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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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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Allen Strickland Williams on one-liners, sketch comedy and #YesAllWomen

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Kelly Rose
Allen Strickland Williams is a Los Angeles-based writer, comedian and former NBC page who somehow absorbed that office's buttoned-down aesthetic. Today Williams, along with fellow standups Jake Weisman, Dave Ross and Pat Bishop, comprise the sketch-comedy group Women, whose widely circulated videos are nibbles of absurdity dolloped by grim punchlines. Women will descend on the Oriental Theater this Saturday, June 21st for the monthly Sexpot Comedy showcase. The show, hosted as always by Jordan Doll, features standup from each member, as well as videos and live sketches. It's also a Sexpot show, with all the dab dabbling that implies. In advance of the gig, Westword caught up with Williams to discuss what makes Women's sketches different, his fondness for one-liners, and his essay about the #YesAllWomen hashtag.

See also: Dave Ross on tour mishaps, Drunk History, Deer Pile and his sketch group, Women

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Bobby Lee on Hollywood's lack of Asian roles, sobriety and an ambush from a naked fan

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Bobby Lee is a comedian and actor who gained notoriety in San Diego comedy clubs before moving on to a featured role on Mad TV for eight seasons. Lately he's been known for his numerous Chelsea Lately appearances and landing parts in films like The Dictator and the Harold and Kumar go to White Castle series. Lee is in town to headline Denver's esteemed Comedy Works Larimer Square all weekend; in advance of that run, Westword caught up with Lee to discuss Hollywood's lack of roles for Asian actors, getting sober with comedians' support, and an ambush from a naked fan in his dressing room.

See also: Andy Kindler on hack comics, his new CD and criticizing comedy from within

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