Hotseat: Scientology Critic Tony Ortega

A longtime critic of Scientology visits the church’s Victory City.

Hot Seat
The Church of Scientology isn’t getting great press these days. The self-improvement religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954 was exposed in a 2013 book by Lawrence Wright and in a 2015 film doc   More
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 AARON MESH

Hotseat: Bad Religion Singer Greg Graffin

The Bad Religion singer explains why Paul McCartney is a nihilist.

Greg Graffin has been singing—or yelling—for decades about a lot of the ideas in his new book, Population Wars: A New Perspective on Competition and Coexistence (Thomas Dunne Books, 320 pages, $27   More
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 CASEY JARMAN

Hotseat: Kim-Mai Cutler

A San Francisco reporter talks about the rental dystopia Portland hopes to avoid.

News Stories
The cost of renting an apartment looks like an Uber price surge. Longtime residents are being pushed out. And the shortage of affordable housing is political kryptonite. But enough about San Francisc   More
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 AARON MESH

Hotseat: Tig Notaro

Answers the comedian didn't copy and paste from elsewhere.


Arts & Books
Tig Notaro has been doing a lot of email interviews lately.That was pretty clear when I received the comedian’s answers to the questions I’d emailed her weeks ago. Some were carbon copies of responses she’d given to publications elsewhere in the country. A few answers were identical to those published in the Oregonian and the Mercury.Yes, journalists ask the same questions and, yes, it must ...   More
Thursday, November 6, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Hotseat: Anthony Jeselnik

Talking with the "Satanic prince of standup," who hits Portland for back-to-back shows tonight.


Arts & Books
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik has been called the "Satanic prince of standup.” His deadpan sense of charm underscores his morbidity, and he has a knack for twisting normal situations into sickening epiphanies in a nonchalant manner. Jeselnik got his break writing for Jimmy Fallon, but he’s perhaps best known for his roasts of Roseanne Barr, Charlie Sheen and, especially, Donald Trump.The Pittsburgh-born, ...   More
Thursday, October 30, 2014 NATHAN CARSON

Hotseat: Shane Torres

The soon-to-depart comedian on why he's petrified about New York City, brunch with Whitney Streed and how Portland comics need to work harder.


Arts & Books
It’s a sad day in Portland comedy. Standup stalwart Shane Torres is decamping for New York City. Torres, who was runner-up in WW’s Funniest 5 poll last year, has been a rock in Portland’s comedy landscape since 2007. The Texas-raised comedian (and self-described "Native American Meatloaf impersonator") has witnessed the scene grow from poorly attended, anything-goes open-mic nights to packed, ...   More
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 MIKE ACKER

Hotseat: Laurie Kilmartin

The Conan staff writer talks about dead dad jokes, working in TV and offending her audience.


Arts & Books
Laurie Kilmartin leads a double—or triple—life. She’s been onstage for 27 years, spending time in the last decade writing punchlines for late-nite TV, including her current stint on Conan. Kilmartin’s still a nightclub fixture, though, cracking jokes about all the uncomfortable daily problems we encounter—everything from race to family matters—in an all-knowing and wry tone. She’s ...   More
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 DAVE CANTOR

Hotseat: Steve Lyons

The Bellingham-based playwright discusses his new play about the Vietnam War, and the Oregon Senator who opposed it.


Arts & Books
Wayne Morse was steadfast in his convictions. The Oregon politician was one of two U.S. Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, which allowed then-President Lyndon B. Johnson to use military force in Vietnam. Morse—who was initially elected as a Republican, became an Independent and then ultimately joined the Democratic Party—remained a vocal critic throughout the Vietnam ...   More
Thursday, September 25, 2014 JAMES HELMSWORTH

Hotseat: Film Score Composer Mark Orton

Orton, who composed the score for Nebrasaka, has a new movie coming out today.


Movies & Television
It’s Mark Orton’s job to make you feel something."You can imagine a couple of hobbits walking through the woods with no music,” says Orton, a Portland-based composer of film scores. “Two and a half minutes seems like a really long time. But you put music behind it, and you can do any number of things to it. You can add tension. You can make it just seem like good friends walking in the woods.”To ...   More
Friday, September 19, 2014 JAMES HELMSWORTH

Hotseat: Wyatt Cenac

The comedian and former Daily Show correspondent on Bill Cosby, puppets and gory cartoons.

09.12.14 wyatt cenac @ hawthorne (credit eric michael pearson)

Arts & Books
Wyatt Cenac spent four years on The Daily Show with John Stewart. It’s easy to hear how some of his longer standup bits bear that influence: A politically charged, cynical overtone courses through his stories. Still, he was doing standup long before landing the Comedy Central gig, and he also worked on King of the Hill. Cenac’s jokes aren’t necessarily topical, instead covering ...   More
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 DAVE CANTOR


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