Comedian Caitlin Gill to headline The Temporary
IF YOU GO …
Who: Comedian Caitlin Gill
Where: The Temporary at Willits
When: Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m.
How much: $19 in advance; $23 at the door
Tickets and more info: http://www.tacaw.org
Caitlin Gill has become a fixture at Los Angeles comedy clubs and at festivals around the U.S. She’s performed on Viceland’s “Flophouse” and on the podcast “2 Dope Queens,” been a guest on NPR’s “Snap Judgment.” She was named by Time Out L.A. as a “2018 Comic to Watch.” You may also recognize her from her appearances in the ubiquitous commercials for Credit Karma.
Colorado played a surprising role in her showbiz ascent: Gill’s first feature gig on the road came at Denver’s ComedyWorks in 2013 as her stand-up career was taking off.
Gill, who headlines The Temporary at Willits on Saturday, has honed a winning mix of personal storytelling and observational humor in her stand-up. Spend some time watching videos of her sets online and you’ll find her mining comic gold out of buying pants at Target or receiving an odd compliment (“Girl, you look like Dan Aykroyd!”).
“Something will ring a little bell, like, ‘Oh, that’s funny,’” Gill said in a recent phone interview. “And I might not know it for a day or two — or I might not even know when I try to take it on stage — but there is that little bell that goes off when I recognize the kind of situation that’s going to become a joke.”
She’s coming off a stretch of road gigs in the northwest and a visit to her family in the Bay Area, so her newest material is gleaned from those misadventures. She mostly tells true stories and plucks absurd, relatable comedy out of everyday things. Her father’s new washer and dryer, for instance.
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“My dad got a new washer and dryer,” she said with a laugh. “If you come see me, you are going to hear about that. The idea that a brand new appliance would provide me with material wasn’t obvious. But it did. And I definitely heard that bell really loud.”
Gill hasn’t played ski country in Colorado before, but has done multiple sets in Denver at the High Plains Comedy Festival and ComedyWorks.
On this trip she is coming to Colorado for just this one show at Willits, following the recommendation of comic friends who have played The Temporary in recent months. Booking Gill signals a move toward landing more national comics by the midvalley club. Without a full-time comedy club in the Roaring Fork Valley, comedy nerds have traditionally had to endure long droughts between stand-up shows in these parts — waiting months between festivals and headliners at the Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up and the occasional local comics’ night in a bar. But since last summer, to the glee of comedy fans, The Temporary has stepped in and started booking comics at least once a month. Most often, it’s been the bigger names out of Denver like Adam Cayton-Holland and Troy Walker who dependably fill the house.
“Comedy shows translate really well here and have been selling out,” The Temporary’s artistic director Marc Breslin said late last year.
Among Gill’s more prominent television gigs has been a set on the Comedy Central stand-up series “7 Minutes in Purgatory” with the great Bobcat Goldthwait. Gill and Goldthwait lived together for a stretch, though she’s since moved out of what she described as a “compound” of single comics in Los Angeles.
“I’m no longer in the basement,” she said with a laugh.
But she’s continued working with Goldthwait — they frequently tour and collaborate together. She has written for his forthcoming animated TruTV anthology series “Misfits and Monsters.” The pair first met at SketchFest in San Francisco, Gill recalled.
“I walked in and his daughter was sitting there making fun of him,” she said. “So I started making fun of him, too, and just never stopped. I’ve yet to stop making fun of him. We just hit it off.”
Gill’s stand-up sets are rarely overtly political these days, although in the heated cultural environment of 2018 a night of escapist entertainment — even if Donald Trump’s name goes unsaid — can be a political act and a public service.
“It’s political, definitely,” Gill said. “I’m a 6-foot-1 gay lady from California. If you choose to come have a good time with me, that is a political choice. It shouldn’t be. It should just be a good time. But it is. … The way I respond to it on-stage is just to be intentionally more loving to my audience. I’m glad they’re there.”
She hopes her performances can provide some common ground in a country of bitter divisions.
“It matters that we connect and have a good time,” she said, “because if we don’t do that in this tiny way, at a comedy show, then we can’t do it anywhere else.”
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