After hosting a string of packed shows in the winter of 2007-2008 at the Summit Saloon and Stage, Liedtke packed up and headed south to Los Angeles in the hopes of making a career out of his quirky one-liners. It's now been more than a year since Liedtke left Central Oregon and his show at the Summit on April 22 is his first trip back to town. Why so long between visits? Well, he's been busy hosting a monthly comedy show at the famed Knitting Factory that has featured names like Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt while also appearing in cable television comedy sketches and is currently being considered for an appearance on a Comedy Central program. And that's on top of his West Hollywood cooking duties, of course.
Liedtke, who towers well above six feet tall and sports a shaggy mane of red hair that blends seamlessly with his bushy beard, says that life in L.A. has been filled with ups and downs, but seems acutely focused on the ups.
"There were some months when I was bummed out knowing that I couldn't get on a show because I don't know the people. But I've gotten plugged into the scene pretty quickly. A lot of people get frustrated 'cause it takes a while, but I'm OK with that," Liedtke says.
It's not like Liedtke has become an instant star, because he hasn't. There's still a long way to go, but he's quickly had some promising moments. He's been filmed for a yet-to-air segment for Last Call with Carson Daly and is being considered for a performance on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham stand-up comedy program. His time in L.A. has shifted his act a bit - these days, he rarely ever does the musical routine that was once a staple of his act, but still has plenty of Mitch Hedburg-esque one liners to serve up.
Liedtke also has some commentary about the landscape in Los Angeles compared to the scenic mountain setting that he grew up in.
"It's nice there, but it's dirty and what people think is nice wilderness is not nice wilderness," says Liedtke, adding how people rant and rave about a modestly scenic LA-area canyon. "People act like [the canyon] is the greatest thing in the world and it's totally not."
Liedtke will get his eyes on some "nice wilderness" while in Central Oregon for the one-night stop at the Summit with patently hilarious comic Kyle Kinane (check out his segments on YouTube) en route to Portland's Bridgetown Comedy Festival. And when he hits the stage at the Summit, Liedtke promises that we won't see someone stained from a year in Los Angeles. In other words, he won't be looking all douchey. He assures of this.
"I still have a beard and I still have longish red hair and no, I'm not an LA guy," he says.
Randy Liedtke, Kyle Kinane
8pm Wednesday, April 22. Summit Saloon and Stage, 125 NW Oregon Ave. $10. 21 and up.