- That's Don Frost, above. Don isn't a traditional stand up. He doesn't write jokes or routines. He just gets up there and goes right off the rails, ranting on whatever catches his mind's eye. It's different every time—but every time it's tremendous. I shot the video Monday at the Portland Comedy Contest. Speaking of which....

- In its second year since being re-invented/re-invigorated, The Portland Comedy Contest is humming along nicely. There are a few changes from last year, namely that it's no longer and amateurs-only affair. Co-founder Lonnie Bruhn didn't want to repeat last year's contest so he opened the doors to anyone, just so long as they didn't participate in 2010.

Like last year's competition, however, the month-long, six-night-a-week contest takes place across the region. Rather than play to a bunch of familiar audiences in Portland, Bruhn takes comics out of their comfort zones to places like Gresham, Oregon City and so on. More than anything, with the frequency and varying audiences, Bruhn really wants to impress upon the comics what it's like to work the road. It's a process that's grueling, but it works. Last year's winner, Ian Karmel told me recently he's much better for having hacked through it.

Now in the semi-finals, this year's original field of 32 performers has been whittled to 10, including Richard Bain, Don Frost, Gabe Dinger, Richie Stratton and more. The contest wraps June 29th, where a winner will be announced at Harvey's. Get the whole schedule here.

- In non-contest related comedy, you can catch the guys from Comedy Is OK along with Ron Funches, Anthony Lopez, Shane Torres and Brian Koch of Blitzen Trapper tonight at Bunk Bar.

While Bunk's layout just isn't a welcoming incubator of laughs—comedy clubs are best when they're compact and when people are expecting to shut up and listen, not have beers with friends—it's hard to argue with tonight's talent. I've never seen Funches have a bad set and Lopez has been on the rise ever since a strong showing in last year's Comedy Contest. No clue what exactly Brian Koch does, but I guess we'll see. And hey, if it sucks, well, it won't cost you anything.

TONIGHT: Comedy Is OK w/ Ron Funches, Anthony Lopez, Shane Torres and Brian Koch @ Bunk Bar - 10PM - FREE