Our History

ComedySportz® was started in 1984 in Milwaukee, WI, by Dick Chudnow, who based it on the competitive Theatresports improvisational techniques of Keith Johnstone from Calgary, Alberta. Expansion began with the addition of Madison, WI, in 1985. The first Comedy League of America National Tournament was held in 1988, with 10 teams participating. CSz Worldwide now has grown to almost 30 teams in the US and Europe.

CSz Portland is in its 26th season, has played over 4,800 ComedySportz® shows and hasn't missed a weekend since May, 1993. Look out Andrew Lloyd Webber ... we're gunning for Cats. We are unique in the Portland improv scene in that our players are employees who are paid for every ComedySportz® match as well as for teaching public and private workshops.

CSz Portland was founded in early 1993 by Ruth Jenkins and Patrick Short, who serve as Club President and General Manager. Ruth and Patrick performed with and managed CSz San Jose for five years prior to moving to Oregon.

CSz Portland kicked off on April 2, 1993 with a private show for the Oregon State Thespian Conference, then opened for real on April 16, 1993, with our first public show.  The opening night lineup was Patrick Short, ref; Ruth Jenkins, Angela Schrock, Amy Gray, John Dieffenderfer, John Breen, Dave Levesque, Carl Shoemaker and Denise Howard. Jason Henderson was the sound tech and Mike Short was our guest on keyboard.  Kent McCarty, Ed Ferrero and Charles Brod played in the second show.

Kent, Amy, Ruth, Angela and Patrick are still active with our organization.  5 out of 12 after all this time... not bad! The legendary founding member John Dieffenderfer passed away in March of 2018.

We've grown to offer a wide variety of entertainment and training services - all connected to our values of collaboration, inspiration, gratitude and fun!

Equity and Inclusion

Why: CSz Portland is dedicated to the concept that Comedy is For Everyone. All are welcome at our shows and in our classes.

Who: We welcome all ages, all abilities, all identities, all orientations, all backgrounds.

What: ComedySportz® Matches are rated E for Everyone. We offer ratings for our other shows so that all audiences can be aware of the content. We offer separate classes for adult, teens/tweens and families, so that everyone can feel comfortable.

How: As a member of CSz Worldwide, we participate in the CSzWW Diversity & Inclusion program. Several of our employees are active participants on the D&I Committee. We work internally on equity and inclusion in our Pro Team Practices and in our classes.

When: Like our commitment to continuous improvement in our art, inclusion is ongoing work. We strive to be better than we were before, every day.

Fan Services

Gift Cards - Now You Can Order On-Line!

Give the gift of laughter!

ComedySportz® Gift Card Codes never expire, are available in any denomination and are the perfect gift for friends, family and co-workers.

Do not attempt at home!

Do not attempt at home!


  • Available for any amount - no expiration date

  • Use for ComedySportz® show tickets, refreshments or merchandise

  • Not redeemable for cash

  • Can be recharged with more value at any time



Here's how they work:

  • Call us at 503.236.8888 x2 or email us at office (at) portlandcomedy.com or order online

  • Pay by credit or debit card - you tell us how much - any amount $15 or more

  • Tell us who it's from and who it's going to - and you create the code

  • We email you a certificate with the code

  • The recipient calls us or buys tickets on-line or by phone with the code

  • Certificate lost? No problem. The code is what matters and we can look it up for you.

ComedySportz® Gift Certificates are a great gift! 

Birthday Club

Get two free tickets to ComedySportz just for being born! We'll send you an e-mail just before your birthday month and you'll get to see a show with a pal for free.

Here's the deal:  Just before the beginning of each month, we e-mail a certificate and code to everyone on the list with birthday that month.  Make a reservation, give us the code, and you get two free seats. Cool.

Fine Print and Disclaimers: 

  • Limit of two e-mail addresses per household.

  • You must remain on our e-newsletter list to stay in the Birthday Club. If you unsubscribe from our email newsletter, you unsubscribe from the Birthday Club. Same system.

  • Signed up late or missed using the code during your month? Sorry. We'll send one next year. (It's not a program to give out free seats for any show in the year.)

  • Check your spam folder.

Free ComedySportz for your birthday! What are you waiting for? Email us your birthday to join!

Contest Rules

We run contests from time to time using Social Media.

We at CSz Portland are all about having fun, but we're also about playing fair!  So if you'd like to participate in our contests, you have to agree to do the same.  Here are the general rules for our contests:

  • Entrants must be 18 years and older and reside in Washington or Oregon. We also ask that all CSz Portland players (including those people in the CSz Portland Minor League team), immediate family members (sorry, Mom!), and household members only cheer on the entrants - not participate.

  • Entries must be original drawings or concepts by you. Don't worry; we're not great artists and we don't expect you to be. Please don't use copyrighted images when your own imagination is much more awesome! (You can recycle jokes, that's OK.) Also, keep it clean.

  • Contests run from when they are posted until 11:59 PM PST on the closing date stated. All entries must be posted to the CSz Portland Facebook page. One entry per person.

  • The prizes have no cash value.

  • You agree that by participating you completely release CSz Portland, CSz Worldwide and Facebook (and any other entity involved) from any liability resulting from participation in this contest.

  • Facebook is not responsible for sponsoring, endorsing or administered by, or associated with this contest.

  • All entries must comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary (and purchases won't increase and/or guarantee winning).

  • Laugh. It's good for you.


CSz Portland donates 15% of its pre-tax profits to charitable organizations including Oregon Food Bank and the Portland Public Schools Foundation.

Please help us out by sending requests via email to donations@portlandcomedy.com.  do not send by horse.

Please help us out by sending requests via email to donations@portlandcomedy.com. do not send by horse.

We also donate hundreds of Gift Certificates each year, good for tickets at our shows, to not-for-profit fundraising efforts. We donate gift certificates to over 300 school and charity silent auctions (representing about 1200 seats at our shows) every year.

That works out to more than 7 requests per week.

We're pleased to help, but we need your help to avoid drowning in work and unnecessary paper.

Please do not fax, mail or phone in solicitations.

Please follow these steps:

E-mail your request to donations@portlandcomedy.com.  Include the following information:

  • Your name, phone number and e-mail (if different from the one you're using to contact us)

  • Organization name, address and need (if not obvious)

  • Date of Event

  • Have we donated to you in the past?

  • Email Address for us to send our PDF gift certificate to you (please do not use comcast.net addresses - you won't get the certificate. Weird. We know.)

What we don't need:  donation paperwork, tax information and details about the event.  (We don't claim a tax break on these donations, so we don't like to waste paper or anyone's time.)

Our Donations Manager will determine whether or not we donate a gift card. You may send a follow-up e-mail, but please do not fax, mail or phone in solicitations.

If you are seeking a donation for a FOR-PROFIT event or business, please e-mail us and ask about buying ComedySportz Gift Cards.  We SELL Gift Cards, and sometimes we trade them out if you have something to offer us.

Thank you!