EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! is a video collective best known for repurposing found footage in bizarre and entertaining ways. Also of interest: Their ongoing quest to amass the largest collection of VHS copies of Jerry Maguire in human history.
Co-produced by Everything Is Terrible! and the Hollywood Theatre, Everything Is Festival is a five-day fest whose lineup reads as though your favorite corners of Tumblr and YouTube achieved sentience and took festival form. Dan Harmon, Andrew WK, a Salute Your Shorts reunion, Kid 'n Play, and Lil Bub all on the same bill? Sure! It's post-genre, or something.
The Hollywood serves as home base for Everything Is Festival, with satellite venues including Star Theater and Bunk Bar. (Secret wish: That the Hollywood team will someday open an additional venue tailored to hosting their increasingly vital live programming.) Portland has no shortage of performance, comics, and comedy festivals—think Bridgetown, Linework NW, Wordstock, TBA, XOXO—but there's a democratic, fun-focused quality to this one that stands out in a crowded field. Below are our picks; the full schedule is at hollywoodtheatre.org.
Salute Your Shorts Reunion (Thurs May 28)—Two summers ago, the Hollywood hosted PetesFest, an homage to The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Now Salute Your Shorts gets its turn; this live reunion show features original cast members and selected clips from the show. (Yes, Donkey Lips will be there.) Presumably reunions of Hey Dude and Clarissa Explains It All are right around the corner, and in five years we'll see the same from Alex Mack and whatever that show was about kids who turn into animals and fight giant slugs. Nostalgia's a hell of a drug.
Found Crap and Harmontown (Sat May 30, Sun May 31)—Community creator Dan Harmon is so good at being a drunken loud-mouthed genius that he's no doubt spawned bars full of imitators, slovenly white dudes aspiring to Harmonesque-levels of brilliance while thoroughly soused. Only Harmon can pull off Harmon, though, and you'll get a few chances to see him do it this weekend: At a live taping of his Harmontown podcast, and an installment of his found-footage review show Found Crap, which features writer/director Rob Schrab.
Lil Bub's Big Show Live (Fri May 29)—The other day I tried to impress my 14-year-old nephew by telling him I was writing about Lil Bub, but it backfired when he claimed he'd never even heard of the internet's most ubiquitous cat. I still don't understand how that's possible. Do the young and old experience the internet differently? Is Lil Bub's tongue super dry from sticking out all day? Why is it so hard to impress a 14-year-old? These are among the many mysteries raised by Lil Bub, and perhaps answered at Lil Bub's Big Show Live, a live interview hosted by Lil Bub (!) and featuring special guests Kimya Dawson (!!), Aesop Rock (!!!), and subtitles to translate Lil Bub's cat-commentary into humanspeak (!!!!).
House Party Pajama Jammy Jam (Sat May 30)—In one of several festival highlights that seem biochemically engineered to make you say, "Wait, really?", House Party Pajama Jammy Jam is a
1. Screening of House Party followed by
2. Performances from Kid 'n Play and Mix Master Mike and
3. Pajamas are encouraged.
There's also "Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining" (Sun May 31), a discussion of comics and hip-hop (with Kid 'n Play, Mix Master Mike, and local comics writer David Walker), a live appearance from YouTube dating show Just Between Us (Sun May 31), and a night curated by weirdo Baltimore art collective Wham City (Sun May 31). Keynoting the whole shebang (Sun May 31): Local filmmaker Lance Bangs, whose work spans music videos, comedy specials, and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. His career, like the festival as a whole, makes a strong case for this argument: Follow your interests down whatever weird corridors they take you, because if you're interested, other people probably will be too.