Interview with Adam Cayton-Holland

Photo courtesy of the Super Serious Show

Photo courtesy of the Super Serious Show

By Tim

If you know anything about the Denver comedy scene then you’ve heard about Adam Cayton-Holland (not Clayton) and if you don’t know anything about the Denver comedy scene then pay attention. Adam hosts his own podcast “My Dining Room Table” and co-founded the Grawlix whose show “Those Who Can’t” was picked up and is premiering on TruTv in early 2016. While doing all that Adam recorded two albums entitled “I Don’t Know If I Happy” and his album from earlier this year “Backyards“. In addition to building the Denver comedy scene, Adam has appeared on Conan and The Pete Holmes Show. If that is not enough for you then read some of his written works that have been in the Atlantic among other publications. I was lucky to be able to ask Adam some questions about this year’s festival and more.

Hi, how are you doing?
Where/when did you start doing standup?
Hi! Started stand-up in Denver, Colorado in 2004. At a dingy little open mic called the Lion’s Lair. It ruled.

I read you’re a fan of bird watching. For people who are traveling to Denver, what are some local birds that they should look out for?
Great question. The Northern Flicker (though non-native) is a fave. Ditto the downey woodpecker. If you’re lucky you’ll see a red-shouldered black-bird. 

How did the High Plains Comedy Festival come about?
Myself and Andy Juett decided that it was long overdue. That Denver needed a high-caliber comedy festival on par with any other in the country. So we set out to make it so. 

What are some local “attractions” that people should check out while they’re in Denver?
They abound. Denver is a city of neighborhoods so get out there and explore one. Baker. Park Hill. Visit Illegal Pete’s and TRVE Brewing. You’ll thank me.

The Denver comedy scene has thrived over the last few years. What advice would you give to someone whose town doesn’t have a comedy scene? How can one help build a better scene?
The only advice I have is don’t waste time in-fighting or excluding. The more good comics working, the better. Put on your own shows, but also go support others. Be cool, be funny, work hard. The rest will take care of itself.

You (the Grawlix) made the Those Who Can’t pilot and now Tru TV has picked it up. How many episodes can we expect and are any there any familiar faces we should look out for on the show?
We got picked up for ten episodes starting in January on TRU TV. Soooo many familiar faces, among them Rory Scovel, Kyle Kinane, TJ Miller, Susie Essman, Mary Lynn Rasjkub, the list goes on and on. 

On “Those Who Can’t” you play a Spanish teacher that puts an emphasis on the Castilian accent. Why did you make yourself a Spanish teacher? And why Castilian Spanish?
I lived in Spain for a year, first Madrid, then Santiago de Compostela, and kind of learned Spanish the old Castilian way. It seemed natural to me to incorporate that into the character. 

Speaking of the Grawlix, how did you Ben Roy, and Andrew come up with the name the Grawlix? What does it mean?
I thought of the name. I read it in an article somewhere. It’s like in a comic strip and there’s a swear word and they bleep it out like #@*%$. That’s called a Grawlix. I thought that was perfect. It’s obscure and pretentious. Just like me. 

You’re a noted Colorado Rockies fan. Who is the greatest Rockie in your opinion?
Oooh. Tough call. I loved Larry Walker. I loved Todd Helton. We may have just traded him, though. It might be Tulo. Let’s hope it’s Nolan Arenado. Or CarGo.

You’ve written for a number of publications, you host a podcast, do standup, organize the High Plains Comedy Fest, and now are a writer/actor on your own tv show. Which comes most natural to you, and which is the most fun?
Honestly writing probably comes most naturally to me but stand-up is the most fun. I really enjoy them all though. If I do one too long, I get bored. I’m the type of guy who needs to keep changing, always working on some different project here or there. So I like having a lot of different outlets. 

Lastly, Red or Green?
Green. Duh. 

To find out more about Adam and see his Highplains Comedy Festival set times click here.

Note, the answers to the questions were emailed and were not altered in way to help give the most authentic interview possible.

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