The Bridgetown Comedy Festival kicked off earlier this week. If you haven't already purchased a festival pass or looked into tickets for a particular show, I can't recommend it enough.

Once a year, a crack team of magnificent organizers and dedicated volunteers put together a weeklong series of comedy events full of merriment, laughter, booze, and pizza. And honestly, what else could you possibly ask for? Any one of those things is already enough to kick off a solid night, and putting all four together is a recipe for that special kind of fun you only get to have once every few months before taking a step back and thinking, "You know, that was totally worth it, but I should probably at least consider taking a break from drinking."

Bridgetown is a fantastic festival that boasts some of the best lineups you'll see anywhere in the country, let alone right in your own backyard. But despite the festival's preeminent reputation and decade-long run, I understand why there may still be a few reluctant stragglers who're hesitant to attend a comedy event. After all, many of us have been burned by comedy in the past.

Maybe you walked into a bar in the hopes of having a few drinks with friends only to be interrupted by an unexpected and poorly advertised comedy show where a sad man in a stained t-shirt screamed at you for talking over him as he ruined your evening. Maybe you're among the lost souls who've wandered bravely into a comedy open mic only to be yelled at by a different sad man (or maybe the same one, it's hard to tell them apart sometimes) for no reason at all. Maybe you saw someone hump a stool once. The tales of woe are endless.

But Bridgetown isn't like that one time at that defunct show in that foreclosed upon dive.

Bridgetown is professional as fuck.

The festival gives you an opportunity to watch some of the best comics from around the country in a few of Portland's most entertaining venues. And in celebration of its tenth year, Bridgetown has brought fresh faces, old favorites, and beloved shows to PDX.

There's the artistic glee of Picture This!, the blotto joy of Brew Haha, and the New Negroes show—which is more popularly referred to by white Portlandians as "That Show With The Name I'm Not Sure I'm Allowed To Say." And from Patton Oswalt and Janeane Garofalo to local favorites you've been hoping to see more of, no matter what you're looking for this weekend, Bridgetown has a little something for everyone.

(Unless you're looking to be a bummer, in which case this festival has nothing to offer you.)