Oh hot damn, this is one of my favorite times to be in Portland—seriously. The way Bridgetown is set-up down on SE Hawthorne, with all the venues packed tightly together and a festival bracelet you just can't go wrong. It's too much fun.
If you've never seen live comedy, I swear there's no better way to get acquainted than Bridgetown—170 performers, most of whom are at the top of their game.
A good way to begin the festival might be with the screening of I Am Comic at 7 pm tonight at the Bagdad, a new documentary being shown in Portland for the first time. It puts you in the right mindset to enjoy stand up, plus there's a panel afterward with the director, Jordan Brady, along with some comedians, including the brilliant, Andy Kaufman Award-winning Brent Weinbach.
There's no full trailer yet for the film online, but there are a few clips. This one, featuring perhaps the greatest stand up performer of the day, Louie CK, addresses heckling (NSFW).
CK is right: If you heckle you are most likely "are a bad person with a cold, mean heart." And you're not as funny as you think. You're probably just drunk. The show is on stage, not at your stupid table. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.
There are a handful of killer shows tonight. 10:00PM's Bridgetown Preview is a can't-go-wrong lineup of steady national talent. I'm not sure how the Burlesque aspect will go over, but the Naked Lobster Burlesque features some killer about-to-break young comics like Moshe Kasher and top local dudes Richard Bain and Ron Funches. It's 10:00PM at the Hawthorne Theatre. If you want to go hyper local, there's the battle of Portland vs Seattle, beginning at 9:30PM at Mt Tabor. There may be a few loose ends at this show, but I promise Don Frost and Christian Ricketts will make Portland pretty hard to beat.
See you out on the street. And P.S.: Sewickly's Addition (49th & Hawthorne) might be a skeezy dive, but their drinks are by far the cheapest, and strongest (by a magnitude of two). Just don't get wasted enough to think you're the comedian.