Sexpot Comedy founders Andy Juett and Kayvan Khalatbari know first-hand how hard the members of Denver's close-knit comedy community work throughout the year, building their own careers and helping one another along the way. And the duo thinks that throwing the first annual Denver Comedy Awards is a great way to get all of Denver's funniest folks together in one room to celebrate another year of raising the local comedy bar. In advance of the ceremony, which takes place Saturday, January 17, at 3 Kings Tavern (voting ends at midnight tonight), we caught up with Juett for the following interview.
See also: Denver Comedy Awards
Westword: Why have a Denver Comedy Awards, and why throw it open to the public? Are you out of your minds?
Andy Juett: There are so many committed, talented comics, web-content creators, writers, volunteers and fans in the city of Denver, and it just seemed like a chance to celebrate those people. It's also somewhat of a reminder of Sexpot Comedy's move to 3 Kings for our monthly Stand-Up Showcase. We're still doing the Oriental-type shows, but just a little less frequently.
We had a wonderful show with Todd Barry at the Oriental to close out 2014, and now it's on to 3 Kings Tavern. Saturday's awards event is free, and 3 Kings seemed like a natural place to throw a big party. People have worked really hard, and awards just seemed to be a celebration structured in a way where presenters can get laughs in another format.
The winners will be determined by a public poll. How was that compiled?
Truthfully, this year's nominees should be chosen by the people. That will happen next year with nominations and plenty of time to do that. That's how it should go down. To be frank, we surveyed the comedy scene based on a number of intangible items like levels of hustle that we'd witnessed personally, selfless acts of volunteers and so forth, and we made a big list and then just pared it down. Sexpot Comedy has 20-to-25 live shows per month, thirteen podcasts, Sexpot Radio and new videos on the way.
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We are really lucky to have the trust and team and comedy community around us all the time, and at the end of the day, it was about trying to do something fun. Hopefully, we've achieved that. Everyone can still vote for the awards online until midnight on Friday, January 16. We're still getting votes pouring in, which is fun to watch. It's really interesting, too, to see who votes for what in an anonymous setting. There will be some no-brainers and some huge upsets based on the tallies already -- but ultimately, really, let's party.
Continue reading for more from Andy Juett. Who will be performing at the award show?
Unfortunately, one of our best friends and best comics in Denver, Kristin Rand, is leaving us for Los Angeles in March, so she'll be doing a headlining slot at the show on January 17. Comics who have been chosen as presenters for a category will be asked to roast or laud the nominees before the award is given out. The winner of the award then comes up and has a couple of minutes to dish it back out or just be grateful and cry or piss on the award metaphorically or physically -- or anything else. We may have a few fun surprises mixed in. And my Sexpot Comedy partner, Kayvan, and I will be going for it on award attire -- that is for certain.
Is this going to be an annual event?
If people have fun and are into it, it'll be an annual event. The show is totally free because the comedy community and surrounding folks deserve to be celebrated, especially in the heart of the Baker neighborhood area, where we do a lots of shows. A lot of the contributing comedy community folks are on that stretch of road. We have High Plains Comedy Festival primarily in that neighborhood every August. Businesses like Denver Relief and Illegal Pete's are down that way, and key venues where everybody does shows are also in that 'hood. It's an easy, ultra-fun place to pop up a comedy tent and have a good time in familiar surroundings.
Anything else I'm missing?
We should have our first episode of Glenn Has Idea$, Sexpot Comedy's first video production of 2015, out soon. This is a short, weird web series created by me and Andrew Orvedahl, shot by Matty O'Connor and Andrew Bueno, and guest-starring a lot of our funny friends like Rory Scovel, Adam Cayton-Holland, Emily Heller, Dan Soder, Sean Patton and some other great folks.
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And we'll also be collecting donations for a mainstay comic in Denver named Deacon Gray who has just hit a bump in the road with some medical issues, so we're looking forward to try and raise some dough for him, too. Healthcare is still a hefty bill. The great thing is, he has a type of cancer that's treatable.
To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.