Support local comedy

Dear Editor:

This is the time of year when, if you’ve lived in town for more than a couple of years, someone will bring up the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and everybody will chime in with how cool it was and how sad that they left town, but not this year. This year the Wheeler Opera House is bringing back that old-school comedy feel with the Aspen Laff Festival.

Most famously, the HBO Festival introduced Ray Romano to the world and was the catalyst for his show “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It first put comics like Lewis Black, Margaret Cho, Mike Birbiglia, and a skinny kid named Dave Chappelle on a big stage. The comedians who are coming to Aspen next week are the next generation of soon-to-be-recognizable faces.

There’s a free locals show on Wednesday, March 16, at 5:30 p.m. to kick off the fest, and, after supporting the home team, you can check out the Free Sampler Show, hosted by co-producer Tom Simmons and featuring many of the comedians who will be performing throughout the weekend. It’s the perfect try before you buy.

We don’t have HBO’s deep pockets, so, if you want to keep high-caliber comedy coming to Aspen, please buy a pass, a day pass, or a ticket and show your support.

I’m hosting the Locals Show. If you show up, I promise not to make fun of you from the stage. And, if I do make fun of you, or you’re a ski instructor, well, I’ll buy you a drink in the lobby after the show … but only if you can prove the joke was about you.

Alexa Fitzpatrick