for food. Eating can actually end up be a problem if you bounce from show to show. Don’t forget to schedule food or aim for venues that will have decent food available (not only do they have to make it, they have to be able to handle a crowd or you have to arrive early. But not so early that they are not yet serving food).
  • Shoes. Have some comfortable ones because you’re going to walk a lot and might end up standing (!) at some shows.
  • Weather forecast. Hopeful tweets aside, it might be rainy or cold. Check the forecast and plan for things to change.
  • Bus tickets/pass. Since you’re not going to bike or drive, purchase some paper bus tickets from the local credit union or supermarket in case your phone (which you normally use for bus tickets) doesn’t have battery power.
  • Take some time off work? Friday and Monday might be worth taking some time off. It’s oddly exhausting to laugh so much.
  • Purchase your poster.
  • And more importantly, starting planning for which shows you’re going to watch!

Latest recommendations for Bridgetown Comedy Festival

Bridgetown Comedy Festival, y’all! It’s on! I went to a 10pm show last night on a work night and even made it work on time the next morning. Woot!

So, I’m in this highly disorganized pack of passholders staggering around together this weekend (I think there are currently 7 or so of us), but I have a couple of shows I’d like to see this weekend that I thought I would share with you, plus a couple of comics I find funny!

Show #1:
Iron Comic: Saturday at 5pm at the Hollywood Theater. It’s going to be good and funny.

Show # 2:
All Jane, No Dick: Sunday at 9pm at the Hawthorne Theater Lounge (tiny space)

Show #3:
Bagdad Closing Show: Sunday at 8pm.

Another way to go is to try to see certain performers. Here are a couple of out of town folks (figure we can see the locals later so sorry if you’re not local. You should go see the locals instead/as well):

  • Moshe Kasher: dude can talk an excellent speed (and wear a hat with panache)
  • Nato Green: smart political humor
  • Tim Hammer: puns puns puns
  • Kate Berlant: the embodiment my fake college thesis
  • Seth Herzog: dude can dance and carry off an amazing outfit

You’re going to have to look them up on Bridgetown site ’cause I gotta work a bit more.

See ya!

Four shows at Bridgetown Comedy Festival…

..that I’m particularly excited about! And I’m going into training this week so I can stay up past by normal lazy bedtime of 9:10pm.

Okay, no doubt I’m overwhelmed by all the fabulous, wonderful, delightful known and unknown shows that are coming in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

Today, I’m going to try to pick four shows (one a day) that I’m particularly excited about. And we’ll see if I make it to these particular shows.

  1. Thursday: Come Laugh with Us at 10pm (that’s going to be late night for me!) at the Bagdad because Moshe Kasher will be there. I am sorely torn by All Jane, No Dick (great fun separate festival) and the delightfully titled Don’t Get Bored of Us and Leave.
  2. Friday: DadBoner and Friends, You Guys at 9pm at Mt. Tabor Theater. Selected purely on the basis of a RAD name.
  3. Saturday: Iron Comic at 5pm at the Hollywood. This is a really fun format. You should come.
  4. Sunday: Hawthorne Lounge Early Show at 7pm. Not surprisingly, it is at the Hawthorne Lounge. I love the small venue shows — some of the best parts of this event.

Dudes, Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2013

The 2013 Portland stand up comedy festival, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, kicks off in 2.5 short weeks!

Assuming you enjoy stand up comedy, you should haul yourself off to at least a few events. Although I’d recommend the wristbands…

This year they are using not just venues on Hawthorne, but also over at Hollywood Theater (the theater I would marry if it would have me, with an occasional special dinner with the Roseway).

Schedule is not yet up, but the performers are!

Anyway, wandering from comedy event to comedy event is a highlight of April in Portland. And if you’re feeling too weenie for a wristband, you can get single tickets as well.

Friday at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011

Theme Park at Hawthorne Theatre

While this review is going to be a bit short, this was actually one of my favorite shows. Brody Theater did a solid job of opening for Theme Park, and then Theme Park really nailed it. I’m not sure how describe it exactly, but everything flowed together and was great fun! I seriously considered coming back for their second show, but there was too much going on.

Whitest Kids U Know

We selected this show b/c it was in the same venue and seemed like a funny concept. I had not seen the TV show, but yesterday my dad recounted a sketch of theirs he saw online involving stealing the meds of demented old people. He found it quite funny, but they did not do this sketch in person.

Meh. There’s a reason they are on TV rather than live, I think. But there was one truly brilliant sketch involving the Quest of the Schoolyard. Folks around us seemed to love the whole thing, though, and this was definitely the most packed show we watched. To name by broad generalizations: the fat dude was funniest to me, although he did lead the schoolyard quest. the slight dude was the most disturbing in a way that was uncomfortably funny. Otherwise, whatever…

Oh, but there was one MAJOR perk of this show: Moshe Kasher and Johnny Pemberton opened with stand-up monologues and they were hilarious! I really liked both of them and would watch them both again (and did). This might have raised my expectations too much. They were, frankly, more of what I expected from a bunch of white kids.

I love the idea of hitting a third show, but I was done. I am old.

Sunday at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011

My god, this was so much fun and so exhausting. Again, how did the comics do it? We were really looking forward to the Killer Shrews, but had an important date with Dungeons & Dragons involving a were-fox, snow monsters, and the undead.

This American Wife Podcast, Bagdad

We made it to this show a bit late, but we did get to see Moshe Kasher again. Yay! We also both really enjoyed Pete Holmes and his story of Amsterdam. There but for the grace of a pot cake… The spoof of All Things Considered was a bit scary — they were spot on and Nikki Glaser was great. I was sorry to have missed her earlier in the festival.

Iron Comic, Bagdad

I’m not usually one for competitions or television show knock-offs, so I wasn’t sure what to think for this one. But I was really excited to sit in a comfy chair. This was so popular we ended up in the balcony (we had a leisurely dinner at Chez Machin) but there are couches up there. Kickass!

In any case, the show itself ended up being super funny! All the comics participating were awesome. Kyle Kinane had a surprise win, but I think this was due to his excellent riffs in the sudden death(?) final round. I would have voted for Hannibal Buress winning, but what the hell. The whole thing was pretty damn silly and I had a great time!

I wanted to go to a third show. But I am old and tired and have to go to work. Oh well. Next year!

Saturday at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011

Hawthorne Theatre Lounge at 7pm

I like this space. It’s small with really silly performance area in the corner. As the comics discussed, it’s like a little diorama or perhaps the room that Anne Frank hid in. Nice drinks and bartender. We went early and hung out in the sun at SE 39th & Hawthorne in the patio behind the bushes. This is spectacular people watching territory. I would highly recommend it.

The comics were funny too. They sort of blurred together in retrospect. But I liked hanging out in a small space watching the comedy. It had some discomfort b/c the comics are RIGHT THERE and I have to refrain from either engaging too much (and becoming my parents?) or making rude faces (becoming my brother?). But it makes it very real. I am super impressed with folks who do this. Jeez. Looks really hard.

Laughter Against the Machine at the Bagdad

We have now reached the portion of the weekend where I selected shows based on the comfort of the seats. I wasn’t sure about this show since political humor can be a bit heavy handed and we’d already been to Pop & Politics. But it was great! I had an excellent time!

I would go see Janine Brito anytime. I was super bummed that this was her last show at Bridgetown. Hopefully she will come back through Portland soon. She was also rocking the bowtie, which is always an awesome choice. W. Kamau Bell was super funny, and I was bummed he had missed Pop & Politics. In fact, I think this was the most solid group of stand up comedians we saw all weekend. Nato Green kicked butt and knew his Portland shit. Aparna Nancherla was delightfully funny — I always like the sweet ladies with a wicked sense of humor. Hari Kondabolu was pretty darn funny, but I had seen too many of his bits on TV. Next year, I’ll just come and watch and spend less time on the blogs beforehand. Jimmy Dore did a pretty similar set to Pop & Politics, but it was interesting to see how little things would shift with timing and word choice. Margaret Cho was the final set, and I quite enjoyed her bit about asshole hair, but I am a fan of humor around all things poop related. I could tell the people around me were not on the poop train. Their loss!

And then I was excited for a third show but I was too tired. How were the comics still going?

Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011: Thursday

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.