It’s over. Bridgetown Comedy Festival swept through Portland like a drunken giggle, and today everyone’s home, or on their way. We tried, but none of us could see all our favorite acts. Four days in and still there were many glaring omissions in my comedian collection. I went with my heart. They Might be Giants said it best: “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.”
The Eagleheart panel discussion at the Bagdad theater was my first show of the day. It had the writers of the show, actors Brett Gelman and Maria Thayer, and it was hosted by Tim Hidecker. A nice thing about having an eleven minute tv show is you can comfortably screen three of them and still get in a Q&A session. The showed three upcoming episodes. This season is going to be good. It looks like they have a bigger budget, not that that was ever an impediment to the show being funny.
Hidecker and Gelman have had a running gag through the festival where they goof on Hahajk, one of the sponsors. This was taken to its logical conclusion at this show. During a lull in the panel discussion a man from the audience (who I’m pretty sure was Jon Glaser) started laughing loud when there was no reason to laugh. It disrupted the panel, and they asked him what he was laughing at. He said he was reading Hahajk headlines on his iPhone. This led to him going on stage and reading a whole article. (Most of it.) It didn’t have much to do with Eagleheart, but it’s nice to see a goof go all the way it can go.
This is the part where I was missing Janeane Garofalo, Doug Benson, Todd Barry- Ah! It still stings. I’m happy with my decisions, but I could have used a couple of clones. I caught Barbara Holm, Sean Jordan, Katie-Ellen Humphries, and Steven Benaquist at the Bar of the Gods before ducking out to go to the Eagles. Mary Mack was the headliner. That was one act I wasn’t going to miss.
The Eagles Lodge is exactly as weird as you think it is. It’s an actual Eagles Lodge. The people running the place are completely devoid of irony. They’re fantastic, and would not be out of place in a David Lynch movie. (I mean that as a compliment.)
I was there for the headliner at Eagles Primetime, but I was really glad to catch Dwayne Perkins, Dan Boulger, Jamie Lee, David Cope, Anthony Lopez, Taylor Williamson, and KC Arora. Any of these people come to your town or live in your town- go see them.
Mary Mack was the last comic in the showcase. She talked about Hemingway’s poetry, she had the audience tell her exactly where the funniest light was for her to stand under– anything I describe from her set will pale in comparison to watching her. In person. See her in person.
At the end of the day it’s clear that the best thing about Bridgetown is getting introduced to so many new comics. People below the radar, people who will be the next Tim Hideckers and Amy Schumers, Bamfords, and Oswalts in training. People like Donny Divanian, Amanda Brooke Perrin, Kristen Studard– these people are all highly capable to make you laugh. All you need to do is see their show. Bridgetown 2013 is on my calendar. Maybe I’ll see you there.