Here's some comedy news that isn't related to Bridgetown: A week from today, Last Comic Standing returns to NBC after a four-year hiatus, and one of the contestants is... Portland's very own Shane Torres!
If you've never seen it, Last Comic Standing is a standup comedy competition that follows the basic American Idol template: Backstage interviews, performances, critiques from judges, a victor who's crowned after a series of elimination rounds. (This season's judges are Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and Russell Peters.)
I asked Torres about the experience, and while he couldn't say much, he did note that "It was cool to have Roseanne comment on my comedy, and there are some fantastic comedians on it this year that I was really happy to be considered in the same group with."
It's been years since I've seen Last Comic Standing, but I remember enjoying the season I watched (seven, with Greg Giraldo and Natasha Leggero as judges) more than I expected to. Plenty of terrific comics have passed through the show, like Amy Schumer, Matt Kirshen, Myq Kaplan, and James Adomian—none of those guys actually won, so getting cut might be just as much a badge of comedic cred as winning. Though everyone would probably prefer the kind of cred that comes with winning. Either way, it's great for Torres, who's one of Portland's best—just read this writeup from Merc writer Andrew Tonry, who had his mind blown by Shane's set at Bridgetown last weekend.
Last Comic Standing airs May 22 at 9 pm on NBC.