What Dreams May Comedy: Return to Bridgetown

(Please forgive the grainy crime photo texture of my cellphone documentation, or sue me [the expression, not really]).

OHhhhhhhHHhhhhhhh Boyardee!!! Chef’s hat tips and scrumptious tongue smacks all around to the deliciousness of it all. Last week, I went to the 2010 Bridgetown Comedy Festival in my favorite city, Portland, Oregon! Note it so that if I ever forget what I want in life, you can airdrop me onto one of the gorgeous mountains out there and I can hipster bicycle my way back into modern civilization wearing a beard and a crooked smile!


I saw the sign! My eyes were already open (that’s how I saw the sign)!

So much stuff happened in four days that I am having trouble word processing it onto a screen, fitting letters neatly into a box. But hey, welcome back to society, AMIRITE?! No, wrong. I am tired and still operating in the wrong time zone, and angering the people who make sure zoning codes are upheld.

Still! What a Bestival of Laughs on the Best Coast! Lemme say something right quick about Portland. Everything is green there. It’s all clean there. There’s no tax there. Their public transit is nice enough that you would just happily ride it around with no clear destination in mind; they even have bike hangers in the rail cars just like meat hooks for bikes. The food and brews are through the roof and to the moon, especially for veggieheads. The people are friendly as they come. And they larfed ‘n snarfed at my jokes. I don’t even know what else to say except to recount a myriad ‘mazing moments. (I belong to the alliterati!)

The hotel was something else entirely. No, surriously. The alarm clock next to the bed played ocean sounds to soothe you to sleep and the alarm clock went from soft to loud in the morning to gently beckon you back into a conscious state!

This was the bed next to said clock!

This was the view from the elevator. Mind if we just throw all our art on this table (phone included), which is resting on a gorgeous giant wicker framework? Wheeeehooo!

Let’s take a gander at summa dat memory awesomeness.

I went on a walking tour of downtown Portland with a bunch of comics. We are not morning people. Everyone was holding giant cups of coffee and blinking profusely into their sunglasses. Maybe some hangovers were involved. Actually, back up. I showed up late and the group had, in fact, already left, and when I got down to the hotel lobby, the desk clerk said “THEY WENT THATTA WAY!” and then I powerwalked up the street until I caught up and assimilated. One of the other comics did think I was an imposter at one point though. Scandal!

This was our tour guide Donna! She had an adjustable headset for volume control.

We saw even more signs! And learned interesting facts like how Portland was almost named Boston if a coin flip had gone a different way.

And a cool glass reflecty ceiling (technical term) in a Performing Arts Center.

Here, witness Chip Pope and Maria Bamford (Eee! She’s the best!) sliding down the railing of a courthouse. Getaway tactics!

Then everyone went to a free afternoon of video games at Ground Kontrol, but I opted out because I am not a huge gamer. Not a great excuse, especially since I also missed the Strip Club Brunch Tour. Oops! I can feel the judgment from here. I also may have poorly attended some of the afterparties. Introversion powers activate! I went to one though. Gimme a prize. Let the prize be quiet!

But the shows, oh joys. There were so many outta-this-universe shows. The Thursday night Preview show (including Maria Bamford, Matt Braunger, Morgan Murphy, Chip Pope, Rory Scovel, Brooke van Poppelen) and the Sunday night Closing shows were so packed with potent talent (with surprise guests like Greg Behrendt, T.J. Miller, Hannibal Buress, and Baron Vaughn), but then the in-betweeners were also like WHATTT. Also HUH and WHAO. Basically, everything happened, and then nothing happened (those were the times when I was asleep)!!!

Brody Stevens hosting the closing show! He was in the greatest R-rated comedy of all time!

Some other talented body who I can’t even identify!

I saw Iron Comic, which was a late-night contest where several comedians are bidden to write on a topic at random drawn from a hat and brainstormed by the audience beforehand, and then after three rounds, the two top scorers battle it out in a lightning round. The line-up alone was insane: Morgan Murphy, Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, Alex Koll, and Kyle Kinane, with Moshe Kasher and Nato Green hosting! In case you’re curious, Kyle Kinane was the champ, but everyone was hecka entertaining. Some of the topics drawn were “too much coffee” and “lava.”

Contender Alex Koll is up to bat.

Morgan Murphy riffing away.

In fact, here is Kinane at another show I watched in which he had to disband an enthusiastic volley of dreckles (drunk what-the-heckles)!

I saw Myq Kaplan’s West Coast CD Release Party! Lots of guffaws there. All the people in my photos look like ghosts.

Alex Koll is so inventive and great. I got to see him a couple different times, and I loved all of the times!

Brooke van Poppelen is also the funniest! She knows how it’s done.

Rylee Newton had this genius semi-deadpan that I could’ve listened to for hours.

And the man of the evening himself, Mr. Myq Kaplan, did not disappoint!

I also saw bits and pieces of the two running improv shows, ASSSCAT (with Tim Meadows, Brett Gelman, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, John Gemberling, and Sean Conroy) and Theme Park (with Scott Adsit, Danny Pudi, Oscar Nunez, Janet Varney, Jessica Makinson, and Cole Stratton).

ASSSCAT! It’s just fun to say!

I also saw a taping of Live Wire Radio in the beeyooteeful Baghdad Theater, which was this great three-hour long variety show, including poems, radio sketches, comedy segments, interviews, and music. Through it, I discovered an amazing band called Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside.

This theater gets it.

Finally, the last night, I also saw the movie debut of Jordan Vogt-Roberts’Successful Alcoholics starring T.J. Miller and Lizzy Caplan, followed by a Q&A, more like Q&YAY!!!

Boyfie and I also discovered the World’s Largest Cowbell during our travels.

I also ran into some friends of mine. We go way back.

So a lot happened (some of it I didn’t even talk about! Oops!) and I just spit it into a blog with very little coherence or organization. But really it was just a supervondoopertroopergreattime and I am extra jazzercized that I got to be a part of it.

Since my photos hahahardly count, real brilliants pic-oh-sures by Karylee Harrison and m. berru are viewable here and here, respectively.

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