This was a funny and informative column. As a man, I can never comprehend the terror of being followed at night. I also thought the title was about how the police should smile more.
Who would've thought that Barbara Holm would know the inner workings of SNL better than the longest running African American cast member in SNL history. Bravo.
In terms of rape jokes, this one was fairly light. But still, I think rape is a word and topic that should be avoided when you're tying to make people enjoy themselves. In my desperately sought-after opinion, Will screwed up, but he's still a good comic otherwise. It's unfair for people to judge a comedian based on two sentences at the tail end of an open mic. That being said, mentioning rape on stage is the quickest way to alienate audiences and comics alike, and rightfully so.
Every comic has been bullied. It's why we're comics instead of emotionally-stable human beings. This might be the most unpopular comment of the thread, but I support Barbara's anger, and I also support Will as a talented comedian except for this instance. Everyone who's posted in this is funnier than I am, but I just hope both sides can forgive each other and embrace harmony over discord.
Read up on this new invention, and how it might be used to make your 800 word rant decipherable. Other than being visually inaccessible, its pretty accurate. It was wrong for me to mention Ron Funches.
"Ian Karmel who, after taking the contest a year earlier, has become perhaps Portland's most recognized stand-up." This is like saying that someone has becoming the world's most renowned mime. That being said, Ian is without a doubt in the top tier of Portland comics.
If you ask the average Portlander who their favorite local comedian is, they'll ask you to leave em alone. This is not a reflection of Portland's comedic talent, but rather a condemnation of the logistical side of Portland's funny side. Indeed, before a bubble can pop, it must first inflate. With four legitimate comedy clubs in the city, one could assume that the bubble has reached a threshold. Not true.
For the sake of the argument thought, let's say that the "bubble" does pop. What does this mean?
It means that 3 of the 4 comedy clubs shut down. Since someone like Ron Funches is rumored to receive $50 a weekend at Helium, I doubt this will throw Portland comedy into a depression. The open mic nights will continue, and the booking companies that put on profitable shows will continue unabated, even boosted by the lack of expensive competition. Sorry, but when a Corona costs $5 at a venue, its business model lacks credibility.
But for the organizations that are serious about expanding and improving the Portland Comedy Scene, any noticeable "pop" of the bubble will be nothing but an opportunity in disguise. There is an abundance of bars in Portland, many with stages and sound systems that suit comedy. The venues that can accommodate more than 100 people are crying out for entertainment options that will pack their bars during down nights. These are the showcases that will bring in audiences and enhance the reputation of comedy in Portland in the long run, at a grassroots level.
Indeed, this is where newborn booking companies come into play. They will be the ones that get 200 people into a venue on a Wednesday and pay the comics for their talents. They will be the ones that lift the comedy scene into a regular weekly attraction around Portland. No working class couple is trying to go to Helium where they can buy a $9.50 six ounce martini, especially during a recession.
Let's thank Allah for something called "Creative Destruction." As Augie Smith has pointed out, nobody can make a living as a comic by just doing gigs in Portland. And even though, as one would have it from the author's past articles, there may be only six or seven comics in Portland, our city still has the potential to renew a type of cheap, live entertainment: affordable, accessible and engaging stand up comedy shows, that happen multiple times a week at venues spanning the Metro Area. Such a concept would hopefully intrigue the author, but again, judging by his past articles, the author may have already picked his horses. As a writer myself, I doubt that, and am willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt.
Let's be real: artistically, Portland has ALWAYS punched above its weight, and rightfully so. We are overdue for a comedic breakout. But an article like this, that focusses on a comedy show that isn't even the biggest in its area this week, does no justice to just how burgeoning our city's comedy scene is.
The author is correct that comedy tends to be a bubble-bust dynamic, but one would hope he branches out beyond his usual suspects. After all, the Oregonian certainly has, and they're practically a non-profit organization now. The least the Mercury can do is be honest to the actual comedy scene, and not just to a few favored sons.
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