Carbondale’s the place for a comedy bailout |

Carbondale’s the place for a comedy bailout

Kay Vasilakis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Mark Thomas

CARBONDALE, Colorado” A good laugh every day can be better than an apple a day.

The Local Laughter Stimulus Package will bring an evening of local stand-up comedy to Steve’s Guitars at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, March 28. Five comics will get you laughing for 90 minutes. Tickets are $9.99 at Sounds Easy Video or at the door.

Mark Thomas is the force behind Comedy Mercenary Productions, which is producing the comedy show. Thomas started out as an original member of the short-lived “Laugh Your Aspen Off” comedy troupe. After LYAO folded in August ’07, there was a vacuum. He still wanted to perform, so he picked up the ball and started organizing comedy shows himself.

Thomas has a special place in his heart for Steve’s Guitars, which is where he produced his first show in 2007, and where some of his most positive comedy memories originate.

“The place is classic Carbondale ” perfectly funky, intimate, and the people almost always add to the positive vibe of the room,” said Thomas. “That’s critical for a stand-up comedian.”

Thomas enjoys getting a humorous idea and painting it in the mind of an audience to elicit laughter, surprise and delight.

“I love it when another comedian surprises me, makes me think, and takes my breath away with uncontrollable laughter. When a comic can virtually re-boot my brain, then I sit up, take note, and aspire to that same creative ability to short-circuit someone else’s brain in a positive way.”

Thomas says the key to inspiration is paying attention, and capturing the idea in writing before it vanishes into thin air.

“Inspiration is everywhere, and the talent feeding the machine is endless. You just have to seek it out and pay attention. It’s not always good. But when it’s great, you know it in your gut.”

Thomas is on the lookout for promising new talent, and wishes there were more women in the valley interested in trying stand-up. The door’s wide open, so local ladies who consider themselves hysterically funny can find a following in the valley.

He wants to work with nonprofits to incorporate some element of comedy into their annual fundraisers, and plans to be trained as an auctioneer to be the master of ceremonies at live auctions for charity events.

“Steve Standiford is a local treasure, and I want to voice my undying appreciation for his support of the comedy craft,” said Thomas. “Without Steve’s Guitars this would be much harder to do. We’re blessed in this valley ” which is one of the points of my show. Life is tough right now, and people are fearful and scared and anxious and nervous. If ever there was a time we all needed to take a laugh break, now is it. And I’m happy to oblige.”

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