Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Chris Porter brings the funny but leaves the politics home

Chris Porter brings the funny but leaves the politics home
21 Sep

FAIRBANKS — In his 40 years on the planet, Chris Porter has done comedy for almost 20 of them, and things have definitely stayed status quo.

“Yeah, comedy’s changed a lot since I’ve started. I mean, obviously, you know, not to sound like an old man but with the internet coming into play … I started doing comedy before the internet,” Porter says. “We seem to be in a large boom era, which is great. There’s a lot more people doing it, there’s a lot more people into it. It’s grown a hundred times over since I started doing it in 1998.”

Though Porter is best known for a third-place finish on season four of “Last Comic Standing,” his 20 years of stand-up have not been idle. He’s been in his own “Comedy Central Presents” special and on “Live at Gotham,” appeared on “Tommy Chong Presents Comedy at 420” and the “Arsenio Hall Show,” created several one-hour cable specials such as “Ugly & Angry,” “Screaming from the Cosmos” and “Lost and Alone,” and has just finished taping a new special tentatively called “The Man from Kansas,” which, Porter says, is “about how guys my age have not really manned up.” This weekend, he’s back in Fairbanks for two performances Saturday night at The Blue Loon, 2999 Parks Highway. 

Porter’s career has taken him all around the United States, including eight or nines trips to Alaska, but he’s only gotten wanderlust once, he says — when he moved from Kansas City to Los Angeles to further his comedy career. Since then, Porter’s been living there and devising skits and bits from his daily life and the lives of others, and Los Angeles certainly has material to give.

“I love this city. It’s weird and it’s ugly and it’s busy but it’s fun, like your weird uncle,” Porter says. “He shows up uninvited, sometimes he takes your car, smells like a bag of cigarettes and depression. That’s LA.”

Despite having many years of experience under his belt, Porter continues to try and better himself and his comedy, always striving for something more.

“The thing I admire about some comics is their ability to just go up on stage and rip for 45 minutes. I can do that at times, and there have been nights that I have done that,” Porter says, “but to do that on a daily basis is a gift — it’s definitely a muscle I haven’t worked enough. I usually go up there with a pretty planned situation and I know guys that’ll be like, ‘Hey, give me a word,’ and you’ll say ‘avocado’ and they’ll walk him onstage and he’ll just do a bit on avocados. That’s something I would try, but if one joke didn’t work I would immediately bail.”

Porter’s methodology is not always as instantaneous.

“Like, yeah I do sit down and bash out jokes when I need to, but then I’ll take a half-written joke up on the stage and hope to finish it, and then you go record that set and take it back to writing the next day and that’s kinda my process,” Porter says. “Every once in a while a bit will come to you like a god-send and it’s finished and perfect, but that’s a rarity.”

Much of Porter’s high-energy observational comedy is laden with vulgarity, but it doesn’t really bother him.

“When you’re in the heat of writing a joke on stage or whatever you can’t really worry about the curse words,” Porter said. “Now that being said, when I write at home on paper I don’t use curse words when I’m writing because my thought is that I’m gonna add the curse words already from when I speak and if I have curse words already written and I add more curse words off of just being natural, then that’s like double the curse words.” 

While Porter’s topic-pool is wide-ranging, he’s cut off political jokes from his repertoire for the time being.

“Given the temperature of the environment now, it’s a very divisive thing to do to bring up any sort of politics. I also know comics that only talk about politics now because of the way things are,” Porter said. “We’re just there to have a good time, I think, is the end of it, and I want everyone to have a good time no matter what their belief structure is. A Democrat and a Republican can get along just fine as long as you don’t talk about Democrat and Republican things.” 

David Jones is an editorial assistant for the News-Miner. He can be reached at 459-7518.

If You Go

What: Stand-up comedian Chris Porter

Where: The Blue Loon, 2999 Parks Highway

When: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22

Tickets: $25, available online at Visit for more information.




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