It’s only the third year of the Portland Queer Comedy Festival (PQCF), but it’s already beginning to feel like a local institution. For one thing, the fest keeps growing: Though they’re sticking to last year’s four days and five stages of programming, this year those stages are larger spots like the cavernous Rogue Eastside Pub and Kickstand Comedy’s new, bigger downtown theater.

The talent they’re drawing is likewise impressive. They’ve got Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall), Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians), D’Lo (Looking, Transparent), and many more quality-as-hell queer comedians performing multiple shows. Four-day passes start at $70, which is a little steep, despite the value (that’s good for 27 shows and an afterparty!), but many of the shows have one-off tickets as low as $12. So here are a few of promising picks:

Buddy Cole Monologues

This year’s festival opens with two shows of Scott Thompson’s Buddy Cole Monologues. Christ, what an opportunity. Thompson’s coy, worldly alter ego Buddy Cole is like the gay Indiana Jones. He’s lived a life of scandalous adventure, but instead of lecturing you about tribal customs, he’s opining on consulate etiquette and the benefits of traveling under an alias. This will sell out. (Wed July 17, 7pm & 9 pm, Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King, $25)

Corina Lucas: Skin Suit

A Mercury Genius of Comedy and second runner-up in last year’s Portland’s Funniest Person competition, Corina Lucas has been taking the city by storm with clever, fascinating sets about her experiences as a trans woman. Now she’s taping her first comedy special—an important moment in every comedian’s career. Show up and support (and shut up while they’re rolling)! (Thurs July 18, 7 pm, Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th, $12)

All Jane Showcase

Speaking of awesome Portland comedy festivals, the annual All Jane Festival always has a great selection of women comedians and gives them their due: one hundred percent of the stage! This showcase features past All Jane favorites like the Irene Tu, Heather Thompson, and Belinda Carroll (who is also the co-founder of the PQCF). (Fri July 19, 6 pm, Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th, $12)


Kickstand’s new downtown home is where Portland’s most dangerous comedy and improv is currently being born, making it the perfect locale for the bone-chilling show Disowned. A group of very fine comedians (Mary Jane French, Max Eddy, and Dylan Carlino, to name a few) will perform and then receive feedback from their parents. (Sun July 21, 3 pm, Kickstand Comedy, 16 NW Broadway, $12)

Pitch, Please

I’m a big fan of Portland comic artist Carolyn Main’s weird and original card game Pitch, Please. The goal is to come up with film pitches based on random genres and tropes. It’s fun/funny at home, but in the hands of actual comedians (like Kat Buckley and Jenna Vesper) this game sounds deadly hilarious. (Sun July 21, 5 pm, Ford Food & Drink, 2505 SE 11th, $12)

Festival Finale

The finale packs a lot of star power on one stage: Nico Santos, Pallavi Gunalan, Jen Kober (who you may remember for her wildly hilarious Snap Judgement story about a skydiving trip gone horribly wrong), and more help close out the festival, wringing whatever laughter is left from your chest. (Sun July 21, 8 pm, Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th, $17)