There’s a new documentary about stand-up comedy in the works and it’s called Joke Life. Director Ben Overzet has set out to follow the lives of three Denver comedians (Ben Roy, Sam Tallent, and Troy Baxley) in a film that explores what it’s like to be a modern-day comic. Having seen Ben Roy destroy upon a few different stages throughout Saint Louis, MO a few weeks ago, this film and its Kickstarter campaign sincerely caught my attention. Though the film stars Roy, Tallent, and Baxley, it also includes appearances from Doug Benson, Chris Gethard, T.J. Miller, Ben Kronberg, and Brendon Walsh. I contacted Overzet to get the full story on Joke Life, its Kickstarter campaign, and its direction.
Where did the idea for Joke Life come from?
I started filming this in January of 2012, which is when I was starting to realize big things were happening in Denver. Between the success of The Grawlix and a new show in Five Points called “Too Much Fun,” an “alt” comedy scene was starting to sprout up in Denver. Turnouts were increasing and people were starting to get very excited about what the Denver comedy scene had to offer, or at least I was. From there I chose the three comics that I felt best represented the Denver scene and who were experiencing similar issues, and shot with them.
Joke Life has a Kickstarter.com campaign at work right now. You’ve set a goal to raise $7,500 in order to finish this film. We’re about a third of the way there and we have six days to go. What do we do, Ben?
Joke Life is about 90% filmed, and I have no question we’ll be wrapping up the film in the next couple of months. My count right now is $2340 thanks to our very generous backers. Despite the fact that the outcome of the Kickstarter is looking grim, a lot of great opportunities have come from it, and we’re working very hard to get more exposure for the project.
What do you look forward to filming the most?
If the Kickstarter can meet its goal, I would love to be able to travel to Maine with Ben and see where he grew up, as well as the vast number of friends and family that flock to his sold out shows whenever he returns.
So anyone can literally donate $1000 to the Joke Life kickstarter campaign and be dubbed executive producer in the film’s credits?
That’s right! Donate $10k and I’ll call you my Dad.
How would you describe the Denver comedy scene right now in one sentence or less? Does it have any particular theme running through it?
EXCITING. – A lot of big things are happening out here. The Grawlix and Fine Gentleman’s Club have encouraged a lot of alternative shows popping up around town, and the number of young comics on the rise continues to grow in Denver. Not to mention, Ben Roy & The Grawlix have a pilot in the works, which could do really great things not only for the comedy community out here, but for the film community as well.
Do you have a favorite comedy club in Denver?
Comedy Works! It’s a club favorite amongst a lot of comics for a reason. There’s nothing like that room. I used to work at the downtown club as door staff, and I was lucky to have witnessed so many incredible moments at that club.
Does Doug Benson smoke a lot of marijuana in this film, too?
If you want to donate to the Joke Life Kickstarter campaign or learn more about the documentary, visit its donation site.