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Culture » Book Talk

Take Another (Dopamine) Hit

Comedian Will Durst confronts everyone from aging hippies to bratty millennials


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"I love the fact that (Toronto mayor) Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack, and (French president) Francois Hollande admitted to an affair—and both their approval ratings go up," says Will Durst, a 61-year-old political satirist with a guttural delivery, before delivering his punch line and advice to the president. "Obama needs a wild weekend."

Durst has worked for Comedy Central as a correspondent and written for the New York Times and maintains a robust social media presence (follow his hilarious twitter feed @willdurst), and this weekend will appear at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Feb. 9 as part of his "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG" tour. He has described the act as a "celebration of the maturation of the boomer nation—it's what happens when acid flashbacks meet dementia."

"I'm a baby boomer," explains Durst. "(President Obama is) the first president that's younger than me." He goes on to say, "I like Obama's pluck. He can talk—I just wish he would back it up with a stick. A little stick or a big stick, or some kind of stick."

When I ask him which generation is more at fault for today's problems—the boomers or the millennials—Durst does not hesitate. "We were greedy, self-centered," he says of his own "greatest generation." But, Durst reminds, baby boomers had other concerns. "We simmered in the marinade of nuclear inhalation," he says.

Aside from Durst's current tour, he's writing another show about politics, called "Midterm Madness," (out in April) and is part of the comedic documentary 3 Still Standing (release date TBD). Basically, Durst is a busy guy.

But during our conversation, he seems excited to be coming to Central Oregon and, touchingly, excited to be talking to me.

"Alt. weeklies—they're my target audience," Durst says before recycling the catch line that repeats on a prominent spot on his website, willdurst.com: "My comedy is for people who read or know someone who does."

Durst is a bright, political and slightly cynical guy—and he is having a heyday with the GOP's current crop of "stars."

"The Republicans—Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, all the leading lights—are giving me a lot to talk about," says Durst.

He then references Republican Ted Cruz's epic soliloquy from September 2013, in which the Texas senator read "Green Eggs and Ham" from the Senate floor (a speech that's been called a "fake filibuster" because Cruz, intending to speak out against the Affordable Care Act, was delaying nothing—the Senate had already committed to a vote on Wednesday without any possibility of a delay): "He misinterpreted a poem meant for a kindergartner," laughs Durst. "He's confused by the space-time continuum. He tried Obamacare and said he didn't like. But it hadn't kicked in yet! He (Cruz) shows great potential."

Will Durst presents BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG

7:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 9

Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Dr.

$15 at bendticket.com

About The Author

Speaking of Volcanic Theatre Pub, Will Durst


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