If you go
What: Josh Blue
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St., Boulder
More info: etown.org
Comedian Josh Blue is everywhere. He lives in Denver, sure, but since he won NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2006, he’s been all over the airwaves and the country.
Most recently, Blue had his own one-hour special, “Sticky Fingers,” on Showtime. He also had his own Comedy Central Presents special and has been a regular guest on the network’s “Mind of Mencia.” He was the first stand-up comic to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest for his appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly. He’s a regular on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and The Mancow Show. He plays the pitcher in an upcoming movie called “108 Stitches.”
This is all only the half of it. Add in his touring, especially on the college circuit, and it’s a wonder the guy is ever home.
Tonight, he’s in Boulder to be the first performer in eTown’s new monthly comedy night. For those who have missed his recent media domination (find him on YouTube, too), expect some observational humor, jokes about his own life, and most notably, a very loose performance.
“I’ve never written any of my jokes down, so it’s very flowing, in-the-moment kind of stuff,” Blue said. “I don’t have a set agenda in my show. I know the jokes that I want to tell, but if I don’t get to them, I’m not going to force them. I’d rather mess around and be in the moment.”
That’s true when it comes to hecklers, too. Like any good comedian, Blue is ready and willing to engage.
“I’m also more than happy to go off script and tackle whatever’s in the room,” he said. “I love hecklers. I like showing the crowd that, you know, you can try to get me, but I have the mic and I’m a trained professional. It’s fun and the crowd eats that stuff up. They want you to smack people down.”
Blue grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and went to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where students create their own curriculum. He studied stand-up comedy, with no protest from his parents, he said.
The one possible hurdle was his disability. Blue’s bio starts by identifying him as “the comedian who puts the cerebral in Cerebral Palsy.” Early on, he said, it was a small issue, but clearly not enough to slow him down. Funny is funny.
“Now that people know who I am, I have a lot less explaining to do. What it is, too, is getting you comfortable enough to feel like it’s OK to laugh,” Blue said.
“Laughter is such an involuntary thing. It’s a response. You can’t really help if you think it’s funny or not. I’m fortunate to have the gift of getting you on my side really quickly.”
It’s likely he’ll touch on that at eTown Hall tonight, along with interracial relationships and whatever else he thinks up. Heckle at your own risk.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.