News for the ‘Shows’ Category

Full Circle.

Over 8 years ago, in May of 2003, I stepped onto the stage at the Comedy Works and performed stand-up comedy for the first time.  I was so nervous I thought I might faint, and I steadied myself against the wall, trying to calm my jangling nerves.  A big guy also waiting to go on offered me some encouragement.  He simply said, “as soon as they laugh once you’ll be fine.”  Well, what if they never laughed at all?  What if I walked out there and ate shit for my 2 minutes?  I’d not only embarrass myself, I’d embarrass all my friends who came out to support me.

Thankfully I did not bomb, I did well and was instantly hooked.  I’ve been performing comedy ever since, and have been fortunate enough to tour all over the country, hitting up stages both very, very large and very, very small.

So it is with great personal pride that I get to announce that on November 9th I’m finally headlining the downtown Comedy Works, the very club where I began my comedy career, and easily one of the best clubs in the country.  It’s pretty much the tip of the Denver comedy pyramid, and I’m so excited for the opportunity.

If you’d like to see the show, you can get tickets here.

 

If not, we were never friends anyway.

Posted: October 10th, 2011
Categories: Shows
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I love you, public access!

Last night some of my friends at Denver Open Media invited me to come down and do some comedy at their studio for their big First Friday blowout.  If you aren’t familiar with what Denver Open Media does, they basically run Public Access (and a lot more, check the website, chumpy).

So I was riding my bike to the show, running late as usual, and I was trying to think of something funny to say about being on public access television.  It’s comedy 101: the local reference.  Thankfully, I thought of something at the last minute.

I arrived at the studio with a handful of minutes to spare, and was rushed on stage before I really had time to think about any other jokes or recall why I was invited to perform in the first place.

“Is this being broadcast live on public access?” I asked.  “Good, I had a splatter-paint interpretive dance I was going to perform later.”  Some  [very] mild laughter followed.  I was mid-way through my next joke when I looked over to see an extremely large canvas, covered with paint.  A man was sort of hiding behind the canvas.

“I already did that,” he said.

Of all the things I could think to joke about, it had apparently actually happened already!  I was floored, and I felt a teeny bit bad, because being an asshole sometimes makes me feel a little bad.

Here are some other things I could not have joked around about, either:

Selling homemade jewelry.

Organizing walking groups.

Building guitars at home.

The theme of the evening was “Here is How”, organized as a way for people to instruct other people on how to do things.  I completely forgot that aspect, and instead concentrated on roasting anything and everything in sight, which is also comedy 101: cannibalize, cannibalize, cannibalize!

If I put on a demonstration of how to do anything, it was how to be a little dickish to a very cool group of people who are exercising their creativity 100% more than 99% of the population.  Almost everyone watches television, but very few people are producing it locally.  Public access gets the bad rap while corporate network television gets the awards and clout.

So, if you were performing on that showcase, or producing it for DOM, sorry if I came off a little flippant and shitty.  All my jokes really were meant in fun, and I do always have a good time when I come down there.  I don’t know how to make an electric guitar at home, or paint, I’m just down for jokes.

Posted: August 7th, 2011
Categories: Shows
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Narrators Podcast coming soon!

I’m excited to announce that my storytelling show The Narrators is going to be podcast, beginning with tonight’s episode!  Usually the live show is 90-120 minutes long, but I will be editing the podcast down to 60-70 minutes.  Unfortunately I will inevitably end up cutting great stories, so if you want the entire show, uncut and real, keep coming down and supporting the real thing!  But, if you miss a show, or live far away, now you will be able to check it out at your leisure!  I will try to have the podcast up one week from the show, so look for it next Wednesday, August 10th!

Posted: August 4th, 2011
Categories: In the news, Random thoughts, Shows
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Randomicity Recap

Well, I debuted my new show Randomicity at the 11th annual Denver Underground Music Showcase this past Friday to mixed results.   I usually describe myself as a pessimist (or sometimes a realist) but upon walking into my show’s venue I realized that I must be an optimist.  When I imagined the location for my show I pictured a modest stage, perhaps with some lighting, in a room where people would be situated in a positive relationship to the action on stage.  What I saw was a sports bar/restaurant with a small area that was four inches higher than the rest of the bar where they stored high chairs.

Luckily for me my comedy career has been stuffed with venues exactly like this, so this wasn’t a crushing defeat in and of itself.  I began the show, only to discover that there was music still playing and all the televisions were still on.  I requested that they turn off the television and music from stage, but nothing happened.  I then aborted starting the show to walk off and settle these small but fairly fucking important details.

With the TV’s surrounding the stage and the music off, I started the show again.  The room was packed, but mostly with people who had no idea there would be a comedy show.  As the host (and creator) of the show my job was to wrangle this crowd into something manageable, but my mood was so sour I decided to shove on with the show and just try to get everything over with.


Here is a short piece the Denver Post was kind enough to provide.

I introduced the first bout between Bobby Crane and Ben Kronberg.  Their topics (provided by the crowd) were ‘Industrial Revolution’ and ‘Facial Hair’.  Both comedians did an awesome job, and indeed the crowd settled a bit as they realized something fun was going on.  I asked the crowd to applaud as a vote for the winner, but it seemed tied.  I asked again, and one boisterous man literally won the match for Ben Kronberg.

Then, in a foolish move, I gave the crowd a five minute intermission, thereby blowing any and all atmosphere out of the airlock.  I know from experience that any intermission lasts at least twice as long as instructed, and sure enough, five minutes later I was introducing the main match to a lot of empty tables and table talk.  Again, a decent host might have spent a few minutes whipping the crowd back into shape but not this guy!  I brought up both teams and gave them their topics.  Both teams had ‘Breakfast Foods’ and ‘Ethnic Cleansing’, and then they had to provide a topic for the rival team.  Team Grawlix gave Fine Gentlemen’s Club ‘Nic Cage Movies’, and they returned the favor with ‘Friendship’.

The Fine Gentlemen’s Club produce a weekly show called Too Much Fun that they all host simultaneously, which proved to be great practice for Randomicity.  Their camaraderie onstage was obvious and the fun they had was contagious. Team Grawlix, comprised of some of the best comedy writers I know, lacked both the banter and the sense of fun. About halfway through their 15-minute slot they turned to crowd work, despite audience chants of ‘stay on topic!’.

When it came time to award a winner I expected the Fine Gentlemen’s Club to run away with the win, and was surprised that the crowd seemed to think the teams were tied. I asked again, and again it sounded like a tie to me. I felt like Pontius Pilate, my hands bound with what seemed like an unfair decision. In the end I awarded the tie that the audience wanted, although I did note that in ‘my book’ the Fine Gentlemen’s Club were the clear winners. Whether the tie was the result of Team Grawlix’s well-earned reputation or their actual performance is beyond me, but sometimes being known as very funny is almost as good as being very funny. Overall I was very happy with both teams rising to the occasion and performing in the pressure cooker.

But if there was a hero of the evening it was Mara Wiles. If the previous comics performed in a pressure cooker, Mara was in a furnace in Hell’s basement. The terrible host (again, me) had failed to tell the audience that after the battles there would be a closing comedian, so immediately following the tie verdict both comics and audience began dispersing and talking. I tried to get them back in their seats but the damage was done. A restless, talky crowd became a much smaller restless, talky crowd. But Mara performed admirably, delivering a funny set that rewarded those paying attention. She didn’t resort to phoning it in or bailing early, which is admirable.

So if we have a hero we have to have a villain, and it should be obvious who earned that dishonor. I did a lot of work before the show booking and organizing, but once it came down to showtime I checked out. I was pissed that the bar wouldn’t turn off all the TV’s. I was pissed that the crowd was full of drunks looking to score. I was pissed that there weren’t three microphones set up as I had hoped for. So pissed at these issues that instead of fixing them, I just plowed through the show, without wading in and getting a little dirty to make it better. It’s the most irresponsible host who makes the comics he or she introduces do the crowd-wrangling. So, my apologies to all the comedians on the show, especially Mara Wiles who I left hanging out to dry at the end.

Going forward I hope to make this a regular monthly show, but I think I will wait a bit to tweak some details and find a perfect venue. Look for Randomicity to return sometime in the fall. And maybe I won’t be such a lazy asshole next time.

Posted: July 25th, 2011
Categories: Shows
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Randomicity

Here’s a little something nice the Denver Post wrote about me.

This Friday, June 22nd, I’m debuting my new comedy show Randomicity, where two teams of comedians battle each other with jokes on topics given to them at the show.  It will be a showcase of brilliant writing, quick-witted freestyling, and outright bombing.  We’re starting off with a bang, between my cohorts in The Grawlix (America’s Sweethearts) and Fine Gentlemen’s Club (America’s Most Wanted).  I know what you’re thinking: ‘How can you host a show where your own team is competing?’ and also: ‘How did you know what I was thinking?!’  Relax, I might be hosting, but the audience determines the winner.  Also I’ve seeded the audience with (paid) Grawlix devotees.

If you’ve ever been to the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, you might notice that this show bears resemblance to the marvelous Iron Comic, where a panel of comics writes jokes on topics provided at the show.  You might then think: ‘Hey Andy, you’ve been to the Bridgetown Comedy Fest, and in fact watched that very show.  And now you have this show.  Hrrrmm. Hmmph.  Heccccch.’  Weird sounds.  But amazingly enough, I did not steal this show idea from them, and in fact I have an email from over a year ago pitching this show idea to the owner of the Comedy Works.  So you shut your goddammed stink-trap!

Similarities aside, I think this show will be different in that it’s teams battling each other, and this show is in Denver instead of San Francisco.  Two glaring differences.  Also, that show is called Iron Comic, which is ripping off Iron Chef, and my show is Randomicity, which is ripping off The Police’s Synchronicity.  So again, apples and apples painted orange.

The show will be at 9pm at SOBO 151 on South Broadway.  Be there or be somewhere else, having less fun, probably.

Posted: July 18th, 2011
Categories: Shows
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