At 11 pm July 7, the crowd at Helium Comedy Club got its answer—Amy Miller is the funniest person in Portland, followed by Bri Pruett and Nariko Ott.
Even science needs to be fact-checked, so our completely objective, local musician and writer Parker Hall attended the finals. To make sure it's all scientifically accurate:
Portland comedians don't hate themselves or have massive inferiority complexes, so once a year for the past five, they have competed at Helium Comedy Club in front of a panel of judges—this time including former Jackass cast member Danger Ehren and a country radio DJ from The Wolf—to determine, objectively, which one of them is best.
Our 2013 Funniest 5 poll winner has done it again. We still laugh our asses off at just about everything she says on stage, and even in print (Miller is an occasional Willamette Week contributor). But after 12 preliminary and four semifinal rounds, the dozen performers in the finals all had the sold-out audience laughing hard with them, at them, or both. Miller deserves all the prestige associated with this crystal tiara of laughter, but we would be remiss if we didn't say that she found herself in great company last night.
I would share some of their jokes with you verbatim, but I didn't know that Helium doesn't allow cellphone use, and I was sitting too close to the stage to use my notepad without seeming like some weird, $6 Black Butte Porter-chugging joke thief. So I outlined each act in cheap pen on the back of a sticky note from my wallet that had my bank password on it, then I ran out of space and moved over to a business card for a mariachi band, then onto the back of my ticket stub.
Below is a transcript of the night's acts, as best as my tiny real estate allowed:
Calls out people in Portland for being too polite just as a server falls with an entire tray of glasses. Quips, "You are polite...but not that coordinated."
Re: one judge being Danger Ehren from Jackass—"Does anyone happen to have any bull semen laying around? Nobody??"
Doesn't understand how the phrase "muffin top" became pejorative, thinks it is the best part of the muffin and that the rest is bullshit.
Walks on the the stage and says, "Who is ready to hear what another tall, straight, white guy has to say?"
Spends a few minutes joking about how his comedy friends let him pronounce the word tryst as TRY-st for months at open mics without telling him, describing it as a "betrayal."
Tells a long, hilarious, story about how he once faked shitting himself in a grocery store to get cheaper underwear.
Was the first female Jesus in the history of her very Christian school's annual play, was slandered in local newspapers...as a third grader.
Has very long hair. Was mistaken for a woman three times in the past month.
After a slight lull, "Yes, I am supposed to be up here…"
"I am a really chubby nerd, but I am really confident. Some middle school bully really fucked up, because I am fine…"
Was in an all-black classic-rock band called NAACDC
Calls herself white trash; has an uncle who lives in a trailer with a crow.
Pretends to be a ghost of himself from 1999 who also does standup, makes jokes about "Mambo No. 5," The Sixth Sense, and Austin Powers.