As the fourth annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland came to a close yesterday, some of the best, brightest, and most original in comedy were put on display to uproarious, standing room only crowds. This is especially true for the LA comedy scene.
Looking at the list of almost 200 scheduled performers at Bridgetown, over a third of them are based out of Los Angeles. Portland, seemingly a more indie-minded town, one that appears to listen to comedy podcasts and go beyond Comedy Central for their exposure to whose coming up, cheered James Adomian who performs all over LA as if he was a rock star. Whether they are fans of Comedy Death Ray Radio, the popular podcast that Adomian and his amazing cast of voices are regularly featured on, can’t quite be sure, but talk of him abounded throughout the 4 days of the festival.
Moshe Kasher, Brent Weinbach, Kyle Kinane, Pete Holmes, also received the same treatment. Even comedians who are much less in the public eye Ron Lynch who has his own fantastic weekly variety show, Tomorrow!, in LA, Tony Sam who brought his all character showcase Persona! up from LA, Jan Davidson, and Jesse Case increased their following with their short time in Portland as people continued to talk about their performances long after their shows were over. One of the best shows of the festival, Kurt Braunholer and Kristen Schaal’s Hot Tub that normally takes places on the opposite side of the country, had an all LA line-up with Kinane, Holmes, Funny or Die star Jon Daly, Eagleheart‘s Brett Gelman, Nick Thune.
Still, with all of this in mind, hardly any of the names mentioned in this article had their start in comedy in LA and might possibly dispute what city they represent. Recently Marc Maron was quoted in New York Magazine, “Comedians always say to me, ‘I don’t know where to go. Do I go to New York or do I go to L.A.?’ I say, ‘Look, if you want to continue training, go to New York. If you think you’re ready to get in the ring, go to L.A.’ You can’t hide in L.A. The business is everywhere. Whatever you do onstage is going to be seen by somebody, and it’s going to be talked about to somebody.” Ironically enough, Portland over this past weekend is where LA was seen.