Comedians Nick Thune and Andy Haynes both used to live and work in Seattle, but leaving town helped them collect enough props to come home and headline at Bumbershoot.
What do you have to do to get a spot headlining at Bumbershoot? If you’re a comedian, sometimes it helps to get out of town.
For Redmond-raised comic Nick Thune (at Bumbershoot Friday and Saturday) moving to Los Angeles was a necessity.
“I was sick of bombing in front of people that I knew and would run into,” Thune said. I needed to go somewhere where nobody knew me.”
Nick Thune: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, Vera Project; 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, Vera Project.
Andy Haynes: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, Vera Project; 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, SIFF Film Center; 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, Vera Project.
Fahim Anwar: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, Vera Project; 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, SIFF Film Center.
Adam Ray: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, Vera Project; 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, Bagley Wright Theater; 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, Vera Project.
The move worked out. Thune has performed on “The Tonight Show” eight times, was featured in a Comedy Central Presents special in 2007 and had a small part in the movie “Knocked Up.”
Seattleite Andy Haynes (playing Bumbershoot all three days) has followed a similar path. He made the move to L.A. in 2012 and has since performed on “Conan” and was profiled on “Modern Comedian,” a documentary web series featured on PBS Digital Studios.
Both are excited to be headlining at the festival, where comedy will be presented in several venues this year: the Vera Project, SIFF Film Center and the Bagley Wright Theater, on Seattle Center grounds, and at Teatro ZinZanni, across Mercer Street.
“It almost feels like some sort of Make-A-Wish Foundation that they are doing for me; I’m honored and really looking forward to it,” Thune said.
“Every single show I’ve ever seen at Bumbershoot has been great, and I’ve been envious of anybody who’s ever done it,” Haynes said. “Now hopefully somebody is envying me.”
Thune praised Bumbershoot as a place where fans of comedy can experience it in the right setting.
“The thing about Bumbershoot is you’re actually in a theater, in a room where people have been waiting in line sometimes 70 minutes just to come in and see a show,” Thune said. “The excitement level is just great.”
Haynes also sees this weekend as a chance to expand his experience as a performer.
“It’s definitely a notch on my belt, just because the names that have gone through Bumbershoot are incredible,” Haynes said.
If the festival’s comedy lineup seems Seattle-centric, that’s by design.
“I like the idea of comics returning as hometown heroes on the stage,” said Robin Kim, booking coordinator for AEG Live, which selects the festival talent.
Both Thune and Haynes have advice for local comics also booked for the festival.
“Just have fun,” Haynes said. “Being able to perform at Bumbershoot is not the thing that’s hard, it’s getting to be able to perform. Once you get there it’s the reward.”