The “HA” in Hawthorne- Bridgetown Comedy 2012 in the Portland Monthly- By Anne Adams

Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, comedy, long beach, los angeles, portland, seattle, women

the “ha” in hawthorne:
Bridgetown Comedy 2012

Portland’s biggest comedy fest is next week! Preview top acts!

Anne Adams

Can you believe Bridgetown Comedy Festival is turning five?
In some ways, it seems too soon; on the other hand, the four-day, 200-act laughathon has become so essential to springtime in Portland that the Pre-Humorous Period seems practically Jurassic. Who among us can even remember what the Hawthorne district was like before it rang with hearty guffaws?

The Founder’s Favorites

Festival co-founder Andy Wood is a recent PDX-pat now living and working in the LA comedy scene. He has a refined comedy palate that savors the absurd and the sardonic, and though he’s excited about all 200 guests, here are his can’t-miss picks.






Janeane Garofalo
“Such a comedy legend,” says Wood of the well-known actress, comedian, and liberal talk radio maven who taped her last standup special, If You Will, at Seattle’s Moore Theater. We’ve no doubt the tatted-out bespectacled feminist will find Portland similarly welcoming.






Tim Heidecker
You know The Tim & Eric Awesome Show? Well, this guy is that Tim, which makes him partially responsible for a seemingly endless barrage of blue lampoons and low-budget visual absurdity. Let’s see what he does live onstage.






Jon Glaser
You probably won’t recognize Jon Glaser from Adult Swim Network’s misanthropic and multi-layered comedy Delocated, even though he’s the star. Playing a character under witness protection, Glaser sports a black ski mask and speaks through a voice changer. He’ll appear in character for The Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Show and join a panel discussion about his one-of-a-kind program.







Todd Barry
A well-recognized no-nonsense stand-up with tons of TV and road cred, Barry will join the Delocated events and also do a couple sets.






Brett Gelman
Described by Wood as “a comedy jack-of-all-trades, and a scene-stealer in every movie,” Gelman is a regular with Upright Citizens Brigade and Chris Elliot’s costar on Adult Swim’s slapstick action show Eagleheart.

Our Own Particularly “Portland” Picks

While Andy goes in for maximum cred and novelty, Culturephile must admit a different bias: We tend to love people who speak to us. We also favor comedians who call Portland home, and those who, despite not being from here, seem deeply committed to “keeping it weird,” particularly in a wordy, nerdy, Portland way. Hence, here are the acts that earn a flourish from PM’s highlighter.






Andy Wood
Bridgetown’s mastermind isn’t just a booker, folks; he’s also a comic who got his start in Southeast Portland, bravely bucking the mainstream back when indie rock still seemed the only coin of the realm. Though he’s too modest to make a big deal of it, without Wood there would be no Bridgetown, and probably a much smaller Portland comedy scene. So go buy this guy a drink.






Maria Bamford
“The Bammer” hates day jobs, does a pterodactyl impression, and jokes about being chronically single and in love with her pug. How is she not from Portland? Give this woman a key to the city.






Matt Braunger
Braunger won us over last October, sitting down for an interview with PM correspondent Rebecca Waits on the eve of taping his Comedy Central standup special at the Alberta Rose Theatre.
Read article…






Ron Funches
Even funnier than his name makes him sound, Mr. Funches was featured in our latest March issue. “People can steal your jokes, but they can’t ‘out-you’ you,” muses the endearingly distinctive comic. Read article…






Ian Karmel
Full disclosure: Our own bar pilot John Chandler was one of the judges last summer at the Helium Comedy contest that deemed Karmel The Funniest Person In Portland. Though that’s an ever harder title to hold, Karmel continues to prove his prominence with appearances on Portlandia and gut-bustingly good sets.






Virginia Jones
One of our Fall Arts issue featurees in 2010 and a participant in PAM’s Shine a Light event last fall, Ms. Jones was at the forefront of Portland’s comedy groundswell before migrating to the warmer climes of LA. The woman who impertinently retitled one of PAM’s priceless abstract bronze sculptures “The Scrunchie” is back to flip us even more lip.

Noteworthy Theme Shows

Think Bridgetown is all standup? Think again. Like many great fests, conventions, and consortiums, Bridgetown mixes in panel discussions and collaborations. The tent is even big enough for standup’s wacky cousin improv.

The Humor Code
Professor Peter McGraw and a panel of comedians including Pete Holmes, Myq Kaplan and more assess comedy culture clashes, from the infamous Muhammad cartoonist to Jewish jokes told in Palestine, hoping to figure out what—if anything—is universally funny.

Set List In this improv challenge, comics are given a never-before-seen “set list” of outrageous topics to perform on the spot, while the audience follows the list on the projection screen behind them. “This has been a huge hit at Edinburgh and everywhere else they’ve put it on,” says Wood.

The Super Serious Show
An LA-based showcase hits Portland with special guests, including Dave Hill and Conan writer Andres du Bouchet.

Bridgetown 2012 takes place APRIL 12-15.

Link here!

Tonight, Seattle! From the Stranger!

Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, gay, seattle, women

Chuckletown, USA

Shows That’ll Help You Laugh at the Traveling Freak Show Your

Family Becomes at Christmas


Postscript: Another fun show by the amazing Rick Taylor! He made this lil button for me, which made me feel famous:




“As a gay man and a comedian, I’ve always found it funny that those worlds—comedy and being gay—[couldn’t] intersect more,” explains Hullabaloo producer Rick Taylor. “So [my partner] and I created this show to bring the comedy community over to the drag community and introduce them.” The Holiday Hullabaloo that results is charming: Local comics like Derek Sheen and Barbara Holm (and her ukulele) perform 10-minute sets, holly-decked drag queens strut their stuff, and Taylor recites his annual rendition of “‘Twas the Night Before Gay Christmas” (“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the gay bar/All the creatures were stirring because that’s how gays are/The condoms were hung by the vending machine with care/In hopes that leather Santa soon would be there/The twinks were dancing and wearing their Keds/While visions of sugar daddies danced in their heads…”). Best yet, the show benefits the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of St. Joan—those immensely compassionate, beautifully scary nuns who raise money to help homeless and queer youth, among other social service projects. (Another reason to love the Sisters—they draw the line at celibacy. We all have our limits.) Julia’s on Broadway, 8 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 21+.

Repost from Maria Heinegg’s Look, I’m A Buffalo

Posted 1 CommentPosted in comedy, women

A nice lady comic from Seattle is publishing a series of letters from comic’s mothers on her website, “Look, I’m A Buffalo.”  She is not a buffalo, and I don’t know why she’s making that claim.  I have already been busted inserting a Dad comment in among my Mom’s amazing worldview, so I thought I might as well publish it here.   Let it be known that my mother is wonderful and I love her very much.


Dear Firstborn,

How are you?  Your mom’s good.  Medium-good, I guess.  I opened my computer today and a man on my dating website wrote to say he’d like to correspond with me, but that he wanted me to know that he enjoyed women’s fashions.  So what? What does that mean?   Do you think he wants to take me shopping?

I spent the weekend with your sisters.  Laura Lee is SO F-A-T.  Emily looks good.  I hope you’re keeping on top of your weight, dear girl.  Remember, every pound you gain after thirty will be twice as hard to take off!  Laura’s dating a black man, and I guess they prefer bigger girls?  I hope that’s not why she’s done it.  I just hope they don’t have a baby together, because you know, they don’t fit in to either world.   But the babies are cute, and I guess our president is mixed, and he’s doing OK.

Gotta go, it’s Feral Cat Friday, every feral cat I trap and bring in to the ASPCA gets neutered for half off!  Maybe I should take in your sister in law?  She can’t seem to stop!



Your Mother

P.S. Can you tell me what an audio download is?  I got an email about it.

P.P.S. Your sister tells me you’re moving to Los Angeles!  I guess I thought you were kidding when you told me that!  Do you really think you’re funny enough?


Smutty Clown Comedy review- from

Posted 1 CommentPosted in comedy, portland, women

Dear Mommy;

Please do not read this entry.  I love you.  See you at Christmas!

Smutty Clown Comedy:

A lot of c*ck & c*nt

Need a good first date idea? This is not it. It’s more like the third date when you’re ready to see what your person is made of.

Smutty Clown Comedy at Saratoga Bar isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it for the politically correct. Seriously. Do not bring that special someone who is canvassing for any sort of human rights. You will be dumped. Immediately.

But if you’re looking for a fun and kooky way to spend a Thursday night and you can handle straight cisgender guys yelling “you all are cunts” into the microphone, this may just be your place.

Billed as a monthly X-rated open mic, Smutty Clown is hosted by Sterling Clark and Whitney Streed. Clark is pretty much adorable – on this night she was wearing a floral dress and cardigan, hair in a head scarf with large glasses aka Sally Jessy Raphael. Streed was walking around in a suit, looking like she knew everyone in the place.

[Here are] “Some of the best comedians in town, saying some of the dirtiest things to you,” Streed said.

Virginia Jones, one of the funniest of the night, poked fun at her name – “It’s totally a black girl name, I get it. Virginia Jones either sings in a church or dies.” With hot pink dye streaking her dark hair and donning a suit with a tee-shirt, Jones, who is white, went on, “I don’t trust black Republicans for the same reason I don’t trust gay Republicans. Why would you want to be with a team that hates you?”

She described rockabilly guys “as faggy as you can get while still being a straight dude,” and said her experience on OKCupid has led her to believe that most single men in Portland are bearded, bisexual, polyamorous and do graphic design – by freelance.

“I would like to be the expert in c*ck-sucking at my house,” she told the audience on why she ultimately decided to not date bisexual guys.

After a swear-filled rant about handjobs in a Korean spa from a guy with neck tattoos who lived in Vegas, Richie Stratton came on stage to say, “That act was sadder than a Craigslist personal ad.”

In the world of open mics, you’re lucky to see one or two that really light up the stage – that exude confidence and understand how to engage an audience. Stratton is one of these people – “I tried to kill myself,” he said as part of his twisted bit. “I took a whole bottle of pills but they were multivitamin and I woke up fighting crime.”

He added later, “I don’t do cocaine. The last thing I need is to be confident and not shut up.”

Guess maybe you had to be there.

It’s easy to rant about shitty jokes or the people who can’t deliver them – but I will say this – it’s not easy getting up in front of a crowd and performing for a laugh. And though much of the humor at Smutty Clown is refreshingly perverse and dirty, it’s not clean in the sense of smart or conscious – for the most part. But that’s just the night I went – something tells me every month is different – even if the same comedians show up to play.

Go and judge for yourself. Just have thick skin and be ready to deal with long-haired hipsters double-fisting beers and clapping obnoxiously in the middle of jokes. Kudos to Streed and Clark for creating a space for this to exist – the wildly inappropriate humor strangely fits in this wildly inappropriate world.

Postscript: Like most things, since I performed here, it has died a sudden death, like podcasts and wild frogs! It was good while it lasted!

6th Annual Pacific Northwest Women’s Comedy Festival, Saturday, Nov 12!

Posted Posted in comedy, portland, women

Come on down to the Wildish Center in Springfield this Saturday for an evening with Oregon and Seattle’s funniest ladies!  This is my fourth year performing in this show, and it’s always a fantastic time- my hilarious friends Barbara Holm, Marcia Belsky, Jessie McCoy, Jen Seaman, and our fearless leader, Leigh Anne Jasheway, will be killing it all night long!  Tickets here!  Make a move- this show *will* sell out!


Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, music, portland, women

Any comics looking for HEADSHOTS: A very talented local photographer is doing a charity shoot on May 16.  Her name is Pasha, and she shoots bands, strippers, and roller derby gals in town, and is in general a little fun and has a little edge to her.  I just did my shoot yesterday and had a lot of fun, and feel confident that I’ll get a great picture out of it.

For a hundred bucks that goes to a worthy cause (a little girl named Stella who is fighting leukemia), you get an hour in studio, you pick your favorite shot, and she’ll perfect it for print and promotions use.

Here is her website to check out her existing work:, you can make an appointment through that site, or you can call her at 503-236-5585.

More about Stella and her mom:

The Most Powerful Hairspray Known To Man

Posted Posted in comedy, fashion, gay, Gothic, music, portland, trivia, Uncategorized, vegan, women

I don’t know the last time I was just an out-and-out shill for something, but I was pretty excited to pick up a container of GOTH JUICE last weekend, the new hairstyling product from Lush. It’s purple, it’s powerful, and it’s inspired (along with a companion product called King of the Mods) by the fantastic UK comedy, The Mighty Boosh.  Each tub claims it was “Made from the Tears of Robert Smith.”

Confidential to Gabe Dinger and Pete Ellison: Robert Smith is *still* not a member of the Smiths. Oddly, none of them were called Smith, which makes them the opposite of the Ramones, who were all named Ramone.


I loved this product and used it when my hair was short, and then one day, I went to Lush to pick some more up and my friend Andrea, who is now the lead singer of Holy Grove and is great, had to comfort me because I was crying in a soap store.  Loving something means one day you will lose it.