This week, Bengt Washburn continues Acme Comedy Co.'s string of headliners who were also a part of the venue's 20th anniversary celebration this past November. The professorial Washburn (one half expects him to say "pencils down" at any moment) will return to Minnesota from his home in Germany, where his wife is an officer in the Air Force. His writings on his adventures living as an expatriate husband and father, Deutschland Diary, are every bit as entertaining as his standup. Being funny both on the page and in person is not as common as one might assume, and while Washburn's material is typically essay-like in form, it doesn't lack for punch or pace. While watching him perform, you never lose the sense that you are listening to a truly gifted writer who just happens to be telling stories with dexterous delivery, charm, and ample laughs per minute. His upbringing as a Mormon (he describes himself as "unaccomplished" in the faith) plays a significant role in his material, but never dominates. While his act tends to stay clean, it's still pointed when it needs to be. He is not one to shy away from tackling life's frustrations with direct, likable aplomb. Washburn's mother clearly had a flair for naming her children, a fact he's capitalized on repeatedly, christening his three albums Get Bengt, Hell Bengt, and Bengt on Destruction. 18+.
Dec. 27-31, 8 p.m.; Dec. 30-31, 10:30 p.m., 2011