Living in the red states |

Living in the red states

Cassie Pence

VAIL – Hippieman, aka John Novosad, was really disappointed with the presidential election – he was sure Nader was going to win.And on the comedian mourns about being a hippie living in the new era of Bushisms, red states and young Republicans. This and the quintessential long-hair jokes and drug references are where Novosad mines most of his material. He coheadlines comedy night with Steve Gastineau at 9 p.m. today at Samana in Vail Village.”I’m literally a wild-eye liberal. But for a guy who looks like me, I’m surprisingly sober,” said Novosad.Hippieman grew up in Boulder, which makes sense, doesn’t it? And he still resides there, gathering humorous social commentary at coffee shops or on Pearl Street.

“Sitting in a coffee shop in Boulder is a good place to get some ideas. But a lot of my material comes from the discipline of writing. Keeping a notebook, jotting down ideas, flushing those ideas out by making lists. Writing jokes,” said Novosad. “I audio tape a lot of my shows and then listen to them the next day. I get a lot of ideas that way.”He was raised by hippie parents, and his mom used to send him to school everyday with a Jimi Hendrix lunch box. All the kids made fun of him until they tried one of his brownies. Bad-DA bump. Whether or not that anecdote is true, his routine comes from the heart. Novosad is truly a peace-loving hippie. “It sounds kind of hokey, but I believe it’s all about respect for other people. Not everyone has to be like me, and I don’t have to be like everybody else, but just to be able to accept people for what they are is what it’s all about.”He started his career at the Blue Note club in Boulder during New Talent Night on Tuesdays in 1981. He worked there until he built up at least 20 minutes of material, enough to depart for life on the road. Now he’s a comedic staple at Comedy Works in Denver, which Novosad said is one of the top comedy clubs in the country. Comedy Works hosts people like Wanda Sikes and Jay More.

“It’s a great room to be affiliated with if you are a local comic because you have chance to network with the heavy hitter guys,” said Novosad.Hippieman is always expanding his routine. Right now he’s focusing on social commentary, and Novosad spends his days perusing newspapers for topic ideas.”I don’t want to get up on a soap box, but I want to be able to say something funny about things that are happening right now, and hopefully there will be a point in there as well,” Novosad said.Hippieman’s jokes are the type that lead the audience down a straight line and then turn left at the most unsuspected moment. Whether you’re conservative or a doobie smoker, everyone knows someone like Hippieman and can relate to his view on the planet.

“Lots of times, people don’t even know I’m a comic, and they see me walking along and they just smile because they have their own vision of what they think my world is about,” said Novosad.Steve Gastineau also headlines the laughable evening. He specializes in observational humor.”He’s a one-liner kind of guy. He has some really funny things a bout drinking and driving,” said Novosad.Comedy Night begins sharply at 9 p.m. at Samana in Vail Village. Tickets cost $15 at the door. For more information, call 476-3433.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or

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