A toy expert talks about buying safe toys this holiday season and the secret to finding the hot toy of the season!

The holidays will be here before you know it and that means TOYS! I was able to get an email interview with Kristin Morency, a Toy Association Spokesperson. She gave advice for everyone who is buying toys this holiday season for children of all ages. The safety guidelines to consider, where they’re made and more tips.

Q: What should toy consumers be on the lookout for regarding safety when they are purchasing toys anytime, but especially for the holidays? 

Morency: “Families should always shop at reputable retailers that they know and trust. They can rest assured that toys sold through legitimate retailers have been tested for compliance and safety with over 100 strict standards and tests. It’s possible that a “toy” sold by an unknown retailer, whether in person or online, might be a counterfeit product that has not undergone the safety testing required by federal law.”

When shopping online, always spend some time digging deeper into a lesser-known seller’s history, by searching for the company’s website and mission statement, and carefully reading reviews. If you can’t find a website for the manufacturer or seller at hand, it’s considered to be a red flag. Multiple grammatical errors in a product description or review, or poorly photoshopped pictures, are other red flags. As a rule of thumb, if a deal on a hot toy looks too good to be true, it probably is.  Additionally, parents should always pay attention to the age grading on a toy. Toys marked 3+ may have small parts that could present a choking hazard to children under the age of three.“ 

Q: “How important is it that people make sure they are buying age appropriate toys and look for the listing for specific ages on boxes?”

Morency: “It’s very important, and something parents, grandparents, and other gift givers should always pay attention to, as age grading isn’t based on a child’s intelligence, rather it’s a safety guidance based on the development skills of children at a given age. Children under the age of three or who are still mouthing toys are at a higher risk of swallowing small parts and potentially choking. If parents are still unsure about the parts and pieces of a toy, they can use a Small Parts Tester, available in the baby-proofing section of a store or website. This federally approved tool for testing can help to assess whether toys meet the size requirements outlined in the small parts regulation, which was developed using research and recommendations from pediatricians, child development experts, government officials, and industry experts and has been adopted around the world.”

Q: What are ingredients in toys that could be hazardous to kids that consumers should know about?

Morency: “Families can be sure that all toys sold on U.S. toy shelves are safe regardless of where they are made, as they must adhere to strict U.S. safety standards and regulations. There are over 100 strict toy safety regulations, tests and requirements designed to protect children at play and make it illegal to sell toys or children’s products containing substances harmful to children and to which they might be exposed.”

Q: Where do people look to find recalled toys? How often should they look?

Morency: “Recalls are rare and the toy industry has a remarkable record of producing safe products. In fact, less than a fraction of one percent of the three billion toys sold each year in the U.S. are recalled. The toy industry works hand in hand with government agencies and other groups to protect consumers from products that violate the strict safety laws. However, parents should be aware of toys that have been recalled before holiday shopping this year, especially if shopping online. Regularly consult PlaySafe.org for a list of recalled products. The website is updated as soon as any new recall information is published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.” 

Q: What kind of advice would you give a parent, grandparent, etc. consumer about making safe choices for the gift recipient?

Morency: “Gift-givers should always follow age grading recommendations and buy only from reputable sellers. We also recommend that parents and other gift givers consult www.PlaySafe.org which has tons of safety advice, including how to select age appropriate toys, how to make sure you are making smart shopping decisions, and tips for playing safely once the gifts are unwrapped.“

Q: And what are this year’s top toys? 

Morency: “The hottest toy is whatever your child is most excited to play with! There are so many exciting new toys coming out this year and it really depends on your child’s age, and what he or she is most interested in. Parents can get shopping ideas at ToyAwards.org which features expertly selected toys across a variety of categories, for all ages and interests.”

Q: Can you talk about the toys that really have good reviews and why they are going to be a big hit this season?

Morency: ”As mentioned, the toys featured right now (as of Oct. 29) on ToyAwards.org are the best on the market. These toys are finalists for the prestigious Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) (which will be awarded in February) and have been selected by a panel of expert judges. There, you’ll find 117 toy finalists across 16 categories, from Action Figure of the Year and Doll of the Year, to STEAM Toy of the Year and Playset of the Year. These are great gift ideas for all ages and interests.”

Q: Also is there a difference in the quality of the toy product if it is made in America or in China ? What are the statistics about this? Does it change the quality control of the toy if it isn’t made in the USA?

Morency: “Any toy sold here in the U.S. must first meet the previously mentioned 100+ strict federal safety standards and be tested for compliance by a third-party testing lab. This is true for any toy sold here, no matter where in the world it is made, including China.“  

Q: What are some tips about toys that you would give to people who have a new toddler or even a young baby (three month old on up) in their lives?

Morency: “Pay attention to age grading listed on all toy packaging. If the product notes “for ages 3+” it is not a suitable toy for babies and toddlers, likely due to small parts. Parents and gift givers can use the Safe Toy Buying Guide at PlaySafe.org to assess what toys are the best to purchase based on how old their child is.”

Safe trick or treating event in Casper


Location: at the Casper Events Center 

 When Oct. 31 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Information from the official press release

CASPER, WY- The Science Zone and Spectra Venue Management are pleased to team-up to present the 2020 TRICK OR TREAT TRAIL at the Casper Events Center on Saturday, October 31st from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Admission to the event is free. 

The Trick-or-Treat Trail features twenty-eight decorated vendor booths. The Science Zone provides two tons of candy and each vendor delivers it to trick-or-treaters using COVID-appropriate methods. The Idea Lab, an afterschool program for middle and high school students at The Science Zone, has designed and built a trebuchet by which they will “chunk pumpkins.” 

The first hour of the event, from 2:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. is for our guests with special needs. 

In cooperation with Casper-Natrona County Health Department, event organizers have instituted a series of safety protocols for a safe and responsible event, including: 

  • Screening: 
    • All employees, vendors, show personnel, and volunteers are temperature and symptom screened upon entrance.  All employees, vendors and sub-contractors will wear masks. Gloves will be worn in any hand to hand action and upon any additional requirements to do so; 
  • Air Handling: 
    • The Casper Events Center’s HVAC system has the ability to cycle air 6 times an hour, completely removing current airflow and replacing with fresh air; 
  • One Way Traffic: 
    • Entrances, aisle ways, concourses, and restrooms will all follow directional arrows with one-way traffic; 
  • Masks are highly encouraged to be worn by all attendees; 
  • Spacing: 
    • Vendor Booths will have minimum of 6 feet in between booth spaces; 
  • Limited Admission: 
    • Attendance will be monitored to assure we do not surpass current capacity guidelines; 
  • Sanitization: 
    • Increased sanitization of high-contact areas including bathrooms, concourses, concession stands, elevators, and entrances;  
    • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the venue to promote hand hygiene; 

The 2020 Trick or Treat Trail is sponsored in part by Brian Helling – Allstate; Visit Casper! And Natrona County.  

About The Science Zone 

The Science Zone utilizes innovative exhibits, programs, and outreach to promote informal science education throughout the State of Wyoming.  

We accomplish the above through permanent, rotating and traveling exhibits, summer science camps, after-school science classes, Wee Science preschool programs, outreach programs, special events, birthday parties, Lego Robotics, and live demonstrations. 

More information at http://www.thesciencezone.org/ 

About Spectra 

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more atSpectraExperiences.com

For more information about the Casper Events Center, visit: 


Nelly’s performance in Casper that was set for Oct. 30 of 2020 has been postponed to Oct. 30 of 2021

4/2020 Spring Fest featuring Nelly
POSTPONED to October 30, 2021 

Casper, WY – Spectra Venue Management at the Casper Events Center and Brava Enterprise regret to announce that the 4/2020 Spring Fest featuring NELLY with Chingy, Twista, Do or Die, and Sloan Boane, scheduled for October 30, 2020 has been postponed to October 30, 2021.  

Currently held tickets will be honored for the new date, and no action is needed. Your ticket will be honored for the rescheduled date. For any further ticket inquiries please reach out to point of purchase. 

Refunds will be available at the point of purchase beginning on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9 AM through October 30, 2020 at 10 PM.  Refunds will no longer be available after October 30, 2020. Please contact the point of purchase if you have any questions or to request a refund on your purchase. 

About Spectra 

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more atSpectraExperiences.com.

This Information is according to a press release from the Casper events Center.

Update about the postponed In the Whale performance at the Lincoln Cheyenne

Here is an update about the postponed In the Whale performance at the Lincoln Cheyenne

The owners of the Lincoln Cheyenne posted this on their Facebook page recently : for more info go to Http://www.thelincolncheyenne.com

Opening a music venue during a pandemic has been quite an experience! From the beginning of this, we have taken safety very seriously, and we are confident that we have been able to create an environment that is just as safe as going to the grocery store or out to eat. And while coming to our shows is not without risk, we have received great feedback from guests that they felt very safe while they were here. We have gone above and beyond the State orders to create an environment that we personally feel safe in, we would never put any employees or guests in a position that we wouldn’t feel safe in ourselves. However, we understand that everyone is at a different level of what they are comfortable with, we know a lot of people who live and breathe for music, who haven’t been out to a show because they just aren’t there yet, and we totally respect that. There are no right or wrong answers here and we support everyone’s right to decide what is best for themselves. Booking shows has also been a challenge, as we are relying primarily on regional artists, since there aren’t any national tours happening. We are thrilled to be able to spotlight these regional and local artists, and they are putting on some amazing shows that we are so fortunate to get to experience. If you have been to one of our shows, you know. You know how much better you feel at the end of the night walking out the doors than you did when you walked in. That’s what live music does, and we need that more than ever right now. We are so thankful that we were able to open our doors during a time when many venues were closing theirs. We are adapting and adjusting every day to make things work in a time where everything is unprecedented, and nothing is predictable. We have been fortunate that we have not had to postpone or cancel any events thus far, but it was bound to happen. We are super bummed that we have to postpone this week’s show with In The Whale, with a future date tbd. And because we know money is tight for so many people right now, we will be automatically issuing refunds to everyone who already purchased tickets, no need to do anything, we got you.

We appreciate you all so much for supporting this project. Thank you to everyone who has come out to a show, all of the artists who have shared their gifts with us, and all of our employees who are working extra hard at bringing in shows and providing a safe and fun environment for us all.

Now back to work for us, we’ve got Battle of the Bands tonight and we’re working on some more show announcements coming soon! Stay safe friends! ✌️ ❤️ 🎸

Cameron Peak fire and how to help

This is official information from the Cameron Peak Fire personnel and a response they gave me on Facebook messenger to post on my magazine.

We greatly appreciate the support and generosity of the community! Our team’s focus is on fire suppression and our number one priority is firefighter and public safety. Our wildland fire crews are well equipped and cared for, we provide them with all the food and supplies they need.

We are unable to accept any donations at fire camps.

For those asking how they can help support our efforts, here are a few ideas:
Keep firefighters safe by adhering to road and area closures and by creating defensible space around your home. Learn how to create defensible space at http://firewise.org.

Post thank you banners / signs in the community and on social media. This is a great morale booster for firefighters after a long shift!

Volunteer for or donate to your LOCAL fire departments. Call first to find out what they need. If you are looking for ways to assist communities affected by the fire, look to local disaster response organizations, such as American Red Cross.

Here are some other options if you are interested in making a donation: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6964/58049/

Come and listen to the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra this weekend !


Stunning Strings with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra

When: Oct. 17, 2020 

Concert times: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Where: Cheyenne Civic Center,510 W. 20th Street 

Sponsored by First Interstate Bank and Black Hills Energy

Compositions that will be performed: 

Price- Five Folksongs in Counterpoint

Debussy Danses Sacree et Profane, Featuring CSO’s principal harpist, Tonya Jilling 

Walker “Lyric for Strings”

Grieg Holberg Suite 

Ticket info: To purchase physical seats or a livestream ticket for this concert, or any upcoming CSO concert, go to 


Formerly known as Tuna Fish and Peanut Butter, will be live-streamed only.  It will be on the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page and via the Laramie County Library’s Zoom.  I’ve included the link below if you are interested.  We will also make the video available on our website.

Topic: Classic Conversations

Time: Oct 16, 12:00 P.M.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87577143253?

password SjZhNGlZa05kZmN1Wk8xUjI4aWt6QT09

Meeting ID: 875 7714 3253

Passcode: 788000

Stunning Strings

 By Karen Cotton, editor of Sweet of Cotton Candy

The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra is back and the first concerts of the season take place this weekend. 

You can hear their Stunning Strings concerts on Oct. 17 at a matinee show at  2 p.m. and and evening show time at 7:30 p.m. at the Cheyenne Civic Center. The concert features the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra’s harpist, Tonya Jilling.  Music Director and Conductor, William Intriligator, took time out of his very busy schedule to answer questions over e-mail.

Q: Can you please tell me about the selection process of the songs that were chosen for the strings concert?

Intriligator: “We reprogrammed the entire season once Covid-19 hit, so as to have smaller orchestras that would fit on stage, with social distancing.  I have always loved the repertoire for string orchestra, and I know that a program of only winds, brass and percussion, (our November concert), would raise the roof and be extremely well-received, too.  So, we decided, since we had to have fewer musicians on stage anyway, to feature only the string, including harp.  

“Several great pieces for strings came to mind right away: Grieg’s ‘Holberg Suite among them.  I’ve wanted to program this beautiful piece here for years.  In addition, with the growing awareness of racial injustice in this country, I wanted to feature music by African-American composers.  Walker’s ‘Lyric for Strings’ is a gorgeous piece, and our Concertmaster Stacy recommended I look into the music of Florence Price.

“In addition, we knew we couldn’t fly guest artists to Wyoming so we needed to keep the first several concerts of the season with local soloists.   I’ve wanted to feature Tonya Jilling, our harpist, for years.  Folks love the harp.  So, the Debussy was a great fit.”

Q: How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra?

Intriligator: “We are still performing and bringing great music to this community.  We are grateful to the Board for their leadership, to the staff for the amazing hard work in preparing the orchestra to perform again during the pandemic, and to the community for their ongoing support.  It has been hardest for our players who have lost a significant amount of income, as well as missing doing what they love performing great music together.” 

Q: How is the CSO overcoming the financial loss that occurred and being able to put on performances now? 

Intriligator: “We are adding a second performance, a Saturday matinee, to allow for more ticket sales (since the audience capacity is highly limited with social distancing) and also adding a livestream option for the evening concert.”  

Q:How can members who love the symphony be able to help the symphony out financially ? Is there a place to donate to?a link or? 

Intriligator: “I believe there is a link on our website www.cheyennesymphony.org    Thank you for asking.”  

Q: Will the symphony be having its ball this fall? 

Intriligator: “Our Symphony Gala has been postponed to March 13th, 2021.”  

Q: How is the CSO keeping members of the audience safe from the virus as well as orchestra members? 

Intriligator: “Socially distanced in the hall, masks, traffic flow, designated entry doors, no intermission (shorter concerts), hand sanitizer stations, etc. etc.”

Q: Can you talk a little bit about upcoming performances on the season? 

Intriligator: “The next program will feature winds, brass, and percussion.  The Holiday concert will feature the orchestra and a trumpet soloist, Justin Bartels, from the Colorado Symphony.” 

Q: Can you also mention about Classic Conversation?

Intriligator: “Classic Conversation will take place Friday at noon before the concerts.  I think this will be via our Facebook page, not in person.” 

Q: “And I also noticed the CSO is highlighting different members of the orchestra on Facebook through concerts at home. Why is the Symphony doing this and how can we all watch and when is the next one of these programs?” 

Intriligator: “Our Virtual Virtuoso program has been going great. It’s been a great way to get to know our players better, and to provide them with some income.  It happens, every other Tuesday on our Facebook page at 7 pm.  Older episodes of it are still on our Facebook page.”  

Q: Can you talk about why Raiders of the Lost Ark concert was postponed (I think it has to do with the number of members of the orchestra that are allowed on stage) and why people should keep their tickets until next year … etc. 

Intriligator: “Due to the pandemic, we couldn’t fit the Raiders size orchestra (which is huge) on stage, and we really need to be able to sell a full house of audience to make that event work financially, so we put it off to June 2021 in the hopes that we can sell all 1500 audience seats.”  

Q: And also how it is important that people support their local symphony 🙂 

Intriligator: “The Cheyenne community has been amazing in their support of the orchestra. During these difficult times, it is important to remember that a great CSO concert will bring us together in a safe way and will really move people, feed the soul, and heal us.”

The Lincoln Cheyenne

The Lincoln Cheyenne

Website: Www.thelincolncheyenne.com

Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler are doing stand up comedy at the Lincoln Theater this Friday and Saturday, as posted in previous articles. 

The Lincoln Cheyenne courtesy photo

The Lincoln co-owner and co-founder, Renee Jelinek answered a few questions about the new venue in downtown Cheyenne, some of the upcoming shows and what to expect in the future for programming at the renovated venue.

Q: Your venue is beautiful and you guys put a lot of love into getting it off of the ground, why did you want a venue like the Lincoln?

Jelinek: “Music is so important to our family, it’s such a big piece of our lives, we love going to concerts, and we had always talked about how the Lincoln would make such a cool venue, so when the opportunity presented itself we just had to do it. We love that music brings people together, especially when you get to share the experience of seeing someone live together, and it inspires people too. We want to make live music accessible to people in Cheyenne, and hopefully inspire some more local artists.”

Q: How long did it take to get the Lincoln to being performance ready?

Jelinek: “We worked on the project for just over 2 years. Most of that was spent planning, it took a team of architects, engineers and contractors to get creative with figuring out how to do this on a small budget, and old buildings are super challenging to work on.”

Q: Why did you choose Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler to perform at the Lincoln?

Jelinek: “We have known Brandt for years, and he has been super supportive of the Lincoln. He was one of the first people to get one of our logo T-shirts and he was wearing it to shows promoting us from the beginning of the project! And we watched Josh Blue on Last Comic Standing and we loved him, so we are so thrilled to have him here.”

Q: Your shows are almost sold out of Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler ? How do you feel about that? And why do you think there is a draw?

Jelinek: “We aren’t surprised that the shows are selling so well, everyone wants to laugh, we can all use that right now!”

Q: How are you keeping guests safe from that miserable virus (Covid-19)?

Jelinek: “It has been challenging opening during a pandemic, the live entertainment industry has taken the biggest hit, so we feel fortunate that we were able to open, but it’s definitely brought a lot of challenges with it. Our current capacity is at 250, instead of the 1290 that we will eventually get up to, so we have had to adapt a lot of our original plans to make it work. It’s super important to us that we host safe events, we want our guests, staff and artists to feel safe, we have a covid safety plan that we send to each performer when we are discussing booking them so they can see that we are taking precautions. With our reduced capacity we have all groups seated at least 6 feet apart, and we do require masks to be worn by everyone when away from their seats. We are really appreciative of how understanding everyone is, and people are appreciative of us for taking all of these precautions seriously.”

Q: How has the pandemic affected your venue? How have you overcome it?

Jelinek: “Figuring out how to do ticketing with different seating requirements has been tricky, we are constantly working with our ticketing platform to figure out how to make things work, as we are changing things after almost every show, trying to make it work better for both guests and our staff. This is all new territory for everyone, so there’s a lot of adapting and figuring out work arounds. We are also having some challenges with booking different genres of acts, a lot of artists just aren’t comfortable playing indoor shows yet, and obviously there aren’t any national touring acts happening, so we are primarily focusing on regional acts, which is pretty limiting. We have already learned so much in our first 6 weeks!” 

Q: Will you have more comedians in your line up this fall/winter? If so are you allowed to say who yet?

Jelinek: ”We don’t have anything to announce right now, but we will definitely be bringing in more comedy acts, the people have spoken, and they want it!”

Q: What else do you have on your show schedule for Fall/winter?

Jelinek: “We have a few amazing concerts coming up this month, the 17th is Float Like a Buffalo, a funk rock band that’s playing Red Rocks the week before us. In The Whale is a punk duo out of Denver on the 23rd. And on the 16th Arts Cheyenne is presenting Nef the Pharaoh, a hip hop act that will be a free show. We also have some other local arts organizations that are going to be holding some shows here, so we’ve got a lot of variety in the works! We are also hosting private events over the holidays as well.

A Q and A with Brandt Tobler who will be opening for Josh Blue at the Lincoln in Cheyenne this weekend

Comedians Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler

When: Friday, Oct. 9, First Show:  Doors open at 6 p.m. show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Second Friday Show: Doors open at 8:30 p.m. show at 9 pm. 

Tickets still available for the Friday shows, but are limited.

Saturday, Oct. 10, First show: doors open at 6 p.m. show at 6:30 p.m.

Second show: Doors open at 8:30 p.m.show at 9 p.m.  

Both of the Saturday shows are sold out. 

Venue: The Lincoln Cheyenne

Address: 1615 Central Avenue 

Website where you can also purchase tickets: www.thelincolncheyenne.com

More about Josh Blue: www.joshblue.com

More about Brandt Tobler: www.brandttobler.com

By Karen Cotton, editor of Sweet as Cotton Candy

Cheyenne native, Brandt Tobler, is doing stand up comedy in his hometown on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and Oct. 10 at the Lincoln Cheyenne. He is opening for comedian, Josh Blue. The Saturday shows are already sold out, but there are tickets available for the Friday shows.  

Tobler is also and author and actor and resides in Denver. Some of his touring credits include performing overseas for the U.S. military, he has been featured on Comedy Central, Fox and ESPN. “Token White Boy” and “Ramblin’ and Gamblin” are his two CD recordings, and you can listen to him on the podcast “The 31,” where he is the host. He published his memoir, “Free Roll,” in 2017.  

Tobler’s Q and A follows …

Q: What do you like about performing shows with Josh Blue?

Tobler: “He is one of my favorite comics to watch because he is so funny! And he inspires me to always try to come up with new jokes, because every time I work with him he has funny new stuff. And he is just a really nice guy!” 

Q: Who are your comic idols and why?

Tobler: “Mitch Hedberg is my favorite comic. I saw him on Letterman and immediately knew I wanted to be a comedian!” 

Q: Did Covid-19 affect your comic career in any way ? If so how did you cope?

Tobler: “Yeah it really ruined my career for 6 months because I wasn’t able to perform. It was a very depressing and frustrating time, but I got through it by taking long walks each day with my wonderful girlfriend! “

Q: What are some of the topics you will cover with your show this weekend at the Lincoln? 

Tobler: “I will do a lot of jokes about Cheyenne and growing up in Wyoming. And I got some new stuff that I have been working on during the pandemic, so hoping it is funny! Haven’t really got to try it on stage, so it could be hilarious or awful…. we will see!” 

Q: What are some of the topics you will cover with your show this weekend at the Lincoln?

Tobler: “I will do a lot of jokes about Cheyenne and growing up in Wyoming. And I got some new stuff that I have been working on during the pandemic, so hoping it is funny! Haven’t really got to try it on stage, so it could be hilarious or awful…. we will see!” 

Q: How do you come up with jokes?

Tobler: “I try to write jokes about stuff that happens in my life, so all I have to do is wake up everyday, and the jokes will come!” 

Q: Why do you do stand up comedy?

Tobler: “Because it’s the only thing I am good at….  and I LOVE it!” 

Q: How did you get started doing stand up comedy?

Tobler: “Well I chickened out for years, but eventually I invited a bunch of friends to an open mic, had a couple beers, and just went for it! And luckily that first time went good, and I was hooked!” 

Q: What is a career goal of yours?

Tobler: “I would love to have a comedy special on Netflix, and finish my second book!”

Brandt Tobler will open for Josh Blue this weekend at the Lincoln in Cheyenne Http://www.branttobler.com

Q and A with comedian Josh Blue

Comedians Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler

When: Friday, Oct. 9, First Show:  Doors open at 6 p.m. show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Second Friday Show: Doors open at 8:30 p.m. show at 9 pm. 

Tickets still available for the Friday shows, but are limited.

Saturday, Oct. 10, First show: doors open at 6 p.m. show at 6:30 p.m.

Second show: Doors open at 8:30 p.m.show at 9 p.m.  

Both of the Saturday shows are sold out. 

Venue: The Lincoln Cheyenne

Address: 1615 Central Avenue 

Website where you can also purchase tickets: Http://www.thelincolncheyenne.com

More about Josh Blue: www.joshblue.com

More about Brandt Tobler: www.brandttobler.com

By Karen Cotton, editor of Sweet as Cotton Candy

Comedian Josh Blue got his big break in comedy when he won  NBC’s Last Comic Standing in the summer of 2006. Ever since he has taken the world by storm. He has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.

You can watch Blue live in four shows this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 9-10) at the new venue, The Lincoln Cheyenne, in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming. Brandt Tobler, a Cheyenne native, and well-known comedian will open for Blue.  This Saturday’s shows are already sold out, but there are a few seats left for Fridays’ shows. 

Blue, who lives in Denver, Colorado, discussed how he has been doing during 2020, how Covid-19 affected his livelihood, and why he is grateful he gets to do live shows, like the upcoming shows in Cheyenne. He also talked about fatherhood, balancing family life and touring and more.

Blue’s  fifth one-hour comedy special, Broccoli, was recorded at his home club, Comedy Works in Denver, CO. That special is now available to stream on Amazon, iTunes, VUDU and additional platforms.  

Enjoy this Q and A with Josh Blue.

Q: “2020 sure has been a stupid year, hasn’t it?” 

Blue: “Yes and there’s more to come so yay!”

Q: “Did Covid-19 affect you being able to perform live because of shut downs and if so how did you deal with that?”

Blue: ” I mean definitely, I was doing 200 shows a year, now this year doing closer to 100.  At first it was a little bit unnerving, I thought, ‘Oh no my career is going away,’ but then I was like wait a minute I have been doing 200 shows a year for 16 years this is actually kind of nice. So, I’ve been actually enjoying myself and stuff has moved to Zoom shows, online shows, which is not ideal for standup.  But, what I told myself is this is the new thing. I learned how to do it and I was able to get good at it, and I feel comfortable doing the Zoom stuff too. It’s not my preferred method. I would much rather be performing to a lively audience in Cheyenne.” 

Q: What do you like about live shows? 

Blue: “I am very off the cuff, when something happens in the room I can comment on it. I can do that on the Zoom meetings, but the energy isn’t the same and there isn’t the big burst of laughter after a punch line. There is something about being in the room with people that is different than getting it online.”

Q: “What do you like about making people laugh?” 

Blue: “It feels good and you can see and feel the relief of people’s stress, and mine too, when you’re up there and there’s not that much else going on in the world.” 

Q: “How do you balance family life and touring?” …

Blue: “Let me tell ya Carona has really helped with that, how so, I am home 24/7.” 

Q: “Are you pandemic home schooling?”

Blue: “At first we were so that was insane. Now my son is in school and my daughter is at home, so it makes zero sense at all.  My daughter is 10 and my son is 12.” 

Q: “When did you know you wanted to do comedy for a living?”

Blue: “I’m still not sure,” he laughed and said, “I was pretty young 23, 24, and I was doing stand up here in Denver. Then I did some in college. I got some success in Denver, and I thought, ‘Oh I could actually make a living at it,’ and here we are.” 

Q: “How did you get the opportunity to be on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon?’”

Blue: “A lot of hard work, you keep plugging away. Doing ‘Last Comic Standing’ launched me into the realm of doing lots of shows. When you do as many shows as I do, you can do other things like ‘The Tonight Show.’ 

Q: “What was it like performing on ‘ The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon?’’ 

Blue: “It was amazing! A comic’s dream come true. It was pretty surreal. It was definitely one of those things in my career,  I was on ‘The Tonight Show,’ which was pretty amazing.”

Q: “You sometimes use your cerebral palsy to break down stereotypes in your shows, why is that important to you?” 

Blue: “Well I mean, I definitely talk about it, but I don’t talk about it as much as I used to. But the fact of the matter is everything I talk about comes from the perspective of a guy who has cerebral palsy. It’s important from the fact that obviously I want to take you through some of the experiences I experience and make you feel dumb about it.” 

Q: “What kind of topics will you be covering at your shows this Friday and Saturday nights at The Lincoln?”

Blue: “I’m all over the map. I’ve got my kids, quarantine, just day to day life. I also do improv so whatever is happening in the room.” 

Q: “What do you like about performing in Cheyenne, you’ve been here several times.” 

Blue: “It definitely blows the pants off of ‘The Tonight Show,’ let me tell you,” he laughed and said, That’s called sarcasm, no you know, Cheyenne, it’s funny people ask you about why you perform wherever. I don’t care why you are whoever, you could be in a barn for all I care, as long as people are there to laugh. Obviously Cheyenne is a nice road gig because it’s not to far from my home.” 

Q: “Have you ever performed at the Lincoln in Cheyenne?”

Blue I don’t think I have, but I am excited. I have heard good things. I will be there with Brandt Tobler. 

I’ve worked with him many times. He’s a hometown boy, so that’s fun. Who knew anything funny could come out of Cheyenne?” 

Q: “What kind of advice would you give to comedians who are just starting out?” 

Blue: “Watch as much comedy as you can, watch live shows if you can, study what you can, learn what you like.”

Q: Who are your comic idols?

Blue: “Chris Rock, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Chappelle, Geroge Carlin and Richard Pryor.Each one is different in their own respect, the writing, their timing is amazing, and you know each one of those comics is so different than the other one. Comedy can come in so many forms, so its always amazing when you find this unique voice that also resonates with you personally.”

Q: “How do you come up with the jokes and discussions for your shows?” 

Blue: “I definitely have a bunch of jokes that I am working on. With my show I’m constantly working on the next special. I never write anything down. I just remember what I’m doing. I do a lot of improv and stuff I’m doing.” 

Q: “What is your next career goal?”

Blue: “I would like to have my own show, maybe not a network show, so I can swear. Probably Netflix will be perfect for me.” 

Josh Blue courtesy photo