Star Theater Special! Full Sets/Full Interviews/Full-Frontal

Who's the Ross? Aaron Ross comedian comedy Portland PDX Dante's Star Theater late-night talk show host

Who’s the Ross? returns to The Star Theater, Tuesday, September 29, with an early start time of 9pm to host a couple of rad rockers…our old buddy Matt Hopper from Anchorage, Alaska + Ethan Anderson & The Kin (of Massy Ferguson)!

Both touring artist will join us for full sets from their bands, plus sit down interviews about life on the road, and their upcoming projects.

An Alaskan staple, Matt Hopper is a musical misfit of all trades, currently touring in support of his upcoming 11th album “Grand Ole Hopry.”

Hailing from Seattle, Americana rocker & leader singer of Massy Ferguson, Ethan Anderson, is excited to be touring with backing band The Kin, and will be playing new and old tunes from his aforementioned group. The Kin are just that; 12-14 year old School of Rock grads that are excited to be backing Mr. Anderson.

This week’s episode of Who’s the Ross? will also focus on music, presenting a series of musical contests for the audience (Musical Hairs, 8-Bit or 8-Shit, & fEMINEMinism) + a PBR&B monologue about the host’s soul singing past singing to the “Blue Ribbon Babes.”

Sweet Success of Six Hundred

Bud Wilson Aan Aaron Ross Who's the Ross Portland PDX music comedy comedian late-night talk show 600

Show #600 was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Such success is a rare thing when celebrating a landmark: expectations are high, ambition makes things too bloated, and the celebration often takes over, muddying the content. (see: getting too drunk)

But not this time… this show, we were on point!!! And it was in no small part thanks to an amazing group effort by the entire staff. Everyone on the program was dialed in, well prepared, and brought a light-hearted focus that helped us present one of the best shows we’ve ever done…and considering we’ve done 600 of ’em, that’s saying a lot!

Our guests brought the raucous too! Indeed it was an ambitious line-up, 5 guests in all…but I felt that every segment was well thought out, properly executed, and always ended on a high note (the biggest lesson you learn after hosting 600 shows is how to keep your finger on the pulse of a bit, knowing when to press the eject button on a good OR bad piece, in order to do what’s best for the show as a whole).

The top highlight of the evening had to be be former NBA player/Blazers radio announcer Antonio Harvey announcing his run for President of the United States (!) AND asking yours truly if I would be his Running Mate!!! (I put the VICE in Vice President!) Pairing him with our good friend Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt (on at least his 12th appearance) was comedic/handsome gold! The actors who played supplementary characters during their interview as Donald Trump (Jordan Paladino) & a British Jogger (Caws Pobi playing the very literal “running mate”) also brought down the house, bringing Tone to tears!

Musical guest Bud Wilson, from one of my favorite PDX bands Aan, had one of our finest musical performances as well, perfectly backed by the phenomenal THEM! THE BAND! Adding an appearance by my version of Andy Kaufman, And And And frontman Nathan Baumgartner, was a extra treat! That insanely talented dude had me cracking up as usual (love that man’s character work + improv!).

Closing with a performance by the gorgeous and talented Sandria Dore was just the cherry on the sundae.

Topping it all off (sprinkles?) we had a packed crowd of devoted fans + a gaggle of newbies, thanks to an interview I had done the day before KGW News Channel 8 (link below). Someone later told me they had never seen the show AND the audience so connected, so well supporting each other’s effort. That’s maybe the best compliment we could ever receive, because we are nothing without the synergy of our audience, and that day we ALL rocked to 11!

-Aaron Ross

Photos by Brian Whitney