Comedy: Nerdy, offensive
April 2, 2009
Dragons, hobbits, ranting, “Star Wars,” social satire: It’s all coming to Breck Wednesday.
Headliner Ben Roy (no relation to host Chuck Roy) began stand-up five or six years ago at the urging of one of the manger at Comedy Works. But unlike other comedians who loved the limelight, Roy hated stand-up; he stereotyped comedians as “ridiculous,” like ventriloquists or people doing the same routine night after night, or telling their jokes in conversation to test them out. So, he did the only natural thing:
“I took some time off to drink for awhile,” he said.
Then, about three-and-a-half years ago, he curbed his partying and started focusing on comedy again.
“Not to sound all ‘Horse Whisperer’ or anything, but I found my voice,” he explained. “(Now) I do what I want, I say what I want and I pick and choose shows I want … I’m the editor-in-chief in this ” it took a while for me to realize that.”
He unabashedly calls himself a “rant comic,” one who comes off as ranting ” usually revolving around political or social satire. Plus, he’s a new dad, so some of his fatherhood experiences come in.
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“I’m definitely what you would call a blue comic,” he said. “My stuff tends to be offensive.”
But offensive or not, Roy is one of the fastest up-and-coming comics in the Denver scene. He has been a finalist in many local and national competitions and just recently made it through to the second round of auditions for this summer’s Montreal Comedy Festival.
“Ben is one of the few comedians that I have seen that can push the limits on being offensive while still being funny,” said JonScott McClung, High Country Comedy Club producer.
Both Roy and feature comedic Jim Hickox work with a collective called Wrist Deep Productions, which Westword has voted one of the best comedy acts in Denver. Hickox is a regular at the Comedy Works.
“Jim is weird,” Roy said. “In the group, he definitely is a nerd ” and he knows he is.”
His witty one-liners and jokes draw upon such “geek” topics as “Star Wars,” hobbits and dragons. And, like most geeks and nerds, Hickox is very intelligent. Part of his show uses multimedia; he sits with his back or side to the crowd, then projects the image of his face that his web cam captures. He mixes the projection with random pictures of things he finds on the street or on the Internet. And, he manages to keep the show R-rated, right in line with Roy.
“If you take yourself seriously, it’s probably not the right show because JIm’s gonna talk about hobbits, and I’m going to offend you,” Roy said.
Oh, and if you happen to be attending the show to grab some glory for yourself, go ahead: Participate in the open mic. Brent the Great hosts amateurs after the main show for open mic sets and joke telling.
“We are having more and more participation, and it’s been fun to watch grow,” McClung said.