I have a friend, my roommate back in college, who has been working as a professional standup comedian basically since we graduated back in 1992. I’ve seen him perform a few times over the years, and I always thought that what he was doing – getting up in front of people and praying they laughed at his jokes – must be utterly terrifying, the sort of thing that I could never do.
Well, that all changed for me a few years back when I did an audition for a standup group as a lark and somehow found myself doing three minutes of material at a poorly attended show at the Aspen Eagles Club. I can’t remember if I got any laughs that first night, but I loved every second of being on stage. Far from being terrifying, it was exhilarating and empowering, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I started doing comedy whenever and wherever I could, including gigs in places like church basements and seafood restaurants. I hung out at the short-lived Aspen Comedy Club until they let me open for some big names. I ingratiated myself to anyone who organized comedy events here in the valley. I did the best I could with what little opportunity I had, but then the comedy club closed and my friends who organized most of the events moved away, and I rarely get to feel the rush of making a crowd laugh.
Last night, thankfully, I got to do it again on a real stage in a real venue – The Temporary in Basalt – as part of a local comedians showcase, and I can’t tell you how pumped I was. No, literally, I can’t tell you because I’m writing this two days ago, before the show. Sadly, that means I also can’t tell you how the comedy debut of my friend, Aspen Daily News reporter Chad Abraham, went either. I hope he killed and didn’t bomb. I’m sure I laughed either way.
What I can tell you, though, is this: It’s great to have a real venue for comedy in the midvalley, and there will be even more laughs there tonight, Friday, Dec. 8, when professional Denver-based comedian Ben Roy takes the stage. Often compared to Lewis Black and Bill Hicks, Roy brings unparalleled energy and a passionate, ranting approach that led Variety magazine to label him a top comic to watch in 2015. If you like comedy and haven’t been to The Temporary yet, I suggest you go.
A prolific musician in addition to his standup work, Roy also has a hit show on TruTV called “Those Who Can’t” with fellow Denver comedians Adam Cayton-Holland and Andrew Orvedahl, collectively known as The Grawlix. His appearance at The Temporary tonight comes on the heels of a well-attended Temporary performance back in October by Cayton-Holland, and it continues a trend of solid performers from the burgeoning Denver comedy scene making the trek up the hill to Basalt.
Hopefully, that trend keeps going and keeps The Temporary laughing long enough to let locals like me and Chad get up there and get our comedy fixes from time to time, terrifying as that might seem.