Interview: Comedian Paul Jay

Editor Josh Atlas, Interview, April 17th, 2013

"Being the only comedian on a lineup of slam poets."

comedian Paul Jay

Nailed Magazine conducted a series of interviews with comedians for the 2013 Bridgetown Comedy Fest in Portland, Oregon.

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NAILED: Recently, you made the move from Los Angeles up to Portland. What brought on the change?

PAUL JAY: My wife got a job at local gigantic advertising agency Wieden/Kennedy, and we were both tired of L.A., so we decided to make the switch. Portland has nicer people, cooler weather, better beer, and fewer murderers.

NAILED: After the festival ends, what are you favorite rooms to work around Portland?

PAUL JAY: The Brody Theater is a great comedy-focused space downtown where I’ve done a few different shows. The Bagdad Theater has comedy one night a week or so and always gets an appreciative crowd. And of course Helium is pretty much the nicest comedy club I’ve ever set foot in.

NAILED: What is one gig that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy?

PAUL JAY: Being the only comedian on a lineup of slam poets.

NAILED: Who are you looking forward to seeing during the Bridgetown Comedy festival in Portland this year?

PAUL JAY: I am utterly hyped about seeing the “Simpsons” writers panel and the “Look Around You” guys. And it’ll be nice to see the roughly 700 people I know from L.A.

NAILED: What do you have coming up in the next few months?

PAUL JAY: I’ll be at Bar of the Gods on 4/29, the Jack London Bar on 5/24, and all sorts of random drop-in sets in between. And look for me at your local dog park.

NAILED: When was the last time you nailed it?

PAUL JAY: Probably when I wrote a new bit I’ve been doing about a guy who tried to convert me to Christianity at a dog park. Won’t spoil it here.

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Paul Jay started his standup career in Los Angeles, California, which is a lot like starting your career as a cow inside a tank of bored piranhas. He managed to avoid being skeletonized and quickly became one of the secret weapons of the L.A. alternative comedy scene. Over the course of his eight years’ experience on the West Coast standup circuit, he’s performed at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatres both west and east, the Improv in L.A., Helium in Portland, the Seattle Comedy Underground, the Bumbershoot festival, the San Francisco Comedy and Burrito Festival, and Bridgetown itself. His conversational and quietly goofy comedy has a confused and uninformed take on everything from the hilariousness of homophobia, to the unlikelihood of Batman, to the history of marijuana, and everything in between, even though those three things are actually pretty close together. He recently moved to Portland, where he lives with his wife, a dog, two cats, and several hundred microbrews.

This interview was conducted during Portland’s annual Bridgetown Comedy Fest, which takes place on the weekend of April 18 – 21, 2013. Click here for information on shows that feature Paul Jay during the 2013 festival. [Photo Via: Paul Jay]


Josh Atlas

Josh Atlas was born in 1983 and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on performance and video art. Since that time, he has focused on integrating comedy and art. Atlas has branched out into sculpture, drawing, and photography to explore the funnier side of desire. He has exhibited at Arte Portugal 10 (Lisbon), HiChristina (Brooklyn), MonkeyTown (Brooklyn), and NTBA Gallery (Los Angeles) and participated in benefit auctions for Equality California and the Red Cross. Josh Atlas lives and works in Los Angeles. Learn more about him at his official website.