Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Taylor Gonda

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Taylor Gonda, at the mic talking pop culture for These Things Matter.
#52: Taylor Gonda

When it comes to popular culture, Taylor Gonda talks a great game. As co-host of the local podcast These Things Matter, she chats about music, movies and other obsessions with celebrities both local and sometimes national. But there's more to Gonda than These Things Matter: A regular contributor to Denver's storytelling spotlight The Narrators and the woman behind the man for Adam Cayton-Holland's My Dining Room Table podcast, she also spent more than six years as a director and behind-the-scenes ensemble member of the defunct and sorely missed Paragon Theatre company. We invited Gonda to talk up what rocks her rapidly spinning world; find out more from her 100CC questionnaire, which follows.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kevin O'Brien


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Brock Wilbur on Recording His New Album, Burning Material and Performing Before Mom

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Spitfire Creative
Screenwriter, actor, podcaster and comedian Brock Wilbur has outsized ambition that matches his mountainous physique. He records at least an hour of standup every year, then starts fresh with new material; he also writes and produces films, and tours the country. He'll be bringing a cornucopia of comedy to Denver this weekend, where he will record his set and also the podcast he co-hosts with Rob Ondarza and Joe Starr. This is the third live album for the industrious Wilbur, which will be recording his free shows Saturday, September 20 at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. Wilbur is also featured on Friday, September 19 at the Sexpot Comedy Aerial Menagerie showcase with locals Jay Gillespie and Haley Driscoll, along with co-headliners David Hunstberger and Dan St. Germain.
Westword caught up with Wilbur before his trip to town to discuss his slash- and-burn work ethic, balancing screenwriting with comedy, and the motherly guest of honor at his taping.

See also: Tim Heidecker on Bedtime Stories and Touring with Dr. Steve Brule


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Podcast Profiles: Adam Cayton-Holland and My Dining Room Table

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Ryan Brackin
Podcasts are in tune with the democratized spirit of Internet media; anyone with a microphone and a computer can offer their listeners unlimited hours of recordings, usually for free. Limited only by their imaginations, podcasters have a freedom of expression unrestricted by commerce, censorship or geography. Indeed, several great podcasts have blossomed from Denver's own flourishing arts community. Here to celebrate them is Podcast Profiles, a new series documenting the efforts of local podcasters and spotlighting the peculiar personalities behind them.

After he successfully navigated the High Plains Comedy Festival through its second year, it would be understandable for Adam Cayton-Holland to indulge in a bit of glad-handing and laurel-resting before moving forward. Instead, he's been busier than ever. He'll be appearing on the series premiere of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail and competing once more on @Midnight, so tune into Comedy Central on September 17 for a "double-dose of ACH." In preparation for an upcoming show at L.A.'s taste-making alt-comedy venue, Holland will be debuting his hour on Saturday, September 13 at the Syntax Physic Opera. With all these developments in the running, the time has never been better to check out My Dining Room Table, an interview podcast featuring national headlining comedians, Denver luminaries and plenty of discussion about Holland's dog, Annabel.

See also: Podcast Profiles: Werewolf Radar Gets Weird

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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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Marc Maron on patent trolls and spiritual experiences in the desert

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Robyn Von Swank/ IFC
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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The ten best comedy events in Denver this July

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Robyn Von Swank/ IFC

July, with its sweltering afternoons and late evening sunsets, is filled with a kind of sun-dappled shapelessness; its days were once described by Ada Louise Huxtable as "jeweled balm for the battered spirit."

Balming the battered is also a standup comedian's job description, and this month promises a healing wave of laughs washing over our arid city, featuring seasoned chortle-mongers from across the country. From one-night only theater appearances by sitcom stars to comedy nerd heroes at local clubs, battered spirits from across the spectrum of comedy fandom will find plenty of opportunities to laugh in air-conditioned comfort.

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

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