Spit Take Saturday: High Plains Comedy Festival

HPCF-logo_small_new-330x207Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Denver has been in desperate need of a national-quality stand-up festival for years. The explosion of open mics and alternative showcases, plus the city’s growing reputation as an incubator of new talent has nevertheless failed to put it on the same footing as similar scenes in Austin, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon. Newer events like the Laugh Track Comedy Festival or the punk-rock Too Much Funstival are stacked with talented locals and a few out-of-towners, but neither have the resources or attention to compete with something like Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival.


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Spit Take Saturday: The Best Comedy Releases of 2012 – The year heartfelt comedy melted our steely tickers

notaro.jpeg.CROP.article250-mediumWelcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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1. Tig Notaro, “Live”

There is a way to make everything funny. Everything. And there is no finer example of this concept than Tig Notaro’s accidental comedy gem—an album recorded from a set at Largo that the owner just so happened to tape. Having recently received a cancer diagnosis, Notaro is honest in a way that’s not only inspiring for other comedians, but for everyone hoping to face problems head on. Notaro does so with immeasurable grace and wit, letting the world know that comedy is her armor, and that truth in comedy isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a goddamn prerequisite.


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Spit Take Saturday: Kyle Kinane

image004Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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“I want comedy to be taken as an art form,” Kyle Kinane says about two-thirds through his excellent special “Whiskey Icarus.” “I feel I put just as much heart and blood, sweat and tears into this as any musician or any sculptor, and I want it to be appreciated as such.” He then tells a short story in which he acts immaturely, eventually juxtaposing his earlier statement with “And that’s why I’m not an artist.”

Those 40 seconds capture the essence of Kinane’s comedy. The man’s a thinker. On a superficial level, the stories he tells of drunken shenanigans are just that: comedic bits with little substance beneath the words. But the personal touch he embeds into every strain of every anecdote is what gives his comedy that artistic integrity for which he strives. It’s the tone in his voice, the glances toward the floor, the pauses and the stammers in his cadence. There’s a struggle, and it’s at the heart of his act.

Kinane says at the top of the special that he believes a lot of comedy comes from “shared experiences—things that we can relate to.” His own comedy, though, is entirely rooted in his personal experiences, which points to a phenomenon of sorts: the more personal the comedy is, the more relatable it becomes.


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