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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Updated: The ten best comedy events in Denver in June

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Updated: Since this post was originally published, Tracy Morgan -- who performed a show in Denver June 1 -- was injured in an auto accident.

As summer approaches at its leisurely, flip-flopped gait, comedy fans have a full calendar of laugh appointments ahead. While almost nothing can compete with the natural splendor of a languid June evening spent outdoors in Denver, only a jejune goon would miss out on these fine shows. Besides, at a comedy club you're significantly less likely to accidentally drink the moth that flew into your beer. From stars of stage and screen gracing local venues to a showcase that actually encourages comments from the audience, comedy nerds will be drawn to these events like an eclipse of moths to an outdoor light bulb.

It's important to note that a lot can happen in a month, and national headliners often have to reschedule long after press time, so dates are subject to change (which happened last month with Bobcat Goldthwait). Regardless, there's plenty of live comedy in June that's guaranteed assuage your melancholy, and reduce you chances of discovering the unmistakable taste of foamy moth.

See also: The ten best geek events in Denver for June

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Andy Haynes on Midnight Run, 9/11 jokes and getting heckled during his own comedy special

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Andy Haynes is a veteran of several standup scenes, moving from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, then from New York to Los Angeles, cultivating his sharp joke-telling style and putting in strong appearances on Conan and the Comedy Central Half Hour. Haynes is also known for his Midnight Run comedy showcase, which gets comedians unreasonably stoned and then lets them sort through the weirdness onstage. A natural fit for the Sexpot Comedy brand, Haynes is in town this week to bring his Midnight Run showcase to an appreciative and equally stoned Denver audience. In advance of the April 17 date, Westword talked with Haynes about Midnight Run, 9/11 jokes and getting heckled.

See also: Chris Fairbanks on Sexpot Comedy, suicidal civil engineers and the Tosh controversy

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The ten best comedy events in Denver this April

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BET
April is a month of rejuvenation and light-hearted trickery, a season of pranks, afternoon showers and street-sweeping tickets. Only the truly foolish would miss out on the fine assortment of comedy shows in Denver this month. With everything from a visit from the reigning ice queen of late-night talk shows to a benefit for Down Syndrome, some great local showcases and an appearance by improviser, singer and all-round showman Wayne Brady, there's plenty of levity to carry local comedy fans through the month. Fortunately, many of these shows are free, which should provide at least a little relief to those unjustly ticketed for blocking street-sweeping operations.

See also: The ten best geek events in Denver in April

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Chris Fairbanks on Sexpot Comedy, suicidal civil engineers and the Tosh controversy

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Chris Fairbanks is a standup comedian, illustrator, and skateboarder who has appeared on Conan, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Fairbanks is making the most out of his trip to Denver this week, with performances scheduled every night starting with 8 p.m. Thursday, March 20 at Deer Pile, where he'll share a story for the Narrators podcast. At 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, he'll be at the Oriental Theater, co-headlining Sexpot Comedy's Vernal Equinox showcase with Rory Scovel and a load of local chucklers. Fans can also catch Fairbanks with the Fine Gentleman's Club at 10 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at the Meadowlark and performing with Andrew Orvedahl at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 23 Comedy Works South. Westword caught up with Fairbanks in advance of his packed visit to talk about Sexpot comedy, the Texas highway system and the Tosh rape-joke controversy.

See also: Comedian Rory Scovel on crowd tension, Bobcat Goldthwait and why Aurora didn't steal Batman from him

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Poet Ken Arkind discusses Denver's outlaw magic, gentrification and his new book, Coyotes

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As American National Poetry Slam Champion and executive director of the award-winning Minor Disturbance Youth Slam Team, Ken Arkind gets to share his words with the world. A lot of those words are about his native turf of Denver, Aurora and the Colfax Avenue connection, and his second book, Coyotes, shares the poet's frustrations and triumphs with the place he calls home.

On Tuesday, March 11, Arkind and some of his artist friends and poetry counterparts will celebrate the release of Coyotes with a show at Deer Pile. In advance of the gathering, Arkind spoke with Westword about the book and his feelings about this changing city.

See also: Poet Ken Arkind on his new book, Denver, and the purpose of poetry in a music-driven world

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Ten best comedy events in Denver this March

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Comedy Central's Broad City
As the arrival of spring melts away the remaining sludge of the February doldrums, comedy blooms anew in March. With visits from veteran standups, sets by hilarious newcomers and a chance to see the stars of TV's funniest sketch comedy series in person, there's a vast and crowded field of new entertainment options in Denver. While the lion's share of March's comedy offerings are imported, the lineup also includes a promising new free local showcase and the second round of the Comedy Works Funny Final Four contest. The fact that so many of these events take place in concert venues like the Gothic and Paramount is a testament to the drawing power of the headlining acts we have in town this month, as well as to Denver's boundless hunger for comedic entertainment. Here are the ten best comedy events to feed that hunger.

See also: Nikki Glaser on the Weirdo Olympics, stolen jokes and a new mattress

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T.J. Miller on the No Cancellations tour, bringing absurdity to morning news shows, and hash dabs

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Comedian T.J. Miller has a commitment to comedic absurdity that has served him well throughout his career. From his early days in Denver to his roots in the Chicago improv scene, Miller has emerged as one of this city's most unique standup exports, remarkable for his madman charisma. In short order, Miller stole scenes and joined impressive ensemble casts in movies like Our Idiot Brother and Yogi Bear 3D. All the while, Miller's home town of Denver has remained close to his heart and channeled into song on his Extended Play EP from Comedy Central Records. And this is an exciting time for Miller, with Silicon Valley, a new HBO series, set to premiere on April 6 and the movie Search Party due this summer. This week, Denver's prodigal comic returns to his native state for two nights of shows as a part of his No Cancellations tour. He'll performing tonight, February 26, at Boulder's Fox Theatre. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m. show; general admission tickets are $20. On Thursday, February 27, he'll be at the Gothic Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show; tickets are $20.50 in advance and $23 on the day of show.

Westword recently caught up with Miller on the phone to discuss his tour, the absurdity of morning news shows, and why he always brings his best to Denver.

See also: TJ Miller debuts a Fox comedy that looks DOA, and soon a Mike Judge collaboration

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Ten best comedy events in Denver in February

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poster design by Michael King
February is winter's death rattle. The roads are sludgy, the calendar is wonky, and there's nothing to look forward to except Valentine's Day --which can often seem more of a solemn obligation than a holiday, anyway. Fortunately, a diverse range of comedy events should light up the otherwise bleak February entertainment landscape: comedian-produced shows with gross names like Tongue Stuff and Tits & Giggles; veteran acts like Paul Mooney, Norm MacDonald and Jeff Ross; and even the spectator sport of Olympics for Weirdos. In short, plenty of ways to keep you laughing until the sun comes back.

See also: Beth Stelling on Sexpot Comedy, writing plays and tiny failures


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