Last chance to laugh
SILVERTHORNE – HBO sent Jeff Harms to Logan, Utah, to convince nine Mormon legislators and their wives that comedians could be funny without being dirty. He proved it by making fun of the bishop of the Mormon church.
“I was scared to death, and HBO was too,” Harms said.
He began by assuring the legislatures he wouldn’t tell dirty jokes, curse or make fun of anyone – except one man in the audience, who turned out to be the Mormon bishop.
“It was one of the best times on stage,” Harms said. “Making fun of the bishop broke the ice.”
Harms wasn’t always so lucky with his humor. He has delivered his punchlines on a stage protected by chain-link fences, and he has even agreed to contracts stating, “P.S. – This room can be very active. If there is an incident, go to your hotel room immediately, lock the door and do not leave until morning. P.S.S. – do not make fun of the bartender’s head.”
Harms uses storytelling, as opposed to joke-telling, in an observational, Seinfeld-esqe manner. His material revolves around his three kids, parents, travels and experience as a schoolteacher in New York.
“Jeff’s like that goofy relative that you want to sit next to at a holiday dinner,” co-headliner Dave Bublitz said. “He covers a nice, wide spread of material. He has this wonderful, odd, kind of off-kilter energy.”
Harms was a 1990 national semi-finalist in the Johnnie Walker Comedy Competition, has been on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central and Entertainment Tonight and works for Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Bublitz began working on his act right out of high school – or even before, if you count his antics in the classroom.
“When most kids wanted to be a fireman, cowboy or ballerina, I was the odd, disturbed kid at 4 or 5 who said he wanted to be a comedian,” Bublitz said.
Like Harms, Bublitz combines improvisation with planned material.
“Comedy is the one entertainment form where the audience almost helps write it,” he said. “This is the one thing where you come up with a new joke today and try it out tonight. It’s like heroin – the instant gratification. The best stand-up is like a magic trick. You shouldn’t be able to see the strings where the actual planned material stops and playing with the audience starts.”
Just like a bad trip, stand-up has its down side.
“The best part is also the worst part,” he said. “If you have a good show, you think, “It’s me, all me. I’m a genius.’ If it bombs, it’s me, all me too. Every 30th or 40th show, there’s that show you just walk off and say, “What happened?'”
Despite the occasional downers, Bublitz believes in the power of comedy.
“When everyone was serious last year (after the terrorist attacks), there was a part of me that said, “This is a silly thing I do,’ but people, at any time, need to laugh, especially after something like that,” he said. “My main goal is for 90 minutes, people are just transported to a different world. Then they can go back and deal with something else.”
Bublitz transports his audience to his hilarious world through goofy antics.
“Dave’s a little sillier than I am,” Harms said. “He’s a bit silly-looking and -sounding, with a bit of Jay Leno’s sound. He’s a funny guy to talk with even in conversation.”
Though the comedy night contains adult material, both comics consider themselves relatively clean.
“I’m clean in spite of myself,” Bublitz said. “You can literally talk about anything you want if you phrase it well. That way the people who don’t get it aren’t going to be offended, and the people you aim it at get it. It hits everyone positively.”
Doors open for the last comedy night of the year at 6:30 p.m., and the laughs begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Silverthorne Pavilion. Tickets are $12 in advance and may be purchased at the Silverthorne Recreation Center or by calling (970) 262-7370. Tickets are $15 at the door.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Comedy Night with Dave Bublitz and Jeff Harms
? When: 7:30 p.m. today
? Where: Silverthorne Pavilion, Silverthorne
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