Comedian brings ‘Black Ice Tour’ to Wintersköl
If You Go …
What: Comedy show with Marz Timms and others
Where: The Square Grouper
When: Friday, Jan. 9, 9 p.m.
What: Live comedy show with Marz Timms and Gregory Hollimon
Where: Clock tower at Wagner Park, Aspen
When: Saturday, Jan. 10, 12:45 p.m.; followed by Canine Fashion Show
More info: 970-025-1940; www.aspenchamber.org
When he started setting up a tour to support his new comedy album, Marz Timms looked west, eyeing ski towns like Aspen and Telluride. Though Aspen doesn’t have a comedy club, or a steady stand-up scene, it has crowds and it has snowy slopes.
Timms, a Chicago-based comic, is a devoted snowboarder. He launched the tour by getting sponsors like Burton, Monson and other snow sports companies on board, as he conceived of what he’s calling the “Black Ice Tour.”
He will perform a free show Friday at the Square Grouper, with Gregory Hollimon of Comedy Central’s “Strangers with Candy” and local comics Greg Studley and Steve Gaasche. The free comedy night is part of the festivities for Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual toast to winter and to itself, which runs through the weekend with events around town.
“I was reading somewhere online that it’s .04 percent black people in Aspen,” Timms said with a laugh from Chicago before starting the tour. “So with Greg and I that percentage will go up. We’re pretty dark, so it could be .08 percent this weekend.”
Marz’s smart, sometimes off-the-wall style has made him one of Chicago’s most respected comics. He blends his background in improv – he founded a troupe called Pimprov – with incisive observational humor, such as a bit about what different ethnic groups keep in their basements.
“Improv comes a lot easier to me, but I do a lot of writing as well,” he said. “When I’m doing a stand-up show, it’s a written stand-up show. But I keep it loose so that I can improvise with the crowd.”
His new album, available on iTunes, is “The Look.” You can also hear Timms, not so comically, as the voice of Jax Briggs in the video game “Mortal Kombat.”
At the Grouper show, he said to expect some gear giveaways between sets and “some jokes about being the only black person snowboarding on the mountain,” with an after-party to follow.
“Bring your dancing shoes,” he said. “Greg [Hollimon] loves to dance, and I love to look like I’m having an epileptic seizure.”
Hollimon has been through Aspen before, with the touring company of Chicago’s Second City.
The pair will also do a set together on the Mill Street Mall Saturday afternoon, before hosting Wintersköl’s annual Canine Fashion Show. Both Hollimon and Timms said they’re looking at the absurd assignment of hosting a fashion show featuring dogs in Aspen as a dream improv set-up, with plenty of ski resort ridiculousness to riff on.
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