The 3rd annual High Plains Comedy Festival just wrapped up, as moments ago the last comedian finally passed out. The three-day festival was a smooth success, showcasing strong national and local talent in both traditional and concept shows. The events were blocks away with many free shows making it easy to spend all day laughing. Here’s a handy list of the poignant moments I was fortunate enough to experience.
10. Uncalled Four, Denver’s premier comedy game show, raising the stakes with fifth panelist local Byron Graham. It was an extremely close race until Matt Braunger narrowly defeated a book-related vaginal reference with his culinary-related vaginal reference. Dramedy! The show is hitting its stride and the I only wish it was on TV already so we could stream it at home during family dinners.
9. Watching shows at 3 Kings from the cheap seats, aka the outside window. Second place is an ear to the glass at Mutiny. Hi-Dive is great but could install a skylight to better cater to the broke moocher demographic.
8. Cartoons & Comedy transforming an afternoon crowd into a group of giggling, cereal-slurping seven-year-olds. I think I saw some thumb-sucking. Go Planet!
7. Busting all of the moves to the hypnotic pulsing jam spasms of Total Ghost. Keyboards were harmed. Also shout outs to jockeys of discs Jonah Ray and Erin Stereo.
6. Seeing the Grawlix fellas all pumped from their recent Those Who Can’t wrapping as they fight off the demons of Hollywood success with some down-home root recharging.
5. Sponsors Sexy Pizza, Illegal Pete’s and Denver Relief keeping bellies full and spirits high, with sticky happy fingers for all.
4. Realizing that comedy allows far more access to the performers than other art forms. Comics love (or at least need) to meet people and talk comedy and – they’re right over there! Stop staring you’ll make ’em feel weird! Aww they went back in the green room, creepo.
3. Ben Kronberg’s semi-secret open mic smoke bus. Enjoying the sights of Denver with stand-up in a school bus full of pot smoke. It was such good vibes that I accidentally dropped the joint out the window while ashing it and nobody yelled non-jokingly. Provided by BusToShow.org.
2. Learning that Kurt Braunohler‘s beaver closer loses a certain pop when his scrotum isn’t visible. The bulging profile of his Braunsac perfectly/horrifically balanced the imaginary (incredible versatile) beaver tail. Such are the freak results of Ian Abramson‘s Seven Minutes in Purgatory, where comics are disconnected from seeing or hearing their live audience.
1. Anthony Jeselnik fucking delivered. He ran his new hour before taking it on tour and it will not disappoint fans as he fans disappointment. He was surprised Denver was so into his shocking punchlines. This was the kind of show where couples went home to shower before they had sex.
0. SECRET REASON ZERO – There was a line that many comedians echoed this weekend “Denver is the best comedy city in the world.” How could such a thing be true? To compete with the coastal heads of industry? Hmm, they must be too high on our school-funding space cakes, pay them no mind!
Blocking off some free time for August 2016 would be wise.