Author: Sean L. McCarthy

My roommate wins best stand-up in Aspen!

Yes, comedy fans. Shane Mauss, my condo roommate and comedy buddy for the week, won best stand-up honors tonight at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen (HBO). We still have a lot of catching up to do, you readers and I, and we still have a lot of partying to do, Mauss and I and the other comics, so there will be a lot for me to bring to you on Sunday. In the meantime, here are the other award winners… Best Stand-up – Kirk Fox & Shane MaussBreakout Award Male – John OliverBreakout Award Female – TastiSkank (Sarah Litzsinger and Kate Reinders)Best Alternative – Tim MinchinBest Sketch – Summer of TearsBest One Person Show – Nilaja Sun for “No...

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Aspen, Day Three, Group D, 2007

Friday in Aspen: The 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Stand Up DHosted by Hyla Matthews, who had a recurring bit pretending to go through all of the relationship steps with a guy in the front row. And now for your comedians. Kyle Kinane. I met this guy the first night I got into Aspen and he wore a bizarre beret that he even said was not a beret. That’s the bizarre part. But when he grabbed the mic and said, “What’s happening, snowflakes and fingerprints?!” I knew to expect some comedy gold. And Kinane delivered, with a sharp self-deprecating style. He might have thought his volcano barbecue bit didn’t go so well, but he shouldn’t worry so much. Good job. Hari Kondabolu came next, and (full disclosure: condo roommate) he impressed me with his social commentary on the diversity of white people, selling people to India, and immigration. Then Dan Boulger came up. So rewarding to see him just slay an audience of complete strangers (and important industry types). The audience slowly rose to a boil, and as soon as Boulger’s Bush/Hitler joke landed, they were roaring til the end. Nicely played. Boulger told me the audience reacted similarly the previous time, and he wondered if he should move the Hitler bit up. I said no no. You’ve got it timed just right. Let ‘em warm up to you....

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Boston comics killing in Aspen

Some of you are hungry for this sort of information, so let me just tell it to you straight. Shane Mauss (in showcase group B) and Dan Boulger (in showcase group D) both have performed twice in Aspen, and they’re already the talk of the town. Mauss got an early lead on the buzz because he had performed twice before Boulger’s group had its festival debut. But they’re both majorly slaying. Big time. All sorts of industry attention. The appropriate cliche here would be wicked good. Steven Wright’s publicist told Mauss that no less than five people already had e-mailed him saying he had to check Mauss out. Boulger is having to tell people, sorry, but I already have representation. I’ll have a lot more to say about them later, but just wanted to let you know they’re representing Boston very well so...

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My first Entertainment Weekly clip

The trip to Aspen literally is paying off. My first blog post for Entertainment Weekly went live about an hour ago. My alternate subject header for it: Chloe & Rush? Keep dreaming. It’s about Mary Lynn Rajskub, silly, whom you already know I saw perform last night. Anyhow. Read my EW.com blog posting here. More to come...

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Aspen, Day Two, Part Two, 2007

In which the author attempts, despite repeated crashes of his laptop computer, to briefly describe the shows he saw Thursday at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Summer of Tears Southern California sketch troupe mixed it up with videos. One took political TV ads and made the candidates potential boyfriends. Another looked at a botched submission for “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” And a third crudely wondered what really happened during Johnny Cash’s final recording sessions. Lots of sexual material. The troupe made use of one member’s uncanny Matthew McConaughey to good effect, but as my friend suggested, they might’ve wanted to put that sketch last. Later sketches only reminded us how much the guy sounds like him. Odd. Still funny. Pete & Brian’s One Man ShowPete is Peter Karinen. Brian is Brian Sacca. Together, they’re funny in a comfortably awkward way. Wait. Let me rephrase that. They’re comfortable in their awkwardness. Which makes their “one-man show” work. Their opening and closing sequences are simple yet creative. Much like their use of T-shirts to identify the various characters in their show. “The General” with The Alloy OrchestraA classic silent film by one of the great physical comedians, Buster Keaton, set to live music by Cambridge’s own Alloy Orchestra. Yes, the guy delivering the intro may have said that the orchestra has been in residence at the Telluride Film Festival for...

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