Denver Fringe Festival Comedy Hour good for a few laughs

Who couldn’t use some respite from the seemingly endless grind of quarantine interspersed with screaming bad-news headlines? A good dose of laughter is the therapy we all need. And the remedy offered by the creators of Denver’s inaugural Fringe Festival is an easy pill to take – although you might find yourself groaning and rolling your eyes a bit as it goes down.

The Denver Fringe Festival is offering a livestream ZOOM Comedy Hour hosted by a different person with a group of (mostly) different artists each night of the Festival. Each show features 8-10 local and/or national comedians who have five minutes to present live or in video.

All shows are billed for adults only, and judging by Thursday’s performance, it’s a serious warning. I kept getting flashbacks to playing Cards Against Humanity with my 26-year-old nephew and having him have to explain every 10th card. (Is there a Millennial handbook out there with these definitions???).

For example, while watching Everything is Fine Jokes hosted by Allison Rose on Thursday night, I learned from local comedian Anthony Crawford that there is a whole Internet collection of censored Japanese porn, which has spun off a hybrid of unpixelated porn. (Yes, Karen, it’s a real thing.)
Given that all of the Comedy Hours share some common comedians, I’m going to guess that a lot of the humor is targeted to Millennials and will focus on staying sane and dealing with either being single during the pandemic or balancing a relationship with no personal space. So be prepared for a lot of relatable, but dark humor.

While the opening night’s routines were a bit rough with a few technical challenges and several comedians who openly admitted to being unprepared and biffing some of their routines, the comedians should swiftly develop their online rhythm and develop more of a rapport with each other and the audience as the weekend progresses. Or at least become as comfortable as ZOOM room virtual walls allow.

But even if it’s a bit uneven, an hour of timely, local and sometimes inappropriate monologues is great therapy – even in the best of times.

Upcoming Comedy Hours include:

The Basement
Sammy Anzer hosts a lineup of comics from Denver’s thriving comedy scene in an informal format like they’re chilling in a basement together. Skipping all the “put your hands together” and “give it up for,” the basement creates a show vibe that feels like friends just talking on Friday, June 26th 8:00 p.m.

Featuring: BK Sharad, (Stage Manager), Hannah Jones, Jonny Bratsveen, Anthony Armstrong, Mo Vida, Austen Brinker, De Kelly, Noah Reynolds, Danny Ramos, John Novosad and Edward Bell

Apologies in Advance
Stand-up comics from across the country tell stories and share their lives to make you laugh on Saturday, June 27th 8 p.m.
Featuring: Eeland Stribling (Host), BK Sharad (Stage Manager), Alli Coleman, Andy Farnsworth, Austin Black, Brian Sullivan, Harper-Rose Drummond, Noah Reynolds, Salma Zaky, Shanel Hughes, BK Sharad and T.J. Webb.


Presented by Denver Satire publication Westish: regular contributors doing their best jokes on Sunday, June 28th 8 p.m.

Featuring: Hannah Jones (host), BK Sharad (stage manager), Kira Magcalen, Steve Vanderploeg, Jeremy Pysher, Meghan Deponceau, Hannah Jones, Cody Ullrich, Kate Strobel and Brad Galli.