April 23rd, 2010 5:33 pm | by Ben Bateman News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Bridgetown Comedy Diaries: Night 1

Bridgetown Comedy Festival
, the fastest-growing comedy extravaganza in America, kicked off last night. We were there.

6:16: Show up to pick up tickets at Mt. Tabor theater. See 15 comics walking down Hawthorne and realize that there is no separation between the crowds and the comics here.

6:29: Talk to a couple comics who, excited about Helium comedy club moving to town (they have booths all over), rant about awful Harvey's is.

6:32: Everybody is shorter than you with think except Steve Agee, who is 6'7".

6:44: Marc Maron (one of the bigger name comics) is entertaining a semi-circle of younger comics in the seats at the Bagdad Theater before the premier of the new documentary I AM COMIC.

8:30: I AM COMIC was good. Marc Maron, Andy Wood, and the movie crew do a Q&A.

8:31: This has been a long minute of nobody having questions. Finally a man shouts some incomprehensible but clearly vague question, but they take it just to have something to do.

8:36: A Portlander asks a long question and ends up comparing stand-up to crack, but then spends 2 minutes qualifying his use of ‘crack' to be politically correct.

9:33: Bar of the Gods. Very, very small venue. The guy next to me is eating a huge, delicious-looking burger, but it fills the whole room with it's smell.

9:46: Two comics have just bombed on 10-minute sets. This room seems sketchier and sketchier each minute.

10:01: I go back to the Bagdad Theater for the big preview showcase. As I'm walking down the sidewalk , Marc Maron pulls me aside from the bar area and asks me “What are you all about?” I don't have a satisfactory answer, but he looks weirdly curious.

10:27: The earlier comedians are doing OK, but not killing.

10:59: Rory Scoval just went on and owned the audience. I don't think people stopped laughing the entire time. I don't think he did more than 2 jokes, just riffed for near his whole set. Skillz.

11:37: Marc Maron is on, and Maria Bamford just sat down directly behind me.

12:04: Maron goes off on a buzz in the sound system, sets his mic down, and does the rest of his set acoustic.

12:08: Maron complains that it seems like everybody in Portland is walking around with a secret intent or mission.

12:11: Maron goes off on a heckler, and wanders into the audience, finds the guy, and just starts ripping him apart. This last for about a minute, and when the heckler's ego has clearly been drained, Maron steps back on stage, looks at the heckler, and asks in a very genuine tone “We cool?”

12:15: At this point half of all my laughs come as reactions to Maria Bamford's laughs.

12:21: Bamford takes the stage.

1:10: Bamford killed. So far, so good, festival.

We'll be back with more coverage Friday night.
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