Tits of the trade

Hey, welcome.

Doing comedy in Portland, or maybe just everywhere, is a very rewarding/disheartening process.

On the one hand, good friends, good times.


Here is a brief list of  “successful” jokes I have told throughout the first 2 years of doing stand up comedy.

1. Jon’s pancakes

2. The ol’ snake venom gag

3. Spooning your friends

Know how many of those work every time?

To emphasize how it feels to tell your favorite joke to a crowd of new faces, and have it get no reaction at all, I’mma quote Richard Bain!

“I told this girl ‘I love you’ the other day, and she didn’t say it back. I was like, yo, moms….”

For me, comedy is like water. Yes, I’d die without it, but it creates so many tears!

Here are some things I would find helpful if I were me reading this a year ago…

There’s a lot of pretty folks out there that like to sleep with comics, and they can be a lot of fun. Keep in mind though, the key word in that last sentence is, “comics”. Plural.

Be prepared to promote the shit out of yourself. Being funny means nothing if you don’t tell anybody about it. This is tough for me to say, because I am aware of this fact, yet do nothing about it. (Yes, self-promotion feels douche-y. It’s supposed to.)

Go out to every open mic possible and write jokes all the fucking time! If your shitty jokes aren’t working, don’t keep pushing them upon everyone hoping for a miracle. Write some new damn jokes!

If you see Jimmy Newstetter out and about, but that guy a drink. He deserves it!

DON’T be sad onstage. The most cleverly written sad joke is still just sad to the audience. Be silly, be fun. I know I have a hard time adhering to this one myself, which makes it extra important.

If you are asked to host or take the bullet, get rid of your ego. Your job is to be energy, not jokes. Lift up your fellow comics and help out the SHOW. And just suck it up and take the bullet, you weasel. It’s invaluable experience for later shows. Did I mention I am a theater fag?

In the beginning, people don’t have the patience for your long stories with no punchline. No one starts as a rant comic.

That’s All! Wave Bye!

The weekend shall inherit the mirth (shows 9/30 to 10/3)

The comedy of Portland is all aflutter this weekend, laughter seeklings. First off, hometown boy Matt Braunger (“MADtv,” “Live at Gotham,” Bridgetown, etc. etc.) is shaking up at Helium Thursday thru Saturday. Be absolutely sure to see him* plus seriously funny feature act Andy Haynes, with the always real and wonderful Nathan Brannon as your host, at some point this weekend.

(*Seriously, do it! Matt Braunger is The Tops! Watch this video if you are not convinced. It is an amazing late night set from start to interview finish where he talks all about Portland:


But that is not all that is afoot in town. Despite competing for virtually the same demographic, both Portland’s Black Sheep of Comedy Lonnie Bruhn and Jacki Kane of Time Out: The Mother of All Comedy Shows have both chosen to stage shows this Friday night. Madness!

Jacki’s show “Back To Old School: Parenting from the Retro Zone” is at Curious Comedy at 8pm, and features family-friendly fare from both seasoned stand-up comics and moms who have never been on stage. Lonnie’s show, featuring the additional talents of The Dan Cossette, Jimmy Newstetter, Lisa Myers, Julie Gunderson, Josh Lay, and other guests with other names as well, at The Agenda (which by all accounts should be a gay bar but is actually the former Stein Haus) on 82nd.

If that was not enough, there is of course the ever-popular Comedy Night at the Bagdad. The show is at the 8pm Early Bird Special time this week, but features Mikey Kampmann, Andrew Michaan, Anthony Lopez, Brick Andrews, and all the way from lands in the deep south of Oregon, Cody Cooper. And there is the also-popular Fly Ass Jokes showcase at the Brody, with Jen Allen, Tom Johnson, and more.

And finally, I have it on the solid authority of Facebook that Hot Gun, the live musical production of the film Top Gun, is back for two performances only at The Hostess on SE 6th and Ash. Happy almost October!

Many are the shows this weekend 9/9 – 9/11

Here are some comedy shows you might enjoy!

THURSDAY — Tonight see just how diverse Portland comedy is! Hit up The Factory Underground at 8926 N. Lombard to catch Gil Brown and friends in an Indian Uprising comedy showcase. Or mosey southward to the E Room at 3701 SE Division to see the final Laughterglow stand-up showcase in the club before it closes. Killer show with Ron Funches, Holli Pappan, Shawn Fleek, Jessie McCoy, Carmen Trineece, and Christen Manville. Just look at all that racial and sexual diversity! Wowza! Guys, we are the future, am I right? Also, Greg Proops is rocking Helium all weekend long and Portland’s darling Ron Osborne is at Harvey’s through Sunday!

FRIDAY — Comedy Night at the Bagdad starts at a Very Weird Time this week, 9pm, but host Tristian Spillman still manages to have mustard a rad line-up: Gilbert Brown, Ian Karmel, Jimmy Newstetter, and Susan Rice. (Continued racial and sexual diversity! High five!) Also Theatersports and the stand-up showcase at the Brody with “friends” of Ian Karmel, improv by Peachy Chicken & Colonel Mustard at Curious Comedy, and Shakesprov after hours at ComedySportz.

SATURDAY — Blank Slate Collective improv at the Brody! Rose City Vaudeville’s Rose Saloon at Curious! And the Hilarious Six return to Pop Culture in Vancouver with Jason Nguyen, Alex Gavlick, Kameron Foster, Max Thom, Roman Sloan, Cassidy Gonzales, and DJ Matt intheHat.