An Aspen Laugh Fest Crash Course |

An Aspen Laugh Fest Crash Course

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times
Tig Notaro
Courtesy photo/Bob Chamberlin

The cream of the stand-up crop have take over town this week, as the Aspen Laugh Fest hosts five days of live performances at the Wheeler Opera House, Limelight Hotel and Silver City Saloon.

The lineup of 12 headliner comics and two comedy troupes includes some of the biggest stars and brightest talents in stand-up today. If you need a crash-course on who they are, or what you’re in for at their shows, pretty much all of them have comedy specials streaming online. Here’s a run-down on where to find them and binge before (or after) the Aspen shows.

Tickets and more info at the Wheeler box office and


At Laugh Fest: Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler

Online: Madigan has two hourlong stand-up specials on Netflix in 2016’s “Bothering Jesus” and 2013’s “Madigan Again.” She was also Jerry Seinfeld’s guest on an episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” streaming now on Netflix.

Elsewhere: One of the funniest comics of her generation, Madigan has been on the road for 28 years, appeared 25 times on “The Tonight Show” and been on just about every other late-night network show.


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 4 p.m. at the Silver City

Online: Carbondale’s Thunder River Theatre Co. has catalogued six performances on YouTube from the past two-and-a-half years by the local troupe on YouTube, ranging from an hour to 90 minutes.

Elsewhere: Since debuting in early winter 2016, Consensual Improv has given regular performances at Thunder River and toured the Roaring Fork Valley with stops in Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt.


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m. at the Limelight

Online: The 29-year-old has catalogued eight videos on his website including festival sets and a 2018 bit on “Conan” talking about how he’s tried cocaine but never bacon;

Elsewhere: A rising star, Edelman has earned international attention at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Melbourney Comedy Festival (where he won the 2018 Barry Award). His “Live From the BBC” is streaming on Netflix UK, but not yet stateside.


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler

Online: Feinstein has three hour-long specials on-demand at Comedy Central (, most recently “Amy Schumer Presents Rachel Feinstein: Only Whores Wear Purple.” She also has a half-hour special on Season 2 of “The Standups” on Netflix.

Elsewhere: Along with touring as a comedian, Feinstein is an actress featured on the Steven Soderbergh Amazon series “Red Oaks,” on Pete Holmes’ HBO comedy “Crashing” and in the Amy Schumer film “Trainwreck” and Chris Rock’s “Top Five.” You may also recognize her voice from the video game “Grand Theft Auto V.”


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler

Online: Kasher’s 2012 special “Live in Oakland” is on Netflix along with his 2018 three-part special with his wife, Natash Leggero, titled “The Honeymoon Stand Up Special.”

Elsewhere: Kasher co-hosts “The Champs” podcast and is the author of the 2012 memoir “Kasher in the Rye.”


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler; Saturday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m. at Silver City Saloon

Online: McCullough’s 2018 hourlong special “Maybe I’m a Man” is on demand at Comedy Central ( The site also has 10 shorter clips catalogued from previous appearances on the network.

Elsewhere: An alum of the Wheeler’s “Sunset Sessions” series in 2018, McCullough tours constantly and has been featured on NPR’s “This American Life” and TruTV’s “Comedy Knockout.”


At Laugh Fest: Friday, Feb. 22, 9:30 p.m. at the Wheeler

Online: Her latest special, 2018’s “Happy to be Here,” is on Netflix along with the acclaimed 2015 documentary “Tig” about her life after a legendary set when she announced she’d just been diagnosed with cancer.

Elsewhere: Dubbed “one of the 50 best stand-up comics of al time” by Rolling Stone, Notaro has been everywhere on the talk show circuit, was featured last year in the film “Instant Family,” she wrote and produced and starred in the acclaimed series “One Mississippi” for Amazon and recently had a role on the new “Star Trek: Discovery.”


At Laugh Fest: Saturday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m. at the Wheeler

Online: Gulman’s speicals “In This Economy?” from 2012 and “Boyish Man” from 2006 are both streaming on Amazaon. At he has cataloged seven more recent stand-up videos and late-night TV spots.

Elsewhere: Best known for as a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2004, Gulman is a legendary road comic who has been touring for 20 years and has done spots on every network late-night show during that stretch.


At Laugh Fest: Saturday, Feb. 23, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m at the Wheeler

Online: Koy’s 2017 special “Live From Seattle” is streaming on Netflix. He’s already recorded his follow-up, expected to drop on Netflix this spring.

Elsewhere: One of the most popular comics of the moment, Koy has a weekly spot on Adam Carolla’s podcast and was a regular on “Chelsea Lately,” appearing in upward of 100 episodes.

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