I'm a firm believer in the old adage that "laughter is the best medicine," even though it doesn't do squat for a sore throat and hacking cough. The fact is, we're hip deep in a particularly nasty cold and flu season so we can't afford to scoff at any medical advice no matter how whimsical. With that in mind, try to get out and soak up some healing live comedy. It couldn't hurt.
Feb 1 at 7:30pm, Newmark Theatre
The quick-witted anchorman from Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update is on his 11th season as a cast member, so you've got to figure he's a pretty funny guy simply by osmosis. On stage he keeps one foot squarely in his trademark political humor, offset by observational bits on technology, relationships, and friends with kids. You know, the usual stuff.
Feb 2 at 8pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Black is easily recognized as that guy on The Daily Show who's perpetually livid and on the verge of having a stroke over instances of rampant stupidity that seem to be everywhere these days. It's a safe bet he'll never run out of material. We have a Q&A with Black from June 2007.
Feb 3 at 7:30pm, Hollywood Theatre
He's not only an openly gay comedian who incisively and good-naturedly mines homophobia for huge laughs, but he's also a decent impressionist who mimics Sam Elliott and (eerie coincidence?) Lewis Black!
Feb 14 at 8pm & 10pm at Mississippi Studios
Portland's Kill Rock Stars is a highly influential record label that's put out albums by Elliott Smith, Quasi, Corin Tucker Band, the Thermals—and soon, New York comedian Kurt Braunohler. Make sure to laugh extra loud because these shows are being recorded for that very record. Admission is free!
Feb 21–23, Helium Comedy Club
The Saturday Night Live alum noted for his portrayals of Goat Boy and Joe Pesci, among others, will forever be associated with stoner comedy thanks to his role alongside Dave Chappelle in the 1998 bongwater classic Half Baked. Apparently expectations got so bad that he titled his 2010 book I'm Not High (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior).
Feb 28 at 8pm, Aladdin Theater
He's been on the comedy club circuit for 20 years and it's finally paying off. The IFC Network (home of Portlandia) has green-lighted 10 episodes of an autobiographical, single-camera TV show called Maron in which he takes a page out of Louis C.K.'s book and stars as a lightly fictionalized version of himself—a neurotic, sober, twice-divorced comedian who hosts a popular podcast. It's scheduled to begin airing in June. We have a Maron interview from April of last year.
Coming in March: Garfunkel & Oates (Mar 1-2, Helium Comedy Club) and John Hodgman (Mar 7, Bagdad Theater).