Breckenridge: Barroom comedy includes sustainable energy
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Summit County, CO Colorado
Sure, comedy is meant to bolster your mood by making you laugh. But if you think that’s an excuse to walk into Chuck Roy’s show in a grumpy mood, beware: He will single you out and find out what’s up. And he will make you laugh.
He learned to spot every frown in the room during his 2 1/2-year stint as the opening act for Craig Kilborn (of “The Daily Show and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn”). As such, he had 12 minutes to connect with every skeptical person and turn their mood around so that when the cameras rolled, they always showed smiling faces as they scanned the studio audience.
Now Roy is bringing his talent to the Park Avenue Pub in Breckenridge monthly ” tonight being one of the nights he works his magic.
So how does a Los Angeles hotshot end up hosting monthly comedy shows in Breckenridge? Simple: He “loathed” L.A. and fell in love with the Colorado lifestyle. Oh, and there was that one little incentive:
“We started pouring beer, and Chuck showed up,” said High Country Comedy Club producerJonScott McClung.
Once here, Roy found a niche.
“I like to play Breckenridge, because when you make fun of rich people, nobody thinks you’re talking about them!” Roy said, explaining that Breck residents are more modest than, say, people in Vail and Aspen. Plus, “anybody who could be offended by my jokes is too rich to care.”
Though Roy readily admits he enjoys making fun of people, he has a soft spot for the environment. He moved to Denver to develop Renewable Energy Productions, a live event and multi-media comedy company that highlights renewable energy. He and five other comedians have been shooting humorous videos to draw attention to sustainable living. In fact, he taped a spot called “Will Your Stimulus Check Bounce?” in Breckenridge, Denver and Boulder, and got answers like, “I will be stimulating myself.” (This particular quote came from KSMT’s morning show host Johnny. To watch the full video, visitwww.youtube.com/watch?v=60E6kLeIt2Y.)
Tonight and every month at the High Country Comedy Club, they’re taping ordinary people who want to step up to the microphone after the comedy show. They usually use prompts, like: Do your best impression of the pants-less skier in Vail who was stranded upside-down on the chairlift for a dozen or so minutes, or what kind of gifts can people give for a “sustainable sex life” this Valentine’s Day.
“It’s a pleasure to try to make people laugh with snowboarding, ‘green’ skiing, solar panels and wind turbines,” Roy said, adding that he aims to use comedy and offstage discussions as a conduit to spur Coloradans, and Americans in general, to become leaders in the “green” movement.
Roy’s interest in renewable energy began when he read “Natural Capitalism,” but since he was a kid, he had strong Republican ties. Rather than become a politician, “I drank my way out of the closet and into comedy,” he said.
Though there may be a stereotype that people interested in renewable energy are liberal, hippies or both, he shuns such labels.
“Renewable energy can come from a foul-mouthed, drunken a#%hole,” he said.
So, given that Roy’s first five minutes on stage will consist of jokes about beer, pot, rich people, snowboarders and his latest trip to Gillette, Wyo., what does the rest of the evening hold? Brace yourself.
“Matt Need ” he’s just rude and mean, and his standup is always unique,” Roy said.
Need makes fun of white trash, metal heads and plenty of others as the rough-and-gruff host on Denver-based KBPI’s “Uncle Nasty Show.” He’s influenced by 15 years of teaching improvisation in Chicago.
Vic Alejandro is a headlining act at Comedy Works and knows how to connect to the crowd immediately, Roy said.
“We told Vic that there are plenty of beers and girls in Breckenridge,” he said. “Thanks to the Park Avenue Pub, we know there will be plenty of beer at the show. Please don’t tell Vic about the lack of girls in Breck.”
(Though, the truth is, Alejandro has a serious girlfriend, whom he has pegged, Roy said.)
And in case you miss tonight’s show, never fear: Next month Roy will bring other great comedians.
“I tend to get my pick (of comedians),” he said.
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