Comedy at the Vaudeville
If You Go...
Who: Phil Palisoul, Nora Lynch and Byron F. Graham
What: Comedy Night
When: 7 p.m. doors on Saturday
Where: Vaudeville Revue
How Much: $25 (Must be 18 or older)
For Phil Palisoul and stand-up comedy, it was love at first laugh.
“I did three minutes at an open mic night at The Comedy Works downtown [Denver], and that was almost 25 years ago,” he said. “If you’ve never golfed, you can hit one golf ball and know if that’s what you want to do forever. It got into me deep and early, and I wanted to do whatever it took. Like any idiot, I thought I would be on ‘The Tonight Show’ in a matter of months.”
Maybe it wasn’t a matter of months, but Palisoul did get on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” about 10 years after that first, fateful night on stage. Since then, he’s appeared on “The Daily Buzz,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Comedy.TV” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” And in 2013, he took first place at the Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson’s hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska.
Now, Palisoul is headlining a comedy night at the Vaudeville Revue with special guest Nora Lynch and hosted by Byron Graham at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 970-945-9699. Attendees must be 18 or older.
Palisoul’s stand-up acts show the comedian finding humor in everyday life, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation. He makes jokes about anything from road rage to his dorky looks, and he does it in a way that everyone can relate to.
In addition to his stand-up credentials, Palisoul has also worked as a sitcom writer in Los Angeles. He moved to L.A. from Denver in the early ’90s and stayed until 2006, when reality TV was making writing jobs harder to find. He worked on various shows, including “Caroline in the City.”
“It was a huge adjustment just because of the number of people and the time it would take to cover ground,” he said. “But I was like everybody who was there — there were plenty of reasons to be there. At that point, that’s where television was.”
Palisoul said his sitcom writing gigs were fun while they lasted, but nothing beats stand-up for him.
“I very much enjoyed writing television because it’s very fun to go from nothing to something,” he said. “But nothing beats the experience of thinking of the joke, telling the joke and getting the laugh immediately.”
Plus, he said, writing for a TV show becomes a grind. You don’t get to make a joke and move on; you’re there working with largely the same cast of characters for about 20 episodes.
Stand-up has a grind of its own for Palisoul, though: being away from home. Before his Vaudeville gig, he spent four days on a Ft. Lauderdale cruise to perform.
“I’m on a luxurious cruise ship, but I’m going to work for 20 minutes,” he said. “So the grind is: You’re gone. There are days when if I had a jet pack I would be out of here. You understand sometimes why the bear chews its leg off,” he said with a laugh.
Palisoul said he’s of course grateful to be making a living off of comedy and can’t complain, but he was away from home for more than 200 days last year because a lot of his work comes from cruises and corporate gigs outside of Denver. But he said he might take some extra time after his gig at the Vaudeville to enjoy Glenwood.
“When I’m home, I feel like staying home, but I love Glenwood,” he said. “I’m very much looking forward to coming up and doing a show.”
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