"I don't think in terms of clean or dirty," says comedian and promoter Onus Spears. " I think in terms of funny or not funny." Spears' Huge Comedy Show, which goes down tonight, is definitely poised to be the former.
Spears, who put this night together, got his start at open mics at the Squire Lounge and then moved on to performing regularly as well as setting up shows for fellow Denver and New York comedians. This show will act as a sort of homecoming for Spears from the Big Apple.
"What's exciting to me is that I've got guys on the bill who can do absolutely hilarious clean sets of comedy that are intelligent, fresh and engaging for everyone," Spears explains. "And then I've got other comedians on there who are a bit bluer, a little bit grittier, and they fit on the bill as well."
The Denver comedians taking the mic are Sam Tallent, Nathan Lund, Chris Charpentier and Bobby Crane, known collectively as The Fine Gentlemen's Club. The foursome perform and host a variety show every Wednesday night at the Rockaway Tavern. Tallent (and yes, that's his real name) says the Club is "a way for us to hang out with our friends and put on people that we enjoy." Tallent is able to make a living as a full time comedian by performing his sometimes self-deprecating, absurd and consistently funny character sketches and jokes. To get a feel of Tallent's humor, one of the characters he performs is, as he explains, "the signer of the Declaration of Independence ordering a Spicy McChicken sandwich at modern day McDonalds."
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The headliners of the night are T.J. Miller and Andrew Orvedahl. Orvedahl is a former L.A., currently relocated to Denver comedian who Spears describes as "a great storyteller and very sarcastic and hilarious." Miller boasts parts in movies like She's Out Of My League and Cloverfield, is a former Second City cast member and appeared on the Conan show last December.
While he says he hates the word, Spears says the thing all of these comedians have in common is authenticity (as well as, of course, their ability to send crowds into fits of laugher). "I can't synthesize that," Spears says of the talented group's energy. "I can only create a place for that to flourish." He says that what makes this comedy night different from any other is that it's "tailored to thinking people." Spears admits that "that sounds smarmy and elitist and narcissistic, but I don't mean that in that kind of exclusive way. I mean that it's gonna be a really fun night with a lot of great comedians."
The Huge Comedy Show begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Oriental Theater, featuring music by The Whistle Pigs in addition to the comedians. Tickets are $12.