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Time ripe for move, but Bri Pruett thinks Portland is hilarious

COURTESY PHOTO - Bri Pruett's last comedy show in Portland before she moves to Los Angeles is set for March 1 at Helium Comedy Club. For the past 13 years, Bri Pruett has kept the Rose City cracking up with jokes about sex, love and everything between.

The native Portlander, 32, has been called "fearless," her act bursting with positivity and authenticity, whether she's hosting her monthly talk show at Mississippi Studios or giving a live performance at TBA Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, All Jane Comedy Festival, Helium Comedy Club or Parlor Live!

Even off the stage, she's poking fun at herself, through her writing and social media.

In a Feb. 7 tweet, she announced: "I am the fattest person in this small Spanish village and everyone stares. It's like being a celebrity!"

On Feb. 15 she quipped: "Happy day after Valentine's Day! Call your ex and demand answers."

Really, life couldn't be peachier for Pruett. But that didn't stop her from announcing recently that she'll be leaving Portland for smoggier pastures in Los Angeles, where she'll pursue comedy and other pursuits.

We caught up with Pruett to find out what she really thinks of Portland's comedy culture, and just how hard we should be laughing these days:

Tribune: Being a famous comedian in Portland for 13 years, is it generally a funny city, in your opinion?

Pruett: Ha. I haven't been well-known for 13 years. When I started, I was just an annoying baby sketch comedian. Portland is hilarious. Fanciful as hell, just visually, growing up around clown families, the Elvis museum, tall bikes. There is a visual whimsy that is undeniable. As I got deeper into my medium and talked to other visiting stand-up comics, I realized my city is smart, supportive of the arts, and politically progressive, which is exactly what you want from a comedy audience.

Tribune: Where do you get most of your material from? Daily life? Current events? Social media?

Pruett: Most comedians have spent most of their lives kicking around funny ideas, maybe spurned by injustices or personal trauma. When they finally get a platform to voice these ideas, the jokes just pour out. My joke writing is a process of pulling out memories and bringing them into the present.

Tribune: Do you find any (dark) humor in the new president's administration and the state of current affairs? Should people be laughing right now?

Pruett: I don't think anyone should be resting on their laurels right now, but I think laughter for the sake of sanity is important. There is a new "normal" experience for most people right now. Anytime there is a social shift that comedians can speak to, it's a rich moment for the arts.

Tribune: Why devote your life to making people laugh? Why should we all laugh more, in general?

Pruett: I devoted my life to laughter and truth, yes. If the truth element was not important to me, I'd be enjoying a career of falling down and taking pies to my face. I think stand-up comedy is having a moment because there are so few mediums left where artists or journalists or politicians write for themselves and have to stand by their words. I think folks should be seeking truth right now, and if it comes from a comedian, well, we could all do worse.

Tribune: How can fans stay in touch with you after you move to L.A.?

Pruett: I am very devoted to my social media: @Bripruett on Twitter and Instagram. Also, I will be dropping back by often, if my mother has anything to do with it.

Showtime

"Bri Pruett Blows This Joint" is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at Helium Comedy Club, 1510 S.E. Ninth Ave; $12 advance, $15 at the door; visit www.portland.heliumcomedy.com

@jenmomanderson