Live review: Doug Benson @ the Boulder TheaterBy Marc Hobelman | September 21st, 2011 | No Comments »
Comedian Doug Benson played a hilarious show at the Boulder Theater Tuesday night. Stoner humor is ubiquitous in American culture, but Benson crafts his own brand that pays loving homage to stereotypes and puns and adds unique life experience to take it to a much
higher more dignified level.
Touring buddy Graham Elwood did a tight 30 minutes after a loose, banter-filled intro by Benson. Elwood poked fun at Peoria, Ill.’s public art and Providence, R.I.’s “harshpitality” in a string of zany road stories. His wiry personality helped get big laughs when he went physical, demonstrating “that one hippie girl dancing to the side of the stage by herself at every concert” and his fearsome palm strike inspired by his handful of beginner martial arts classes.
Benson opened with short-term memory loss characterizations of himself that were funny and set the weed tone, but proved to be exagerations. His mind may wander from time to time on stage, but his material and callbacks are honed to a fine edge. His wit is quick and very smart. He draws from a sophisticated reference in one moment, and cracks himself up in the next. Benson mixed one-liners with long anecdotes about podcasting and his movie-making experience. He occasionally riffed on other comedians’ catchphrases with a mary jane spin like his Gaffigan-esque “pot pocket,” among others.
His jokes about bad pick-up lines and smoking weed with strangers resonated with the crowd. The conversational style of his set was warm and inviting, which worked especially well when he transferred from stand up to audience interaction end on the show. Benson trotted out the Leonard Maltin game (a “Name That Tune”-type movie game made popular on the Doug Loves Movies podcast) in which audience member Matt, who brought a three-foot joint prop to the show, lost, but Jessica and her triceratops hand puppet took home glorious prizes. A combination of two of his favorite jokes ended the evening early.
Click here to read our “Why So Serious?” with Doug Benson.
Marc Hobelman makes websites at The Denver Post, tweets pictures of his cat and is a regular contributor to Reverb.