Bye bye, Portland. Get ready, Seattle.

Our show at the Alberta Rose Theatre last night was a whole lot of fun for me, and as far as I can tell, the audience enjoyed it as well (even the 28-minute Captain’s Wife’s Lament). John Roderick was amazing as always, and even let me write his setlist (Blue Diamonds, Honest, and Seven) to which he added the song he debuted on JoCo Cruise Crazy. The Doubleclicks sang a lullaby for Mister Bear, encouraged a Velociraptor, and reminded us about the benefits of classic literature. Paul and Storm added Opening Band at my request, because Anne had bought some outrageously obnoxious boxers to throw at them … and then forgot them at the hotel, so there was a break in the song when I came out, all excited to see a wall of panties thrown at them … only to give an extended Grumpy Cat thumbs down to the audience. There’s probably pictures somewhere.

I stepped out of my comfort zone again, and did about ten or so minutes of stand-up jokes before the usual storytelling. I thought it went well, considering it’s only the second time I’ve done that sort of thing and I’m still leveling that particular skill. It felt really good when the audience exploded into laughter at a joke I wrote, and I understood the appeal of standing in front of people on a stage, making them laugh. I owe Hardwick a case of Fresca for helping me work out my set, and making it easier for me to give myself permission to attempt something I’ve always loved watching, but always been afraid to do. I haven’t decided if I’m doing jokes at ECCC, because my show with Paul and Storm is so early on Saturday morning, and the audience may not be awake enough for it to work. I guess I’ll make a game-time decision.

I’m looking forward to sleeping for most of today, to save up energy for the con this weekend, and then getting my geek on until Sunday. Geek and Sundry has our own space this year, and I plan to spend a fair amount of time there, playing games when I’m not signing stuff.

In other news:

  • My brain doctor helped me increase my brain meds a little bit, and though he told me it would take five days to feel the change, I’m already feeling better and closer to normal. I’m a little sleepy, but that’s an expected temporary side effect that I am happy to endure.
  • The reaction to Tabletop Day has been as positive as I expected, but the sheer volume of responses and events planned already is blowing me away. I made a silly video that should go up today, but may be delayed until tomorrow because the initial announcement was delayed by a day. Check our YouTube Channel (and subscribe if you haven’t) obsessively for the next 48 hours or so.
  • This trip to Portland was shorter than usual, but we had a great show, and I got to spend an entire afternoon yesterday with my sister and my godson, so I’m choosing to view it as a visit of concentrated awesome, rather than a visit that was too short.
  • Scallops the ProspectARRRRR


38 thoughts on “Bye bye, Portland. Get ready, Seattle.”

  1. Mr. Wheaton,

    You did an amazing job last night; your set had me in tears it was so funny, and my significant other nearly died of asphyxiation on the “stringing him along” payoff. It’s clear that it was something you enjoyed doing, and that got all of us on board. Also, the influence of Hardwick is clear (and that’s a good thing), but you’re finding your own voice quite quickly.

    Thank you for doing that for us. Thank you for putting yourself out there and allowing us to participate, and laugh, and be present in the moment.

    1. Awww, thanks! I wasn’t sure the final payoff line worked, but I’m definitely going to explore more material about that particular bit. There’s a lot there, I think, for me to mine.

  2. It’s a bummer your not sure about doing standup at ECCC but I totally understand how dangerous a crowd of sleepy, hungover nerds can be.

    For Tabletop day have you thought about reaching out to any of the other game reviews like Tom Vassel, the dudes from Beers and Boardgames or the girls from Starlit Citadel reviews?

    I help with the Starlit reviews and the three of us think your pretty darn awesome, …. just sayin.

  3. I think it worked really well. At first I didn’t realize you were doing stand-up; you seemed like you were just settling into the stage and talking to the audience. Definitely a good thing. Once I realized what you were doing, I watched with a more critical eye, knowing that this was new to you.

    Your style seems to be more inline with your writing, where you are telling a funny story in a funny way, rather than standing there telling jokes. Don’t change that.

    For the most part, you seemed very natural and at-home while doing you routine. It didn’t play like a second-time set. There were a couple of moments where a longer beat would have worked based on the audience reaction, but basically I’d say you nailed it. And Jerome’s note above about the payoff was spot on.

    He said, assuming you wanted constructive criticism…

    1. Thank you, matto. I can only judge how I did by my own perception, which is clouded by my stupid brain telling me I’m awful at everything.

      I had a really great time, and next time I do this, I will make sure I take some more time to let things breathe.

      1. Instead of “awful at everything” how about your brain is telling you that you really want to excel at everything you do and you know it’s a process getting there.

        I, on the other hand, am awful at everything, especially proff-reeding. “You routine?” Honnestly… stupid brian!

  4. Can’t wait for you to bring the awesome this weekend in Seattle! I will be attempting to bend your ear for a few seconds about a massive Table Top Day event that I am in the final stages of putting together. Think 76 stories off the ground and almost 200 people. Yeah, it’s going to be that awesome.

  5. Let us know if somebody caught the performance and posted it to YouTube. Some of us are not lucky enough to be close enough to see you in person, but would love to see the act. If you think it went well with you being your own worst critic, I would guess it was terrific.

  6. Your show was FANTASTIC last night, and after being waaaaay up in the balcony last year, I got an awesome close-up seat this time. Your standup was amazing, so KEEP DOING IT! I only wish there could have been more stories. Come back and do a one-man story show. Please! Have a great time at ECCC and come back to see us in Portland soon!

  7. Your set was awesome (as was the whole show). I was especially impressed that your material was different than on JCCC3. As matto said above, your story telling style suits you and draws the audience in, making the payoff that much richer. Keep at it and come back soon!

  8. That was one of the best shows I’ve seen you do. Your stand-up bit was excellent – even better than JCCC (if I may dare to say so). Bravo sir. Oh, and the whole duelling Cosbys thing at the end was ‘effin magical. :) Thank you.

    P.S. – SCALLOPS.

  9. Wil I just have to say that you totally blew me and my friend away! I bought my Ticket the day you guys announced the show, and you guys totally lived up to the expectations. It was my first Paul and Storm concert but not my last!

    Thank you for keeping Portland weird!

    #scallops #BlueDiamonds #VelociraptorRAWR #DontcryJellopuddingpops

  10. While I wasn’t in Portland, I can tell you that you were easily 90% there with the stand-up on JCCC3. Most of the 10% I could easily chalk up to “I’ve never tried this before and I’m a bit nervous^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H totally terrified about how it’s going to play so I’m just going to rush through it all REALLY FREAKIN’ FAST and get on to the bit I know how to do”.

    Given the first one was well out of the way, and the calming(?) influence of Hardwick, I would imagine you got even closer to 100% this time out.

    As long as you know that part of your brain that tells you that you suck at things is a lying little shit who mostly needs to STFU, you’re golden.

  11. Mr. Wil,

    I wanted to go to ECCC this year, but all tickets for Saturday (the only I can go) are sold out. I was planning on passing on to you a chocolate milk stout that we brewed. Any idea on your next appearance in Seattle?


  12. I am very sad to say I had to miss the show in Portland last night :(
    I am hoping to be able to go next time you are in town, even if I do have to get up at 2 the next morning for work :)

  13. Hi Wil,
    First off, glad to hear that you’re feeling much better.
    Secondly, given that some of your blog posts are quite humourous, I could see how you could be funny on stage. I gave a joint presentation at a bird festival last spring, and, despite being very nervous before going on, I’m glad that I tried something different that seemed to go down well. So, now you have tried stand-up comedy, and are feeling positive about having done so. Good for you!

  14. Glad you’re feeling better. High-five for brain drugs!

    My doctor also recently increased mine, and I’ve also been feeling extra tired. I mentioned the tiredness & possible relationship with increased dosage to my husband and he was like, “uh, yeah, maybe.” Then he was like OH WIL WHEATON SAID ON HIS BLOG THAT FEELING TIRED IS A NORMAL SIDE EFFECTS OF AN INCREASED DOSAGE.


    We talk in caps a lot in our house.

    Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that my husband apparently wouldn’t take my word on something, but he’ll happily take yours. Hah!

  15. The show last night was completely awesome. I was talking about it today and laughing so hard I couldn’t talk! The stand up stuff you did was hilarious and seemed very natural, and I really loved hearing “Fireworks” with Paul, Storm & John’s accompaniment. Finally, the descent into utter chaos and hysteria was the perfect ending. I have no constructive criticism! Thank you for all the laughs and all the scallops! :)

  16. So sad I missed the show! Alas, I had to work.

    I hope you were able to sample some of our delicious beer while you were here!

  17. Hi Wil! Really hoping I can get away from my Artist Alley table long enough to come by your table and say hi. I have a piece of my heart that Brent signed for me last weekend at Portland Comic Con. I’d love for you to add your autograph. Either way I hope you have an awesome Khan.

    Ok I was speaking that into my phone and android substituted Khan for Con. that’s too awesome to correct.

  18. Wil,

    I’ve seen your performances in several different types of work, and read a lot of your writing, but I haven’t seen your stand-up. Now I really want to, from what you and these commenters have said.

    What I know if your work, I definitely do think that your strength will be in story-telling style like Bill Cosby, less like one-liner zingers like Bob Hope or George Burns. Your Cosby impression tends to be pretty funny–I think even the idea of “dueling Cosbys” is hilarious.

    Have a good time at ECCC!

  19. You were great in Portland, I was so very excited to see you. I loved when you did your Bill Cosby impression, it made me crack up. I also enjoyed the stand up, keep going with this! I wanted to thank you so much for signing my t-shirt (Munchkin). I am a very shy person and don’t normally do something like that (knock on a door) but it was very important to me to not only get your signature but to shake your hand and tell you how wonderful you are. Thanks for not making me feel out of place or like I had intruded on you at all. Have a wondefull and safe trip.

  20. Wil, you had my guy and me in stitches. I knew it was going to be an enjoyable evening, but you easily exceeded our expectations. I thought you seemed very confident during the standup. Especially liked how you took episodes from life and made them hilarious. You are good at storytelling, and your standup has a storytelling quality to it. Stay with that; it fits your style. Hope to see you again someday.

  21. Glad you’re feeling better! I’d love to see your stand up stuff…hopefully you won’t listen to your brain when it says mean things. As Dr Cooper would say – you’re a national treasure. :-)

    Hopefully, I’ll make it to Ottawa for Comic Con in May…would be so awesome to see you in my hometown.


  22. You may still be leveling your standup, but you have pretty good levels in other complementary skills and that always helps, that’s why they call them complimentary. I wish I could’ve been there!

  23. So happy to hear you’re feeling better again and that you had a good time! And seeing you live is on my personal 100 Things to do before I die list, I’m still angry at myself for missing Düsseldorf two years ago. Any FedCon plans for the future? Your European readers want you to come back!

  24. Thank you for talking about brain doctors and brain meds. Thank you even more for not doing it dramatically. I wish more people could visibly normalize that process. Taking responsibility for your health and doing so publicly is amazing and I less-than-three you more today for it.

  25. Hi there, I just left the ECCC and didnt get a chance to do a photo op with you as I’d hoped, may I buy an autographed photo or something directly from you? It was my first con and WOW!! You looked like you were having a blast! Maybe I’ll catch you next year.

  26. First of all thanks for talking so much about getting sick at Con’s. I was the one who tweeted Anne about saving her seats and knew to not shake hands with her because, of course I had a cold. It’s seriously hard not to shake hands with someone you’ve been waiting to meet. Anne is lovely and I enjoyed having the chance to meet her.

    Thanks for returning to Portland. I saw your show here in Nov 2011 and have the poster hanging in my room. You all were hilarious and my stomach hurt from laughing so hard when you all were dancing and impersonating Bill Cosby. Thanks for sharing your stories and humor with us.

    If you hadn’t told me you were trying stand up comedy out I would never have know . You are very personable and it felt as though you enjoyed sharing your stories with us.

    Everyone sitting next to and behind me was talking about Table Top day and how excited they were about it. We even talked about our favorite games while waiting and watching Betty Boop.

    You are always welcome in Portland whether you visit for a show or have a gaming day hosted at a store. :). Thanks for being a great way to meet other geeks who love the same things that I do!

    By the way have you tried the Rogue Brews that have been made for VooDoo? I’m not a beer drinker but the VooDoo Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana beer is amazing.

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