Alison Berkley: Ogling, giggling at Comedy Fest
The funniest thing about Comedy Fest is that the joke is on us.
That’s not to say I wasn’t blown away by it all: access to world-class talent, the late-night shows, the intimate venues, and the pleasures of live theater. (I love to say the word t-h-e-a-t-e-r because it makes me feel so cultured and sophisticated. There’s nothing sweeter on the tongue than a word with lots of vowels like that.)
It just wet my whistle knowing the town seethed with important Hollywood types who would inadvertently read my column and recognize the need to recruit me for a seven-figure movie project right away. I’m sure they’re planning to call me as soon as they get back to L.A.
The late-night shows were the best, kind of like having a cool babysitter who lets you stay up late. I mean, I actually got to sit in the Wheeler Opera House at 1 a.m. and make a lot of noise without getting yelled at every other second for breathing too loudly. Usually when I go there, I’m forced to spend half the show in the hallway because I have to pee at the wrong time and they won’t let me back in until it’s “appropriate.”
Maybe it was the jovial vibe, or maybe they wanted to act cooler than normal for the execs at HBO. But the usher Nazis were pretty laid back, which made it much easier for us to sneak our beers in.
I simply do not understand why they even bother to use that place as a venue for live music and celebratory events when it’s treated as a living museum, complete with people who watch over the place like prison guards and will not let you so much as take a sip of water inside the theater. Whatever!
If they want to get all “historical” about it, I’m sure that place was totally rocking in the early 1890s. All those hardworking miners and cowboys are likely rolling over in their graves at the sheer snobbery of the place. Sorry, but it’s true! The board of Wheeler Bees or whoever the stuffy people are who run it should probably do some research and get back to me.
I’m sure they wouldn’t give Kristen Davis a hard time if she wanted to crack a brouhaha during the show. She’s probably thirsty like all those comedians who informed us that there’s no oxygen here and told us about how parched they are.
Anyway, Kristen is the one who plays Charlotte on “Sex and The City” and I’m happy to report is even prettier in real life. At least my brother thought so, and he just couldn’t stop staring at the back of her head when she sat a few rows in front of us during the Norm McDonald show on Saturday night.
I am not afraid to admit that I thought it was the coolest thing ever to see one of my favorite celebs in the flesh, even though I understand that it’s very uncool to do so here in Aspen. Well, fong-goo. It’s only human, get over yourself.
I made sure to take a few extra moments collecting my things so that my brother could have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk down the aisle with the girl of his dreams. Lord knows he had a lot more to say about her than Norm McDonald, who pretty much sucked, but I’ll get to that later.
All I really wanted was to meet Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the “Matt and Ben” show, which was advertised all over town with posters of their very cute faces. I fantasized that I would hump – I mean bump – into one of them on the street and they’d ask me for directions, even though I still don’t where the hell anything is after living here for over a year.
I would tell them my mom’s from Boston and charm them into joining me for a drink (or maybe a latte since Ben is on the wagon). Imagine my disappointment when I found out it was two women acting as Matt and Ben. Screw that! I am not a lesbian. That was back in college, and I was only experimenting.
I learned quickly that celebrity access is limited to ultrarich spoiled people who can afford the golden tickets. No one I knew could get into the Mike Myers thing or the “J. Edgar” show with Kelsey Grammer. Even my boss, whom I imagine is pretty rich himself and grew up in Aspen, was baffled that I got tickets to Norm McDonald and he didn’t. See, even being powerful and all-knowing and a really good cross-country skier doesn’t always get you everywhere in Aspen.
I attended a bunch of shows with the common people at the Raw Space, which sounded like a pretty cool place to hang out. It turned out that it was more freezing than cool, with cement floors, ceilings and walls, which made peeing in those indoor port-o-potties a cacophonous experience. I cringed every time someone kicked over a beer bottle and it crashed on the cement floor, rattling to a long, slow stop. Raw indeed. At least no one puked during any of the shows I went to, thank god.
I did get to see Norm McDonald, but he looked as good as I did on the Jerry Bovino Show, and that’s not saying much. (I absolutely refuse to make any more television appearances without a stylist.) He ran with stock material and complained about it the whole time. He joked about gay sex and cancer and proctology, and of course complained about the altitude.
My friend Don plum passed out in the middle of it, his thick-rimmed glasses cockeyed and teetering on the end of his nose. I poked him and shook him but he was down for the count. Now that was funny.
[The Princess will consider screenplay offers on a first-come, first-served basis and can be reached at email@example.com. No calls, please.]
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“If I was moving through the herd, the others would begin walking away, some of them at a jog, taking their calves with them, but the big brown ungulate would face me sideways, reluctant to move, not wanting to give any ground,” writes Tony Vagneur.