March 2007

Blue’s home is in the shadow of the Denver Police headquarters, set among the many storefronts of bail bondsmen. In the front yard there’s a billboard with an ad for that company that buys “ugly houses.” On the porch there’s a banged-up motorcycle helmet, several dead potted plants, and a glass aquarium filled with a foul-smelling muck. Yet the inside is a vibrant fantasyland.

Robust plants of all shapes and sizes fill the living room. Many of the larger ones are strung with twinkling white lights. The walls are covered with exotic knickknacks: a busted rifle, a machete in a leather sheath, a few masks—some conjuring up images of a carnival, some evoking African tribal ceremonies. And then there are the dozen or so of Blue’s own paintings of colorful and amorphous faces: a 3-foot by 2-foot portrait of a devil sporting horns and goatee; a blue humanoid, open-mouthed and apparently screaming in agony. The most captivating of the paintings is of a man who appears to be lying down, sleeping. From his head—from his subconscious—emanates a rainbow. “That one,” Blue tells me, “is called, ‘Monday Morning, One Minute Before the Alarm Goes Off.’” Being inside Blue’s home is like glimpsing Blue’s mind.

He spent the early part of this day with his business manager, planning future tours and house hunting. After winning Last Comic Standing, the funny business has become much more lucrative for Blue. His stand-up and his comedy DVD, Seven More Days in the Tank, have significantly bolstered his income, such that he can afford a big place in a booming neighborhood.

Blue moved to Denver in 2001, right after graduating Evergreen. His good friend Liz Kover was returning to her hometown of Denver and suggested he join her, check out the city. Kover’s father, who runs a business that employs developmentally disabled people, said he’d be glad to help Blue find a job. He, Liz, and another friend made the drab rental house their home. Blue started working during the day, and at night doing stand-up at clubs like Denver’s Mercury Cafe, eventually progressing to Comedy Works in Larimer Square, where he generated a national buzz that gave him the confidence to audition for Last Comic Standing.

Kover recently took a job with a marine biologist in Hawaii; now Blue’s third roommate is his pet snake, Doc Holliday. Plopping down on the couch, Blue points to a small, white cardboard box on his coffee table. The box contains a live mouse. “I call the snake Doc Holliday,” Blue says. “He’s got the quickest draw in the West. If I put that rat in the tank, it wouldn’t even hit the ground—he squeezes the hell out of it.” Blue tells me that once in a while his friends will come over with another snake, whereupon they put both creatures in the bathtub, gather around, drop another mouse in, and bet on which reptile will get the rodent.