April 19th, 2013 | by WW Culture Staff Arts & Books | Posted In: Comedy

Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Moments from Day 1

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WW reporters file from the first day of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival... Most of these comedians will perform again tonight and tomorrow: check out the schedule and buy tickets here

[For  moments from days 2 and 3 of the festival, click here.]


THAT MOMENT WHEN...
You walk into the Mt. Tabor Theater Lounge and are greeted first by darkness, and then by two creepy paintings glowing neon under black lights. The paintings—one of a two-headed camel with a monkey on its back, the other of a heavily tattooed woman blowing smoke rings—line either side of the stage and create a sort of funhouse vibe. New York-based comedian Tom Cowell kicked off his 7:30 pm set Thursday with a nod to them. “I’ve never done comedy in the world’s most simple haunted house,” Cowell said, causing a steady rumble of laughter. “It’s got two scares, but they’re good.” —KAITIE TODD

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Los Angeles comic Mike Burns asked for a show of hands on who uses “dick pills” during his set at Bridgetown’s opening show at Hawthorne Lounge. The bulk of audience members didn’t bat an eye, except for a denim-clad gentlemen with hair down to his shoulders and a soul patch to boot. He threw up the “rock on” devil horns with his right hand, sternly shouting “FUCK YEAH” in the process. —BRANDON WIDDER

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Lance Bangs, as part of his Come Laugh With Us show, played a never-aired clip from the early days of Jackass wherein Johnny Knoxville dresses up in a prison jumpsuit, puts handcuffs on and tries to convince a hardware store owner to help him remove the cuffs. As it progresses, you can see the employees and owner getting more and more agitated. Then the cops show up. They try to get out of the car without putting it in park, leading them to crush the fender of another (which is, according to Bangs, the reason they can’t air this footage), and then put Knoxville on the ground with guns trained.
Cop: “What is thing on your back?”
Knoxville: “A microphone.”
Cop: “You’re filming this?”
Knoxville: “Yes.”
Cop: “That’s just stupid.” —ROBERT HAM

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Portland’s Gabe Dinger made the crowd laugh guiltily with a Michael J. Fox reference at Ground Kontrol on Thursday night. “There are good things happening in my life,” Dinger confidently remarked. “I recently came into money for the first time in my life. I took that money and I bought a car. I bought a Delorean in fact, but I’m afraid to drive it. I’m afraid that I’ll hit 88 mph and get Parkinson’s. It’s very scary and very real.” —BRANDON WIDDER

THAT MOMENT WHEN... the MC for the Bagdad early show, Seattle-based comedian Cory Michaelis, mentioned that he lived with a gay roommate while attending a small, very conservative Christian college. “We couldn’t tell if he was gay or really, really Christian.” That delightfully off-kilter joke went over rather well during the MC’s set. By the way, that MC set isn’t necessarily easy to pull off, but with every show this weekend rounding up five to nine comedians, MCs are doing heavy lifting by warming up the crowd and keeping things moving. —MICHAEL LOPEZ

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Texan comic Paul Oddo continually slapped the side of his head at Bridgetown’s opening show at Hawthorne Lounge in an effort to brush off the imaginary birds that frequently pummel into people walking in New York City. Apparently that’s not the worst “New York moment” you’re likely to experience. —BRANDON WIDDER

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Portland standout Tim Hammer—runner-up in the 2011 “Portland’s Funniest Person Contest” won by Ian Karmel—unleashed his trademark fury of pun-laden one-liners at the Bagdad’s 8 pm show. Hammer’s joke take a second or two to sink in— fleeting moments that fuel Hammer’s quest to become Portland’s King of Homonyms. Recounting when he was given an MC Hammer touch lamp for his birthday (“I turned it on, but I think it’s been broke for the last few decades”), Hammer’s incredibly well-crafted jokes are made all the more potent by his cool, reserved stage presence. —MICHAEL LOPEZ

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Former Simpsons writer Dana Gould unleashed what was probably the first—but surely not the last—rape jokes of the weekend, explaining that “any whistle could be a rape whistle, except for a slide whistle.” Gould’s quick wit, brilliant storytelling and meticulous attention to detail made it clear why he’s one of the weekend’s headliners. Gould’s sets will prove to be amongst the more well-attended of the weekend, while his Simpsons symposium on Saturday is sure to draw a crowd in the cartoon’s home state. —MICHAEL LOPEZ

THAT MOMENT WHEN... every comedian at Ground Kontrol’s No Pun Intendo show realized they were, in fact, doing standup in an arcade. Comedians were occasionally forced to shout above the masses as some patrons hunkered in racing game seats and others manically button-mashed Street Fighter II Turbo amid the chiming pinball machines and glowing, Tron-esque tabletops. —BRANDON WIDDER

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Howard Kremer initiated a call-and-response to all the depressed people in the crowd, which he labelled as his “depress-cetarians,” at the Bagdad. Fresh off the taping of his first comedy album at LA’s Meltdown Comics—he’s released three albums as rapper alter-ego Dragon Boy Suede and another music album titled Have A Summah—Kremer was full of energy and had the crowd reacting to his onstage antics for what seemed like the entire set. —MICHAEL LOPEZ

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Moshe Kasher introduced a new, very Portland look: the hipster dockworker. “Someone’s gotta unload all these crates of Lumineers CDs and artisan coffee,” he joked. Fueled by local energy drink Viso, Kasher was in constant motion, pacing the stage like a madman hellbent on raising the energy level of the decidedly calm audience. Channelling his controlled chaos and employing a speedier delivery, Kasher managed to win the crowd over with his demanding stage presence. At one point Kasher read a hilarious letter he wrote after a particularly difficult breakup as a 14-year-old, amply demonstrating why he’s the headliner at a major comedy festival. —MICHAEL LOPEZ

THAT MOMENT WHEN... Denver’s Andrew Orvedahl pointed out at Ground Kontrol’s post-midnight show Thursday that, quite possibly, certain drinking habits represent and define certain stages in our lives. The applause alone showed most of us can relate to that one. “I bought a flask. I feel like buying a flask is like blowing by some sort of warning sign on the highway of life... What was tha—who gives a fuck? I’m having a great time!” —BRANDON WIDDER

THAT MOMENT WHEN... One-time Portlander Richard Bain made a brief, special appearance at Ground Kontrol, dropping his pants and shaking his hips with Shakira-like pizzaz. The audience seemed equally confused and amused as Bain climbed atop a cube-shaped stool and shouted “PLEASE LAUGH!” His navy underwear drew spectators’ gaze, and he walked away less than a minute later. —BRANDON WIDDER
 
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