Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the fastest-growing comedy extravaganza in America, kicked off last night. We were there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two comics have just bombed on 10-minute sets. This room seems sketchier and sketchier each minute.
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.
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.
Marc Maron is on, and Maria Bamford
just sat down directly behind me.
Maron goes off on a buzz in the sound system, sets his mic down, and does the rest of his set acoustic.
Maron complains that it seems like everybody in Portland is walking around with a secret intent or mission.
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?”
At this point half of all my laughs come as reactions to Maria Bamford's laughs.
Bamford takes the stage.
Bamford killed. So far, so good, festival.
We'll be back with more coverage Friday night.