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

Hotseat: Dave Foley

The Kids in the Hall member talks boobs, red wine and Mr. Heavyfoot.

08.16.14 dave foley @ helium

Arts & Books
To describe Dave Foley as a utilitarian humorist would be reductive—but not disingenuous. As part of Kids in the Hall, Foley has been a significant figure in sketch comedy since the ’80s. In the ‘90s, he led a cast on NewsRadio that included Phil Hartman and Stephen Root. And now, while keeping a foot in both the sketch-comedy and sitcom worlds, the L.A. resident has also returned to standup, ...   More
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 DAVE CANTOR

Hotseat: Michael Ian Black

The comedian, a member of sketch group the State, talks about reality TV, web videos and Meghan McCain.


Arts & Books
Way back in 1993, MTV took a flyer on a group of sketch comedians from New York University and gave them a television show.  That show, The State—because that was the troupe called themselves—lasted only two years, but it left a permanent mark on American comedy. Many of its members would stay in show biz, turning out such shows as Stella, Reno 9-1-1, Viva Variety on another upstart cable ...   More
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 MIKE ACKER

Hotseat: Cameron Esposito

The super-smart, side mullet-sporting comedian talks podcasting, Portland and Macklemore.


Arts & Books
Cameron Esposito has been busy lately. LA Weekly and Time Out Los Angeles both tapped her as a comedian to watch. She’s been featured on Chelsea Lately and at comedy festivals across the country (locally, she was at Bridgetown in 2013 and All Jane No Dick the same year). She’s toured the nation with Anthony Jeselnik.The side mullet-rocking, perennially denim-jacket clad Esposito has done all ...   More
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 MIKE ACKER


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