Four awesome comedy moments at Bumbershoot

A simple list of my favorite comedy moments at Bumbershoot 2001. Enjoy!

1. Amy “Schrumer”

 As Amy Schumer and I sit down in the lobby of the Intiman Theater for a chat, a long line of fans begin making their way through the doors nearby. “Are you all excited to see me?” asks Schumer. Nobody answers. Amy shrugs, “they don’t give a shit.” We can’t blame them for not noticing. Who expects the newest member of the Comedy Central Roasts Dias to be slumming it up in a theater lobby with a lowly Internet blogger? “The festival has been going great,” Shumer says, “and I haven’t been drinking or doing any drugs. During the day. The Bumbershoot people do a pretty good job of keeping a tight lid on that stuff.”

While Seattle does have a bit of a reputation for pot and/or heroin use, the overall attitude of the Bumbershoot attendees seems to be blase such things. “It’s like how kids in Germany grow up having beer and are just used to it. That’s how it is for kids in Seattle. I’ve just been waiting until night and then I do every kind of drug I can get my hands on.” Before wrapping up, Amy shows off her Artist’s Credentials badge for the festival. Written across the front is, “Amy Schrumer.”

2. Improv Shakespeare Company

 Holy shit. Those two words were all I could jot down in my figurative notebook after watching the Improvised Shakespeare Company. This improv troupe was by far the buzz of Bumbershoot amongst the comedians headlining the festival. Most I spoke with had already been to two performances that both garnered standing ovations. Unlike any other live improv I’ve seen, ISC takes just one suggestion from the audience - a title for a play. This night the group selected “Titanic 2.” Before my very eyes, the six men were off and creating a 3 act play with plot points, character arcs, clever rhyming, hilarious bits, and almost all done in old Shakespearean English. If you should ever get a chance to see the Improvised Shakepeare Company live, take it.

 3. Advice from Rory Scovel

 Rory Scovel was a wealth of knowledge and wisdom for any comedian hoping be part of a comedy competition (like me) and shared his thoughts on why the crowds at Bumbershoot are so amazing.

 4. Comedy Bang Bang Live Scott Aukerman brought his beloved Comedy Bang Bang podcast to Bumbershoot this year and with him, a couple of all time favorite character creating guests- Paul F. Tompkins and Andy Daly. For three consecutive nights, Aukerman welcomed on a solid guest who was also performing at the festival over the weekend (Doug Benson, Eugene Mirman, Anthony Jeselnik) along with characters like Dom Dimello and Cake Boss. The three episode block can now be purchased directly from for $9.99. I enjoyed the Benson/Boss/Dimello show live and would happily pay the fee for just that episode alone. Yeah, it’s THAT fun to listen to.

 I was able to sit down with Aukmerman and Tompkins for a few minutes backstage. As targeted as my questions may have been, it is difficult to keep these two from steamrolling you with comedy. A compliment if ever I have intended something to be.

You guys have done two shows so far. How have they been?
Scott: Great
Paul: Really well. They’re going really well, I’d say so.
Scott: Pretty amazing. The crowds. They’re so big. Bigger than I would have thought.
Paul: Well, I came to see a show at the theater where we are performing – where we are right now. I saw a show before I did Scott’s show and I was kind of stunned by how big the venue was.
S: I heard how big it was and my expectations were kind of mitigated by them telling me they weren’t going to open the balcony because we probably weren’t going to get that big of a crowd.
P: Yeah, we’ll keep it nice and dark in there so you won’t see how empty it is.
S: Really they were trying to tell me that it’s probably too big for this show but that you won’t notice it. So later when I heard it was almost filled that was really nice.

Amy Schumer told me this morning, Scott, that you just did a Doug Loves Benson –
S & P: Doug Loves Benson!
P: Doug does love Benson. The entire Benson family.
S: And Benson the TV show.
P: You know what he hates? Hedges. Loves Benson though.

On the Doug Loves MOVIES podcast, somebody had turned their baby into their nametag for the Leanord Maltin Game and you selected that baby.
S: Yes, someones name tag was a baby.

Did you actually hold the baby for the whole show?
S: No, I called an audible at the time and was like, “Should I hold this baby the whole time?” Then I realized, “NO, that would be terrible.” So the gentlemen who birthed the baby or from who the baby was –
P: Who caused the baby to be birthed.
S: It was his fault. He came up and held the baby the entire time.
P: I listened to the podcast and I did not hear a peep from that baby. Or a poop.
S: I smelled a poop.
P: Babies will be babies.

Paul, the second season of the Pod F. Tompkast –
P: I’ll take this one Scott.

Yes, this questions is directed to Paul but you can chime in if you have an answer to share.
P: Oooh, a classic “chime in.”
S: You know how I love to chime in.

What is in store for this new season? Any big changes?
P: Uhm, everything is pretty much the same but I would like to cycle in some new features.
S: How about some new Jen Kirkmans?
P: Yes, Jen Kirkman will be played by someone different this time. I will be defining the world of Nighttime on the Internet.
S: You’re a real world builder.
P: I like to build worlds because I love defining them. For me it’s -
S: and then destroy them.
P: Boy, you’re a real world destroyer.
S: I’m like the Death Star of comedy.
P: I was going to say you’re like Galactus the World Eater . . . of comedy.
S: and you are my Silver Surfer.
P: Hey everyone, Galactus is coming!

Does that mean all of your listeners are Uatu’s?
P: Oh! Well, there’s only one Uatu the Watcher. (Kisses index finger and points to the heavens)
S: And Chase Roper is the Ultimate Nullifier.

Yes! Or, grrrr. Depending on whether that’s good or bad.
P: Was that a real thing?
S: Basically, Stan Lee wrote himself into corner in a situation where there was no way to get out of. So  he invented this gun where Uatu said, “Whell there is this ONE thing but you’ve got to go through this other dimension. . .” Of course, only the Human Torch can get it because he flies. So Human Torch gets this gun and Mr.  Fantastic stretches his arm out , points it at Galactus and says, “hey, man.”
P: So he just scares him away.  “Oh, is that the ultimate nulifier? I, uh, think I here my mother calling.”
(A stranger walks into the dressing room, looks around and says, “Oh, this is not what I want,” and  leaves.)
P: It is not. GET OUT! I wonder what that guy did want?
S: He wanted four guys.
P: I did NOT want to see an interview taking place. . .  So, did I answer your question?

Yes. Then I learned a lot about the Marvel Universe.   Scott, what  is going on with the Comedy Death Ray pilot? Is there any update you can give our readers?
S: It does not exist. There is however a Comedy Bang Bang pilot, you mother FUCKER.
P: Aaah, you just got Comedy Bang Banged.
S: Classic C.B.B. It turned out great.
P: I can attest to that. I watched it several times, and I didn’t have to. Nobody was forcing me into it.

When do you think the rest of the world will get to see something?
S: Are you searching for an exclusive?

I am, I’m looking for a scoop.
S: I  don’t have a scoop for you. No scoop for you.
P and S: The Scoop Nazis!

I’ll get that scoop someday.
P: I know you will. You don’t put that press card in your hat for nothing.  Do you know anything about it Scott?
S: Uhm, no.
P: If you did know something, would you say you did?
S: No.

(Knock on the door.)
P: Who goes there?
Voice: Christina
P: Who? Come on in, let’s have a party!

(Christina peeks in.)
C: 10 minutes guys.
P and S: Thank you, 10!

She knew exactly what she wanted.
P: Yeah, not like that other guy, who was on some  stupid journey.

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