woman stand up comedians

‘What She Said’ proves comedy can be taught

Lez Stand Up's class for comedians delivers a promising fresh set of funny women

Meyers-Briggs. The Rapture. A crush on Ursula the Sea Witch.

On Sunday, That’s What She Said—the graduate showcase for students of Lez Stand Up‘s first-ever comedy class—surveyed female and queer comic consciousness and debuted nine new faces. Now, without further ado, here are the three most promising comics from the bunch, and the rest can return to their day jobs.

Just kidding!

The most surprising thing about this showcase, other than the array of crayon colors streaked through various performers’ hair, was their consistently high comic competence for beginners. Alyssa Clayton, Kate Aguilar, Megan Hattie, Shannon Sales, Carolyn Main, Katie Piatt, Lisa Koluvek, Collin McFadyen, and Shilpa Joshi each delivered a respectable five-minute set, with natural gestures and viable joke structures and no obvious copycats. There really weren’t any duds in the bunch—and if that sounds like faint praise to you, then I know you haven’t watched a lot of open mics.

Lez Stand Up's lineup of new comedians aren't shy about their political leanings.

At Sunday’s That’s What She Said, Lez Stand Up’s lineup of new comedians worked a few political statements into their material. Photo provided by Aaron Michael Walker.

Having popped into many of Portland’s open mics over the last decade or so, from Suki’s Bar to Tonic Lounge to the Boiler Room, I’ve long since stopped expecting to laugh. Even at Helium Comedy, the national franchise that runs its weekly Tuesday open mics with the precision of a factory floor, most brand-new comics fall just short of funny, and many strain to perfect the art of audience connection.

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