April in Glenwood: ‘Those Who Can’t’; more like ‘Those Who Can’
I’m a big believer in something Marty McFly told his dad, George, in “Back to the Future.”
“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything,” he said, in the 1985 blockbuster.
That mindset is the reason my friend Janelle makes vision boards — they really do work for her. And how I somehow built up the courage to try stand-up for the first time in front of 500 people at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.
The trick to that was not having any idea what I was doing.
Sometimes it takes a fear of the unknown to find out what we’re truly capable of in life. In my experience, that can be said for pregnancy. And childbirth. Accomplishment also takes determination, a driving force behind any successful visionary or bully-defeating George McFlys of the world.
To win at comedy also takes years of persistence and tenacity.
Recently I’ve been watching a success story that aligns with what Marty McFly said in 1985, coming out of the Denver comedy scene. What started as an original web series by Colorado comics Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy, of the comedy troupe The Grawlix, “Those Who Can’t” is now a full-length scripted comedy with Hollywood prowess.
Coming up next week — at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday, Feb. 11 — the show premieres on cable’s truTV with two back-to-back episodes.
Creators and executive producers Cayton-Holland, Orvedahl and Roy also star in the new comedy as three immature, troublesome high school teachers. Juilliard-trained actor and comedian Maria Thayer also chimes in as an equally inefficient librarian. The show’s stars are described as “More inept than the kids they teach, they’re out to beat the system as they struggle to survive each day on their own terms.”
Exactly how I would be if I tried teaching high school.
Since I follow “Those Who Can’t” updates, along with The Grawlix guys, on Facebook, I’ve been tuned in to the hilarious build-up to the show’s Feb. 11 premiere. The Denver comedy scene is of course proud of their hometown comics making a name for themselves in L.A. Comedy fans in the Roaring Fork Valley may remember Cayton-Holland and Orvedahl from the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue’s stand-up comedy nights, and Roy from the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival a few years back. That’s where I first saw Ben Roy perform, and I remember thinking I had not seen anything like him before that moment. From addiction to love, the raw topics in his act are relatable, intense and honest.
I prefer some intensity in my comedy to make me feel alive.
As “Those Who Can’t” nears its highly anticipated televised launch, there’s been a wild amount of publicity that has the creators seemingly pinching themselves to make sure they’re not dreaming. There are building-sized billboards in L.A. and New York, and on the 16th Street Mall in Denver, that have been subject to some witty Internet parodies and memes. With a little help from Photoshop, “Those Who Can’t” appears to have been promoted all over the world in the last few weeks, including as far away as India and North Korea.
Some of the real-life subway ads in New York City are seeing their share of the fun, too.
Denver comics now part of the NYC comedy scene are helping promote the show by adding their own graffiti to the star’s faces and snapping pics with their cell phones to post online.
A mustache drawn on a promo ad is how funny people really know they’ve made it.
The 10-episode, half-hour “Those Who Can’t” series boasts some serious acting and comedy chops. This season, guest stars include TV and film actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Susie Essman, T.J. Miller, Peter Stormare and Michael Madsen. I know I can’t wait for Feb. 11 to finally arrive so I can tune in and help support Colorado homegrown comics proving Marty McFly was in fact right. The Grawlix crew is inspiration for me to go forth and put my mind to something creative and amazing.
I might surprise myself to what can be accomplished.
April E. Clark continues to pursue comedy writing and acting. She was even an extra in a movie yesterday, proving we all have to start somewhere. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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