Ten best comedy events in Denver this January

Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani
Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani

Any Denverite whose New Year's resolution was to laugh more has both admirably modest ambitions and a bounty of entertainment options this January. If you didn't resolve to laugh more, do it retroactively: Achievable goals build confidence. With exciting developments from Denver's two favorite local comedy troupes and visits from luminaries such as Aziz Ansari, Doug Stanhope and Kumail Najiani -- all of whom released hilarious standup specials last year -- January has comedy events to suit any and every taste.

See also: The ten best geek events in Denver in January

10. Pablo Francisco

Pablo Francisco has earned a following throughout the years with his high-energy performances, character work and entrepreneurial hustle. Francisco has performed on sold-out shows all over the world, and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Mind of Mencia. Having built up a loyal fanbase on the club circuit over the years, he has developed a roster of memorable bits and impressions that his crowd awaits like Skynyrd tunes.

Francisco will be in town for shows at January 16-19; there are 7:30 p.m. shows each day, as well as additional 9:45 p.m. shows on January 17 and January 18. Tickets are $25 at the Denver Improv.

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9. Fortune Feimster

Fortune Feimster gained her acclaim as a semi-finalist on the seventh season of NBC's newly resurrected Last Comic Standing. Now a writer and panelist on Chelsea Lately, Feimster has cultivated a unique comic voice, one capable of reaching her particular audience in a way no one else could. Feimster, who recently opened for Dave Chapelle on some of the Oddball Fest dates, tours regularly and built up a loyal contingent here in Denver.

She'll be in town for shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. January 10-11. Tickets are $23 at Comedy Works Larimer Square.

8. Three Year Anniversary of the Fine Gentleman's Club

The Fine Gentleman's Club has done a lot for the Denver comedy scene in the three years the gentlemen have been performing together. Every week, it gives new comics the opportunity to share a bill with out-of-town headliners and a well-curated cadre of local crushers with the Too Much Fun showcase, running Denver's best weekly comedy show for donation beer money. Next week, the club will celebrating its anniversary with a special event. "We don't want to overhype the show," says founding member Chris Charpentier, "but it's going to be bigger than Lillith Fair and Burning Man combined! We're going to have a bunch of our favorite Denver comics and a top-notch headliner." The lineup has yet to be determined, but as is often the case with the weekly Too Much Fun, sets of newish material from the Gents themselves is more than enough reason not to miss a show that commemorates three years of this strangely beautiful union.

The free show starts at 10 p.m. Wednesday, January 8 at Deer Pile.

7. Headlining sets from each member of the Grawlix at Comedy Works

Though locals have plenty of opportunities to see members of the Grawlix performing standup, headlining sets at one of the best comedy clubs in the country are always a big deal. Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Ben Roy each take the spotlight for gigs scheduled at a Comedy Works this month, giving fans the chance to spend an hour with their favorite Grawlix. Fortunately, Roy, Orvedahl and Cayton-Holland are prolific joke writers capable of crushing any room, from Comedy Works to a Colfax open mic, so even their well-served fanbase will have something to anticipate.

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday January 8, Andrew Orvedahl will headline at Comedy Works Larimer Square.. At 8 p.m. the following night, January 9, Adam Cayton-Holland will be performing his own headlining set there. Later in the month, Ben Roy will be heard shouting at suburbanites at Comedy Works Landmark DTC at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 29. All tickets are $12.

6. Tone Bell

Comedian Tone Bell has performed on the Late Show with Craig Ferguson and he was featured on the dais for Spike TV's Eddie Murphy: One Night Only. Fans of sketch comedy might recognize Bell from his appearances on Comedy Central's Key & Peele, while fans of recently canceled sitcoms might recognize Bell from NBC's Whitney -- yet fail to recognize their poor taste in recently canceled sitcoms.

Bell will perform at 7:30 p.m. on January 9 and 12, as well as at 9:45 p.m. on January 10 and 11 at the Denver Improv. Tickets are $15 to $17.

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