The PortFringe Festival is approaching fast and with it are a ton of sweet events you should probably check out. What constitutes a sweet event? Well, I know some people who’d describe a sweet event as anything involving fast food and even faster women, but also, they typically involve some sort of comical, musical, or theatrical entertainment. At least in my book. Since I’ll be at this particular event, you can count on at least one fast woman (some say I can run like a gazelle), and I’ll most likely have some fast food in tow. I live on McDonald’s vanilla milkshakes; it’s why I’m always so bikini ready.
One of these sweet events at this year’s PortFringe goes by the name of Fringe TONIGHT! A Comedy Extravanganza! Intrigued by the Facebook invite, and the impressive display of exclamation points in the event title, I reached out to the evening’s host, Portland comedian Connor McGrath. He answered a few of my questions, and I’m can’t be sure, but he may have also hit on me. He called me toots. I know what that means…I’ve seen a few old movies.
Dispatch Magazine (DM): So tell me about this Fringe Tonight event…it’s a “live talk show”…what the H does that exactly mean and what role do you play?
Connor McGrath (CM): Fringe Tonight is a live, semi-improvised talk show. Not unlike The Tonight Show or Late Night With Jimmy Fallon or Conan, except without the A-list celebrity guests, hugely popular musical acts, or live animals (unfortunately). We make up for the lack of those things with a whole lot of chutzpah and unbridled enthusiasm. We do have Maine Comedy Legend, B-Rad, which is pretty darn cool, as well as some of the most interesting folks on the Portland music scene as our special guests. I will be hosting the proceedings and my friends, Adam Ferguson and Anders J. Nielsen, will be around for wild comedic shenanigans. Plus, we’re going to have “The Human Exclamation Point” himself, Kurt Baker, as our house rock star.
DM: Do you have any real affiliations with the Port Fringe festival? Or is this sort of a piggyback event?
CM: Yes, we are an official participant in The PortFringe Festival. Not some rogue rapscallion cashing in on this credible event. We are the real deal and we are headlining the second night of the event at Lucid Stage! Wednesday June 27th at 11 P.M. That’s big time, toots!
DM: So will I laugh or should I not waste my money on the ticket? I already RSVP’d on facebook so I pretty much have to go now…
CM: Look, Allegra, I realize that times are tough in George Bush’s America and we all need to save up money for stickers and beer but what is $10? That’s one less Filet-o-Fish value meal or issue of Hustler. Not much in the grand scheme. You can’t buy a movie ticket and bag of popcorn for $10 and this show will be WAY better than going to see Smokey and The Bandit IV. There’s nothing like live entertainment. Do you like comedy? Do you like song and dance? Do you like insightful social commentary? Do you like full frontal male nudity? You’ll certainly see three out of four of those things at this event! Which three? You’ll have to come to Lucid Stage on Wednesday June 27th to find out.
DM: You had me at full frontal male nudity. Speaking of male nudity, you mentioned Kurt Baker will be there? You two have your own talk show about to premiere, That’s Just It! With Connor and Kurt. Tell me a little about that.
CM: That’s Just It! With Connor and Kurt is a hip and happening, new talk show that will be airing this summer on the Community Television Network (Channel 2 on Time Warner Cable). It’s hosted by myself and the aforementioned Kurt Baker. We interview local artists, writers, musicians, and thieves in a fun and free-wheeling manner. Some of our upcoming guests include: Fingers Rodgers, Holly Nunan (writer of News From The Nunz), Jeff Beam (Milkman’s Union), Leon Samson (Dirty White Hats), Ian Stuart (comedian/Mechanical Hounds), and somebody named Ali Donahue. Boy, is that one going to be a drag. Not looking forward to it. Just type in That’s Just It! With Connor and Kurt on Facebook to find all of the latest updates about the show!
DM: Sounds fantastic. How long have you been in the making people laugh biz?
CM: I’ve been performing comedy, off and on, since my junior year of high school. It started out with me doing weird celebrity impressions at high school talent shows. My big closer was an impression of Al Pacino starring in a sequel to Daddy Day Care. It’s basically been downhill since then. I’ve been seriously doing stand-up comedy for about six months. So basically, I do the same bitching about my misfortunes with the opposite sex and social awkwardness that I always did except now I do it in the form of actual jokes with set ups and punchlines and everything! I hope one day to have an adoring fan club in the front row at all of my shows that I’ll dub “Conn Man’s Conntz”.
DM: I’m sure the ladies will line up to be one of your Conntz.
CM: Speaking of ladies…if there are any ladies out there in internet land looking to drink a $3 bottle of wine with me in my parents’ basement, please hit me up on Facebook or Twitter!
Well there you have it folks, lady killer Connor McGrath and some other talented funny people/musicians will be at Lucid Stage in Portland on Wednesday, June 27th for the Portland Theatre Collaboration Presents…Fringe TONIGHT! A Comedy Extravaganza! The show starts at 11pm and tickets are just $10. Available at doors–cash only! More info here.
And to learn more about Connor’s upcoming show That’s Just It! With Connor and Kurt, check out the nifty promo below.