Brain Aid Will Help Comedian and Lion's Lair Open-Mic Night Founder Troy Baxley

Categories: Benefits, Comedy

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Troy Baxley is a comedian's comedian. "He's a brilliant comic; everything that comes out of his mouth is fucking hilarious," says fellow Denver standup comic Heather Snow. "People know him from coming up -- Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland. All of those guys started in rooms that Troy started. He's like a Denver legend."

One of the rooms he started is now infamous: Baxley's open mic night at Lion's Lair was created as a place for comics to get a taste of the road. He knew how tough it was to step into a bar full of people who didn't care if someone was on stage telling jokes or not, and he wanted his fellow comics to get the necessary training to go out there and kill it.

But now, the man who aided the careers of so many local comedians needs help himself.

See also: The ten best comedy events in Denver this August

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Kate Berlant on Returning to the High Plains Comedy Festival and Enjoying Confusion

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Kate Berlant's performances defy easy categorization, full of verbal non sequiturs and tonally absurd. She's crafted a truly sui generis comedic persona untethered to the traditions of the surprisingly hidebound medium of standup. An NYU alumnus, Berlant gained renown in the New York comedy scene, earning glowing (if befuddled) profiles in Playboy and the New York Times. A highlight of last year's High Plains Comedy Festival, Berlant has a groundswell of fans in Denver's comedy community who turned out to see her at one of the first Sexpot Comedy showcases. Westword caught up with Berlant before she returns to Denver for this weekend's High Plains Festival to discuss touring with musicians, finding her unique style, and her contingent of bro fans.

See also: Pete Holmes on the High Plains Comedy Festival and Silver Linings

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Pete Holmes on the High Plains Comedy Festival and Silver Linings

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Pete Holmes is a comedian whose irrepressible spirit has endeared him to audiences nationwide. His last special, Nice Try, the Devil, aired last year on Comedy Central to widespread acclaim; we named it one of the best comedy specials of 2013. Until a couple of months ago, Holmes also hosted the Conan O'Brien-produced talk show The Pete Holmes Show on TBS; his podcast, You Made It Weird, continues to feature in-depth interviews. Holmes is In town this week to co-headline the locally produced High Plains Comedy Festival with his friends and early colleagues Kumail Nanjiani and T.J. Miller. Westword caught up with Holmes to discuss doing festivals with his friends, the silver linings in the aftermath of his show's cancellation, and Adam Cayton-Holland's ridiculous name.

See also: The ten best comedy events in Denver this August

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Podcast Profiles: Werewolf Radar Gets Weird

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The Werewolf Radar crew with guest Andrew Orvedahl at El Charrito

Podcasts are in tune with the democratized spirit of Internet media: anyone with a microphone and a computer can offer their listeners hours of recordings, usually for free. Limited only by their imaginations, podcasters have a freedom of expression unrestricted by commerce, censorship or geography. Here to celebrate Denver's great ones is Podcast Profiles, documenting the peculiar personalities behind them.

Perhaps no local podcast has a clearer mission than Werewolf Radar, a paranormal investigation that mines the darkest recesses of human understanding for laughs. "Like all perfect unions, ours was borne of conversation and the realization that nobody else was filling the niche where comedy and the X Files intermix," says co-host Nate Balding.

See also: The ten best comedy events in Denver this August


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The ten best comedy events in Denver this August

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By the time August rolls around, summer seems to have lost some of its luster. We've sweltered through weeks of muggy heat and unexpected downpours, Hollywood has already burned through its popcorniest blockbusters, and attractions close down as schools prepare to open. It falls to comedy, then, to entertain browbeaten Denverites -- and fortunately, the area is replete with giggles this month. With two showcases in Boulder's rapidly growing comedy market, a Red Rocks birthday celebration with an increasingly less reclusive comedy icon, and a homegrown comedy festival, there are enough great shows to keep you laughing until autumn.

See also: Adam Cayton-Holland on doubling down for High Plains Comedy Festival's second year

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Adam Sank on Last Comic Standing and performing at nudist retreats

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Michael Martin

This show has been postponed until September 24: Adam Sank is a nationally renowned comedian who has appeared on Last Comic Standing and VH1's Best Week Ever. In June, he debuted his one-man cabaret show Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show to sell-out crowds. Sank is coming to the Denver Improv on Wednesday, July 30 in September. Westword caught up with Sank to talk about everything from transcending an audience's labels to performing at nudist retreats.

See also: Aparna Nancherla on Totally Biased, Australian crowds and avoiding the dregs of Twitter

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Matt Monroe on the second anniversary of Propaganda!, Denver's Best Comedy Night

Categories: Comedy

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Comedy shows come and go all the time, often whimpering out of existence after a few ignominious months of effort. So when a show reaches its second anniversary, it's truly something to celebrate. At Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret on Sunday, July 27, comedy fans can toast the longevity of Propaganda!, named Best Comedy Night in the Best of Denver 2014. Propaganda! excels thanks to host/producer Matt Monroe's savvy booking, which puts a roster of enviable headliners in Lannie's classy setting month after month -- for free. The lineup Sunday features out-of-towners Raj Silverman and Brandie Posey along with local favorites Chris Charpentier, Adrian Mesa, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald and headliner Adam Cayton-Holland. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the free showcase. In celebration this milestone, Westword caught up with Monroe to talk about the highlights of the past two years and how his commitment to Propaganda! would surprise his exes.

See also: Adam Cayton-Holland on doubling down for High Plains Comedy Festival's second year

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Aparna Nancherla on Totally Biased, Australian crowds and avoiding the dregs of Twitter

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Doug Ault
The High Plains Comedy Festival will return next month, and SexPot comedy will whet fans' appetites tonight with another weed-and-jokes pizza party at the Oriental Theater. The lineup is packed with crushers from start to finish: SexPot host Jordan Doll and comics Sean Patton, Ashley Barnhill and Ian Douglas Terry will join headliner Aparna Nancherla for an evening that promises to be a greasy slice of laughter pie. Nancherla is a fast-rising star on the alternative comedy scene whose absurdist perspective informs a wide-ranging act that can touch on everything from the gross combo of orange juice and toothpaste to imperialism within the same five-minute set. Nancherla has appeared on Conan and @Midnight, and contributed several memorable segments as a performer and staff writer to the prematurely cancelled Totally Biased with Kamau Bell. In advance of tonight's show, Westword caught up with Nancherla to chat about about SexPot, Australian audiences and avoiding the dregs of Twitter.

See also: Marc Maron on patent trolls and spiritual experiences in the desert

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Marc Maron on patent trolls and spiritual experiences in the desert

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Most comedy nerds are already familiar with Marc Maron's biography. He rose to prominence in the alt-comedy scene of the '90s before floundering through a few TV and radio gigs that never felt like a perfect fit. Despite racking up over forty appearances on the various incarnations of Conan and never leaving the airwaves for long, Maron's career was at a low point when he started the WTF podcast in his garage. In addition to in-depth interviews with comedians, musicians and the occasional movie star, WTF gives plenty of mic time to Maron's chronic over-sharing as well. Though off-putting at first to some listeners, his rambling engenders a more personal connection with the legion of listeners who have flocked to his shows. Currently starring in the final few episodes of the second season his IFC sitcomMaron, he'll be headlining this weekend at the downtown Comedy Works . In advance of that run, we caught up with Maron to discuss patent trolls, Denver's drunk crowds and his attempts at a spiritual experience in the desert.

See also: Christopher Titus on happiness, joking about guns, and Pawnography

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Christopher Titus on happiness, joking about guns, and Pawnography

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Christopher Titus is a singular voice in standup comedy, with a unique style and profound personal connection to his fanbase. Titus stood out early on with appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Premium Blend, and managed to turn his one-man show Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding into the eponymous sitcom Titus, which ran from 2000 t 2002 on Fox until it was cancelled following a dispute with executives. Titus remained prolific in the aftermath, releasing standup specials The Fifth Annual End of the World Tour, Love is Evol, Neverlution and The Voice in my Head in the space of a few years. He now co-hosts the Titus Podcast and is working to fund a movie called Special Unit, co-starring Denver's own Josh Blue, as well as gearing up for his next special, The Angry Pursuit of Happiness. Titus will headline at Comedy Works South this week; in advance of those shows, Westword caught up with him to discuss honesty in comedy, dismantling pro-gun hysteria with humor, and his new History Channel game show, Pawnography.

See also: Paul Reiser on his Sundance film and returning to standup after twenty years

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