Finals of Portland’s Funniest Person Contest Tonight! (Updated)

Tonight! It’s the thrilling conclusion to two weeks of great local comedy at Helium. The final round of the club’s Portland’s Funniest Person Contest is tonight, and the line-up is not to be missed! Come out tonight at 7:00pm to watch Jordan King, Xander Deveaux, Anthony Lopez, Cody McCullar, Nathan Brannon, Andrew Michaan, Christian Ricketts, Shane Torres, Tim Hammer and Gabe Dinger duke it out for this year’s crown. Tickets are $20 each or two for one  if you mention people’s names. It’ll be an amazing night!

UPDATE: The show was packed and everyone was so funny! Huge congratulations to 3rd place winner Gabe Dinger, 2nd place winner Shane Torres, and Portland’s newest Funniest Person, the spectacular Nathan Brannon!

Rex Navarrete at Helium 11/24/10

Rex Navarette is both hilarious and Filipino-American. He has utilized these aspects of his life, plus his creative and business savvy, to become a successful touring stand-up. He is also very nice. I sat down with him, metaphorically using telephones, and we talked about — surprisingly enough — comedy.

With 21 years of comedy under his belt, including international tours and multiple DVDs, Navarette has experienced many of the highs and lows of the business. I asked if he had any tips for young comics.

“Surround yourself with good healthy comics who are in the business for the right reasons and not necessarily for short-term gain. And don’t steal material,” he says. “Be original, and enjoy the writer’s block. It’s all part of the process.”

Even though he has recently relocated to Portland, he is only playing one night in town before heading back on the road. A household name for Filipino-Americans, Navarette say he hopes to bring his comedy to a wider (whiter?) audience for this show in Portland.

“My stuff is all-American stories, all in English. There might be subtitles. But it is universal.”

As for his thoughts on the comedy scene in town? “These local comics crack me up. They’re really good. You’ve got dibs on some really good up and coming comics. I think I’m adding something different to the Portland scene, and I hope it’s appreciated.”

Catch Rex Navarette at Helium for one night only this Wednesday at 8pm. Tickets are available online or by calling the club.

Comedy These Days! 10/14 – 10/16

It’s the freegan weekend, baby, we’re about to have us some shows! Much ado in Portlandia in the next couple days, comedy-wise. Like what?

Well, tonight go to The Woods! Blouse Party Productions’ killer showcase Is That A Joke? reigns supreme at 9pm, with the talents of Portland AND Seattle comics! Nathan Brannon, Owen Straw, Billy Wayne Davis, Adam Dahl, Mitch Fennimore. Always hosted with gusto and grace by Jessie McCoy. [If you are up in the air about this show, people, let me say, ok first all of these comics are reallly funny, but also that I just saw Billy Wayne Davis in Seattle at Bumbershoot and he glided over the comedic anarchy that is the Famous Mysterious Actor Show like a guru over hot coals. Just saying, go see the show.]

Then Friday comes and there is much happening. Stage Left Entertainment is back in full force, bringing you Andre Paradise and Ron Funches, with host Aaron Hayes, at Wichita Town Pub, 6106 SE King Road, in Milwaulkie. Also, in Vancouver, Ron Osborne, Joe Fontenot, Tim Hammer, and host Jon Green at the Hazel Dell Applebee’s, the original home of comedy (816 NE 98th Circle). Also catch Joe at 10pm at the lovely Bounty Hunter bar at 11445 SW Pacific Highway in Tigard.

If you are actually in Portland, comic hero Doug Benson is at Helium (yes Phil, I promise it is true this time) and Last Comic Standing’s Dante is at Harvey’s. I really really wish there was someone named Harvey at Dante’s, but that would be too rich. Also, there is a really really great Bagdad show this week, featuring Shawn Gray-Fleek, Philip Schallberger, Todd Armstrong, Christian Ricketts, Paul Schlesinger, and Mikey Kampmann, at the traditional 10pm timeslot.

If you somehow manage to make it to Saturday, then you can catch more action in Wichita. Todd Armstrong hosts Ron Funches and Ron Osborne at Wichita Bar and Grill, 19140 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. Joe Fontenot returns to Sam’s Hidaway at 545 SE 162nd at 8pm. Also it’s your last chance to catch Campfire, creepy improv stories, at the Brody. Comedy!