Meet the comics of Vail Comedy Festival |

Meet the comics of Vail Comedy Festival

Joe Stapleton
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Vail Comedy Festival is back in venues around Vail for Memorial Day weekend. Thirty comedians are flying in from around the country, and a survey was sent out so the comics could give readers a few free laughs. Below are some of their responses.

Have you ever performed in the Vail Valley?

Yes! I had the absolute pleasure of doing a Vail Comedy Show with Mark Masters at Bridge Street Bar last year and it was such a fun crowd. That was also my first time being in Vail and wow, gorgeous. Y’all really live up to the hype! I grew up in the mountains so it really felt like home. I do love the woods and I find myself pine-ing away for them (oh my goodness tree puns — so sorry — I’ll show myself out). I’m excited to be back! — Leah Bonnema

Do you have a favorite Colorado comedy memory? 

The show I played in Vail was headlined by Laurie Kilmartin — a career highlight. In 2018 I did Comedy Works South, opening for Norm Macdonald — huge. But my favorite comes from the downtown Comedy Works.

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Before the show, a fan demanded to know if she’d find my act offensive. I’m not particularly offensive, but when someone asks like that, it is a red flag.

After rejecting the question, she countered by saying if she found something offensive, she wouldn’t make a big deal, but quietly leave. A perfectly reasonable plan! 

Two minutes into the second act she was wildly offended, went bananas, and interrupted the show.  

The manager/host calmly coaxed her outside for a “chat” and promptly left her there.  

I never got to find out if she found my set offensive. — Joe Stapleton

Carmen Lagala
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You live in Brooklyn, NY but tour nationally, how does Colorado compare to other markets?

Colorado is the best, I mean it. The people are smart and happy and love to laugh. I got lost in the woods here once and it’s still my favorite state to perform in. I’ve never gotten lost in the woods in any other state when I’ve performed. Lost in the streets, sure. But on a beautiful verdant mountain with no water or phone battery left? Nowhere else but here, baby. — Carmen Lagala

Dustin Chafin
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You just released a new Drybar comedy special. How was that experience?

It was great. It was filmed in Provo, Utah. It’s funny; I was once a Mormon missionary. I’m sure everyone goes through that phase in high school. I was a Mormon for a stint. I remember attending the missionary training center for the first time in Provo. This time I was back to film my comedy special. Instead of learning Spanish and scripture I was telling jokes! It was so much fun to reference the culture, and the crowd embraced me, and it was a fantastic night! — Dustin Chafin

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How would you describe your comedy?

As a transgender woman, I like to see my comedy as being able to poke fun at my own community just as much as everyone else to allow everyone to come together on topics that often are seen as too sensitive to get into. — Bailey Pope

Bailey Pope
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Vail Comedy Festival features performers from HBO, Comedy Central and late-night television. The event also has family-friendly programming including magic shows. Passes and more information are available at

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