In an effort to better understand the Boulder comedy scene and what gets this city laughing, we talk to standup comedian Jeremy Cash about why he moved to the area to pursue a career in comedy, and how he’s launching a hot sauce brand with it.
Sounding befuddled, Jeremy describes a recent comedy show he put on with Brad Belanger, founder of Boulder’s Laugh Lines Comedy Club and Jeremy’s friend from the New York standup circuit five years ago. It was in someone’s mansion and, Jeremy assumes, sponsored by “dispensary people” because free weed was everywhere, but no one knew why.
Before the show, someone told Jeremy and Brad they could hang out in the other house, if they wanted.
“Other house?” Jeremy quipped, like this was his first time retelling the story, but also like he’d already prepared an easy punch line. “I live in an apartment. I gotta take the bus home.”
Jeremy even employs his quips with Monster Hot Sauce, which he launched March 2020. The flavors are puns on famous comedians, like Gene Milder and Richard Fryor.
In picking ingredients, Jeremy considers the sauce’s appearance as much as its taste. The green-themed Gene Milder includes lime, jalapeño and serrano peppers, cucumber and green bell pepper on its ingredient list. He adds his all-time-favorite pepper, the habanero, into most of his hot sauces.
Though he started cooking and bottling the five flavors in his kitchen, he quickly required more space. The owner of Mad Greens, where Jeremy works several times a week, allowed him to use its certified commercial kitchen on his days off to chop and blend his ingredients.
Jeremy deals to friends and family, comedians and audience members after shows, making a $5 profit off his $8 bottles. On stage, he’s often introduced as the “guy who sells hot sauce out of his backpack.”
A new neighbor
Though Jeremy started Monster Hot Sauce in Colorado, the idea festered while he worked as an underpaid comic and at Union Square Farmers Market in New York City. At the start of the pandemic in Longwood, Jeremy whipped up his first hot sauce batch. He wanted to work at a farmers market again, this time as a seller. In brainstorming what his stand might look like, he felt inspired by his love for spicy food.
Moving to Colorado allowed Jeremy to escape New York’s saturated standup market, and to live closer to his brother. Now that he’s paid more for Boulder standup shows than ones in New York, Jeremy hopes to develop his personal business and life around comedy. Currently in Longwood, he’s making moves to relocate to Boulder by early next year.
After more than a year of the pandemic messing with performance venue plans, last month, Laugh Lines announced a run at Boulder’s Niche Event Space. When their regular shows start again January 1, Jeremy hopes to launch something like Hot Ones, a competition YouTube series where celebrities eat increasingly hotter chicken wings, at Laugh Lines events.
He’s developing a pitch to market Monster Hot Sauce onstage during a segment where comedians take hot sauce shots between their two-minute sets, and the hot sauce increasingly gets hotter.