“Portland loves their stand-up and they love their brunch!” says Siren Theater owner Shelley McLendon, explaining the Siren’s newest endeavor, Girls Gone Mild. It’s a Sunday morning stand-up showcase with a continental breakfast on the side, so I was intrigued. You have no idea how hard it is to find a chill, fun brunch downtown. The tourists have swarmed them all; stand-up brunch seems like a no-brainer.
Still, new shows are like baby deer—cute as hell but shaky on their Bambi legs—so for Girls Gone Mild’s inaugural show, McLendon’s assembled four super-funny comedy knock-outs—Kirsten Kuppenbender, Caitlin Weierhauser, Laura Ann Whitley, and Jon Washington—to start this stand-up brunch off right. I’m going to propose what you should (or shouldn’t) be eating while watching each of these fine comedians test out their morning joke material.
• DO NOT drink pineapple juice while watching Mercury Undisputable Genius of Comedy Kirsten Kuppenbender perform her hilarious bit about the ineffectiveness of warrior yoga poses in the face of real live actual fighting. Even my warning will not prepare you for the stinging citrus racing out of your nose and onto someone nearby. EMBARRASSMENT.
• Jon Washington is the guy whose stand-up you want to be watching while you’re eating something delicate—like perhaps an open-faced bagel sandwich you’ve stacked dangerously high. He’s a thoughtful, introverted performer whose material is ticklishly intellectual and whose tone rarely travels outside a range between musing and mildly incensed. I don’t see him repeat his jokes much, so there will be surprises, but his punchlines generally occur softly, with a delicate edge.
• DO eat sweets and sip champagne during Laura Ann Whitley’s stand-up. She is like your witch femme magical-girl friend who’s relatable when she talks about the highlights and low points of her life. She’ll LOL ya, but she is laughing right along with you. Of all the performers on the bill, Whitley will actually make you feel like you are at brunch—cracking the hell up at brunch—with a good friend.
• Recently crowned Portland’s Funniest Person, Caitlin Weierhauser is a little difficult to gauge. Her jokes are so fucking unique. She was raised with wolves in the forest by her father, but she’s vegan, so you can’t just eat a huge slab of meat in front of her to prove that you are both tough, cool people who recognize the innate humor of life. I will recommend STRONGLY EATING VEGETABLES WITH ALL OF YOUR MOUTH to impress Caitlin Weierhauser. Or just relax and enjoy yourself. It’s brunch!