Adam Cayton-Holland, Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl never thought that making people laugh take them this far. For the past few months, the Denver comedians (who go by the name The Grawlix) have been working in Los Angeles, writing episodes for their semi-new show, “Those Who Can’t.”
Now that they have enslaved themselves to cable TV, however, the trio must end it’s monthly live performance. The last hoorah will take place this weekend, Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25 at Denver’s Bug Theatre.
“We’re just ending the regular monthly show that we do [because] we just don’t have time when we’re making the TV show,” Cayton-Holland told Examiner. “None of us are stopping stand-up.”
That’s good, because doing stand-up is how Cayton-Holland, Roy and Orvedahl came together. They each attended a comedy open mic night at the Lion’s Lair. In 2005, the trio felt confident enough to start their own show, “Los Comicos Super Hilariosos,” at a art gallery called Orange Cat Studios. When that space closed in 2010, the trio transformed themselves into the Grawlix.
The Grawlix has been more versatile from the get go. Beyond doing their live show, the trio began making video shorts with a Denver directorial duo, the Nix Bros. One of those shorts was “Those Who Can’t,” where Cayton-Holland, Roy and Orvedahl play bumbling, but lovable teachers working at a run-down high school.
According to the Denver Post, Amazon Studios commissioned “Those Who Can’t” for a pilot in 2012, but declined to pick the show up in 2013. “It was pretty disappointing, because we really thought we were going to get to make the show,” Cayton-Holland says. “But, in a way, it was a good introduction to showbiz. We were lucky that the pilot got seen.”
With the Amazon pilot in mind, truTV reached out about “Those Who Can’t” in December 2014, green-lighting the show for a 10 episode season. Mostly known for airing reality/crime dramas, truTV is currently in the process of rebranding itself as a comedy network. “Those Who Can’t” will be its flagship program. The season is being directed by initial Grawlix collaborators, the Nix Bros. And, for budgetary reasons, it will be filmed in LA, instead of Denver.
The show will feature a lot of hilarious interplay between the three comics. “I think viewers will like the energy the three of us bring,” Cayton-Holland says. “We have a good dynamic going that people seem to respond to in our sketches and live shows, so hopefully they like it in a TV show.”
Cayton-Holland, who comes across a bit cooler-headed than Roy and far smarter than Orvedahl, plays the straight man on “Those Who Can’t,” acting as a discontented Spanish teacher. Roy is spot on as a moody, temperamental history teacher, whose best teaching strategy is yelling at his kids. Orvedahl plays the doofy, jocular PE instructor.
While the boys how to bring each character to life on camera, some new colleagues are helping them write each episode in LA. Dean Lorey, who worked on Arrested Development, has been bought in as a show runner. Krysia Plonka and Tracey Baird, who have worked on many HBO programs, including “Flight of the Conchords,” will serve as executive producers.
“It’s validating that these people who have done so much amazing stuff want to work with us,” Cayton-Holland says. “I can tell you this: Every morning since we got picked up for a season, I’ve gotten up to go to the writer’s room and I’ve thought to myself, ‘This is exactly what I want to be doing.’ That feels pretty cool.”
“Those Who Can’t” is currently set for an early 2016 release. Before then, catch The Grawlix’s last monthly live show or check out more shorts from the trio right here.