By Julie Cortez, PQ Monthly
“Just be funny.” For the comedians on the Come Out Laughing tour, this is a commandment to be followed devoutly — one etched in stone by the god of comedy.
Above all, Jason Dudey, Dana Goldberg, and Ian Harvie want to make you laugh. If knowing that the folks splitting your sides identify as gay, lesbian, and trans can help shake up a few of your preconceived notions about gender and sexuality, that’s gravy on the GLT sandwich the trio will be serving up March 28 at Portland’s Bobwhite Theatre.
“When you’re funny, your gender identity, however that is, becomes secondary to an audience,” says Goldberg. “… I tell you what, if we bomb on stage, then we were a not-funny lesbian, we were a not-funny gay man, we were a not-funny trans. But if we’re bringing the funny, which is what we do, then we’re just funny comics.”
Their approach to “bringing the funny” does not, however, mean resorting to cheap shots at the LGBTQ community’s expense.
“Each of our styles is about honesty and our lives,” Harvie says, “… It might be edgy because it’s honest, but it’s not edgy because it’s picking on somebody else.”
“We’re not going to do something that slanders or brings down our community,” adds Dudey, who founded Come Out Laughing in 2008 but thinks he scored the perfect combination of comic talents when Harvie, a trans man, and Goldberg, a lesbian, joined him about a year ago. “We don’t take the easy punchline.… We all lift the LGBT community up.”
Their warm humor, fierce devotion to their “LGBTQ family,” and their mutual admiration suffused the conversation as they chatted with PQ Monthly via phone in advance of their Portland visit.
“Ian and Jason and myself, our egos don’t play into a lot of what we do, so we enjoy being on stage with each other,” Goldberg says. “ … We have so much faith in each other’s skills and talents, that we actually get to sit back and enjoy the show, which never happens when you’re [a comedian] at a comedy show.”
Their affectionate teasing is particularly illuminating of their friendship and their comedic styles, and is probably best appreciated as a straight-up conversation.
ON THEIR DYNAMIC
Harvie: “Despite all three of us being in relationships, I think these two both want to do me.”
Goldberg: “Jason and I have talked about it; we both have crushes on Ian. It’s very confusing for me, because I actually want his sperm, but he doesn’t have any. He’s a baby daddy option, but there’s one part lacking. So we’d actually have to have a baby daddy for our baby daddy.”
Dudey: “I just want to share a hotel room with Ian, but apparently I snore a lot. … Wait till you meet Ian — you’ll fall in love with him, too. It’s the lips.”
Goldberg: “… He’s actually, I think, one of the best looking guys I’ve ever seen. Period.”
Dudey: “Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.”
Goldberg: “Next to Jason. I’m sorry. After Jason Dudey, Ian is the next [most] attractive man.”
Harvie: “You guys fell for it so hard. I just threw that line out there, and you both bit, and it just was awesome. I just got all these awesome compliments and completely just was fishing and got exactly what I needed. So I’m good for today. Thanks, guys.”
PQ: “I think the subhead of this article is going to be, ‘Wherein Ian gets his ego stroked.’”
Dudey: “Yeah, when I said none of us has an ego, I meant Jason and I. I’m sorry.”
Dudey: “That’s the only thing Ian has to stroke.”
Ian: [Laughing] “Oh, shit.”
ON TWEAKING STEREOTYPES
Dudey: “I play a lot of ‘straight rooms’ — I hate saying that, I just play fucking rooms is what I play. Sometimes I’m in places like Pittsburgh, and these steelworkers, by and large, really can’t stand homosexuality. But then afterwards, I’ve had them laughing the whole time, and then after the show they’ll punch me in the shoulder, like, ‘You’re fucking funny!’ And I’m like, ‘Ow! That hurt!’ Because I’m kind of the gay next door. I’m that gay that everyone knows. … So they listen to me. I hope I’m changing a few people’s minds. I’ve definitely seen less homophobia in audiences.”
Goldberg: “None of us are directly stereotyped immediately when we hit the stage. No one’s just gonna assume I’m a lesbian, and no one’s going to assume Jason’s gay — until he starts talking — and no one is going to assume Ian is trans.”
Dudey: [Later, after Goldberg has left the conversation] “I love that she thinks no one knows she’s a lesbian. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard all day. Wait till you meet Dana — you’re not even going to question. And I like the way Dana thinks they’re not gonna know I’m gay till I start talking. You can tell when I walk on stage — just the way my hips swivel, you can tell I’m gay.”
Harvie: “It’s the footwork; it’s the feet.”
Dudey:”It’s totally the feet. I can’t walk straight — I don’t even know how.”
Harvie: “You have really gay feet.”
Dudey: “Right? I also have them shoved in size 8 pumps, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.”
Catch Come Out Laughing, also featuring local comedian Belinda Carroll, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bobwhite Theatre (6423 SE Foster, Portland). Tickets are $20 in advance through brownpapertickets.com and $25 at the door.
More upcoming queer comedy
- Thursday, April 11, Ron Vigh and friends, 9 p.m., Crush Bar (1400 SE Morrison, Portland)
- Wednesday, April 17, Comedy At Crush — Bridgetown Edition! 9 p.m., Crush Bar
- April 18-21, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, multiple Portland locations, featuring Todd Glass, Cameron Esposito, Nico Santos, Leah Mansfield, Ever Mainard, and many more. bridgetowncomedy.com