The Lion's Lair hosts the city's longest-running open mic comedy night. On Monday, September 17, a celebrity turned up at the door: Denver native T.J. Miller, who found fame and fortune in Silicon Valley and movies including Deadpool. But in the wake of a Daily Beast report that while in college, the comic had abused his then-girlfriend, Miller went from local hero to local zero in the eyes of some in the comedy scene.
Including comic and Westword contributor Byron Graham, who was co-hosting the open-mic night, and subsequently wrote about how he and his co-host had decided to handle the situation: Shaming Miller, but not confronting him head-on.
That inspired a few confrontations by readers. Says Ted:
He's funny, he's from here, and not you or anybody else is a saint, so I don't give a shit.
Sure seems like the author is happy to use T.J.’s name for clickbait, and didn’t have the backbone to address him outside of admittedly “shaming” him. That sure is bold!
Did this guy show up to an open mic just so a bunch of minor-leaguers would make him feel like a big shot? Bizarre behavior.
Good game being passive aggressive as fuck. Fuck Miller, dude sucks, but just tell the guy he isn’t welcome on stage and be done with it.
What was the point of the article? Because from my perspective, it reads like you are in desperate need for some sort of “attaboy” by the readers.
You have no issue with voicing your sour opinion of T.J. by trashing him from behind the safe confines of your keyboard, but you failed to muster enough self confidence to address him face to face.
I get that Westword isn’t exactly on the top of the media food chain and certainly won’t be winning a Pulitzer Prize in my lifetime, but this particular article is low bar even by Westword standards.
Question: Who is T.J. Miller?
Keep reading for more of our coverage of T.J. Miller over the years.
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As Graham wrote, "A year and a half ago, I would have regarded a surprise drop-in from T.J. Miller with pride — a gracious benediction for a humble Colfax open mic from a man who'd reached the pinnacle of success most only hope for in the unforgiving field of comedy. I had admired Miller, who was born in Denver and graduated from East High School, for his convention-shattering standup, hilarious presence in Silicon Valley and Deadpool, and steadfast boosterism for the local comedy scene. I'd even interviewed him for this very publication.
"Then a Daily Beast exposé detailed troubling allegations that had previously only been rumored: Miller reportedly sexually and physically abused his college girlfriend, and the story of her mistreatment had been corroborated by five witnesses and the George Washington University's student court. Miller denied the charges, but still lost a couple of high-profile gigs (such as the voice of a sentient glob of mucus in the ad campaign for Mucinex expectorant). On September 17, I showed up at the Lion's Lair expecting to co-host another unremarkable evening of comedic experimentation and instead was confronted with a moral conundrum when I spied Miller lurking near the entrance."
The outcome of the conundrum? Graham and his co-host "settled on engaging in an increasingly less oblique campaign of public shaming, hoping to ratchet up the discomfort to a level so unbearable that Miller would be compelled to vacate the premises." Miller ultimately did.
How do you think the situation should have been handled? Post a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.