Durango just keeps getting funnier.
Comic Uprising is a new troupe for local comedians who want to hone their comedic craft. Jill Carlson, creator of the Four Corners Comedy Festival, formed the subsidiary of the festival with new comedians to the local scene who share the same vision of “fostering local talent and providing a great venue for traveling comics,” she said.
“We really believe in Durango as sort of a feeder for the larger cities. If people really want to pursue comedy, this is not really a place where you get famous, this is a place where you cut your teeth and learn how to do the art of comedy and then when you’re ready to move, you move on,” Carlson said. “That’s why we have a lot of connections in the bigger cities, which are Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt Lake and Vegas. We are basically setting them up and helping them prepare here so that they can move on if they want.”
And tonight, it’s the ladies who will be providing the laughs in Durango with “Stephanie McHugh’s Women of Durango Comedy” show at Down The Rabbit Hole.
Carlson said the show was a combination of good timing and a longtime plan. McHugh, who is the show’s headliner, is headlining the Farmington Women’s Symposium on Thursday. The manager at Down The Rabbit Hole, who has connections in New Mexico, was contacted about McHugh’s appearance, and it was suggested that it might be a good idea to get her up here for an appearance.
And that’s when Carlson stepped in.
“I suggested the all-women show because it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while – we’ve never had it here,” she said. “I think the women in Durango are by far the funniest. We have a really good pool of female comics here, we really do. We have a unique thing in Durango, and the best part about the scene is that the male equivalence of the females are absolutely amazingly supportive of the females; there’s no misogyny, there’s no blacklisting, it’s a really unique thing, because I follow a lot of the scenes in other areas, where there’s this theme that women aren’t funny and they’re only put on a show to add diversity. And that’s not the case.”
Carlson said that once the idea started to form, within 24 hours, the comedians were committed to perform. Scheduled to take the stage are McHugh, Kate McLachlan, Kali Parmenter and Betsy Schur. Carlson will be the host.
The comedy scene in Durango continues to grow, Carlson said, and that can be attributed to a couple of factors: The popularity of comedy in Durango is a mirror of comedy’s popularity nationally. And, Durango’s support of the art form allows people who may initially be nervous to try it to get up on the stage.
“That’s one of the things that’s really cool about the Durango scene, is No. 1, the caliber of performance, we just set the bar high, so everyone rose to it,” Carlson said. “No. 2, when you can go to your local bar every week and see people that you know getting up there and being a star, they’re really just talking, that’s all they’re doing, I can tell you, comedy is not an easy art form, but it appears easy to the layperson. And that’s where you get people in who want to give it a shot.”