Mona Lott plays Strip-Joker With Comics for Stripped Down Standup

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Mona Lott at Stripped Down Standup.
Strippers and standup comedians have more in common than it would seem at first blush. Both performers take to the stage -- usually alone -- trying to evoke a reaction from an audience full of creeps they'd avoid in other circumstances. Bridging the gap between these two disparate art forms -- in much the same way that cocaine did in the '80s -- is a comedian and host of "Ball Bustin' Bingo."

Less of a Drag Queen than a Drag Empress, Mona Lott seized upon the idea of having comedians and strippers share the stage in "a game of strip poker that uses jokes instead of cards." The show, called "Stripped Down Standup" has been packing the house with crowds of over 200. The next one takes place Wednesday, December 3 at the Denver Improv. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 on the Denver Improv website.

Turn the page to hear more from Mona.

See also: Nate Bargatze on Recording His Special and Playing Baseball With Pizza Boxes

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The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in December

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Whether you've been staunchly making merry since Halloween or crankily sneer at holiday cheer each year, December is unquestionably dominated by its traditions -- driven by consumerism, religiosity and compulsory family bonding. This year, amid economic anxiety, polar vortexes and heartbreaking news reports, people might find themselves in dire need of a laugh. And while Entertainment is usually an afterthought in December, typically limited to agreeably mediocre Hollywood spectacles, Denver comedy bundles up and trudges on through the month. While we may have fewer high-profile visitors than during last month's banner programming calendar, we have a proliferation of locally-produced showcases that run the giggle gamut, including two live sketch comedy shows, on-the-rise comics and international TV stars with a devoted cult following. So brave the polar vortex and take a break from the seasonal doldrums at one of our top ten comedy shows, listed in chronological order.

See also: Playbill'sThree Holiday Stage Classics for Everyone


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The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in November -- and a Bonus

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As the holiday season approaches, the entertainment calendar for November has plenty of comic delights for giggle gobblers. Sidling up to a table richly dressed with top-notch performers, local comedy fans will be heartily stuffed and belly-sore by the month's end. With options including a Denver comedy institution celebrating its fourth anniversary, two of The Daily Show's most accomplished correspondents dropping in for grand theater shows, club sets from movie stars and comic heroes alike, as well as a truly exceptional month of programming from both Comedy Works locations, it's a moveable feast of funny all November long. Keep reading for our top ten comedy events, in chronological order, with a rescheduled bonus at the end.

See also: Five Best Horror Franchises to Marathon-Watch This Halloween

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Mara Wiles

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Erin Brinkley
#50: Mara Wiles

Mara Wiles broke into comedy doing improv with Denver's Impulse Theater, but soon made the shift to standup, becoming an integral member of the comedy scene and a regular attraction at local clubs and comedy nights. As a testament to her collaborative spark and likability, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stage in town that hasn't been graced by her presence, including some opening performances for national comics coming through Denver. She's often at Deer Pile and Syntax Physic Opera, where she performs as Moxie! with Kristin Rand; she was a hit at both the Laugh Track Comedy Festival (where she was crowned Best Comic in 2011) and the recent High Plains Comedy Festival. Keep reading to learn more about Wiles via her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kristin Rand


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Bob Saget on Riffing, Self-Awareness and Dirty Daddy, His New Book

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Natalie Brasington
Bob Saget has a famously dichotomous public image: While he's still widely recognized for his '90s television ubiquity, Saget was a standup long before he became a huggy surrogate father to a generation of Full House viewers. The ribald nature of Saget's act is less shocking to today's comedy audiences, thanks to his appearance in The Aristocrats and a role that subverted his family-friendly image on Entourage; still, what stands out about Saget's humor is how defiantly strange it can be. Saget's penchant for the absurd shines through, whether he's onstage or behind the camera for the underrated cult comedy Dirty Work. With his first book, Dirty Daddy, due out in paperback this month, Saget is really hitting his stride. In advance of his run at Comedy Works South this weekend, Westword caught up with Saget for a rambly and digressive phone conversation covering Dirty Daddy, his dichotomous public image and why you shouldn't have sex with things.

See also: The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in October

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The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in October

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Natalie Brasington
October is a month for costumed ghouls and seasonal melancholy. As the autumnal leaves drift wanly into the dampened streets and crumble under the indifferent feet of passersby, many listless Denverites may find themselves in dire need of a laugh. Fortunately, this month promises a bountiful giggle harvest from Denver's comedy crops, with the return of some of our most creative local showcases, laudable fundraising efforts, and visits from comic luminaries drifting into town on the tide of nostalgia for decades long past. Though the confluence of sporting seasons means fiercer competition for the wandering attention of local entertainment-seekers, comedy is bringing its A-Game to town this month. Here are our ten best comedy events for October, now in chronological order.

See also: Comedian Ryan Hamilton on Inspiration, Comic Competitions and More

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Governor Jack Brings Betsy Sodaro and More National Improv Stars to Denver

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Photo by Ryan Orange
Los Angeles comedian Betsy Sodaro is this month's guest for Governor Jack Watches You Sleep.
Denver's Governor Jack has been busy in 2014 -- the improv group has been performing across the U.S. this year, hitting the Detroit Improv Festival, the Omaha Improv Festival, the Del Close Marathon in New York and, most recently, the Out of Bounds Comedy festival in Austin. The troupe of funny dudes is slated to perform at the SLC Comedy Carnivale in Salt Lake at the end of the month, but not before they throw down with their own signature monthly show, Governor Jack Watches You Sleep, at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse this Friday, September 5.

This weekend's edition of the part interview-part improv event promises to be a good one, with Los Angeles-based comedic genius Betsy Sodaro coming out to Denver just for the show. Governor Jack has seen some exciting changes in the last few months, too, revamping its While You Sleep show to create a whole new comedy experience.

See also: James Clark of Governor Jack on Improv, and Making a Web Series About a Web Series

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Eugene Cordero on Drunk History, Andy Juett and the High Plains Comedy Festival

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Eugene Cordero is an improviser, actor and comedian who developed his skills in the comedy laboratory of the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. He's appeared in films like Kings of Summer and Furry Vengeance, had a recurring role on the Showtime series House of Lies, and also done bits on Comedy Central's Kroll Show and Key & Peele. Westword caught up with Cordero for a phone interview before he joins the 65 other comics descending on Denver for this weekend's High Plains Comedy Festival to discuss following the cues of soused storytellers on Drunk History and going to high school with HPCF co-owner Andy Juett.

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

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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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Playbill: Three Shows to See in Denver This Weekend

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Eric Weber
John Ashton in Sylvia at the Avenue Theater.
Whether you're looking for the element of surprise inherent in an off-the-cuff improv riff, a laugh-out-loud good time as light as a perfect summer evening or a chilling comedy about a woman who obsessively answers a dead man's phone, it's all yours this weekend. Read on for the details.

See also: Stories On Stage Writing Contest Seeking Upbeat Tales



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