Allen and Riffe to bring ther laughs at first Oddfellows event for FoP


Portsmouth— Henry Allen will be returning to raise funding for Friends of Portsmouth (FoP) yet again next month, bringing friend Austin Riffe along to share laughs and a good time.

According to the FoP Eventbrite, “Henry Allen was born and raised in Southern, Ohio. He began performing Stand Up Comedy when he was 17 years old at restaurants and open mics. Now, over a decade later, he is a National Touring Comedian that performs from coast-to-coast headlining and opening at some of the biggest comedy clubs in the world. In 2023, he was ranked by Columbus Underground as the 9th Best Comedian in Columbus, Ohio and he will be performing with his Childhood best friend and talented musician Austin Riffe. Together they put on a show you won’t want to miss.”

The young comedian with Minford roots has had a busy 14 years learning the craft and says that he has come a long way in finding his place.

“Henry is a laid back, funny guy. He can be straight and clean, but he can be raunchy as possible,” Friends of Portsmouth Executive Director Bryan Smith said. “It just depends on what we say to expect, but, this is an adult crowd, so it is pretty free game. If you’re coming to a comedy night, you better be prepared.”

Smith said that he loves having Allen visit and feels it is a good way to launch the FoP year.

“I love it. He always brings a sold-out crowd and it is cool to be able to have it Oddfellows,” Smith said. “I’ve never had anyone tell me they didn’t just love his show. Everybody that comes to his show leaves happy and we usually get repeat guests.”

The Henry Allen and Austin Riffe performance will be the first event formally held at Oddfellows, according to Smith. It will be held in the second-floor event hall. The situation makes Smith happy, because of the history behind the building and the Burnside Family legacy.

“I love being able to host it there,” Smith claimed. “One of Jeremy’s big things was getting that building done and Maddie and team have done an excellent job piecing it together with all of the graphics, art, décor, and everything. The second and third floor has murals, too. It is pretty neat that April Deacon also painted those walls.”

During his sixth visit to Portsmouth for a FoP fundraiser, Allen stated that he always enjoys working with the group to raise awareness and funds for their mission.

“I guess I’m kind of storytell-y, not very serious. I do play music with my best friend Austin Riffe who is, like, an insanely incredibly talented musician. The show is going to be me doing a little bit of crowd work and improvising; I call people out sometimes, stuff like that,” Allen said. “We’ll do some standup and tell some stories and jokes about my life. Then, for about 30 minutes, I will perform with Austin and we will sing songs about Portsmouth, Joe Biden, Trump and stuff like that.”

Smith said that Riffe constantly strives to keep content fresh and adds new stories to tell and things to joke about, but those are the types of jokes to expect.

“There usually isn’t a dry eye in the room. He is hilarious and I’ve never heard a complaint from anyone who has come out for a night of his,” Smith said. “Plus, he is always changing his routine and adding new materials, so, you’re not going to hear the same stuff. I mean, you may hear one or two jokes repeated, only because they’re just that good, but it is all mostly new stuff.”

Smith said that all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the expenses of festivals like Winterfest, River Days, Octoberfest, Fourth of July, and more.

“I’m excited for the coming year,” Smith said. “I look forward to the lineup we have planned for the community in 2024.”

The comedy night will thrill Saturday, April 6. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. at Oddfellows. There are no hard tickets for the event. Anyone wanting a ticket will need to visit the group’s Facebook or Eventbrite pages. General admission is $30. Seating is limited to 150 and the group is halfway sold-out.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2024 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

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