Portland's comedy scene has been gaining attention nationwide, thanks in large part to local talents like Aaron Ross.
He's performed stand-up for 15 years and hosted the late night talk show "Who's the Ross" every Tuesday night at Dante’s, for the last nine years.
Ross describes the show as a “comedy buffet” with a mix of stand-up, improv, game show elements and interviews.
“Who's the Ross” is coming up on its 700th live episode and all of the hard work is paying off. Ross was recently nominated for three "Best of Portland" awards for his work.
"I'm going for the triple crown," he explained. "Best Comedian, Best ongoing comedy event, which is ‘Who's the Ross,’ our late night talk show, and a web series called ‘Training Wheels.’"
Ross described “Training Wheels” as an online sitcom following him and his friend and co-writer Jordan Paladino, each playing themselves as two young men having trouble with “adulting.”
"’Training Wheels’ is about people that are good at dreaming but bad at reality," Ross said. "We can't necessarily do the things that other people do well, like keep a girlfriend, pay our rent on time, get a driver's license or ride a bike."
Between his online series and his weekly talk show, Ross stays busy, but he says he never takes it for granted because when he started doing stand-up in Portland 15 years ago, there weren't the same opportunities.
"The comedy scene has grown so much in the past decade, let alone the last five years," he said. "I think people come here because we are a creative weird city."
Still, Ross doesn't think of Portland as an up-and-coming comedic market.
"There are comics that are even saying, 'I don't even want to do LA or even San Francisco, which is a stepping stone, I'm going to come to Portland,’" he explained.
Ross said his next step is to move up to a bigger screen with his shows, and he said he won’t stop until he makes it
"I want to play to 20,000 people. I want to star in a film. I want to have my own sitcom. I want to have my own late night talk show,” he said. “I will have those things and in the meantime, I'm having a blast now!"
If you want to see "Who's the Ross" live, you can go to Dante's. Ross and his team are there every Tuesday and the show starts at 9 p.m.
To learn more about the show, check out WhosTheRoss.com.
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