The Laugh Track Comedy Festival had a strong debut last night at the Bug Theatre, featuring eleven local and out-of-state comics that slaughtered the audience with a blend of hyper self-loathing and irreverent politics.
The festival continues through Saturday nigh, delivering a seemingly endless lazy susan of short films and stand-up comedy. Here's a quick sample of last night's zingers to wet your appetite for the upcoming weekend.
11. Chris Charpentier
As the emcee of the night, Charpentier got the crowd squirming in their seats with the hilariously cringe worthy story that began with the line "One of my retarded brothers had a son a while ago." Apparently enjoying the awkward laughter from bumping his face into his uncle's crotch, Charpentier's story turns the crowd silent when he explained how the boy decided to kiss his uncle's crotch. Explaining to his friends that he didn't want to be a disciplinarian uncle, preferring the cool, easy going uncle, the friend returned with the question "so you want to be the kind of uncle who lets his nephew kiss his penis?"
10. Erik Anker
Hailing from St. Louis, Anker's deadpan delivery of his one-liners would consistently take the crowd a moment or two to absorb: and then, bang!
Example A. "I'd like to open a burger joint called Aspergers."
Example B. "I have something in common with blind people: I also don't give a shit about magic."
9. Abbey Jordan
Strutting onto the stage in M.I.A. style sideways cap and fanny pack, Jordan killed with her closing joke about a friend who was considering deflowering a young, virginal man. "She said she didn't want to do it because she was on her period," Jordan said. "And I was like 'that's the perfect time! You could stop him halfway through and start screaming "Oh my god! What's all this blood! You did something wrong! Turn on the lights. What is all this!?"'"
8. Brad Galli:
"Their slogan should be 'Golden Corral, your feelings can be edible,'" Galli said last night, unleashing his body issues on the crowd. Discussing his "man boobs" and all the unconventional self-loathing that comes with them, Galli explained that he's dealt with the affliction since the pubescent age of thirteen. "The same time a girl starts to develop, I also developed. But society doesn't care about man boobs. There's no Judy Bloom books for us. There's no Dear God, It's Me, Bitch Tits."
7. Brett Hiker
Like Anker's slow-baking jokes, the audience also needed a few seconds to really feel the punch of Hiker's witticisms. Take for instance, the jaw-dropping irreverence of this celebrity illness wisecrack: "Time traveling is fun, but if you do it three times you get Parkinsons."
6. George P Gordon III
After being encouraged by his friend to try out all the "road pussy," available to touring comedians, Gordon mused "in theory, that sounds kind a cool: Casual sex, with a complete stranger, in a strange town. That sounds rad. . . . Until you refer to it as 'Road Pussy!' That don't sound good at all. . . . Road Pussy sounds like something you'd get at the State Fair in West Memphis, Arkansas: 'Yeah, let me get a funnel cake, a deep friend snickers bar and some of that good-ass Road Pussy. And make it snappy, Three Dog Night's about to go on!'"
5. Charlie Nadler
L.A.'s Charlie Nadler won Colorado hearts with a strong set of cannabis comedy. Calling 911 while seriously stoned, Nadler confused the operators question of "what's your name, sir" with "what's your nature?" "Which means absolutely nothing, but I interpreted that as 'what's your ethnicity?' . . . 'I'm Caucasian,' I told her, like there were different 911's and she was going to say 'sir, why didn't you tell me you were white sooner? I'll patch you through to the real 911. Not this placebo 911 we use for our minority callers.'"
4. Nathan Lund
As the host of Denver's weekly comedy series, Fine Gentleman's Club, the crowd was familiar with local talent Nathan Lund. Yet that didn't stop them from doubling over with laughter when Lund commented on his long-time wish to be cremated on his 30th birthday: "But I looked into it and found out it's about as expensive as anything else you could do. So I decided to stay alive a while longer, check out my options. Push ups are free, so I've been doing those."
(Readers Note: While Lund was leaving the stage to raucous applause, a voice in the crowd shouted with glee "Zach Galafianakis, yeah!")
3. Ashley Barnhill
Keeping with the theme of self-loathing, Austin's Ashley Barnhill commented on her three-year single status with the line: "I'm single and ready to mingle. Which sounds way less desperate than 'I'm alone and ready to bone.'" After explaining how she invited a twitter friend she'd never met to a family wedding, Barnhill drifted onto the subject of sexting. "I wish I was better at dirty-texting. I recently responded to one guys text with 'you should throw your meat scraps in my baby dumpster.' He did not text back."
2. Tom Garland
Hailing from the cornfields of Iowa, Garland had a little trouble with the Denver crowd after laying a few homophobic jokes on the audience. But he kept his set together untill the end, delivering the multi-layered wisecrack. "It's been weird for me to start dating since I've just been cheating for the last three years. I actually ended a relationship today. Not mine, though."
1. Ian Douglas Terry
Finishing out the night, Terry's (almost) decent set contained the all too familiar observation from a man-child confronting a younger generation. "The most terrifying thing that could happen to me is walking by a group of teenagers. I just break out in anxiety walking by some kids smoking. I'm like 'what are they gonna do? They're gonna do something. They're sociopaths! I've seen The Real World. Someone's gonna cry or punch me.'"
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The Laugh Track Comedy Festival continues tonight at the Oriental Theater, located at 4335 West 44th Avenue. For more information visit www.laughtrackcomedyfest.com.