They say that the hardest comedy to write is clean comedy. Really, anyone can create humor ripe with cuss words and lewd references. That doesn’t take much effort. It’s all around us. But, humor should be funny, and funny for all.
So, if you want to expose your children to comedy without having to hide their eyes or ears, your options are somewhat limited. Unless, of course, you live in Portland, Oregon. Amongst the beautiful homes in Northwest Portland, there’s Comedysportz, Portland’s longest running comedy show.
Comedysportz is a competitive improv and interactive comedy show and it’s good, clean family fun.
The show consists of two comedy teams whom compete in various games which incite laughter and silliness all around. At the conclusion of each contest, the audience votes for the team they believe won the competition by raising one of two fly swatters (known as “Judge Wapners”) in either red or blue—the colors of the two teams involved. The winning team cheers and the losing team is forced into a harmless yet hilarious act of comedy.
I remember coming here in high school and enjoying myself very much. I wanted my children to be able to experience the same thing, so our family hopped into the car and made the trek to NW Portland for some affordable family entertainment.
We got our Judge Wapners and a couple sodas and sat on the bleachers. The lights dimmed and the contestants came out. My children cheered along with the crowd and then the games began, and much hilarity ensued.
By the time the games had ended, the blue team won, which was good, because that is our family’s collective favorite color. On the way home, I asked the kids what their favorite game was.
“What Are You Doing!” they screamed.
What Are You Doing is a form of charades. The audience gives the teams two letters; let’s say a “d” and a “g”. The team members then have to act out something that is two words and begins with a D and a G. As a result, we witness the teams acting out “Digging gold”, “Dating giraffes”, “Dressing Garishly”, “Donating Groceries” and “Dying Gallantly.” The game finally ended when one team acting out “Duping Jorge” forgetting that Jorge, in fact, began with a “J”.
It was a night full of affordable, clean fun that my wife, kids and I will remember well for the rest of our lives. It gave me hope that good clean comedy exists and that I can have my children’s funny bones tickled without having to cover their ears or close their eyes.
Thank you Portland, Oregon for housing Comedysportz.