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Comedian Niles Abston Brings His Big Ass House Party to Portland

Coming from one of the pandemic’s few rising stars, Abston’s 2020 YouTube comedy special blew up, and a recent Dave Chappelle drag garnered him nearly 43,000 likes.

There’s a theme to comedian Niles Abston’s tour style: “We party during the show. We party after the show. Party before the show,” he says. “I want to create a vibe for people where it doesn’t feel like a regular boring-ass comedy show. It’s like an experience. That’s kind of what I’m known for.”

It’s surprising Abston is known for anything yet, considering that when he plays Portland on his way to Seattle, he’ll be traversing his first-ever dedicated comedy tour: Niles Abston’s Big Ass House Party.

Abston has been through Portland before, though—invited up for the Minority Retort showcase at the 2020 Black Comedy Festival. “I did that comedy festival and shot my special. Then everyone started talking about something called COVID and, before you knew it, I had to release my house show special during a pandemic,” he tells WW.

That May 2020 special, Girls Don’t Twerk to Jokes, hit a shut-in soft spot due to the location—a living room venue in L.A. called Scoopty Boopty—and the energy of Abston’s crowd (drunk on tremendous quantities of Hennessy). The show was a DIY affair, coordinated because Abston (a newcomer to L.A. from Mississippi) couldn’t get booked at local comedy clubs. He even helped set up some of the camera angles.

“One friend, who just got too drunk, knocked his camera over and didn’t notice.” Abston says of filming the special. “So we didn’t even have one of the angles that we planned.”

But Girls Don’t Twerk to Jokes blew up online, as did Abston on Twitter. A recent drag of Dave Chappelle garnered him nearly 43,000 likes:

Now Abston is trying to make up for lost time with a party tour to promote his new party podcast of the same name, which he says will include “guests telling wild, fun party stories, listeners texting me party stories that I’ll read on the air” and heated discussions over which songs will make everyone yell “Oh shit!” and run onto the dance floor.

He promises similar energy—with more dedicated standup— for his live show. For starters, he’s touring with a crew.

“I’ll have Duece Flame with me; he’s a rapper. I like to have music on my show,” Abston says. He’s also joined by comedians Arthur Hamilton, Kalea McNeill and Chaz Carter.

The whole show sounds chaotic but with good elements—like the rolling party that Abston intends.

GO: Niles Abston performs at Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave., 503-233-7100, hawthornetheatre.com. 9 pm Thursday, Nov. 4. $6-$25.