Sam Tallent talks about his comedy mixtape Joke Life, and his Fine Gentleman's Club
Sam Tallent gave up the daily grind four years ago to focus on comedy. A full-time comedian since that jump-off, Tallent co-founded the Fine Gentleman's Club comedy troupe, a group that offers its Too Much Fun show every Wednesday night at the Deer Pile community space above City, O' City. In addition, Tallent hosts an open mike every Monday at the Lion's Lair and every Tuesday at the Squire Lounge; he's also a resident opener at the Comedy Works.
Crystal Allen The Fine Gentleman's Club: Bobby Crane, Chris Charpentier, Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund.
Tallent recently released Joke Life, a live album of his work -- or a mixtape, as he prefers it be known. Westword caught up with the local comic to find out more about how it came to be; in the interview below, Tallent talks about the support system that Denver comedy has created, how booking DIY comedy tours is a lot like being in a band, and why it's so great to be a possession-less man in a material world.
Westword: Can you talk a little about who you are and where people can see you perform?
I started doing comedy in Denver in '06, and I've been doing it professionally for four years. My home club is the Comedy Works downtown. I perform there on the weekends. I run the Lion's Lair on Mondays, the Squire Lounge on Tuesdays, and I also host the Fine Gentleman's Club show, Too Much Fun, on Wednesday nights at the Deer Pile, above City, O' City. I do that with three other guys: Nathan Lund, Bobby Crane and Chris Charpentier. I'm also on the road a lot on the weekends.
You recently released a live comedy album of sorts, Joke Life, through your Bandcamp page. Why did you decide to offer it for free, or pay-as-you-wish?
That record is more of a mixtape, actually; it's none of my written material. I have over an hour's worth of jokes I've smashed together over the last four years, but I didn't want to use that. I want to put out a real, honest-to-God comedy record on vinyl eventually. I didn't want to burn all of my good material, so I went on the road with three of my friends -- the nine tracks are taken from shows in eight different states -- and recorded crowd work and riffing. General shenanigannery.
As a piece, Joke Life is just about a place and time -- where I was and what I was doing. There are three tracks that are part of a whole two-man improv set I did with T.J. Miller, and that was recorded in Denver. He's from Denver; he grew up here but didn't really do comedy here, but he's a great guy. He's a big-shit deal, I guess. For being some mouth-breather from Capitol Hill.
Whenever T.J.'s in town, I try to do work with him. He's been a great boon to the Denver Comedy community. And that's something I also want people to know, that Denver has the best comedy community. I mean, I think it's the best -- as far as "unity" and "strength" and other Operation Ivy lyrics go. I think we do a good job of taking care of each other. We have a football game every month, we put on Too Much Funstival (a music and comedy festival) each year, and we run the Squire. All of the guys we have are great, and I think you're only as good as your community.