He’s only been at it three years, but you’d be hard pressed to find a comedian who works harder than Zeke Herrera.
The Humboldt native is now living in Denver and is telling jokes, running shows, and slanging mags. Not only is he a stand up comedian, he is also the Denver bureau chief for Savage Henry Magazine.
We recently sat down and texted Zeke a bunch of questions and he texted back the answers! Please enjoy Zeke Herrera!
Savage Henry: How long have you been doing stand-up?
Zeke Herrera: I’ve been doing stand-up for a little over three years now. The first mic I ever did was at a little coffee shop by Westwood Market. It was a multi-platform open mic, music, poetry, all that bullshit. I got real drunk to get my hands to stop shaking. After three jokes on stage I got kicked off for foul language. I didn’t do stand-up again until a couple months later when a coworker told me about a comedy open mic at The Jambalaya. He told me it was every second Tuesday and that he’d done 5 minutes on butt plugs so swearing was OK. After that I invited myself to go with him next time he went. The mic cost $3 and Joe Deschaine hosted. I went to Safeway to get food and cash and then headed back. Right after I got done jotting notes down on a napkin Joe told me I was up next. Not to brag, but I crushed real hard and I knew after that I had to keep doing it.
SH: What made you want to give stand-up a try?
ZH: I watched the Comedy Central Half Hours, The Kings of Comedy, and Killing Me Softly on repeat. I loved stand-up. I never really thought of it as a feasible option until I went up at The Jam and even then I never thought it could take me out of Humboldt.
SH: How did you decide on Denver?
ZH: I moved to Denver because I wanted to do comedy more often. Originally I wanted to move to LA but Cornell Reid assured me that I was being stupid. So I asked around. Portland was suggested, but that city sucks. San Francisco was the obvious choice but I knew a bunch of people there and that didn’t seem fun and I have a car which sucks in that city.
SH: Were you considered a class clown in school?
ZH: I would say I was kind of right in between class clown and school shooter.
SH: Have you adjusted to the weather and altitude yet?
ZH: I’m adjusted to the altitude, but I still frequently get pissed off about driving in the snow. I’m still adjusting to how drastic the weather is. The temperature goes from the hundreds to hailing inside of an hour and that’s a bit much still.
SH: What do you miss most about Humboldt?
ZH: I miss the food a lot. Denver has good food but I guess I just haven’t learned the spots yet. I miss getting stuff for free. I get hooked up a little, but here but in Humboldt I had people that would hook me up with clothes, food, beer, car repair…almost anything for free or at least real cheap.
SH: Maybe that’s why the economy around here is tanking.
ZH: Cause I’m not getting free stuff?
SH: Cause everyone is giving shit away.
SH: Now I know you’re not much of a weed guy, but you’ve only lived two places and and they’re both big weed places. So, where’s the better weed?
ZH: Well, both get you high, but I think with anything anywhere it just depends on who you get it from. To be specific, if you want good weed go to Denver Relief, future sponsor of Savage Henry Magazine!
SH: Any good bombing stories?
ZH: This isn’t really about bombing, but I was visiting San Francisco recently and was in town for about 18 hours before I was about to get on a plane. Somebody gave me some acid, and if there’s cops reading this it definitely wasn’t Chris Durant. I had a show booked later that evening and two hits of acid in my mouth, which seems like a thing that would just work itself out. I got to the show and realized I was about to go in front of a black box theater full of people peaking on acid. In Denver, as until last week, there was an infamous open mic at the Squire Lounge. The mic was almost impossible to do well at. For Star Trek nerds out there it’s the Kobayashi Maru of comedy mics. At this point I had done this mic dozens of times. So in my acid riddled brain it dawned on me that I could just treat this like the Squire. I immediately calmed down, went on stage did reasonably well.
SH: Who’s working now that every time you see them do their sets you’re blown away?
ZH: Kurt Metzger is probably one of my favorite reasonably well-known comics that I recently found out about. I love a lot of the people I’ve met in Denver, some of which have moved. Jordan Doll, Ben Roy, Sam Tallent are all in that category and they’re amazing comics. Cornell Reid is great and it’s pretty awesome that we grew up in the same town. Denver still has a lot of great comics. I would say Mara Wiles and Nathan Lund are probably my favorites.
SH: What’s next for Zeke Herrera?
ZH: Right now in the works I’m talking to a local movie theater about a Splifftrax (as it’s know in Humboldt) type show. I’m pretty excited about that. I’m going to be on High Plains Comedy Festival in Denver at the end of August and the Vermicrop Organics Presents the Fifth Annual Savage Henry Magazine Comedy Festival the weekend after that!
SH: Anything else?
ZH: Support local comedy!