On Koi Pond Removal

Of the many heartbreaking chores associated with the death of a loved one perhaps least anticipated is koi pond removal. That was the case when my little sister died anyway. The funeral, the boxing up of her belongings, the placement of the house on the market, those were all gut-wrenching chores but at least they made sense – painful but necessary tasks given the tragic new nature of things. But koi pond removal? That just seemed cruel. It was so non-sequitur. And yet sure enough, those were our new marching orders, handed down from an unloving god via his chosen terrestrial messenger, Marc, the Beaming Realtor.

I imagine in Japan this is probably not even an issue. In Japan when someone dies and you need to get rid of their koi you probably just walk down the alley and bang on the door of the neighborhood old guy. He, no doubt, interned in a Kyoto Zen garden and for the price of an Asahi twelve-pack he and his buddies will quickly and expertly remove the fish for you, all the while dispensing precious wisdom on the transcendental beauty of death and the playoff hopes of the Hanshin Tigers.

We could have used a guy like that.

But this was not Japan. This was Denver, Colorado. On a weekend. And we had a buyer who was ready to purchase my sister’s house provided there was no koi pond in the back yard for their children to drown in. So after a lengthy but ultimately futile google search we found ourselves in the backyard of my sister’s historic Victorian armed with plastic tubs, fishing nets and absolutely no clue what we were doing.

Koi removal is no easy task, the hardest part being the removal of the actual koi themselves. Sure a koi pond may appear teeming with fish, so much so that you’d think you could just reach down and grab one, but that is an undisturbed koi pond; the second you disrupt the tranquility of the water, those koi are nowhere to be seen. Koi ponds are actually designed that way. Koi’s bright colors ensure that the fish are particularly susceptible to attack from neighborhood predators, and so a good koi pond will have nearly impenetrable areas in which the koi can escape and hide. The result of such a cavernous construction makes the chore of removing the koi feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Or, more accurately, a koi in a koi pond.

So for the first half hour my brother-in-law Sam and I sat on our knees, our sleeves rolled up past our elbows, pointlessly scooping our nets deep into the water for fish that eluded our every attempt. From the porch, my father and older sister shouted advice. My three-year-old nephew Henry, unburdened by the pathos of the situation, just a city kid gone fishin’, kept optimistically shrieking “Did you catch one?! Did you catch a fish?!” But the fish weren’t biting. They were hiding. The task was proving impossible.

And then sky opened up.

The day that I found Lydia, after the call to my older sister and the arrival of the police and the fire truck and the ambulance, the neighbors spilling out into the street, after they took her body away to the morgue, we all sat around her living room in shock. Apart from our occasional sobbing, it was mostly silent. Then we heard the distant thunder. It was still late morning, far too early for the occasional evening showers common in summer, and yet there it was none-the-less. The thunder crackled, then roared, and then it was upon us with an accompanying downpour, a total drenching. Then as quickly as it had descended, it moved on. A passing storm. “That’s her,” my mother said. “That’s Lydia.” And though none of us really said anything, we all agreed. It was her. It was Lydia. Announcing her departure.

It was Lydia in her backyard that day too, I’m sure of it. But not the mighty final gasp of Lydia, the devastating, roll of thunder hear my cry, Lydia. But just Lydia. Absurdist Lydia, with her amazing, weird sense of humor. Lydia who found nothing funnier than donning a hick accent and pretending to be queasy, glazing her eyes over and exhaling painfully in a perfect impression of near-vomiting, beseeching you to just let her rest her head on your shoulder until the spell had passed. Lydia who concocted her own super hero alter-egos, Compulsiva and Neurotica, truly noble figures capable of miraculous feats, when not sidelined by crippling doubt and panic. Which was most of the time. It was the Lydia who collected Coca-Cola proofs of purchase in a drawer because she was convinced one day she could redeem them for a fighter jet, Big Military and Big Soda being so inextricably linked and everything.

That rain felt like it was my little sister fucking with us one last time. Just because she could.

My dad retreated inside, my sister and Henry too – my mother was having trouble stomaching trips to Lydia’s house –  and my brother-in-law, in an epiphany, stripped down to his boxers and jumped into the koi pond. Sam began scooping out tub after plastic tub of water. If those koi were going to try and hide, he was going to take away their hiding places. It made sense. We were already soaked, why not just get in there and get the job done? I Huck Finned my pant-legs up to my knees and joined him and for the next half hour or so we emptied that koi pond of water as quickly as we could, the tranquility of the pond demolished by the presence of two pale, half-naked intruders, thrashing around as heavy raindrops pounded the surface of the waves around us. We hit upon a pretty good cadence and put our heads down and got to work.

“Did you catch one?!” Henry shouted through quivering lips, interrupting our soaking reverie. “Did you catch a fish?!”

Unable to contain himself, he had escaped from the house back to the koi pond, where he now stood shivering in shorts and a T-shirt. His eyes were wide with hope. Sam and I burst out laughing– a big, belly, Jesus-Christ-are-you-fucking-kidding-me laugh, right in Henry’s shivering face. It was all so ridiculous. All of it: life, death, family, fish. The things we’re forced to do for one another. The mounting indignities in the fallout of someone’s death. The heartbreak of loving someone so dearly and being forced to watch them spin out of control, into something they are not, someone they are not, someone haunted and helpless, some entirely new stranger apart from themselves, and yet a stranger who you will ultimately remember as powerfully, if not more powerfully, than that original self, the shadow eclipsing the form. All of it was just too much to not laugh at in the moment: rainstorms and real estate, suicide and koi.

Self-conscious, Henry was taken aback in they way any three-year old would be in the face of two of his heroes seemingly mocking him, but we quickly caught ourselves and assured him we were not laughing at him, we were laughing at our good fortune! Because remarkably, we had begun catching fish. Lots of fish! We had emptied enough water that the surface of the koi pond had sunk, and now our plastic-tubs were yielding koi – actual koi! – with every scoop. The rain soon slowed to a drizzle, and while my dad remained dry, inside, watching through a window, my sister joined a now-delighted Henry with a towel and umbrella and the two of them began transferring the koi into a tub we had designated for just such a purpose, handing each empty bucket back to us like busy townspeople team-working a flood. Eventually we emptied the pond of water and turned our attention to the removal of large rocks and filthy clumps of kelp. Next we shoveled out the mucky soil.

Soon enough we stood in the middle of what was no longer a koi pond, but merely a pit, a blank canvas for new homeowners to do with as they pleased. The soaking wet patio and the two large tubs full of luminescent, orange and white fish were the only signs that a koi pond had ever even been there.

I loaded the buckets into my car and drove them carefully to a nearby Japanese restaurant that had agreed to take them. A waiter greeted me at a side entrance and I helped him carry the heavy tubs to the back, Zen garden where we poured the fish into an enormous pond. I watched them swim off happily. Koi are a hardy fish, durable, and highly adaptable. They’d be just fine. It would be a good new home for them.

The next day I returned to Lydia’s house to make one last pass on her backyard. As I was doing so I noticed a bright flicker of orange in the chasm of the pond: a small koi almost motionless in a tiny pocket of water deep in a corner of the pit. It had somehow escaped our efforts. Climbing down into the koi pond I used a small net to scoop up the fish and was elated to find that it was still alive. It must have spent the entire night there.

I wondered what it must have thought during the night. I speculated as to the somber notions that must have entered the recesses of its koi brain. Was it terrified there in the dark, nearly immobile in the sad little corner of what was once its home. Did it feel hopelessly alone? Did it imagine death? And if it did imagine death, was it okay with it? I mean certainly initially there must have been some panic, some trepidation at this new, inescapable turn of events, but once it became certain that this was it, did a calm wash over it? Maybe even a happiness? Was it ready to die? Ready to be released from all of the pain, all of the fright?

Lydia, of course, would have cautioned me against such thinking. She was an animal lover, designed her own major in college – Animal Behavior – and she would scold people for anthropomorphizing whenever she caught them doing it. We didn’t know what animals thought, or even how, she argued, so don’t do them the disservice of transferring your thoughts onto them. She found the behavior condescending, so high was her regard for animals.

I put my speculation aside and drove the koi fish over to the Japanese restaurant. The same waiter greeted me at the same side entrance and again I followed him to the back, Zen garden where he poured the fish into the massive pond. We watched as the little orange koi swam off into its new home and rejoined its friends and family. I was happy to be able to save it. And I knew Lydia would have been happy as well. Anthropomorphization or no, she was filled with compassion for all things, animate or inanimate. If she dropped a piece of movie popcorn on the theater floor, she would drop another piece so that it wouldn’t be lonely. If we passed a dead animal on the side of the road, she would murmur a near-silent prayer. Rest in peace, little doodle, she would say, a Ned Flander’s farewell wish to the last remaining morsel of food in one of her favorite episodes of The Simpsons. Lydia would be elated that that koi fish was back amongst its family and friends. I was glad that I could do that for her.

As I drove off from the restaurant that day I thought to myself that I would make a point of trying to visit my sister’s koi fish often in their new home, imagining that I would go see them for years to come. I imagined that it would bring me solace somehow. Koi can live up to 200 years. One famous koi named Hanako was reported to live for 225 years, passing between several owners as he outlived each of them in turn. Maybe the fish I rescued would be the next Hanako. Maybe I would one day introduce my kids to the ancient fish I had saved. But I haven’t been back to the restaurant since that day and I don’t know if I ever will. I haven’t seen any of the fish from Lydia’s koi pond since we rescued them that weekend.

Rest in peace, little doodles.

A few days later Marc the Beaming Realtor informed us that the potential buyers had bailed on the purchase of my sister’s house. They had started asking questions to some of the neighbors and found out that the young woman who had lived there previous had killed herself inside. So they chose not to buy the historic Victorian. A nice gay couple moved in shortly thereafter.

I wonder if they even know a beautiful koi pond once existed in their backyard.

 

MDRT – Final Episode

And so, after the hiatus, I have decided to shut things down here at My Dining Room Table GloboCorp LTD. I know I promised in the last episode that I would be back after the summer with your regularly scheduled MDRT’s, but the fact of the matter is I’m a liar. A goddamn, bald-faced, liar. Except my face isn’t bald. I have a beard. A mighty beard! But regardless, this will be the final episode. Most likely.

If asked, I may do this podcast live at comedy festivals. Perhaps when I feel the need I’ll do an interview and just put it out there, random-like, just because. But all that is pretty unlikely. It feels like the time has come to move on, to hang up my podcasting headphones and call it a day. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. I’d like to thank everyone who ever listened to MDRT. That you would choose to spend some of your time sitting down with me at My Dining Room Table means the world to me. So thank you. Thanks for listening to my podcast. Truly.

As always, check out the episode on iTunes here.

MDRT – The Hiatus

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And just like that, My Dining Room Table is officially on summer vacation. And by “summer vacation” I mean working harder than I’ve ever worked in my life on the production of Those Who Can’t. Alas, it is so dear listeners, I do not currently have the time to commit to this podcast that it deserves so I’m taking a breather for the summer. But fear not! My Dining Room Table will return! This is not the end, just a break. I’ll be back with new episodes come August of this year, September at the latest. So be on the lookout for those. In the meantime I hope you have the best summer ever and keep in touch! See you next semester, gang!

Now if you’ll excuse me, time to make some TV.

Check out the episode on iTunes here.

MDRT – Noah Gardenswartz

headshotI met Noah Gardenswartz backwards. That is to say, I don’t know how we didn’t know each other earlier on in life. He grew up in the Jewish community in Denver, Colorado – a smaller Jewish community as far as they go, that I was, at the very least, tangential with as a shitty half-Jew who never went to synagogue but was fluent in bar and bat mitzvah parties. Then he went on to East High School, my beloved alma mater that I won’t seem to shut up about. But it wasn’t until stand-up that I ever met the dude. And even then, it was in a round about way. My buddy Ben Roy met him at a comedy festival in Atlanta, where the two bonded over their mutual Denver connections. Ben told him to come do the Grawlix should he find himself in Denver, and like that I met Noah for the first time backstage at our monthly show at the Bug Theater. And then the connections became even stronger. He knew my little sister, went to East with her. We had a ton of friends in common. I was already a fan of his comedy after watching his set, but those common interest made me a fan of the guy, because what are we but naval-gazing entities wandering the planet looking for someone who’s interests/geography/experiences somewhat mirror our own?

But then Noah and I sat down for this podcast and I learned so, so much more about him. And now I feel that shared connection even deeper. He taught for awhile, like I did. He wrote for an alt-weekly for awhile, like I did. But also, sadly and more profoundly, he’s had to experience tragic loss in his life. Like I did. So we talked about it. And much, much more. And you’d be amazed how helpful that simple act can be. I walked away from recording this episode feeling somehow cleansed. I guess in a way I needed it. I hope Noah felt the same way. Simply put: this is probably one of my favorite episodes of My Dining Room Table we’ve done. I really hope you enjoy it.

For his video Noah decided to go with a Denver deep-cut, “Handlebars” by my friends The Flobots. You know I can get down with that.

Check out the episode on iTunes here.

MDRT – Kevin O’Brien

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The last Sunday of every month Kevin O’Brien runs a show called Arguments and Grievances at Vine Street Pub and Brewery. It’s one of the best shows in Denver. Comics consistently turn in some of the most inventive performances you’ll ever see them do at that show. Seriously, over-the-top, balls-to-the-wall performances. And I’ve always wondered why? The pay is relatively little – a few beers here, a few bucks if you’re a heavy hitter – so why do comics try so fucking hard at that show, consistently dressing up, humiliating themselves, and writing large swaths of new material? Maybe it’s because comics are competitive people by nature; or maybe it’s because comics are tired of throwing fastballs down the middle of the plate and the show gives them an opportunity to think outside the bun, but still – the lengths comics will go at Arguments and Grievances seems disproportionate to the pay-off. And I think a big part of that has to do with Kevin O’Brien. I think comics just want Kevin to like them.

Because as a personality Kevin O’Brien has somehow manged to fashion himself as both the older brother who turns you onto cool music as well as the little brother who obsesses over it. It’s an impressive feat and I think people are drawn to that personality. Because simply put, he’s just a cool guy. There I said it. Put it on your bio, Ole Kev!

“Cool Guy” – Adam Cayton-Holland.

But it’s true! How do I know it’s true? Because I’m a cool guy.

Oh! Almost forgot! Another thing I have in common with Kevin O’Brien is that we’re both pretentious.

But at least we’re fucking aware of it.

I liked Kevin the first time I ever met him and I’m generally not wrong about these things. It’s part of the burden of being pretentious and cool. So it’s been a lot of fun to watch him figure out comedy and really blossom into the funny comic and pervasive personality that he has become. From his comedy to his podcast to his hosting to his story-telling to his emo-DJing to his occasionally losing his fucking shit on an audience member hinting at a deep, deep reserve of inner rage, I enjoy what Kevin O’Brien does. More than anything, I love talking with the guy. He’s one of the best conversationalists I know. So enjoy this podcast I did with him. We recorded it at ye olde Dining Room Table itself – a nice return to form from having been away from my home for so long.

Kevin wanted you to watch “Honey” by Maria Carey. Add that to the list of things I like about KOB.

Check out the episode on iTunes here.

Fond Farewell to a Friend

Back in 2005 my friend Nicole Simpson hit me up about doing a show at the Old Curtis Street Bar, a great old dive in Denver that has since been gutted and cleaned up and farmed-to-tabled like everything else in the city. She was bartending there and they were trying to get some new programming going so she asked her boss about maybe doing comedy and he agreed to try it.

“Okay, I’ll make the flyer,” she said over the phone when I said I’d do the show. “What do you want to call it?”

“Los Comicos Super Hilariosos!” I blurted out.

“Done,” she said, never giving the dumb name so much as a second thought.

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I don’t really remember much about that first show – save for me and Andrew Orvedahl eating KFC bowls, having fake heart attacks and then defibrillating each other on stage (author’s note: our bit predated Patton Oswalt’s far-funnier bit). We charged five bucks at the door, split the take at the end of the night, and everyone involved agreed we ought to try it again. So we did. We did an entire year of shows at the Old Curtis, coasting on the goodwill of our friends and families who were still in that delicate grace period early in a comic’s career when they can actually get people close to them to come out to shows. I still remember my sister and her new boyfriend/now-husband graciously sitting through whiff after painful whiff.

But we were having fun. And we were getting better.

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A co-worker’s boyfriend had a great little art space on Larimer Street called the Orange Cat Studios. I fell in love with the place and Sean Rice graciously agreed to host our monthly show. It was at the Orange Cat that Los Comicos really flourished. Our cast of characters changed from those original Old Curtis shows – Andrew Orvedahl took off to LA, Ben Kronberg as well – but we brought a newly sober Ben Roy on board, and the core crew of myself and Greg Baumhauer and Jim Hickox stayed the same. We showed occasional videos and did a news section called “Los Comicos Action News.” We printed up different flyers for every show and tattooed them all over the city. But more than anything, we lived for that stage time. Those shows were the highlight of our months; we needed them, and anything short of absolutely destroying would spin us into several days of depression.

The city rewarded our unhealthy monthly ritual by turning out in droves. The shows were packed. Like, one-in-one out, standing room only, people spilling out the doorway packed. The rise of Los Comicos dovetailed nicely with the national ascension of alt-comedy and in Denver, if you were into Mr. Show and podcasts and comics not talking about how fat their wife is, we were the show you wanted to see. The press was nice to us, we started snagging great guest comics when they came through town and all of a sudden we had a full-fledged local phenomenon on our hands. A phenomenon we rode until 2008, when the Orange Cat closed and we decided to end the show, rather than do it somewhere else. Kyle Kinane did the last show, we made a farewell video, and we walked out of the Orange Cat forever.

It would go on to get gutted and cleaned up like everything else in this city.

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Maybe a year later we started the Grawlix at the Avenue Theater and our amazing fans followed us there. But something wasn’t really right. There was turmoil amongst the core members of the crew, differences of opinion and/or follow-through on what it took to run a great show, and so after much painful deliberation, and some bruised relationships and egos which I really hope have healed, we whittled the Grawlix down to myself and Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl (who had just recently returned from his sojourn to LA).

And that’s when things started to change.

I think all three of us had latched onto the concept of comedy-as-a-career and we were at the point in our lives where we were ready to push to the next level. To try and do this shit for a living. We had confidence that what we were doing was as funny and as valid as anything else going on in the country and I sincerely believe each of us felt it was only a matter of time before the entire comedy community learned that. Provided we put in the work. So we just got to work. We had been filming sketches here and there but the second the Grawlix became a trio we really doubled down on that effort. We reached out to the Nix Brothers, these amazingly talented local filmmakers, and in one of those great, small-town Denver turns, they already knew about us and were eager to work together! We made one sketch and it was so easy and fun that we decided to start the Grawlix web-series, a bunch of shorts chronicling the behind the scenes of the world’s Denver’s greatest comedy show. We crossed out, “the world” as a sort of visual joke in the credits to tell you everything you needed to about the hubris and naiveté of these three asshole protagonists. It was us winking at the viewer. But in a muted-desperation, fly-over-states kind of way, I think it was also our way of saying, “Hey! We’re doing something pretty cool over here too! In the middle of the goddamned country! Maybe you guys should pay attention!”

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Remarkably people did. After posting two or three episodes Hollywood types started getting in touch with us about turning the Grawlix into a TV show. Ben and Andrew and I had all advanced to points in our careers where we were New Facing and agent-ing and manager-ing and lawyering up so this concept was not completely foreign to us, but still, the fact that people were responding to something we were filming completely on our own and throwing onto the internet lit a fire under our asses in a way that nothing else could. I think the Nix Brothers probably felt the same way. We filmed those episodes on the weekends in each other’s homes and in borrowed businesses and performance spaces on no budget whatsoever and still we put everything we had into them. We would not tolerate sloppy performances or storytelling or filmmaking. We took that shit seriously. As seriously as you can take dick jokes.

It also helped that we were starting to get recognized around town. That felt pretty cool.

Somewhere in the middle of all this we moved over to the Bug Theater. Alex Weimer, who runs the place, was a fan/friend of the Nix Brothers and I suppose, by association, the Grawlix, and he welcomed us with open arms. More amazing small-town Denver shit. He gave us a great deal on the space and would literally exhaust himself turning over the house between the production of whatever play was being staged at the Bug and our last-Friday-of-the-month shenanigans. The Grawlix at the Bug was an instant success. The incredible comedy fans of Denver followed us once again. James Adomian kicked off that first show with a typical tour de force, and we knew we really had to work to keep things at that level. Denver was exploding as a comedy scene, amazing shows were popping up every night of the week; we were really going to have to bring it to consistently draw crowds with so many amazing options out there. Fortunately we had a ton of help.

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We snagged Illegal Pete’s as a sponsor. But Pete Turner and Virgil Dickerson were way more than just a sponsorship. They put out our albums, they helped promote us at every turn, and they were tireless in helping get the Grawlix word out. And with their monthly endorsement check we started flying out comics for each show. We strived to bring in people that we thought our fans would like, often going for the biggest name we could get, but just as often bringing in somebody that we knew and loved, but who was still relatively unknown. Those comics in turn gained a barrage of new Denver fans and left town singing the praises of the magical little comedy scene at 5280 feet. Other local comics started putting on shows around the Grawlix, shows that took place on Saturday and Sunday after our regular Friday show, and we started sending our out of town guests that way, the comics appreciating the extra money and stage-time on their little jaunt to Denver, the people running the shows appreciating having such good comics on their shows. Soon comics just started being conveniently in town for the last Friday of the month. That was a nice turn of events, really made booking a lot easier. It got to the point where we could fly in a guest, and then regularly rely on an amazing comic or two to just happen to be in town also, comics from San Francisco or Chicago or Atlanta or Austin or Omaha. Not to mention New York and LA. The Grawlix became a stopping ground for fellow travelers. I always liked to think of it that way, anyway.

Meanwhile the Denver comedy scene continued to cultivate great comics with such incredible frequency we could barely get them on our stage fast enough. But Denver’s always been good for that.

And still people continued to offer to help. We got Ryan Brackin to take photos every month. We got Michael King to design flyers and posters. We got Andy Juett to help in every variety of way, from booking hotel rooms to recording the most hilarious Grawlix intros month after month. My buddy Heath O’Campo worked the door. When he couldn’t, Kim Nix took the reins. David Soto ran our social media; Ron Doyle kept our websites afloat and edited the Grawlix compilations. The crew helping us grew so large that Andrew printed up laminated passes and handed them out to people on “Team Grawlix.” We had to print up a second batch. The Grawlix really started to feel like a family and I loved that. It felt like home, like a community. That’s how our shows have always felt. My best friend Monty was the first person to ever work the door. My little sister Lydia took over after that.

From the start our one rule was that the three core members of the Grawlix had to bring ten new minutes of material every month, as a way of rewarding our regular fans. These people were choosing to repeatedly give us their money, to follow our careers, what kind of showmen would we be if we couldn’t give them new material? Besides it kept us writing; kept us on our game. To see Ben and Andrew and I those last few days before a Grawlix was to see three neurotic fucking messes, anxiously mining every bit of our lives for some seed to take to stage. Ben usually wouldn’t leave his house the last Thursday of the month, so busy was he working on his latest opus.

But as a comic, in a way, that’s the best feeling. To have something untested, something you have no idea whether or not it’s going to work, and to be about to take the stage for the first time to tell it. It’s thrilling. And the Grawlix gave us that every single month.

My favorite part was the intros. Working on some three-man sketch that we had come up with the day before, nervously pacing backstage with Ben and Andrew as we tried to hit the broad strokes of the sketch confidently enough to present it on stage mere minutes later – that’s the shit that makes your blood move.

I’m going to miss that.

Through it all there were those people out there in the audience, those invaluable asses in seats – following us to other shows, sharing our videos, downloading our podcasts, buying our albums, helping us spread this Grawlix thing all over the place because they believed in us. And because of that we believed more in ourselves.

And now we have to hang it all up. Or at the very least, end our monthly Denver comedy show that in some way, shape or form we’ve been doing for the past nine, ten years. We got ourselves a little TV show. I won’t bore you with the details; that’s not the purpose of this naval-gazing screed and I’ve rattled on long enough. The point is that this feels like the start of something. And though no big battle has been won yet, though in a lot of ways one could argue that now our careers are only really actually beginning – Christ, we still haven’t even made the TV show (pre-production is a bitch) – all of this somehow feels like an accomplishment. Like we really may have done something cool here. In Denver. This city that we love.

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And to bring it to a close feels overwhelming.

Sometimes I feel like I blinked and I went from sitting around a back booth with my buddies at the Lion’s Lair to sitting around a writer’s room table with them making a goddamn TV show.

It’s a good type of overwhelming.

So I guess I just wanted to say thanks to everybody. Thank you for always believing in and supporting us. Thank you to everyone that ever came to a show and thank you to everyone who ever performed on one. Thank you Ben Kronberg and Jim Hickox and Greg Baumhauer. Thank you Nix Brothers. Thank you Ben and Andrew. Thank you, Denver. The platform you gave us meant and continues to mean the world to us.

Now if you’ll excuse us, it’s time to do what we’ve always done: make a show that you’ll be proud to call your own.