When Colorado native Chris Charpentier decided to record his first comedy album, the pieces came together very quickly.
“I’m still very shy about everything, so when I was talking to my roommate, Dave (Ross), and he said, ‘You should reach out to (Los Angeles comedy label) A Special Thing, because they’d be honored to have you,’ I thought, ‘Give me a break.’ ”
That’s a reasonable response, given that 37-year-old Charpentier is still a rising name who left Denver for L.A. three years ago, and that A Special Thing has released dozens of albums since 2007 from Patton Oswalt, Jen Kirkman, Cameron Esposito, Bob Odenkirk, Paul F. Thompkins, Karen Kilgariff and other respected, pioneering comedy names.
But Charpentier underestimated the goodwill he has built up since he started performing standup 10 years ago. That includes both his Denver-bred Fine Gentleman’s Club — which ran the popular, weekly Too Much Fun showcase at the Deer Pile and other spaces — and his appearances at comedy festivals and on podcasts, truTV’s “Those Who Can’t” (featuring Denver’s Grawlix troupe), and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“When (A Special Thing) responded to my email with, ‘Absolutely, we’d be honored to have you,’ I was just like, ‘Give me a break,’ ” he said. “After I decided to record the album, within four hours I had the venue, the label, the date and everything else set up. I feel like should have done this a long time ago.”
Charpentier, who will play the sixth year of the High Plains Comedy Festival Aug. 24-25, is here early to record his album at the Bug Theatre on Sunday, Aug. 19. We caught up to him over lunch this week to talk about the show, which also features Adam Cayton-Holland, Janae Burris, Brent Gill, and more.
Q: Why are you recording your first album now?
A: I have like 2 1/2 hours of material. This 45 minutes is solid, and I’ve been sitting on it and relying on so many of these jokes for so long that I don’t want to do them anymore. So I’m ready to start cranking it out.
Q: And I’m sure the quickness with which this came together also surprised you.
A: That’s part of it. But a lot of it is that I have cool friends who are willing to help whenever they can, which is how I’ve gotten everything worthwhile in comedy. All of it has been through friends’ recommendations, so more than anything, it’s a testament to being a genuine person throughout comedy. You create friends, and you help each other as much as you can. I’m very lucky in that sense.
Q: For people who aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe your show?
A: I’m offering a break from all of what’s happening in the world. It’s all terrible and sad and angry all of the time, and that is the exact opposite of my comedy. I have no point of view. I am not trying to teach any lessons. It’s all silly. Which I think everybody needs. I’m tiring of hearing political comedy, even though I think it’s important, but it’s all that anybody can talk about. Life is very silly, and it’s short, and so rarely is it worth getting riled up about.
Q: That sounds like a point of view!
A: Part of why I’m recording this album right now is that the point of all my jokes is that there is no point. And if I want to write anything else, I can’t record this album because you can’t mix the two. I need to get this stuff out so I can start talking about something more … I don’t know, important, I guess? Or just different, because I’ve gotten older and my point of view has changed. But mostly what I’m offering is just trying to have fun for an hour.
Q: Having lived in L.A. and toured a lot in recent years, what kind of perspective do you have on the identity of the Denver artistic scene?
A: Denver is known as a great scene, and not just because of Comedy Works, which is well-known among the higher-ups. We have a ton of cool, independent shows from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. You can come out here, do a week’s run, make good money and perform for some of the best audiences in the country. The comedians who are still here are very good. And when you go on the road, it helps to say you’re from Denver. I do every time.
If you go
Chris Charpentier. 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. Tickets: $10 in advance or $15 at the door. eventbrite.com.