Bengt Washburn

Comedian Bengt Washburn moved to Germany several months ago, and he says he's making the transition pretty smoothly, with the exception of the language barrier. "I have not progressed at speaking German, but I show great progress in speaking English with a German accent. We went to a castle the first few weeks we were here, and we saw a man with Down syndrome speaking perfect German. I realized, everybody in this castle would rather talk to him than talk to me—about anything. About math!" So it goes for the soft-spoken comic, who says his act is constructed from "the details of the carefully crafted series of unfortunate decisions" in his life. The former Mormon left his faith and sought a career in the arts, but after struggling to make a living as a painter he turned to comedy in his early 30s. Washburn crafted an erudite act that is subtle but potent, honing his cerebral jokes in one-night bar gigs, playing novelty songs on his guitar when the crowd got restless. He kept refining his act until he could ditch the guitar entirely, and has since gone on to perform at clubs across the country and make appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Live at Gotham. He's content now, he says, living on an Air Force base in Germany with his wife and son, booking shows in England and Amsterdam, and returning to the States for a month at a time to play the club circuit. "It's beautiful over here in Germany," he says. "It's just like the Midwest, except you can't tell where they're making the meth." 18+.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 4. Continues through Aug. 8, 2009

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