Festival notes: Aspen Rooftop Comedy wraps up
June 14, 2010
ASPEN – Comic Danny Pudi could have easily become annoyed.
It’s a Saturday night. He’s socializing at an Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival after-party at Syzygy. Pudi’s instantly recognized as one of the cast members of NBC’s “Community.” Then, the question:
“What’s it like to work with Chevy Chase?”
Pudi gets that one all the time. But he doesn’t mind – too much, because Chevy Chase is his friend. Like any child of the ’70s and ’80s who loved “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and “Fletch,” Pudi has always considered Chevy Chase a comedic hero.
The response: “What do you think it’s like?”
Thursday night was one of those nights when anything could happen.
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The scene was the New Voices Showcase at La Cantina, after the kick-off show with Jermaine Fowler, Kelly McFarland, Mike Vecchione, and Nick Thune at the Wheeler Opera House. Time for open mic night at La Cantina. Except the open mic included comics who have appeared on Comedy Central and HBO. And several who have not appeared on Comedy Central and HBO.
I took the advice of Pete Lee, a comic who I can now call a friend. A friend who gives me advice on comedy. Yes, anything can happen. But Pete’s a nice guy like that. I’ve found comics to be friendly people. I’m not only saying that because I am one. They do like to make people laugh.
Why wouldn’t they be friendly?
Pete is one of those comics who has been on CBS and HBO. His advice was to find Annie and ask for three minutes to do stand-up. I’d be a fool not to, so I did. I went with “Sex in the City” jokes.
“I’m like Carrie Bradshaw but my Cosmos are PBRs and my Mr. Big is a 5’2″ liftee with a medical marijuana license,” I say.
I’m not sure if I should’ve gone with my new stuff. But I also talked Roofies and Snuggies. I love those jokes. And that was my time. Thanks for having me, Aspen Rooftop.
You guys have been great.
The guys from God’s Pottery, a comedic duo that loves Jesus, like to stay in character.
They’re backstage in the green room, about a half-hour before their Sunday night show. Sunday night is closing night for the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival.
And, it’s God’s Pottery day.
Jeremiah Smallchild and Giddeon Lamb are singing saviors of the gospel, and have no qualms about sharing their passion. They’re as enthusiastic about Jesus as a Precious Moments figurine. They love rainbows. And they hail from the Midwest – it’s not important where in the Midwest, just that it’s the Midwest. Now that success on “Last Comic Standing” is attached to their name, they are living together in a small apartment in New York trying to make it big. Jeremiah and Giddeon are single. That doesn’t mean they don’t love women. The Christ Our College alumni are proud to say they are on the marriage track. But they’re not going to settle.
Or have premarital sex.
“If you have a slice of banana cream pie, would you want to ruin it by eating saltines or graham crackers with butter on them?” Smallchild said.
Anyone expecting women to fling their underwear at Jeremiah and Giddeon Tom Jones-Style while they’re on stage will be disappointed. God’s Pottery attracts a much different crowd.
“Our audience is anyone who loves smiling,” Smallchild said.
“And rainbowaholics,” Lamb added. “People throw wound-up rainbows at us.”
The guys from God’s Pottery are happy to sing their beliefs from the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival.
“This is the highest I’ve ever been,” Lamb said.
“Being in Aspen reminds me that some of the tallest mountains are under water,” said Smallchild, a Christian productivity major in college.
The God’s Pottery message is simple.
“With laughter and love, keep on dreaming of above,” Smallchild said.
It’s a widely known fact that when people laugh, they feel better. There have been clinical studies proving such information. So it’s no surprise to Rooftop Media CEO Will Rogers that in a recession, comedy is king.
“We’re seeing a resurgence of stand-up,” Rogers said. “There’s something to it.”
The Internet and online technology has opened up a new world of comedy. Funny YouTube clips can skyrocket into millions of views in days. Unknown comics can become known – and appear on Comedy Central and HBO – by their popularity on online. This has changed how comedy forever.
“There’s now an extended stage for comedy,” Rogers said. “And people viewing comedy online has crossed-over age groups. All age groups are watching comedy now.”
From the adults who remember Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live to their kids who go online to watch viral videos of Chevy Chase, people are finding friends in comedy.