April may hold the crown as Portland’s funniest month, thanks to the epic Bridgetown Comedy Festival, but this June is running a close second. With both local stand-up competitions and big-name headliners on the docket, there are plenty of laughs to keep you entertained this month once you tire of beer festivals and bicycle rides. We recommend:
June 8–10 — The second annual Portland’s Funniest Person contest wraps up this weekend at SE Hawthorne’s Helium Comedy Club. By Saturday, the 140 entrants will have been whittled down to 24 semi-finalists; the survivors of that round move on to Sunday’s finals, where they will compete for the $1,000 prize and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Already on Saturday’s semi-finalist schedule are last year’s runners-up, Tim Hammer and Shane Torres, so we already know the competition will be fierce (almost as fierce as the expert advice Ian Karmel, last year’s winner, recently shared with his hopeful successors).
June 16 — Third Rail Repertory Theatre has teamed up with Powell’s to bring actress/comedienne Jane Lynch to the Newmark Theatre. Although best known for her roles in Glee and Christopher Guest mockumentaries, Lynch takes the stage this time as herself, joined by OPB’s Dave Miller for a behind-the-scenes conversation. While her recent memoir Happy Accidents deals with some heavy topics (her longtime struggles with self-acceptance and alcohol, for instance), it’s impossible to imagine an evening with Jane Lynch not including healthy doses of humor.
June 28th — Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari brings his “Buried Alive” tour to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The comic is a notorious foodie equally comfortable dropping the names of high-profile rappers and Michelin-starred chefs, so Portlanders who miss out on scoring tickets can still keep tabs on Ansari’s Twitter feed as he eats his way through town.
June 28th — That same night, stand-up/actor/nerd extraordinaire Patton Oswalt, appears at Helium — just half an hour after Ansari goes on stage across the river (hopefully things go better than the last time these two crossed paths). Luckily, the comedy gods are not cruel: Oswalt performs five shows over three nights at Helium, giving local stand-up geeks a chance to catch two of comedy’s hottest acts in one glorious weekend.