STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Ben Roy

BEN ROY 2012

Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Ben Roy. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

As a caffeine junkie, there’s not a morning that passes without the need for massive amounts of coffee – that is, until I listened to the debut album from comedian Ben Roy, I Got Demons. The New England born, Denver-based comedian’s first release is a loud, in-your-face hour of brash, unabashedly honest comedy that will stick in your gut far longer than any grande soy mocha latte could.

I Got Demons was recorded over three nights at the Comedy Works in Downtown Denver before being edited and tracked by Dan Schlissel at Stand Up! Records, and was released today through the Greater Than Collective. In it, Roy more than delivers on his website’s promise, Ben Roy Yells A Lot, by immediately unleashing a raucously high-energy rant upon his audience (complete with lots of delicious f-bombs), successfully snatching up their attention for the remainder of his set.

With a stage presence that’s been likened to “a skinny, punk-rock Sam Kinison”, it would be far too easy to make assumptions about Roy and his comedy at first glance – but Roy is a contradiction of sorts. He’s been sober for a year, happily married for a decade, and the father to a six-year-old. But as the album’s title implies, Roy’s demons are still alive and well in his life.

“Ohhh, I love vodka. I can’t drink vodka anymore though; that shit’s the key that opens up the door to where I keep all my baggage,” Roy states, in a half-frustrated sing-song way.

What’s refreshing about I Got Demons is that Roy clearly stays true to himself in his comedy – he states what’s on his mind, offering up hilarious observations of everyday things such as the use of ring-back tones: “You can’t answer the phone all professional after you just audibly tween finger-fucked my face for forty-five seconds.”

Another, perhaps random, highlight of Roy’s album is the fact that he never at all makes reference to the set being recorded – something that a lot of comics have a tendency to do during a first recording.

“It was a new experience for me. I did my best to treat it like any other show,” Roy tells me, reflecting on the process. “Once I got going, I settled in and was able to be me.”
Roy makes no apologies for anything he says, demonstrating a high amount of confidence on stage and in his material. He knows how to work his audience – even if that involves pointing out obvious pitfalls.

“You can be whatever the fuck you want to be in here, that’s the best part about a comedy club,” Roy starts. “We can pretend in here that you don’t all have shitty, shitty jobs to go to tomorrow…Ma’am, we can pretend you’re not dating out of your league with that guy. We can pretend you’re not the creepiest motherfucker in the room and that you’re not one rental car away from an amber alert.”

In addition to the release of the album, Roy is the co-host of the wildly popular and controversial Grawlix live show and Funny or Die web series along with fellow comedians Adam Cayton-Holland and Andrew Orvedahl. He’s has also been a finalist in several local and national competitions and was selected to perform at the Boston Comedy Festival, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, the MTV Comedy Showcase, and most recently, the Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival.

Ben Roy is definitely a comedian to keep your eyes on, as he’s quickly moving up through the ranks and promises to be a rising star in comedy. I Got Demons is out today, and when you purchase online you’ll get an instant digital download as well as a copy of the CD (which is great for the impatient folk like myself). I know I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from Ben Roy.

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