After hosting mostly G and PG-rated comics, Back Bowl owner Joe Gonzalez was nervous last year after booking Denver comedian Ben Roy, who puts on adults-only comedy shows.
"We had reached out to a wide variety of audiences with our acts over the years, but Ben's show was definitely not for the faint of heart," Gonzalez said.
His fears were unfounded, as it turns out. The place was packed; it was standing room only for attendees who cracked up again and again at Roy's sarcasm-filled observational humor.
"Ben has garnered an amazing following in Denver," Gonzalez continued. "His delivery takes on an edge, but his humor is so spot-on that the laughs just seem to follow."
Roy returns to Eagle tonight for another adults-only show. The Maine native took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
Vail Daily: What's new in your world since you performed in Eagle last year?-
Ben Roy: A lot has happened. I performed again at the Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival. I did 23 shows over 14 days. It was a pretty crazy, awesome experience. While in Montreal, I taped a short TV set for HBO's Funny As Hell series. I also taped a spot for Nickelodeon's, NickMom Night Out, which has already aired. Plus, the comedy group I'm a part of - THE GRAWLIX (www.grawlixcomedy.com) - recently sold a television pilot script, which we produced and shot here in Denver. That will air very shortly on Amazon Prime.
VD: Do you remember anything about your show in Eagle last year?-
BR: I remember the show, but nothing sticks out. And that may sound like a negative comment, but honestly, in the business, that means it was good. Comedy shows are a lot like doctors visits most of the time, the routine ones where nothing odd happens are the best. I remember having a great time.
VD: Tell me about some of the topics that have inspired new material for your act lately?
BR: Well, I'm coming up on my third year of sobriety so I talk quite a bit about my thoughts on sobriety and popular misconceptions about it. My son just turned 8 years old so I've been talking about family dynamics. And, we all just survived an Apocalypse, so I talk about that too.
VD: When was the last time you told a joke that fell entirely flat and no one laughed? And what did you do?
BR: It happens all the time. If you don't have joke that goes flat, you're not writing enough. I told one at a show that I was so excited about and it got nothing. So I did what any other professional would do. I nervously chided them for not realizing how brilliant it was and moved to a fart joke.
VD: Tell me about your pre-show rituals? What do you do to get revved up?
BR: Depends on the show. Most shows I just watch the other comics. I like comedy and I like seeing what a room is good with and what they're shying away from. If it's a bigger show, I usually just pace and listen to music. I do my best to just get my mind off it.
VD: Have you encountered any hecklers recently? Or someone who was just pissed about something you said?-
BR: Hecklers are just an annoying side effect of this work. Sometime in the late 80s it became cool or fun to heckle a comic, when in reality, you just look sad and weird. The last person to heckle me was a drunk housewife at a show here in Denver. She wasn't mad at anything I said, she just wanted to be the center of attention. I reminded her that I'm smarter than she is.
VD: How do you deal with hecklers?
BR: Depends on the heckler. Some are not angry. They're just chiming in. So most of the time, I just move right over them. But if they're angry or being disruptive, I use my best word pairings to remind them that there's a reason no one has ever paid to see them do a single thing in their small, weird, lonely lives.
VD: Tell me one thing you always wish journalists would ask but don't. And answer it.-
BR: If you could push a button and erase one person from the planet in an effort to try and correct the world, who would it be?
Me. I think my filter is broken. I feel like I'm watching the way we're doing things, and getting more and more irate, and a lot of people are just cool. How arrogant am I to think they're all wrong. Perhaps my lens on life is messed up.-