Tonight, the weekly comedy showcase Earthquake Hurricane holds its 100th show. Hosted by Alex Falcone, Bri Pruett, Katie Nguyen, and Anthony Lopez, the standup showcase is held every Wednesday, and has become a fixture of the local comedy scene since it started in 2014.
Recently, the show withstood some significant changes. In 2015, Earthquake Hurricane was forced to move from the basement of Velo Cult due to a fire code violation, but continued to perform in the bike shop's upstairs performance space while they looked for a more permanent venue. The show finally secured a spot at the Liquor Store, and began performing there last month. "They're a music venue and they were nervous about giving every single Wednesday over to a comedy show," says Falcone. "But we racked up some accolades, did a huge show at Bridgetown, kept turning out a great show week after week, and we were finally able to convince them."
While they were still looking for a new venue, Earthquake Hurricane also lost one of its original hosts (and Willamette Week contributor), Curtis Cook, when he moved to LA this year. But Cook's spot was filled by Katie Nguyen at Earthquake Hurricane's first show at the Liquor Store last month.
Cook's spot is a tough one to fill, but Falcone says Nguyen was an easy choice: "Katie has this bone-dry delivery that fits with us like a puzzle piece." Falcone also says Nguyen's improv background was a huge part in choosing her for the show, as it prepared her for Earthquake Hurricane's opening segment where the four hosts riff material based on the day's events. "Making that group dynamic work was really important, and her training is perfect for that," says Falcone.
But even before it weathered losing a key member and the venue it was strongly associated with, Earthquake Hurricane felt like a stable part of Portland's fast changing comedy scene. The fact that about half the comedians performing each week are the hosts has played a large part in creating Earthquake Hurricane's local reputation. "We already have four high level comics on the show every week, so we don't have as many spots for guests as some other shows," says Falcone. "I've had a bunch of younger local comics tell me they felt like they'd made it when they got asked to do Earthquake Hurricane."
Falcone says that he's noticed the show has developed somewhat of a national reputation, too. "We get lots of messages from traveling comics like, 'I heard about this crazy show in Portland,'" says Falcone. "And we've had bigger and bigger guests because of that."
For their 100th show, Earthquake Hurricane's hosts will be joined by recent Funniest Five winner Dylan Jenkins, Seattleite Stephanie Oberto, and Becky Robinson from the likes of Not Safe With Nikki Glaser and FunnyOrDie.
SEE IT: Earthquake Hurricane is at The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont, earthquakehurricane.com. 7 pm Wednesdays. $5 suggested donations.