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Get a chuckle at Harvey’s Comedy Club

Harvey’s Comedy Club
436 N.W. Sixth & Glisan

Why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions to laugh more? Doctors say it’s good for your health and actually can add years to your life. Besides, when was the last time you laughed so hard you had to pee?

Harvey’s Comedy Club is the premier comedy club in Portland, featuring national stand-up comedians like Bob Saget, Tim Allen and Paulie Shore, as well as accomplished regional comics.

The television network Comedy Central filmed the opening scene of the show Insomniac with Dave Attell from Harvey’s two months ago during the televised stop in Portland that recently aired on Comedy Central.

The Club is a very clean, non-smoking, modest environment with no drink minimum that seats a few hundred people per show. Just about wherever you are seated is a good seat.

The club actually makes its money on the menu and drink items, so be sure to bring about $20 per person as well as your ID. The club has a strong policy of IDing all it’s customers. No ID, no drinks.

Interestingly enough, the burgers and sandwiches are named after the “regular” comedy club performers. Take the “J.P. Linde,” for example. The menu touts, “Unmistakably ‘R’ rated! Harvey’s burger with sauteed teriyaki mushrooms and swiss cheese.” Then there’s the “The D. C. Malone.” A six-ounce burger with pepperjack cheese and fresh avocado. There’s also the “Troy Thirdgill,” a fried egg, bacon, turkey, cheddar and swiss cheese sandwich and the “Art Krug,” a garden burger served with fresh sprouts and all the trimmings. “The Dwight Slade” is a fresh bay shrimp sandwich served “open faced” with tomatoes and melted cheddar cheese. If you don’t mind shelling out more than $7 for a sandwich, you’ll find the food mediocre but filling.

“We’re taking strides to improve the menu,” owner Barry Kolin said. “There’s always going to be someone who wants a garden burger, and there’s always going to be someone who wants a steak. We’re trying to accommodate everyone.”

While the variety in comedic talent will keep you wondering if you’ll see a good show, there’s a little-known secret about how the comics are booked at this rather high-end comedy club.

Per Kolin, “The only way a comic can get booked at this club is by comedian referral. That is, a comic who has played the club has to refer them. There’s a small catch, however. If the referred comic bombs, the comic that referred him cannot play the club for a year.”

As one of the most successful comedy clubs in the nation, the staff at Harvey’s takes customer service seriously.

“We’ve built a name for ourselves over the last 10 years of being a top-notch comedy club because we cater to both the comedian and the audience. No comedian wants to perform for an empty house. We fill the house six nights a week for these nationally recognized comedians. It’s a non-smoking club with a no-drink minimum, so everybody wins. There are over 15,000 people in our database currently from all over the State. People know this is the place to watch comedy at its best.”

Celebrating their 10-year anniversary, Harvey’s Comedy Club was formerly known as the Last Laugh.

“Back then, the location was not that desirable. The lease came up, and when the owners of the Last Laugh decided they were relocating, I saw the potential for Harvey’s and bought the club,” Kolin said.

Harvey’s offers comedy of every style and taste imaginable. Most commonly the humor IS very funny and entertaining. If R-rated humor is to your liking, then you won’t be disappointed by the often offensive, yet hilarious jokes by comics such as John Fox.

Another noteworthy performer is recent Harvey’s headliner and PSU alumnus Dwight Slade, who recently performed on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and has released three CDs ( Slade has also opened for such big name comedians as Jerry Seinfeld and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno.

The comic who will be headlining this week is Gary Brightwell. Brightwell began his career while studying engineering at Cal State Long Beach in California. After leaving behind a successful career in the real world for comedy, he declared that he “was tired of getting up early, and golf tee times are much easier to get during the weekdays!” With this simple statement made, Brightwell has managed to open for such acts as Gary Shandling, Seinfeld, Leno and Dennis Miller. He should put on a great show, so don’t miss it.

If you miss out this week however, you can catch future performers at the club, including Benght Washburn, who recently won the San Francisco Comedian Competition; hypnotist Gary Conrad; and none other than Rick Rockwell (of “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” fame).

Before leaving the club, don’t forget to fill out your comment card!

Harvey’s takes its marketing very seriously and will more than likely contact you to offer free tickets for you and 16 of your closest friends. You can have a night filled with uproarious laughter and gut-busting humor, all for the price of drinks and dinner. And once you’re in their database, they don’t stop calling you!

For those not yet on the list, tickets range in price from $10-$12.