This is a map of everywhere I’ve been and done comedy. If I’ve ever done your show and you wondered what I thought about it, you can probably find out! Many of these venues have changed or closed, but I’m still doing standup.
I’ve written about the best karaoke in the world, Portland’s Baby Ketten Karaoke, many times. I’ve done it here and here and here and here. My friend Jay Horton wrote all about the new all-ketten all the time club here.
It’s big news! Baby Ketten Karaoke is on the scene 7 nights a week on SE Powell, where it all began! Where I met Brophy and his crew, where I sang my first song, I Want Your Sex by George Michael, while wearing a petticoat of some sort (I mean a lot of these are sense memories), where I got drunk and bought a painting of a pitbull, where two sisters waited for an ambulance after one of them bit the other one’s nose sort of OFF, where Klingon Karaoke happened for a while, where I DJ’ed a terrible goth night where an attendee asked me to play the I’m Dead I’m Dead song, all that spirit and magic has swirled together for all the Kettens to meet up. I am getting there as soon as I can and I’ll see you when that happens! Check out the best songbook in the world here!
I’m practicing spot gratitude, because today is the 12th anniversary of my first open mike, under the expert hosting of Kevin-Michael Moore at the Boiler Room in Portland, which is now a Starbucks.
Since then, I’ve been graciously given spots at lots of places by lots of people, and I’m spending this year in gratitude of all the opportunities I’ve had – from backroom bars to club sets to road rooms, you’ve all given me the spots that molded me and shaped my now completely inscrutable comic persona. I thank you and appreciate you. Some of these people are famous now. Some are dead. Some quit doing comedy. But I thank all of ’em.
Mary Rae Kim
Whitmer Alexander Thomas
Brendan K. O’Grady
Susanna Lee Lucky-Deluxe
Jonathan Bradley Welch
Linda Bailey Walsh
Jason Van Glass
Mike “Wally” Walters
Leigh Anne Jasheway
Katie Low Strandberg
Eman El Husseini
Josh Di Donato
Gloria De Leon
The Dan Cossette
Jay Wendell Walker
Christie Nicholls Nittrouer
This is a real ghost story from Portland, OR. I used to have a house there, and it was in a nice neighborhood, like, there was a brunch place in walking distance where they’d just put a basket of scones on the table when you sat down. Just put ‘em there. And when you got them scones, you’d need ‘em, cos you’d been standing outside for an hour, holding a cold coffee and a newspaper. Technically, you coulda took a scone and left, but that’s against Brunch Code. Before it was Fancy Brunch Place, it was an old bar where they would fry something that was technically breakfast and you could eat it while smelling every drink from fifty years before soaked in the wood paneling. So that was the neighborhood, it was getting nicefied. I’m sure it’s even nicer now, but ex-husband lives there with third wife, so I don’t go. That’s not the awful thing I’m telling. This is about another awful thing.
Anyway. No matter how nice a place is, bad stuff happens there. A woman in my neighborhood had been kidnapped and kept in a basement for a couple of weeks, and she managed to stretch her restraints to one window and get one finger out of the blinds and was trying to signal for help, but nobody saw, not even my friend who lived next door.
My friend felt terrible, but in her defense, would have to be a pretty sharp eyed observer to see one finger scratching at a basement window and think, I should see if there’s someone down there.
This is not about that awful thing. This story is about another awful thing.
My next door neighbor’s house had been rented to a few groups of people, and then it was renovated and sold, and the woman who bought it moved in, and I tried to introduce myself to her a couple of times, but she always seemed tired and upset and kind of drawn-looking. When a friend looks upset, it’s OK to say, hey, are you OK? But when it’s a stranger, you’re too embarrassed to say, hey, you seem fucked up, are you OK? Unhappiness is embarrassing. Ask Facebook. So, I avoided her. She just never seemed to be in the mood for a chat. I didn’t see her much anyway.
One day that Spring, I see her in front, planting flowers and looking like a different person, and I went over to say hi. I introduced myself and we talked about the really boring stuff people talk about who have nothing in common except for living next to each other, and finally I say, I’m sorry this isn’t my business, but you look so happy and different! I’m glad you’re feeling better? And she looked at me happily and said yes, I’m much better! And then she explained: my house was haunted. And I said, how did you know? And she said, the first night I slept there, a man appeared and beat the shit out of me. And I said oh wow, did you call the police? And she said, no, because he was a ghost. And that’s true. Police don’t come out for ghosts. And she said, it happened the second night too, just for months, every night this ghost would appear and beat the shit out of me. And I said wow that sounds bad, because what else do you say? I didn’t know. She said, at first I thought I’d sell the house, or find out if I could cancel the sale, but then I realized, what if the next buyer has a kid, someone who can’t defend themselves or take action, so I thought I’d have to take care of it myself. And I said, what did you do? And she said I found a great exorcist who smudged the house and BOOM! The ghost disappeared and I’m finally enjoying my house! I’m planting these flowers, and the next thing I need to do is get rid of some furniture and stuff, because it’s really too crowded in there, and I said, isn’t it a two story house that you’re in by yourself? And she said well yeah but. I couldn’t afford to get the upstairs smudged yet, and I’m afraid the ghost just moved upstairs, so I just stay on the ground floor.
Today is my 10th anniversary of the first time I stepped onstage at the Boiler Room to do comedy with Gabe Dinger, Kevin Michael Moore, Bobby Hacker, Kyle Harbert, Jimmy Newstetter, and Randy Mendez.
I moved to Los Angeles four years ago, firmly believing that I was pretty much done developing as a comedian, and I was totally not right, and I’m totally glad. I’ve gotten much stronger as a writer and comedian and I’m excited about where I’m going. Here’s me two years in.
Here’s my lid-blower post about my first time.
I’m so excited to announce the release of my first album on Itunes today!
You can also buy a lovely autographed CD from me with additional art from Pete Ellison!
If you’ve ever wondered what I think about Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, feminism, catfood, Hot Topic, Northern White Rhinos, Dallas, Texas, Youtube, or gay rights, they’re all here! This record was recorded at the Complex, and if you were there, maybe you can hear your laugh!
Buy it, rate it, share it, love it, send it to your Mom, and most of all, pay me money for it!
- $7- you can have the record on Bandcamp! Right away!
- $10- you can have the record on digital from Itunes, on CD, or both and if you buy a CD I’ll autograph it and I’ll think good things about you.
- $30- you get the record and you can buy me lunch
- $40- you get the record and I’ll buy you lunch
- $50- you get the record, and you can tell people you’re my friend, both on social media and in life.
- $60- you get the record, I’ll take you out singing karaoke and some of my social cachet could rub off on you!
- $70- You get the record and I’ll lend you something out of my closet and you can wear it and everything! There’s restrictions on this. Nothing with a European label. Don’t be ridiculous.
- $100- Matching tattoos. Dealer’s choice. Something small.
- $1000- We can get married. No paperwork, ceremony and photo session only. Also, an autographed CD to remember our special day with!
THANK YOU for your support, THANK YOU for buying my record, and THANK YOU for being you.
SURPRISE! It’s a pop up show that changes locations and has a secret line up-
“Priceless Impromptu Moments”- LA Weekly
LA comics Robert Buscemi, Sofiya Alexandra and Virginia Jones are touring the West Coast with SURPRISE, LA’s finest mystery lineup, pop-up comedy show, starting in Santa Barbara, Humboldt, San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, and Vancouver, WA!
SURPRISE is LA’s finest pop up comedy show, with a roster including touring comics from Just for Laughs, Portlandia, and Last Comic Standing, along with some of SF’s comedy elite!
Many thanks to the amazing Josh Abraham for the poster!