Why So Serious?

Why So Serious, Darrell Hammond? (Comedy Works edition)

For the latest "Why So Serious?" we're celebrating the 30th anniversary of Denver stand-up institution Comedy Works, which will commemorate the occasion with sets this weekend from master impressionist and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell Hammond, as well as Flip Orley and Denver's Ben Roy.

Why So Serious, Todd Barry?

Droll New York comedian Todd Barry’s most visible roles have been in friends’ projects, like Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” (as smug deli manager Wayne), Louis C.K.’s brilliant, eponymous FX show and HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords” — in addition to dozens of late-night talk shows, hip music festivals and Adult Swim cameos.

Why So Serious, Bobcat Goldthwait?

For better or worse, a memorable character follows its creator throughout his or her career, and that's been the case with Bobcat Goldthwait. Known best for the bug-eyed, strangle-voiced caricature he perfected on stand-up stages and in '80s comedies such as "Hot to Trot," "Shakes the Clown" and the "Police Academy" series, Goldthwait has spent the rest of his career focusing on acting, writing, directing and -- at times -- fleeing his own creation.

Why So Serious, Ben Roy? (UMS edition)

Along with a handful of other stand-ups, Ben Roy could make a legitimate claim to being the new face of Denver comedy. From the glossy pages of 5280 magazine to appearances at Montreal's Just for Laughs festival and clubs around the country, the 31-year-old Portland, Maine, native has proven that his act works far outside of the Mile High City.

Why So Serious, Dana Gould?

Like many stand-ups, Dana Gould is better known for his writing and producing credits and cameo appearances than as a touring comedian -- even if that's the Hopedale, Mass., native's creative bread and butter.

Why So Serious, Jimmy Pardo?

Jimmy Pardo is a comedian's comedian -- which is to say he's better known by other stand-ups than he is the general public. Of course, anyone who's seen a "Conan" taping has watched Pardo warm up the crowd, and he's steadily becoming more visible these days thanks to another invaluable tool for contemporary stand-ups: the podcast.

Why So Serious, Jim Breuer?

Who's that half-lidded creature peering at you through a cloud of white smoke? Why, it's another "Why So Serious?" Q&A, this time featuring stand-up, podcaster and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jim Breuer.

Why So Serious, Marc Maron?

What's that hulking mass galloping at you from the forest? Why, it's another "Why So Serious?" Q&A, this time featuring everyone's favorite comedic malcontent and fearless podcaster, Marc Maron.

Why So Serious, Paula Poundstone?

For this installment of "Why So Serious?" we talked to veteran comedian Paula Poundstone, a product of the '80s comedy boom who rebounded from an early 2000s scandal to reconnect with her audience via NPR appearances and tireless touring.

Why So Serious, Heather McDonald?

For this installment of "Why So Serious," we talked to L.A. stand-up and writer Heather McDonald, a pal of E! TV star Chelsea Handler and a regular on Handler's raunchy late-night talk show, "Chelsea Lately." Much like other "Lately" regulars, McDonald mines a raw vein of relationship comedy that never strays far from a certain conversational relatability.

Why So Serious, Kumail Nanjiani?

For this installment of "Why So Serious," we caught up with L.A.'s Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistan-born comic who was only introduced to stand-up at age 18, but who has managed to snap the comedy world to attention with a blend of refreshing material and an intimidating grasp of stand-up fundamentals.

Why So Serious, Heather Snow?

For this installment of "Why So Serious," we caught up with Denver comedian Heather Snow, a relative newcomer to stand-up who has nonetheless managed to create an impressive mini-scene at Beauty Bar each month.

Why So Serious, Tom Papa?

For this installment of "Why So Serious," we caught up with comedian, actor and writer Tom Papa, best known as the host of NBC's "The Marriage Ref" and as the opener for mega-comedian Jerry Seinfeld for the last nine years.

Why So Serious, Iliza Shlesinger?

For this installment of "Why So Serious," we caught up with Iliza Shlesinger, winner of Season 6 of NBC's "Last Comic Standing." Like Denver favorite Josh Blue, Schlesinger got a significant bump from winning that program -- though she has worked hard to maintain her growing audience, going out of her way to perform multiple times every night of the week.