Before we begin, I'd like to acknowledge that in making this endorsement, I'm violating all sorts of basic journalism tenets. But screw it. At the time of this writing, I'm chock full of one and a half vodka-tonics and feeling good, good enough to tell those tenets to eat it and go right on endorsing.
Tenet No. 1: Don't write about your friends. The Squire's comedy night, of course, is organized in part by Westword's own Adam Cayton-Holland, whose permanently wind-swept hair is largely responsible for the cadre of decent-looking (read: not-toothless) women at this event. Typically this relationship would preclude me from writing about the event, but if I have to denounce a co-worker to get you to go see this show, denounce I will.
So fuck you, Cayton-Holland. I've got an endorsement to make: Comedy at the Squire is totally worth maybe getting puked on.
I discovered this last Tuesday night, when I walked to the Squire from my new apartment a few blocks up Colfax. Great 'hood, by the way: It's the perfect blend of practical (24-hour Walgreens!), urban (a check-cashing place across the street? Cool!) and colorful (Hey, drunk hobo, what are you doing in my bed?). I somehow made it to the bar without being mistaken for a urinal and ducked in just before the host took the mic.
The host was a guy named Greg, whose calling card is being the World's Hugest Dick®. Greg is like the al-Bashir of open mic nights. He absolutely torched the crowd, especially those with visible flaws, like weight problems, addiction issues and not being Greg the Host. But he reserved his most nut-crunching blows for his own comics.
"A very funny comic," he said when introducing them. Then, when they finished, he ridiculed their footwear and threatened to rape them. (You had to be there).
The lineup of talent Greg introduced ranged from polished comics like Cayton-Holland and Jim Hickox to struggling beginners, with a few delusional weirdos mixed in.
After a couple of so-so sets, Hickox unleashed The Only Palin-Pitbull Joke You've Never Heard. In his defense, Hickox seemed visibly pained to tell this joke. But he told it anyway:
Q. What's the difference between Sarah Palin and a pitbull? A. The pitbull eats its retarded children.
It got more groans than laughs. But they were laughing on the inside.
Another comic, Nathan Lund, smoked a bit about about the rules of living with women, which he has determined to be unfair. ("You have to shit in the toilet every time?") He also dealt nicely with the Squire's Army of Hecklers, who are surprisingly relentless for having no idea where they are.
Later, another young comedian had a worthy riff on alcoholism: "It's the only disease that totally kicks ass for the first 16 years."
The Squire seemed to like that one.
But it's the other, less skilled comics who make the Squire's comedy night worth checking out. Laughing at funny comedians is easy; it's sitting through painfully un-self-aware wannabes who make open mics like this one character-building adventures. Can you sit quietly, attentively, while a man murders his own soul with a hand-held mic? Can you keep your head out of your lap as he meanders endlessly about politics or his girlfriend, never veering near anything that resembles a punchline?
If you can, you're a stronger, better man than I. Because when those guys hit the stage – there were three or so of them on this night, and you could pick them out before they uttered their first word – I immediately went to hide in the bathroom, pretending to piss until their two-minutes were up, humming to myself and drinking quickly to numb the pain.
Finally, I heard Greg the Host seize the mic.
"Give it up for him, folks, it's his last night at the Squire!" he said, and I knew it was safe to come out. -- Joe Tone
Squire Lounge is at 1800 East Colfax Avenue. Comedy night is every Tuesday, from 11 p.m. until whenever the hell they feel like it. You might want to get drunk first.