Proud Times Magazine

FUNHOUSE LOUNGE- Come Out Laughing

FUNHOUSE LOUNGE- Come Out Laughing

FUNHOUSE LOUNGE- Come Out Laughing
November 11
20:37 2018

Come Out Laughing

Portland’s Funhouse Lounge Hosts Comics Erin Foley & Jason Dudey

By Sebastian Fortino

ProudTimes spoke with comedians Erin Foley and Jason Dudey. They are bringing their brand of LGBT comedy to the Rose City this month. Despite this being an interview with two very funny people, we got serious.

Yup, we talked turkey.

So, the show is called “Come Out Laughing” and it brings together LGBTQ+ and straight comics. Why was this an important angle for you?

Erin Foley & Jason Dudey: We wanted to create a show which brought everyone together – on and off the stage. Our country is being infested with divisive language and our mission is to use comedy build a bridge between people, not separate us.

The press release states, “The world is on fire, so why not laugh and drink? We’re on borrowed time!” What does that mean to you?

EF: Well, I’ve been drinking and marching since the election and comedy has saved me! Whether I’m using my jokes as an outlet or I’m watching other comics and laughing my head off, comedy has always been a saving grace. Plain and simple, comedy can make you feel sane in our upside down world.

How long have you been performing? Do you still find challenges as an out comic?

EF: I’ve been performing for about twenty years. I look at myself this way – I’m a comic who happens to be gay. It doesn’t define my act, it doesn’t define my life. The challenges are performing in cities and towns that are not LGBTQ friendly. It’s ridiculous. I have this line in my act when referring to relationships “gay, straight, it’s all the same crap”. Funny is funny so the challenge is getting more narrow-minded people to understand that just because we’re gay, doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the show.

 How did the concept come together?

JD: I started the first Come Out Laughing shows at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach, California. They were a huge success, so we teamed up and started touring.

EF: Jason and I wanted to take the show to smaller cities and towns that needed more LGBTQ (and adjacent) content – while at the same time really encouraging our straight audiences to join. We both have acts that are very universal.

The show also has an underlying theme of both queer and straight people performing and in the audience. Is this still a novel idea? Were comics largely segregated in terms of sexuality, or “what they could get away with?

EF & JD: We have toured around the country for a long time and the lack of diversity in traditional comedy clubs is unbelievable. There might be a couple of women or possibly one gay man or lesbian performing in a calendar year. In addition, there’s a high probability that part of these comic’s acts will contain homophobic or misogynistic content. Come Out Laughing is the antithesis. We want to bring as much diversity as possible – on and off the stage – providing a night of comedy that is fun for everyone – unless you’re a homophobe or an asshole. Then I would encourage you to stay home and regroup.

We are coming up on the election. Your show is coming to Portland on the 13th of this month. How political do you and the other performers get?

EF: I always joke about politics in the my act, no matter who is in charge. Even a giant orange man baby. Jason’s fantastic jokes are more about his life experiences but I’m sure all of the comics will have some take on the what’s happening in the news.

 Who will be joining the show here in Portland?

EF: We’re so lucky to have the fabulous Belinda Carroll joining us on stage. She’s an amazing local comic in Portland and founder of the Portland Queer Comedy Festival. The show is hosted by D. Martin Austin, another great Portland comic who we are excited to meet!

 How long has the show been on tour?

EF & JD: We kicked off the Come Out Laughing Tour earlier this year. We’ve done shows in New York City, Baltimore and Los Angeles. After our Pacific NW tour, we are headed to Asheville, Cleveland, Columbus and Austin. We’re thrilled.

 We’re approaching Thanksgiving. If you could each invite any two comedians, living or dead, to dinner who and why would you invite? What do you think they’d bring?

EF: For me, I would pick Lucille Ball and Phyllis Diller. These two women were not only absolutely hysterical, they were pioneers for women in comedy. I want to hear all their stories over wine, turkey and more wine. Lucille would bring a stranger off the street and Phyllis would bring a bottle of Wild Turkey.

JD: Louie Anderson – The obvious reason of course, he’s from the midwest and I guarantee he’d bring some delicious casserole…or two. Probably his mother’s recipes too! Butter, whipped cream, cheese – all the Thanksgiving staples. Joan Rivers – My family is so uptight on holidays. Everyone acting appropriately, not wanting to offend any guests and general awkwardness.  It’d be nice to just have a truth teller at the table. Let’s be honest, my sister’s turkey is horrible, someone needs to tell her.

 Anything else you’d care to add?  

EF & JD: Just a huge thank you to Belinda and the Fun House Lounge for opening up their space and letting us bring Come Out Laughing to one of our favorite cities!

 

Make sure to check out Funhouse Lounge for ticket availability. The show is one night only, on Tuesday, November 13th, from 7PM until 9PM.

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