A look back on 5 years of Super Fun Steamboat Shows

Todd Danielson and Kasey Lane share a laugh while rehearsing a skit for a 2017 Super Fun Steamboat Show.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When it was just a glimmer of a brainstorm in creator Todd Danielson’s eye, there were a few other names that the show might have had. But “The Super Fun Steamboat Show” just felt right, Danielson recalls, so that’s what won out.

Five years later, the show is preparing for its season finale, set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Chief Theater.

“Five years seemed like the right time for a little reflection,” said Danielson, who’s also written, produced and acted in the shows.

When it debuted, Super Fun was focused on comedy, but over its monthly iterations, the show evolved to include music, dancing, skits, improv and other variety-show acts.

“It’s so much fun to think of funny and strange ideas to do each show, and there are no real limits on what we can try,” Danielson said. “And even trying something that doesn’t really work can be a great experience.”

The show has a core group of about 20 performers and has welcomed about a hundred Yampa Valley locals into its ranks throughout the years, ranging from beginner thespians and crew members to veterans with decades of experience.

“I’ve been amazingly fortunate to come in contact with so many people who have come in and out. Some, I have known for more than 15 years; some I’m just getting to know,” Danielson said. “All these people are like a second family.”

If you go

What: Super Fun Steamboat Show season finale
When: 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: Free — donations support the Routt County United Way Thanksgiving meal (show recommended for those 18 and older)

Danielson calls the show an amazing creative outlet.

“This has sort of been like opening an art gallery for local talent, giving them another space to showcase their talents,” he said. “And by performing more, people practice more, get better, spend more time with friends and lots of other bonus benefits.”

But even more important than that has been the sense of unity and fun the cast and crew share throughout the month.

A Super Fun Steamboat Show sketch featured, from left, Kris Hammond, Will Griffin, Tony Counts, Chris Wadopian, Carolyn Berns, Todd Danielson and Hayley Berg.
courtesy of Todd Danielson

“The goal of the show is for everyone, cast included, to have fun,” Danielson said, “and as soon as that stops being the case, we need to re-evaluate and re-check our priorities.”

Saturday’s Super Fun show will be more reflective than the show’s past season finales. The show will feature video clips from Super Fun’s early years and include other nods to the show’s history. It will be the 31st all-new Super Fun show.

“We’re not changing the world or anything but (reaching five years) seems like a pretty cool accomplishment,” Danielson said.

Todd Danielson in the role of a man who is having a hard time recovering after the presidential election during a rehearsal for a Super Fun Steamboat Show in 2017.
Matt Stensland

The Super Fun Steamboat Show has donated ticket sales and donations to a different charity or cause after every show, contributing more than $10,000 to local organizations ranging from the Chief Youth Players to the Steamboat Soccer Club to Bust of Steamboat, a nonprofit that supports locals fighting breast cancer.

Donations from Saturday’s show will support the Routt County United Way Thanksgiving meal. The community meal is prepared by local volunteers and sponsored by Mountain Valley Bank. It takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Saturday’s show begins at 8 p.m.

Cast members perform at the Chief Theater during a past Super Fun Steamboat Show.
Tim Murphy/Courtesy photo

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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