David Studebaker headlines Vail Comedy Show this week with shows in Eagle and Vail
- What: Vail Comedy Show with David Studebaker
- When and where: 8 p.m. Wednesday at Moe's Original BBQ, Eagle and 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at Shakedown Bar, Vail
- Tickets: $20 general admission or $50 VIP reserved seats in Eagle; $35 general admission, $45 VIP reserved seat and $50 front row VIP in Vail. Prices do not include any applicable fees.
- More info: VailComedyShow.com
Fresh and uplifting comedy comes to the Vail Valley Wednesday in Eagle and Thursday in Vail as David Studebaker takes the stage at Moe’s Original BBQ and Shakedown Bar, respectively.
Studebaker grew up as the class clown, using comedy to compensate for a sleeping disorder and health issues as a kid. He began professionally doing his stand-up shows 15 years ago, and since then, he has earned acclaim through the likes of San Francisco’s SF Weekly, which named him one of the “10 Best Comics To Watch.” He’s on Sirius XM Radio’s regular rotation and has a new comedy special, “The Oracle of Dry Bar.” He recently won best director at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival for his hit documentary series, “David’s Ark.”
But what really stands out about him is his creative approach to comedy. While he began his career with more hard-edged jokes revolving around politics and topical issues, he found that a lighter approach was more effective.
“So many people come with different things going on in their lives,” he said, talking about the predominant school of thought in comedy to write about what makes you angry or angsty and why he switched to more uplifting topics. “No matter who you are or where you’re from or what you’re into, you can feel safe (in my show). It brings people together and gives them a break from everyday life. It’s just who I am. I love people, and I genuinely enjoy having fun with people.”
Which is where the front-row, VIP seating comes in. He might pull an audience member up on stage for a very brief moment of fame — but he stresses that it’s in “a gentle way.”
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“In the front row, you kind of live the experience of being with and interacting with the comedian without it ruining your night,” he said. “I have a game plan of material, but I often craft my set on the fly based on who’s in the front row. My story can be a little bit of a choose your own adventure, and sitting in the front row definitely heightens the personal feel.”
He revolves his comedy around things he loves, which involve, but aren’t limited to, music, his family (he has two very young boys, which he sometimes refers to as poop dispensers), music and himself. He pokes fun at all of those things and often dances and sings in his shows. Integrating music stems from growing up with a dad who is a musician.
“I have been terrible at playing instruments, so I weave in music because I secretly wish I was a Backstreet Boy,” he said.
Studebaker’s performances are part of the Vail Comedy Show, which, every month, flies in nationally touring comedians that have been featured in film and television. Host Mark Masters, who has been featured on Outside TV, AWE Network, Vail Valley Live, Boulder Comedy Festival, Antelope Valley Comedy Festival, SnoJam Comedy Festival and Rubber City Comedy Festival, opens the show.
“Every show feels different, but essentially you’re going to be entertained (with how I) dance, sing and me being physical,” Studebaker said. “Even if you don’t love every joke, you’re at least going to be entertained. You will come away going, ‘OK, I’ve gotten my money’s worth.'”
Have you ever performed in the Vail Valley?
I haven’t, but I’m extremely excited to take in the gorgeous scenery, perform for what I can only assume will be beautiful audiences and spend the rest of the time complaining about how cold I am. I’m a Los Angeles weather wuss through and through.
Do you have a favorite Colorado comedy memory?
I had a gig in Aspen and the day of my show, I went skiing with my friend, Harry who convinced me to lick the frost off my ski lift. Apparently, he had done it a while back on a date and it was a barrel of laughs. So I lick it and, of course, my tongue gets stuck and wouldn’t come off. Comedy gold. So, Harry is pulling and pulling, and finally it comes off, but I damaged it so bad that I couldn’t perform that night. They had to cancel the show. It was a disaster, but boy did we laugh. Obviously Harry was “Dumb” for having the idea, but I was “Dumber” for listening.
What TV show are you currently binging?
Well, I live under the tyrannical reign of my four-year-old and one-year-old sons who rule the Roku remote with an iron fist, so I’m mostly binging “Bluey,” “Blippi” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” But late at night or when I’m out of town I’ll sneak in some “Grantchester” or “All Creatures.” I’m one of those annoying British TV snobs.
What do you know about Vail Comedy Show?
I know that it’s an amazing comedy extravaganza and that Mark Masters is a delight, both as a comedian and a person.
You live in Los Angeles but tour nationally, how does Colorado compare to other markets?
I mean, I don’t know if there’s Valium in that snow, but you guys are A LOT happier than most of the country. And healthier. And better looking.
How would you describe your comedy?
It’s been described as fun, fresh and uplifting, which I stole because I think that sums it up pretty well and I really do try to create a show that everyone can enjoy. I also throw some physical humor, music and audience interaction into the mix, but I’m gentle with the crowd. Like if Don Rickles and Mr. Rogers had a love child.
What is next for David Studebaker?
I’m in the pre-production phase (a.k.a. waiting for money) for my documentary series about the Studebaker car company, which I’m very excited about. I’m also working on the sequel to my novel, “Lone Star Lance,” which I will definitely be begging the Vail Comedy Show audience to buy.