Just a few days into 2018, the funny bone may be the bone to pick this new year, as comedy is abundant in the valley this weekend.
Nick Swardson at the Belly Up
Nick Swardson, standup comedian, screenwriter, actor and producer, was 19 years old and coming up in comedy when he first came to Aspen for HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He remembers seeing Chris Farley do cartwheels down an Aspen street and chain smoking while Swardson could barely breathe in the high altitude.
For his upcoming shows at the Belly Up, he’ll be in Denver first to acclimate. To the altitude? No. “Just to the complete tsunami of pot smoke that’s all over Colorado. I’m like, 'Is Cyprus Hill performing every night here?' This is too much pot, everybody,” he jokes.
Swardson says his show will be extremely laid-back. “It’s the most casual show you can ever see. I talk about drinking and farting, and there’s no curveballs, definitely nothing political. I know life sucks and it’s hard, and I want people to have a good time and be entertained.”
He says he will not be doing any cartwheels in Aspen but will be taking a nap before his shows.
Friday, Jan. 5, at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Andy Haynes at The Temporary
Andy Haynes grew up in Seattle, gave his comedy a first go at an open mic in 2004 and hasn’t stopped telling jokes on stage since. One of the things to which he attributes his bravery of getting on stage that first time is being a camp counselor. “Part of that is you go up at the campfire and you do skits and lead them, and I was a big debate guy in high school and college, so it wasn’t a stretch for me to public speak,” he says.
He can deconstruct comedy in a thoughtful way that makes it clear that he thinks about his craft. “The funniest things are right under our noses, and we don’t think about them being weird. I just sit down and think about things we are not aware of and don’t talk about. As I’ve gotten older I talk more about my personal life, my family. I’m sober, so I talk about being drunk. I got divorced, so I talk about that. I have perspective on all that now, so I love talking about it,” he says.
But Haynes says he’s not dark, even though his life has had its challenges. He isn’t clean either. “Nobody should expect it to be clean. It’s somewhat dark but it’s a good time.”
Saturday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m.
Marz Timms at Grey Lady
Timms is based in Chicago and has previously hosted Winterskol events in Aspen. He plays the character Van Howard on seasons 1 and 2 of the Netflix original series "EASY." Of his comedy he says, “I like to tell stories about the crazy adventures I get into, and sometimes I do things just so I have a story to tell on stage. I recently learned how to milk a cow, and its all about how you squeeze those utters. I worked on putting that into the show. I’ve been described as nerdy yet urban. I can’t help but be nerdy. ”
Friday, Jan. 5, at 10:30 p.m.
Consensual Improv at Thunder River Theatre
“Improv is such a unique comedy experience; the material is completely new every time we get on stage. So no one knows what’s going to happen next. The audience is rolling with laughter every time there’s another surprise, and we’re having fun right along with them,” says Corey Simpson, executive artistic director of Thunder River Theatre Company.
Friday, Jan. 5, at 8pm