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Last call for comedy

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news
Tom Kechter
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SILVERTHORNE – What happens when a devoted stay-at-home mom’s hobbies include anything that will get her out of the house?If she’s Stephanie McHugh, she becomes a stand-up comedian.McHugh and Tom Kechter deliver a double header of comedy Friday at the Silverthorne Pavilion.McHugh began stand-up comedy four years ago. She had acted in her youth, but drifted away from it, preferring how stand-up allowed her to use her own voice.She compares her first two stints in stand-up to childbirth: The first time, she didn’t know what to expect, so it was OK. The second time, she knew what to expect and boy did it hurt.

Because she has two kids, she considered being a clown but gave up on the children’s market when she overheard her daughter whisper to her playmate, “I guess she’s funny to grown ups, but she’s not that funny to kids.” McHugh’s material revolves about her husband – “a very special South-Side-of-Chicago Polish boy” – and her kids. In talking about her passive-aggressive tendencies, she proves you don’t have to scream and throw things to really tick off the people you love.In the past few years, she’s made a name for herself in the comedy world, securing a hard-to-land gig at the Comedy Works in Denver and winning the 2002 summer comedy contest at Wits End Comedy Club in Westminster.She recently opened for Kathleen Madigan of “Last Comic Standing” fame when Madigan taped her DVD at the Boulder Theater. McHugh was a finalist in the Laugh Across America Contest and won a trip to the Las Vegas Comedy Festival were she performed at the Stardust Casino. She was a semi-finalist in Oxygen’s hit television series “Girls Behaving Badly” nationwide talent search.She says she has been described as white bread with a little bit of mold but still a good piece of dough. However, fellow comedian Kechter says she’s a fresh comedian.

“People tend to pigeon-hole themselves and talk about the same thing, but she doesn’t,” Kechter said.She credits her fresh approach to being authentic and simply telling it like it is.”I often get from people that they can relate to how I look on stage – a normal and nice person – then they’re surprised when I come out with more biting comedy,” McHugh said.Kechter, on the other hand, has a more happy-go-lucky attitude on stage, McHugh said.Kechter grew up on a small farm near Fort Collins and now lives in Silverthorne.

He fell in love with comedy at age 4 when he watched his grandfather turn red in the face laughing at Abbott and Costello’s “In the Navy.””I loved his reaction and thought it was a great way to connect,” Kechter said.He took his first swing at stand-up when his coworkers pushed him out from behind the bar he tended at the Comedy Works onto the stage. His first words were: “I have no idea what I’m going to say.”Since then, he’s been making jokes because he can’t afford therapy.His material focuses on adult-oriented world views, and he inevitably moves into improvisational interaction with audiences during a show.

“I’m very human,” he said. “People can relate to me right off the bat because as human beings, we tend to go through the same things.””The Silverthorne Pavilion is delighted to close the 2005 entertainment series with this comic team,” said Maggie Butler, pavilion coordinator. “These two comedians have the perfect style to cap off a great season.”Tickets are $12 in advance and may be purchased by calling (970) 262-7396.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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