Kjell Bjorgen is back. The local funnyman, one of the most respected comics in the Twin Cities' rich scene, took a multi-year sabbatical from performing during what would be for most comedians the height of their career. He had been featured on Comedy Central and was touring the country as Louis Black's regular opener when he simply burned out. "It didn't matter who the audience was, it was an organically angry rant," explains Bjorgen, who says he started to lose the ire that drove him onto the stage. After some time away from the mic, he was compelled to come back, and the result is a mellower, merrier Bjorgen who still retains his signature edge and quick wit. The same night he spoke with City Pages he did a devastating set in a contest at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy, a kind of nudge-and-wink parody of a comic coming unhinged that saw him attacking the judges, toying with the crowd, and even swiping and chugging a beer off a table up front—all delivered with a sly grin that belied an unmistakable sense of joy. The audience was enraptured; you will be too. 18+.
July 1-2, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 2, 10:30 p.m.; Sat., July 3, 7:30 & 10 p.m., 2010