Reflections on Bumbershoot

Over Labor Day Weekend I was afforded the opportunity to perform as part of the Famous Mysterious Actor show at Bumbershoot.

I held My Pet Monster and told jokes to people who were really not extremely sure what was going on. I don’t know what my facial expression is about, but I’m sure I thought I was doing something different.

Before the Show

I really enjoyed the show, and having “quality time” with some of my comedy pals from Portland, Salem, and Seattle. I liked having an Artist’s badge, which meant that I didn’t wait in lines with the “rubes”, and people looked at me, curious to know if I was famous at all, which I am not.

After the Show

After the show, I leapt out onto the gangway, eager to suck all the life out of the Bumbershoot music and arts festival for FREE.

Within five minutes, I was shocked and appalled to realize: I HATE MUSIC FESTIVALS! I was surrounded by young people who were over-bandanna’d and facial-haired, and excited about seeing bands called things like Leather Wolf Eyes and The Bambi Sluts. I escaped the grounds and headed out to eat delicious Seattle vegan foods at Pizza Pi.

Even Later

It was worth it to see Billy Bragg play a show in the warm twilight. He had a sore throat, but soldiered through to play a great solo set. He made fun of my laugh, which he has not done since I saw him at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1992 when he played for an environmental activist’s rally. MEMMOORIIIES! Oh, and I found all the old people. We were all at Billy Bragg. Hilariously, not one but two concert-goers yelled at him that he should play music and not talk politics. GO TO A DIFFERENT SHOW. 

Thanks, PROK! FMA! Bumbershoot!

Dreams Come True at Bumbershoot!

Seattlites, I stand before you proclaiming that this year’s Bumbershoot comedy line-up will be not only good but great.

I have been afforded the opportunity to join my favoritest talk show ever, the Famous Mysterious Actor show, alongside Billy Wayne Davis! I will be there at the Comedy Theatre West, The Vera Project Stage, for a wonderful show that starts at 1:15 with candy and screaming.  Please join me!

A Stranger quote from the ravishing and hilarious Lindy West:

Famous Mysterious Actor Show

The Famous Mysterious Actor, host of the hilariously surreal late night talk show parody known as The Famous Mysterious Actor Show, performs in what appears to be a Mexican wrestling mask, soiled army parka, and black fright wig. He was not born to fame, but is more than willing to thrust it down your throat.

I Love You Famous Mysterious Actor!


I love the Famous Mysterious Actor show, and I genuinely had a great time appearing on the show, but my set went a little short.

Before the show, the suave and talented producer, J.D., took me aside and told me that I would have five minutes, and that he would light me when my time was up. When a comic has an alotted time, an emcee or producer will raise a flashlight or wave a phone to indicate that it’s time to wrap things up.

I was onstage, and I did a little shucking-and-jiving with Famous before I started telling jokes, and I was in medias res when I saw an amber light. It seemed soon, but it was more important to me that the show run smoothly than for me to do every single joke that I had planned on. I start going into my final joke, as I have been programmed to do. A few lines in, I get the light again. I nod at it, to indicate that I understand it’s time for me to get offstage, and I finish my joke to some applause, and I sit on the couch to do panel.

I get the light again.

Peering into the darkness, I see that a woman is using a camera that, instead of flashing a white light, points an amber light at the performers onstage. This means that 1.) I have gone short on my time for no reason and that 2.) At some point onstage, I nodded knowingly at a woman who was taking my photograph, whom I now dislike.

Yaaayy! Later, J.D. slipped on Ethiopian food and fell off the stage. Serves him right.

Lindy West on The Famous Mysterious Actor

The very funny Lindy West wrote blurbs for all the comedy events at Bumbershoot, I particularly liked her take on FMA.

The Famous Mysterious Actor is a frightening specter. It has long hair, like a woman, or a hippie. It has a high-pitched voice, like a woman. Or a wild bird of some kind that speaks human language. It has a thing about Pixi Stix, like most women, and it wears a mask like Eric Stoltz in Mask or Jim Carrey in Look Who’s Masking Now. Or a Mexican. It is very mysterious. It comes from Portland. LW

The Famous Mysterious Actor at Halloween

Holli Pappan made me cry, then laugh, and then cry, at the perfectly miniature Famous Mysterious Actor costume she put together for Halloween. My dreams have died, but my soul sings free.

Something Famous this way Comes!

I can smell it coming in the air tonight,
And I’ve been waiting for this pixy for all my life, oh Lord
Can you hear it scream and and throw candy tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well, if you told me you were Cutter, I would not lend a hand
I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am
Well I was there and I saw the whole show, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a stack of pies!

The Famous Mysterious Actor is throwing a Halloween Party at Berbati’s Pan! Come out and wear a costume!

Wherefore Art Thou, Famous

  This is a picture of my favorite person in the whole world, the FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS ACTOR.

  For a brief, shining moment that many consider the “golden age” of Comcast Portland public access, his talk show was broadcast on Sunday nights. Now Famous appearances are few and far between, the show at Holocene last Wednesday was ominously plugged as “final”.

  Guests were strictly single-named, and included human beatbox (and so much more) Fogatron, Shoehorn, who tap danced and played saxophone simultaneously and took hits off a glass bottle of Wild Irish Rose in between, and KUFO radio DJ Marconi. However, there is no writing about this show. Impromptu moon-boot sand dance with Pixie sticks and jumping on a desk to do a re-enactment of Famous’ favorite film, Sweet Sal, lays flat on the page. In person, however, it rocks like an avalanche. Or a hurricane. Or some kind of natural disaster that kills people.

    It’s a group effort, and could not soar without the help of German-speaking emcee Cutter, handsome wingman John Schmitt, security chief Denny, Intern Kris, producer J.D. Fischer, and Joanie loves Chachi the Tiger. However, Famous is the star. He lives up to his name and more- this show is much funnier than anything on network television. So I guess this is just a bottled letter cast adrift on the stormy seas of the interweb- I need more !

POSTSCRIPT: Finally, someone has come to my aid on Youtube and posted a scant minute of Famous’ craft, a bit ingeniously entitled Candied Bird Dick.