On Scene: Comedian visits Steamboat
After living in Steamboat Springs for more than a year, it can be easy to lose touch with how this place might be seen by an outsider – especially by someone from a place that doesn’t have a ski resort, receive 500 inches of snow in a single winter or have a tradition of sending people down an icy street riding shovels in a festival called Winter Carnival.
On Tuesday, I looked for a little outsider perspective on our newly snow-covered town from H. Alan Scott (real name: Scott Hoeniger), a New York City comedian/writer who was in town for a week visiting longtime friend and Steamboat Pilot & Today reporter Blythe Terrell.
Having spent a good amount of his week in town circulating word about a short comedy set he planned to perform at the first Mahogany Ridge open mic night of the ski season, Scott drew a few comparisons between how his jokes are received in metropolitan markets and how they were received here.
On the reception for a joke that references a family viewing of a particularly racy scene in “Boogie Nights,” Scott said: “The Steamboat Springs audience, the things they laughed at weren’t the typical points that people laugh at.”
A New York audience typically goes for the vulgar part of the joke – or the punch line.
The Steamboat audience went for the part where Scott’s mother leans over to him and comments on the movie’s lewdness.
Comedy is a rarity at Mahogany’s open mic night. God, comedy is a rarity at almost any open mic, no matter how large the population of the host city, and the crowd’s reaction to Scott’s 10-minute set was positive throughout.
The kitchen staff came out into the dining room to hear the set, as open mic host Justin Glaza paced the dining room, laughing and repeating punch lines.
Outside of performing to a new kind of audience at open mic, Scott offered one standout observation about nightlife in Steamboat Springs. Sitting in the Old Town Pub bar Tuesday night, he looked over into the dining room and said:
“This place, going from this thing to dance party central on Friday night, that was the strangest thing I’ve seen.”
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