By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
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By Melanie Asmar
As the rest of the country watched Last Comic Standing, fell in love with Josh Blue and on August 9 voted him the winner, the people of Denver thought one thing: "Isn't that the same Josh Blue who appeared on the cover of Westword a year ago?" Trust me, that's what all of Denver was thinking. And while Denverites were thinking that, they were also thinking: "And wasn't it Adam Cayton-Holland, What's So Funny himself, who wrote that article on Josh Blue? Man, that kid just knows about this stuff before everybody else."
And it was right of you to think that, Denver. My ability to recognize a phenomenon before it blows up is tried, tested and true. During the late 1980s, I single-handedly brought the slap bracelet to Colorado. I was also the first person in the United States to wear Kappa brand clothing. Look it up. But I cannot take complete credit for recognizing Josh Blue before the throngs got wind of his talent. Truth is, many comics on the local standup landscape realized long ago that Blue was bound for stardom.
And now, all of us comics can eavesdrop on people around town, interrupt and say, "You were talking about Josh Blue, the guy who puts the Œcerebral' in cerebral palsy, as they say, right? And then you were talking about how he won Last Comic Standing, right? And how he's all mega-huge and everything? Well, here's the thing about all that: I TOTALLY KNOW HIM! That's right: me. Not that guy over there, not anyone else in this bar. Me. Check it out -- here's his number in my cell phone! Boo-yah! So, like, carry on with your little conversation and everything, but just know that I know Josh Blue, okay?"
Because when your friend explodes into a national star, it's okay to claim a little bit of the glory for yourself. And until this week, I was willing to claim that glory in the form of random, alcoholic outbursts. But after watching Josh Blue's parade on what will forever live in Denver history as "Josh Blue Monday," I want my own parade. I'm obsessed with it. I've convinced myself that it is going to happen, probably within the next six months. No, Last Comic Standing has not contacted me yet. But I get the feeling it's only a matter of time.
Josh's parade was awesome, a two-lap job around Larimer Square that went something like this: cop on a motorcycle in the lead, then cop in a pimp-ass Dodge Charger, then a cool old Mustang ridden by Rapidman from the Colorado Rapids, then two Rapids cheerleaders spilling out of their uniforms, then a Go Fast Sports bus, then members of the U.S. Paralympics team, and then a fire truck with the man of the hour on top, grinning and waving and hurling free shwag at the elated crowd while go-karts piloted by the Comedy Works staff whipped around the street. Josh was hippied out in a brightly colored African-looking robe and a headband of leaves, and I couldn't help but think that perhaps in his meteoric rise to fame, he's blown up so fast that he's already reached the Sgt. Pepper phase. Next he'll kick it with the Maharishi in India before firing up the tour bus with Wings.
At the end of the parade, Josh cut the ribbon on a new handicapped-access elevator at the Comedy Works while Mayor John Hickenlooper looked on. Pretty good show, Josh. Pretty good show, indeed. But I would do things a little differently.
First of all, while I appreciate Josh's love of soccer, there will be no Rapids at my parade nor any MLS influence at all, as I cannot stomach that wretched version of the beautiful game. Instead, an arsenal of European stars will appear atop a bus and delight the crowd by ripping volleys at top velocity into the audience. Yeah, Thierry Henry just shattered your nose with a powerful left, but you didget a commemorative soccer ball. Zinedine Zidane will walk in front of the bus, offering free head-butts for children. My parade will last one hour, and one hour exactly, and during that time I will request that the Denver Zoo open all of its cages, allowing the animals to roam the city. Those animals that find gainful employment during the hour will no longer have to live at the zoo. Tickets to my parade will be sold through Ticketmaster, for $45 apiece, with all proceeds to benefit vague and cryptic organizations with strange, Arabic-sounding names. Don't ask further questions about that. And instead of a fire truck, I will ride either a dinosaur or a WWII-era tank, depending on which is immediately available. All fans will be encouraged to attend my parade, but if anyone makes eye contact, they will be bludgeoned immediately by the KGB-like cadre of manservants that I will have acquired in the wake of my fame.
Finally, I will not be wearing any pants during the parade. Please don't ask any further questions about that, either.
Yes, Josh, although your parade and mine will look nothing alike, I must congratulate you on achieving the feat first. Your acclaim is well deserved, my friend, and the Denver comedy scene couldn't be prouder.
And as for Last Comic Standing and HBO, I patiently await your calls.