Bryan Kellen
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Bryan Kellen


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"Crowd Control-Bryan Kellen Show Review"

Feb 2004
By Michael Conniff

The great thing about being a critic hereabouts is the chance to see some of the greatest singers, dancers, and performers who ever lived. The heinous thing is that sometimes they’re booked on the same night sometimes at the exact same time.

Attention must be paid but choices must be made: sometimes the choice is to zip mid-stream from a transcendent classical music performance by Robert McDuffie and Christopher Taylor at Harris Concert Hall, to a hyena experience watching Bryan Kellen at the Comedy at the Cabaret Room series at Snowmass Village.

That’s what happened to me and mine on a night just past, and you won’t catch me complaining, unless you count my departure during intermission of the McDuffie-Taylor in order to catch Kellen, the man without a real bone in his body (unless you count his nose). Probisci notwithstanding, I was transformed the moment I walked into the Cabaret Room by the crowd. They were having the time of their lives. Kellen was appropriately hilarious with his physical bits about life in the nerd lane and his preoccupation with his own posterior but my attention was taken by the people laugh tracking throughout the room.

With the exception of a chunk from Delaware in the front, Kellen picked on them for a good hour, the audience was young, exuberant, transparent. They were there to have a good time, and their delight when Kellen delivered the goods was literally contagious. It was impossible to walk into that room on that night at that moment and not have a rocking time.

Cut to one hour earlier across town at Harris Concert Hall. The Aspen Music Festival and School is a serious business where they take their music seriously, as well they should. I was particularly taken by a piece McDuffie (violin) and Taylor (piano) performed by the American composer Robert Beaser, born in 1954, a sign perhaps that compelling classical music is not just the story of dead white people. Even so, it was impossible to ignore the correlation between the age of the audience and the number of laughs at the two disparate events.

Classical music: old people, no laughs. Comedy: young people, nothing but laughs.

I could not help but wonder what would happen if I could only swap out the two audiences. The young crowd would probably have been bored out of their gourd by classical music, however transcendent, but the old folks at Harris Concert Hall probably would have busted a gut at the Kellen show.

The predilection of senior citizens for classical music is well-documented, and there is virtually nothing marketing poobahs can do to change the mix, despite the insistent blather of board members who don’t know any better. The same people laughing their arses off in the Cabaret Room will magically appear in their latter years as devoted classical music fans. Just give it a few decades.

Old people love classical music: it must have something to do with the thunderous, subliminal sounds of immortality, of sounds that has survived across the centuries because they have something indispensable to say about the human sprit.

Why no old people at the Cabaret Room? Sure, comics like Bryan Kellen and Kevin Nealon emerge from a fan base attuned to comedy on television to the humor of blasphemy and applied bad taste. But that doesn’t mean kids of all ages can’t come to life when it’s time to laugh. Laughter doesn’t ever have to turn away as we turn down the covers on life?

I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I do know that I was in heaven at both places a funny, beautiful kind of house where young and old came to life in any number of rooms.

- Aspen Daily News,

"Corporate List & Reviews"

"Thank you for recommending Bryan Kellen for our corporate holiday party on December 10th. Bryan's performance was more than funny, his physical humor alone put us "over-the-edge", our sides were splitting from laughter. He was great fun!"
-Carol Ann Smith, EJCM Construction Management-

"I wanted to let you know that I am still hearing how much everybody loved Bryan Kellen, and what a hit he was at our holiday party. He so totally was a perfect fit for our group! Thank you very much for your help in booking him."
-Gini Adams, Yuma District Hospital-

"Oh my gosh! Bryan was so funny! I have had many people say what a great time they had!! Thank you so much!"
-Kelly Clausen, RX West-

"We had a wonderful time and Bryan was hilarious. It was the best entertainment we've had in a long time. Thank you so much."
-Kerri Weinwaster
Alliance Data Systems-

"Bryan was a lot of fun to work with, and did an excellent job at our event! Thanks for the help!"
-Zackary M. Lewis, Liquid Compass-

"Bryan was just AWESOME! Everyone loved the party and thought he was great entertainment. Thank you so much!!!"
-Kathy Hecht, Memorial Health Center-

Dear Bryan, I would like to extend my genuine gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for your outstanding performance at our annual holiday party. Your antics were amusing, informative, and well received by all attending. Your contribution to our party was a key element to its rousing success. I would personally like to thank you on behalf of the men and women of the 60th Operations Support Squadron for making our 2003 holiday party a memorable one. Thanks, again for providing us with such an entertaining evening. We wish you success in all your future endeavors.
-James R. Ham, Lt Col, USAF-

"He was funny, full of energy, a body like a rubberband, and certainly made our evening a success. Those of us who were there will remember Bryan Kellen with a smile on our face. There’s no doubt that Bryan Kellen is a rising star and it was our privilege to have him as part of our Annual Awards Dinner."
-Victoria Schultz, Travis Air Force Base-

"By all accounts, Bryan is hysterical and I had many employees tell me that he had them crying they were laughing so hard. In addition to being funny, Bryan seems to have mastered the art of being hilarious and ‘corporate clean’ at the same time. Hopefully we can work with him in the future."
-Christian Mills, Fiserv Trust Services-

"Bryan Kellen is a hilarious man and one of the funniest comedians that I have ever had the privilege of seeing live. He was a marvel to watch and to work with and we couldn’t have asked for any more out of our evening. At the end of his set his efforts were rewarded with a standing ovation by our audience."
-David Johnson, Rocky Mountain AAZK-

"In December, our two companies were fortunate enough to have Bryan Kellen for our entertainment at our annual Christmas party. Enjoyed by all, we were amazed how well he read the crowd; many of whom felt he had known us most of our lives. Hysterically funny and extremely energetic, we would highly recommend him for any function. We feel lucky to have had him join our celebration and we hope to have him entertain us again."
-Jerry Bristol, Roto Rooter-

"It was great! Bryan Kellen was incredible. In fact, another one of my locations will be calling you to look into possibility of booking Bryan for their event."
-Leya Morehouse, Pepsi Bottling Group-

Corporate List

- Various

"College List & Reviews"

"Bryan was great! The students loved the show!!! In fact, in 3 years he is definetely among the top 3 comedians we have seen...please tell Bryan we were thrilled with his performace!"
-Lakeland College, Student Activities Director-

"Outstanding! We had close to 500 people at the event, and Bryan was hilarious. His physical comedy really got the crowd rolling."
-University of Wyoming, Friday Night Fever Program-

"Bryan was GREAT, easy to work with and got a great crowd response, we would love to have him back." Tyler Junior College

College List

Colorado Mountain College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Johnson and Wales University
Lakeland College
Northeastern Junior College
Regis University
Southeastern Louisiana State
University of Colorado
University of Denver
University of Northern Colorado
University of Wyoming

- Various

"George Lopez"

Bryan is the opening act for Comedian George Lopez. Here is what George has to say about Bryan:

"I love working with Bryan. I can rely on his performance being the best every time."
-George Lopez- - George Lopez

"A Liar & Stand-Up Guy"

Comedian Bryan Kellen knows what it’s like to reach out for a lifetime dream, only to find it turning to dust. But he is also testimony to what hard work, perseverance – and, on occasion, lying through your teeth – can accomplish.

Kellen grew up on the West Coast as the goofy class cut-up. His friends constantly urged him to take his comedy up on the stage.

He wanted to but couldn’t work up the courage. So, at age 30, he himself in San Jose, Calif., running his brother-in-law’s wedding business and yearning to be a comedian.

“I was doing a terrible job, and I was working a lot of hours,” said Kellen, who appears tonight at the Comedy Works in Larimer Square.

The thought came to him that trying his hand on comedy stages in San Francisco might be a good way to relieve the pressure he felt running a small business.

“My first show was at the Java Source in San Francisco,” said Kellen, now 39. “I think before me was a poet and after me was a mime. I was worse that both of those two by a long shot. I was terrible.”

But his poor debut in April 1997 didn’t deter Kellen. He started doing open-mic sessions almost every night. “I was really upset with myself,” he said. “This is what I had wanted to do all my life, and I was terrible at it. I kept on trying it, just hoping some night – that something would happen where I could actually chase my dream.”

A comedian friend recommended him as a host to a comedy club owner in nearby Sunnyvale. He told Kellen just to tell the owner he had experience hosting shows at a comedy club.

“I thought that would be six months down the road,” Kellen said. “But the owner called the next day.” She said she heard he had hosted a lot of shows. “I said ‘Yeah, I guess I have.’ Just totally lied to her.”

The woman asked if he had five minutes of material. Why yes! He sure did! “That was the real lie, because nothing ever worked onstage,” Kellen said. “So I didn’t know how much time I had.”

She told him to come to work that night. Just months after the Java Source debacle, Kellen arrived at Rooster T. Feathers to see a long line of people waiting to get in the club.

“I was so nervous that I almost threw up in the parking lot,” he recalled. “I don’t really remember (the show) because I was so nervous. I’m not really sure what I said. I don’t know what happened, but I was clear enough of mind to get the names right of the guys I was announcing.”

While that’s the only thing he did right, the owner invited him back the next night because she thought he was a nice guy. The club became his training ground. By the next year, Kellen was working at least 10 shows a month there.

“That’s literally the reason I’m in comedy today,” he said. “They gave me so much stage time and guidance.”

Fourteen months after his comedy-club debut, he hit the road full time. Then the real dues-paying began.

“For the first couple of years, I was sleeping in my car every off-night,” he said. “But I was really eager. I had the motivation but not really the gig to do it full time. My fear was going back to the day job. That’s what kept me on the road.”

Kellen took about three years to work his way up to headliner and out of his car. One tour brought him to the Wits End in Westminster, where the woman who would become his wife worked a second job as a cocktail waitress.

Two years later they began dating, and after eight months of that he moved to Denver in 2002. Today Kellen tours nationally, though he flies to his gigs and spends nights in a hotel.

Kellen said most of his bits spring from uncomfortable situations in his personal life.

“I’m kind of one of those guys in real life who can find the adversity in pleasant situations,” he said. “Anything that seems to be a lot of fun, I’ll find someway to make it really difficult on myself.

“Like, if we go out dancing, there were people hitting on my wife. You know, Mr. Pelvic Thrust is dancing with my wife…Or she’s dancing with someone else and is bent over in front of them like she’s going to hike a football.”

Kellen doesn’t just tell funny stories but acts out the scenes with his limber body.

That’s how he turned dust into realized dreams. Well, that and a well-placed fib.

-Denver Post Staff Writer Ed Will
Friday, December 23, 2005
- The Denver Post


"Stretch Yourself" DVD (2005)



Rubber-bodied and dynamically engaging, comedian Bryan Kellen has become an energetic, comedic powerhouse. Bryan’s feverish mix of storytelling, observational humor, and physical comedy produces one of the most universally captivating shows in entertainment today. He has become the regular theater tour opener for television star and notable comedian, George Lopez, who noticed Bryan’s reliable abilities and similar style of turning uncomfortable life experiences into hilarious performances.

His career hit the ground running, when Bryan bested a long list of well-established comics and won the Rocky Mountain Laff-Off in Salt Lake City, Utah just two years after his first time on stage. This coup was followed up by a 2nd Place finish in the prestigious Seattle International Comedy Competition. Shortly thereafter, ‘Entertainment Business Journal’ named Bryan as one of the “Top 100 Comedians in the Country.”

During the summer of 2001, San Francisco’s NBC affiliate invited Bryan to perform on their, “Best of the Bay” stand-up comedy show. Bryan next made an appearance on The WB’s popular morning show, “The Daily Buzz,” where he brought the audience, hosts, and fellow guest, basketball player Karl Malone, to
hysterics with his hilarious improvisational skills. His
magnetism caught the attention of talent executives from the hit show Entertainment Tonight, who gave him a development deal as head-writer and star of a new series.

Bryan’s ability to put audiences at ease was proven after the tragedy on September 11th, when Bryan appeared on CNN and MTV discussing the impact that the tragedy had on the world of stand-up and individual comics. His poised and poignant insight was well received and both networks aired the segment on
several occasions.

At the end of 2003, Bryan was awarded one of his most coveted honors at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. After a national tour of critiquing professional comedians, The National Comedy Hall of Fame named Bryan as “America’s Best Up-and-Coming
Comedian.” He has since reappeared at the 2005 Las Vegas Comedy Festival, as well as on NBC and Comedy Central while becoming a favorite headliner at America’s top comedy clubs. Maintaining a skyrocketing pace, Bryan has left audiences little time to catch their breath - gasping just long enough to demand more of this gifted and super-animated stand-up comedian.