Indie Rocks

John Wenzel’s new book examines the rise of indie comedy.

It was 1995 and I was fresh out of college, interning at an indie record label and talking to my work crush. He shoved a Q-tip into each nostril and proceeded to act as if nothing overtly weird had just happened. I giggled and blushed. I was easily amused.

Eventually, I became more discerning and more attracted to an edgier kind of comedy. I was floored by the tumultuous musings of Bill Hicks, and I wanted to be aloof and sarcastic like Janeane Garofalo — just a few of the people who bucked the system and helped spawn the indie comedy scene.

John Wenzel’s new book, Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny, pays homage to these left-of-center jokesters. Indie comedy is “for anyone who savors the visceral, unpredictable jolt of watching quality standup comedy but prefers not to be deposited into a sea of According to Jim-loving, cat-calendar-collecting, McMansion-dwelling mouthbreathers (i.e. , the stereotypical audience at a traditional comedy club),” writes Wenzel in the book. The Denver Post journo picks the brains of such mock-star luminaries as David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Zach Galifianakis, explores the undeniable bond with indie music and explains why indie comedy has become relevant and influential.

Wenzel celebrates the release of his book tonight at the Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street. Show up at 6:30 p.m., slap down $6, and prepare to be rocked by Everything Absent or Distorted, Rabbit Is a Sphere, We Are! We Are! and the local comedy mavericks in Wrist Deep Productions, including former cohort Ben Kronberg. Visit www.larimerlounge.com for information.
Sun., Nov. 16, 5 p.m., 2008

 
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