Unfortunately readers, I just couldn’t swing Aspen this year. Two reasons for this:
- It’s mad expensive there. Tickets are free for me, but hotel & flight are not cheap. And I’m saving that cash to go to Montreal to cover Just For Laughs. Next year, back in Aspen hopefully.
- Time. I’m working on a redesign and new feature for the site to launch in April. If I jaunt off to Aspen, I’ll lose a weekend I know I’ll need.
However, this does not mean no US Comedy Arts Festival coverage. First up, I’m pretending I am going. Here’s what I’d be doing if I was there:
Last year, I spent a lot of time going to films and I missed out on a lot of performances. So particularly, today I would have focused on making sure I saw all the groups of up and coming stand-ups. So three shows today: Stand-Up Groups A & B, sandwiching a performance by George Carlin.
- First, since I’m a web guy I’d want to check out some fellow compatriots at the Broadband Theatre. I’m always curious to see how the viral stuff plays to an audience and maybe Olde English might premiere one of the many things they’re doing for SuperDeluxe. Plus, it’d be a good to sing along again to Jonathan Coulton‘s Zombie song “Re: Your Brains.”
- Alan Zweibel: The History of Me - This is a bit of a cheat since I did catch this in NYC at the PIT prior to the fest. It’s a really enriching and enlightening tour through of a great comedy writer’s career as he shares stories from working on SNL, The Garry Shandling Show and, um, North. Don’t worry, he has a lot fun with that one - reading Roger Ebert’s infamous review of the film. The joy of subverting and debating the censors of the 70s is also entertaining and demonstrates that the push and pull with standards then was equally as insane as the fights contemporary comics have with them today.
- After seeing Don Rickles in Vegas, how could I skip John Landis’ documentary “The Rickles Project”. From the brief conversation I had with Landis in Vegas, it’s obvious the affection he has for the man. It sounds like a very personal film. I’m very disappointed I’m going to miss this.
- Steven Wright - I don’t think I need to explain why I gotta see this show.
- I’d end the night by continuing my comittment to see all the rising stand-ups by checking out Group C. Though I don’t know the performers in this group. It might be the best show simply because it’s not at the notoriously difficult venue “The Belly Up.” And it’s at midnight, which might make for a looser and hipper crowd.
- I’d check out the storytelling show The Moth. Of the three shows they’re doing, this one seems the most interesting to me with an appropriate Aspen theme (“On Thin Ice”) and great talent including John Oliver and Marc Maron.
- Follow that up by seeing my last group of stand-ups, Group D. Yea, alternative dimension me!
- Since I’m rarely in Chicago, I just have to check out “Windy City Sketch” featuring Moist , KevINda and Misled. I need to see what the Bastion is raving about.
- I’d be a bad American if I didn’t celebrate Stephen Colbert the 2006 Person of The Year..
- I’m a little curious what they came up with for the online comedy contest Accidentally Famous - but it may be one of those shows I’m hanging in the back, ready to dash if its cringe-worthy in a bad way. Of course, Andy Milonakis, who’s cringe worthy in a good way, will be hosting. So that’s may be worth sticking around.
- I’ve never seen Mary Lynn Rajskub performing stand-up live, so I think I gotta end the night with her. Michael Showalter and the afforementioned John Oliver aren’t slouches either.
- Much as I’d like to see Jamie Kennedy go halfwit y halfwit with hecklers in his documentary “Heckler”, I think I’d have to check out a screening of Rob Corddry‘s upcoming sitcom “The WInner.” Besides, after that crack, I might be qualified to appear in his documentary.
- Next, I think I’d check out the double bill of Summer of Tears and Pete & Brian’s One Man Show. I’m not really up on either show and I actually kind of like that. Comedy’s all about the art of surprise. I worry sometimes I’ve seen so much comedy that it’s hard to surprise me anymore. Going in blind can be a great way of revive that feeling.
- After a break to eat a real dinner or check out some party, I’d dash over to see stand-up from both Marc Maron and Daniel Tosh. Tosh was the highlight of the Vegas fest for me, so I’m pretty bitter that I’m going to miss this.
- Then I’d finish off the evening by checking out the Dave Hill “Explosion” and Charlyne Yi, who I enjoyed late last year when I saw her taunt an audience to punch her at the Andy Kaufman Awards.