Hari Kondabolu at Curious Comedy 12/15

Drippy Wednesday, comedy fans! Don’t let the seasonally-expected rain keep you indoors. Brilliant stand-up comic Hari Kondabolu is at Curious Comedy tonight and you really must see him while he is in town.

From the Curious website:

According to the Seattle Times, Hari Kondabolu is “a young man reaching for the hand-scalding torch of confrontational comics like Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.” Hari was born and raised in Queens, NY, but was discovered in Seattle by the 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen while working as an immigrant rights organizer in the day. Since then, he has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, John Oliver’s New York Standup Show and just filmed a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special for early 2011.

He is intelligent, incisive, and hilarious. Go to this show. Do it! Also featuring Ahamefule Oluo. 8pm at Curious Comedy Theater.

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!

November spawned a blog (working title)

A week ago the weather was especially gloomy. Hard rain, followed by a patient and pervasive gloom. Portlanders everywhere were calling their friends and asking for pain pills, staying indoors and drinking every drop of liquor in their houses – including that disgusting seasonal ale that’s been at the back of the fridge ever since the house party that was really a broad scheme to get your ex to come over and sleep with you again …and it worked:(. But this weekend doesn’t promise to be so gloomy; it is sunny right now, and the weather very well might stay that way. So there are no excuses to not see the awesome live shows that are happening this weekend. Let’s Review:

Hilarious! A Celebration of Laughter

This is going to be a great benefit show happening at Hawthorne Theater this Saturday. But don’t take my word for it! Let’s ask the Facebook Event description to describe it:
Carmen Trineece iis a local Portland comic, performer and Portland State Alumni who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 2 years ago. Instead of accepting her fate she decided to get her Masters in Education, write a one woman show entitled “Hellooooo Cancer” a comedy about living with cancer and become a stand-up comic. She has done all of those things. She has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that has spread to her lungs, rendering her unable to have a full time job. To help her defray the costs of treatment and to help her and her two children, Belinda Carroll Comedy and the Portland stand-up comedy community is doing a stand-up showcase and raffle, with all proceeds benefiting Carmen. Featuring many of Portland’s talent including: Lisa Meyers, Jimmy Newssetter, Whitney Streed, Shortee Davis, Veronica Heath, Rissa Riss, Ian Karmel, Cody Smith, Brick Andrews, Christan Ricketts, Kristine Levine, Lonnie Brun, Timmy Williams, Nathan Brannon and from Austin, Texas- Shane Hebert!”
Tickets are 5-10 dollars sliding scale. Doors at 7:30, show at 8:00.
Hosted by Belinda Carroll.

Fly Ass Jokes

Stand up showcase at the Brody theater this Friday. The show is at 10 pm, and tickets are half price if you say ‘Facebook’ at the door. I know this isn’t Facebook, but whatever. Fuck the system!

Keep Portland Funny: The Decision Makers Penthouse Edition

Decision Makers Penthouse is Bobby Hacker, Richard Bain, Travis Jones and Tyler Jones, and they make really funny and really good videos. Richard Bain and Travis Jones will be performing stand up at this show as well, so it is going to be quality all around.

Now is the part where I say, ‘you should definitely make it to this show’ but I am starting to realize that most of the people who read this blog are Portland comics who mostly do not give a fuck and will not go to shows unless they are in them or if they can get in for free. The last ‘Keep Portland Funny’ was called off because NOBODY FUCKING SHOWED UP. So if you aren’t a comic and are not doing anything on Saturday night, don’t be a bitch, go see this show.

The Knife Shop at Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington. Saturday, 6th. 9pm. 5$, 21 & UP.

Alphas of the Betas in Gresham (Saturday, Nov. 6th, 8pm, $5?!)

Communication from ye olde Todd Armstrong:

Saturday November 6th at 8pm is going to be the biggest AotB yet. The Cross Bank Saloon 124 NE 3rd St in downtown Gresham, OR will be the location of comedy. Hosted by me Todd Armstrong, and featuring Jon Green, Anthony Lopez, Adam Dahl, Don Frost and Lonnie Bruhn. I have hand picked the 5 comics I want Gresham to experience. I hope to see everyone. A short ride on the MAX will gets you there and then back home tipsy and safe. Only $5 and there is great food and drink to be had by all.

Dwight Slade at Harvey’s Comedy Club

Portland’s own Dwight Slade is gracing the stage of Harvey’s this week. He is one of the best in town fer sher. Gather up 11 of your closest friends and get some free tickets to check out the club’s most requested comic.

The Sklar Brothers at Helium Comedy Club

While Helium is certainly capable of its own promotion, I cannot help bringing them up nearly every post due to the quality of the headliners they have. If you haven’t heard of or have seen the Sklar Brothers yet then you should. Also, local favorite Ron Funches is hosting all this weekend, so there is no way to not have a swell time throughout.

Finally, it’s the first Saturday of the month, so it’s time for the ComedySportz open mic. New comers and first timers are going to receive 3 minutes, people who’ve been here before will get 5, and a few experienced performers will get 7. So it is like Helium basically except you probably won’t get a lot of work out of it. E-mail standup@portlandcomedy.com to sign up. Show starts at 10pm, it’s free, and the beer is reasonably priced, or so it has been said.