Comedian Andrew Orvedahl to take the Vaudeville stage
If You Go
Who: Andrew Orvedahl
What: Comedy Night
When: Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
How Much: $25
It’s hard to explain what comedian Andrew Orvedahl does without getting into a laundry list.
He got his start in stand-up, as so many do, before branching out into podcasts, television and web series sketch comedy with his Denver comedy troupe The Grawlix. He also produces and directs a cooking show hosted by his 5-year-old daughter called “The Barefoots Show.” Now, he’s trying to break into the film world, but not at the expense of all his other endeavors — he’ll be making his Glenwood Springs debut with a stand-up performance on Thursday at the Vaudeville.
Orvedahl, who has been on “The Tonight Show,” is one of the highest-profile acts to come to the theater.
“I like all of those things,” he said of his eclectic comedy resume. “Right now, I’m trying to get into TV and film writing. I would love to run my comedy skills into that world. I’m just starting to get my toes in the water with that, but it’s what I’d love to be doing.”
The Vaudeville has been hosting comedy nights since its move to the Springs Theatre in November 2013, said owner/manager John Goss.
“The Vaudeville is comedy already, so this is just another form,” Goss said. “And if we can schedule it around the regular Vaudeville show, why not? We figured we’d give it a try.”
Goss works with Ethan Wallison from Empire of Crime, a comedy production company that brings acts to Aspen, in order to get the biggest names he can to the Vaudeville. Past comics have included Phil Palisoul and Nathan Lund.
Orvedahl was born and raised in Denver and got his start in comedy as a result of peer pressure — always a sure sign that something will end well.
But as fate or luck would have it, giving in and trying stand-up did turn out all right for Orvedahl.
“A friend kept badgering me to do it,” he said. “So I finally tried it, and pretty much right away I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s great. This is fun.’”
His first time was in 2003 at the legendary Denver club Comedy Works. There, using a wall to support his sick-with-nerves body, he met who he calls his “comedy angel.”
“I was so nervous because I’d never been comfortable as a public speaker,” he said. “So I was sort of leaning on the wall, and I was like, ‘I hope I don’t pass out from nerves.’ This comedian hanging out there could tell how nervous I was — I think everyone could. But he said, ‘You’ll be fine. Once you get that first laugh, you’ll be fine.’ And he was right.”
Orvedahl never saw his angel again, but it seems he doesn’t need him anymore. He’s toured the U.S. as a stand-up comic, making appearances at the Aspen, Las Vegas, Seattle, Great American, Bridgetown and High Plains comedy festivals. He was part of the “New Faces” Showcase at Montreal Just for Laughs in 2013, and he’s appeared on “NickMom Night Out,” “Last Comic Standing,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.”
He’s probably best known for his role as one-third of the Grawlix, a Denver comedy troupe formed in 2011 and rounded out by Ben Roy and Adam Cayton-Holland. The group came out of “Los Comicos Super Hilariosos,” a popular monthly show in Denver that featured a core group of comics and guests.
The Grawlix stars in a Funny or Die Web series produced by The Nix Bros. that follows the three men on their quests for comedy fame and fortune. The Grawlix and The Nix Bros. also worked together on a pilot for Amazon in 2012 called “Those Who Can’t,” about three inept Denver high school teachers.
Orvedahl’s special brand of comedy depends on his talent for telling stories. Much of his stand-up jokes come from experiences he’s had, people he’s observed or things that have happened to him.
In 2010, he started “The Narrators,” a live monthly show featuring guest musicians, comedians, actors and writers telling stories based on a theme. This show led to Orvedahl’s first foray into podcasts.
“It was just to expand interest in that ‘Narrators’ show,” he said. “We were getting a lot of interest in the live show, and I wanted to share it with a bigger audience.”
Since then, Orvedahl started hosting another podcast with Talitha K. called “The Unicorn,” which features a conversation with a special guest comedian about sex and relationships.
“That one came from my friend Talitha,” Orvedahl said. “It was almost like a joke: ‘We should just start a show where we chat with comics about this stuff.’ Then once we started doing it, we were like, ‘Oh, this is fun.’”
Orvedahl is obviously not afraid to try new things, or if he is, he does it anyway. But he credits much of his success in comedy to the people he surrounds himself with.
“I don’t think I’d be able to do so many projects without having collaborators,” he said.
Sometimes, though, it’s fun to just get up on stage and tell jokes.
“I’m excited to play Glenwood,” he said. “I’ve heard only good things.”
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