One night maybe a year ago, I saw Ben Kronberg do a comedy set before a midnight movie at the Esquire. He pulled out his little notebook and subtly asked the audience if anyone had ever paid for an abortion with their frequent-flyer credit card: "How many abortions does it take to fly to Cancún?" Once I got up from rolling on the floor, I wondered how this comedian, who looked like he just stuck a butter knife into an electrical socket, could hit a topic like abortion in such an insensitive way and yet be so fucking funny.
They say standup comedy is all in the delivery, and that is exactly what local filmmaker Johnny Morehouse tried to capture in his performance documentary 5 Up From D-Town, which premieres tonight at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street.
Last fall, Morehouse set out to document Denver's emerging standup scene. He caught the likes of Kronberg, Greg Baumhauer, Aaron Gabow, Andrew Orvedahl and Westword's own Adam Cayton-Holland getting the big laughs at venues across town, from Orange Cat Studios and the Oriental Theater to the notorious open-mike night at the Squire Lounge.
After the movie, get a second dose of the comedians as they each take the stage to do what they do best: induce involuntary pants-peeing. It all starts at 8 p.m.; visit www.bugtheatre.org for information. Admission is $7 at the door, cash or check only. (Sorry, no frequent-flyer miles for this one.)
Thu., July 12, 8 p.m.