Vail Comedy Show expands to offer two evenings of comedy

Mark Masters, founder of the Vail Comedy Show, is expanding the show’s offering to two performances in December and January.
Chris Kendig / Courtesy photo

Since the Vail Comedy Show moved to the Bridge Street Bar in September, it has been selling tickets to its comedy shows every month. With the shows growing in popularity, founder Mark Masters decided to expand it by adding two shows in December and January.

“In November, we sold out the day before the show, which is the first time we’ve sold that wasn’t the day of, and we’ve got this long sell-out streak,” Masters said. “So in December we’re going to do two shows, so more locals can laugh and enjoy the Vail Comedy Show. “

This week, the show will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday December 15 and Thursday December 16. The headliners of the two evenings will remain the same, while the first part will move between two local actors.

French accent

The headliner for this week’s performances is Kevin Bennett, better known as his character on stage: French Accent. When performing as a French accent, Bennett dons a beret, eye patch, and accordion, and tells quick jokes and stories with a heavily exaggerated French accent.

Bennett said doing character comedy – especially one as visual and aural as French Accent – allows him to form an immediate connection with audiences.

Denver-based comedian Kevin Bennett, who performs a character comedy called “French Accent,” will be on the front page of both nights this week.
Vail Comedy Show / Courtesy Photo

“It’s a veneer that allows me to engage people directly, without the conscious mind getting in my way,” Bennett said. “The character – especially if you’ve never seen him before – sucks you in a bit and you can’t think of anything other than what’s going on. It allows me to be more entertaining, to communicate and reach out to them, whereas if I do normal stand-up they just see a guy up there doing what they’ve already seen and so they immediately start comparing .

Bennet plays small riffs on the accordion as a transition between the jokes, and the purely ridiculous nature of a Midwestern American playing old-fashioned accordion riffs while speaking with a strong French accent adds an extra layer of hilarity at everything he says.

“It’s kind of like a card without getting out of jail,” Bennett said. “If I screw up a joke then I look really nervous, I wait a second, then I play the accordion a bit, and everyone is like ‘Okay, that was funny.’ “

His tactful use of the accordion and ability to work a crowd stand out most clearly in his performance on the national television show America’s Got Talent in 2018. Although he did not make it past the first auditions, he did. managed to attract the whole crowd. laughing and cheering, to the point that two of the judges actually overturned their initial negative decision. It wasn’t enough to move on to the next round, but it introduced the world to French Accent.

Bennett said he was especially happy playing at a small local club for the sense of camaraderie and connection that venues like the Bridge Street Bar create.

“If you go to what’s called a conventional club, like The Improv or Laugh Factory, there’s a bunch of rules, and there’s a bunch of comedy keepers there,” Bennett said. “Sometimes they’re not that bad – sometimes they’re real cheese freaks – but with a local venue run by someone who’s passionate about comedy and looking to build a brand, what you’re going to find out is is that there is no cliquey environment. There is more of a kind of camaraderie, and you can do more things. It’s a lot more fun, and it’s a lot more of an in-depth personal experience.

Stephanie McHugh

The other actress who will perform on both nights is Stephanie McHugh, also from Denver.

McHugh first experienced the power of comedy when she was in college. A close friend of hers had an alcoholic father, and McHugh discovered that she was able to completely change the negative environment he created by making him laugh.

“I love to laugh,” McHugh said. “It can change the tone of the room. Going back to when I was 13, when we were at my best friend’s house, and her father was combative and verbally abusive – laughter could change the tone of the room just like that.

Denver-based comedian Stephanie McHugh will perform on both nights.
Vail Comedy Show / Courtesy Photo

McHugh knew she had a knack for making people laugh, but she didn’t try stand-up for the first time until her mid-30s.

“I didn’t have anyone in the audience that I knew, I just went and did it,” McHugh said. “Then the second time I did it, my then husband came over and some friends, and it was horrible. It was like giving birth. The first time, you have no idea what to do with it. ‘wait. You know it might be traumatic, but just keep an open mind. But the second time around, I knew what to expect – when I had a baby and when I got on stage. So it was nerve-racking, but then again you just have to get used to it and figure it out, you know? “

Just nine months after his first time on stage, McHugh won a trip to the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and has now been a part of the Denver comedy scene for over 17 years. She bases her comedy on events and experiences from her own life, and has been able to connect with audiences across the country through regular performances, appearances on cruise ships, and an appearance on Nick on the TV show. by Nite “America’s Funniest Mom”.

McHugh is also the co-founder of the MentalPause Comedy Show and “The Twilight Moan Podcast – Laughter, Love and Sex After 50”. She can’t wait to be in front of a live audience after a year of online shows.

“I’m so excited to play Vail in person, because I did the comedy Zoom,” McHugh said. “Live comedy is like a hot fudge sundae: it’s cool and hot at the same time. Zoom online comedy is like a fruit cake. It’s a bit dry and there are a few more nuts than I would prefer, but it worked in a pinch.


The opener Wednesday night is Jacob Jonas, a lively and eccentric Denver-based comedian. Jonas is an up-and-coming comic who has performed in several national venues including the Savage Henry Comedy Festival, Best Comedy Show Denver Fringe Festival, and the Gotham Comedy Club.

“Jacob discusses a variety of topics ranging from personal anecdotes of hilarity to large-scale historical socio-political trends in a distinctly absurd way,” reads his bio on the Deadroom Comedy team page. “Jacob’s comedy style is dark but is presented with a sharp wit and strong punchlines that leave audiences wanting more.”

On Thursday night, Kyle Ruff, owner and producer of Steamboat Comedy and The Steamboat Comedy Podcast, will open the show. Ruff has performed at the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest) in New Hampshire, the Chillderburg Liberty Event in Texas, and headlining at the Chief Theater in Steamboat Springs.

Masters will also play their own stand-up on both nights this week.

Tickets are now available on from $ 25 per person. Participants must be 21 years of age or older to enter the venue. Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

Javier E. Swan