Andrew Orvedahl

Why So Serious, Kumail Nanjiani? (Meltdown edition)

Contrary to the career aspirations of most comedians, Kumail Nanjiani was not desperate to land a series on Comedy Central. The 35-year-old Pakistan native, based in Los Angeles, enjoys a busy touring, podcasting and acting career with spots on "Portlandia" and "Franklin & Bash," and late-night sets for Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien.

Why So Serious, Beth Stelling?

Judge not Beth Stelling for her professional credits -- although that would be both fair and flattering, since the L.A.-based stand-up sports a number of comedy merit badges, including a recent "Conan" set and a spot on the prestigious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, in addition to releasing her first album (last year's "Sweet Beth") on Rooftop Comedy.

Why So Serious, Chris Fairbanks?

Chris Fairbanks cares not for your problems, your distractions, your pink eye-ridden housecats and mice. He came here to shred your brain into perfectly rectangular strips of mind comedy, and you're going to let him.

Live review: Underground Music Showcase (UMS), Day 2

Friday's sweltering heat did little to dampen Day 2 of the 11th annual Underground Music Showcase. The UMS, as it's been known the past few years, welcomed another eager crop of local and national acts — and fans — to 16 stages along the retail- and bar-heavy strip of South Broadway.

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.