Sounds of the City
Editor’s Note: Locals living in the Vail Valley often exchange careers and money for the everyday recreation fun to be had in the mountains. This is the third story in the “Winter Quest for Fun” series that reveals some of our favorite activities, dinners, snow outings and pure mountain magic.By Laura A. BallArts and Entertainment WriterVAIL – On Sunday nights, smack in the middle of Vail Village from Samana Lounge, laughter can be heard roaring up Bridge Street – big, boisterous, wild, unrestrained belly laughter.Always in search of new ways to entertain ourselves (wine squirting out my nose not excluded), my entourage and I ventured into the village over the weekend to check it out – Comedy Night at Samana. For 10 bucks, how could we lose? And we weren’t the only mountain folk in town looking to spice up our night lives, by a show of hands the tourist hot-spot was in fact serving up mostly locals. The adult-friendly evening, hosting comedians from Comedy Works in Denver, starts at 9 p.m. You have time to feed the kids and put them to bed before you even step out the door.
I’ve been to comedy clubs in New York, L.A., Denver. I’m no expert, but I know a funny joke and a good vibe when I come across them. The dim underground lounge in Vail easily converted to mimic the feel with its high bar tables with front-row views, comfy leather booths and candles alighting its stone walls. We checked our coats and sunk into the back booth just in time for the cocktail waitress to come around and take our order. Red wine for the girls, beer for the boys and a heap of pretzels for us all. The club’s manager Scottie Stoughton came up to announce the first comic. (It was Stoughton’s idea to bring the comedy show to Vail. Although he’s not seeing a big profit yet, he believes that the high-quality entertainment will soon catch on among locals and tourists alike.)First up on the bill, Just Jay, a black female comic out of Denver, otherwise known as a M.I.L.F., she told the crowd (If you don’t know what that is, see “American Pie”). Jay with her curly black hair, camo hat and camo pants rolled up over her high-heeled black boots certainly fit the M.I.L.F. stereotype more than the comic stereotype, but then what is the comic stereotype? You can never tell until they open their mouths and spout out thoughts on … being a “black chick at camp.””I’ve seen way too many scary movies to go to camp,” Jay said. “They always cut the black chick first. I’ve learned that if you stay next to the blonde girl with the perky titties, you’ll make it to the end.”Or on snowboarding …”I tried to snowboard. That’s an ignorant little sport. The only way to get out is to fall all the way down the mountain. ‘Do you need a helmet?,’ the woman at the rental place asked. She’s trying to call me retarded. On the way down I realized that woman was the smartest women I’d ever met.”Currently on tap to be America’s Funniest Mom, a contest hosted by Nickelodeon, Jay has been featured on BET’s “ComicView,” the “Keenan Ivory Wayans Show” and MTV’s “Beach House.”
Jay got the crowd warmed up for the next comic on tap, Nancy Norton, a Boulderite who has appeared on A&E’s “Evening at the Improv” and in the PBS special “The Yellowish Green Girl.” A spinning image of Ellen DeGeneres, Norton taught me the important lesson not to mix wine with comedy right off the bat. Well, you can mix it, but be prepared for the wine to shoot your nostrils.When Norton’s mouth opened, she spoke of pot. She admitted that she always sounds stupid asking for pot. “Do have any pot?” she asked in a proper English accent. “Do you have any pot?” she asked again.By then end of her skit she was asking the question “Do you have any pooooot?” drawing out the “o” in true valley- girl style before admitting that she doesn’t even smoke pot.”I can’t even watch the news,” she said. “I think the newscaster is judging me.”On being a tomboy …”I’ve always been a tomboy. Can you tell? My mother gave me an easy bake oven hoping I would bake cakes or something. So I had to play cowboys and Indians with an oven on my hip.”
On running through the sprinkler as a young girl …”Next thing I know I’m turning it up and ignoring the ice cream truck. It’s much better than a bomb pop. It starts out very innocently. Our moms don’t normally come up to us and say, honey go ahead, touch yourself. But they should.”The lights went on and for the first time I frowned. It was over. If there’s a better way to indulge than a night of laughter, I thought, I don’t know of one. Even the bartenders would agree.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14641, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado