Ten best comedy events in Denver this March

Ten best comedy events in Denver this March
Comedy Central's Broad City

As the arrival of spring melts away the remaining sludge of the February doldrums, comedy blooms anew in March. With visits from veteran standups, sets by hilarious newcomers and a chance to see the stars of TV's funniest sketch comedy series in person, there's a vast and crowded field of new entertainment options in Denver. While the lion's share of March's comedy offerings are imported, the lineup also includes a promising new free local showcase and the second round of the Comedy Works Funny Final Four contest. The fact that so many of these events take place in concert venues like the Gothic and Paramount is a testament to the drawing power of the headlining acts we have in town this month, as well as to Denver's boundless hunger for comedic entertainment. Here are the ten best comedy events to feed that hunger.

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10) Comedy at the Club 10 p.m. Thursday, March 6 The Curtis Club After taking a two-year hiatus from hosting shows and crushing dreams, Greg Baumhauer has returned with a new, bimonthly comedy showcase. Featuring some of Denver's finest chuckle-merchants, Comedy at the Club will make its debut at the newly refurbished Curtis Club on March 6. With sets from Troy Walker, Jordan Doll, Adam Cayton Holland, Christie Buchele, Jim Hicox, and Bobby Crane, Baumhauer has curated March's best free evening of standup comedy that's sure to hit the sweet spot for old Squire Lounge nostalgists. For old time's sake, Baumhauer might even include a few new comics on the line-up for a sacrificial roasting. And it's all free.

9) Dan Soder March 13-16 Comedy Works Downtown A native son of Aurora, comedian Dan Soder returns home this month for a weekend of shows at the downtown Comedy Works. Soder won the New York's Funniest comedy competition in 2011, and since then, his acclaim has continued to grow, with a strong showing at Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival that helped lead to recent TV appearances on Conan, MTV2's The Guy Code and his own Comedy Central Half Hour special. He also co-hosts the podcast You Know What, Dude? with comedian Robert Kelly.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday; there's also a 7 p.m. Sunday show. Ticketsare $14 for the Thursday and Sunday shows, and $22 Friday and Saturday; get them on the Comedy Works website.

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8) Donnell Rawlings March 27-30 Denver Improv Though he'll probably always be recognized as Ashy Larry from Chapelle's Show, comedian Donnell Rawlings has withstood the fallout of his hit show's conclusion by hitting the club circuit heavily over the past few years and appearing regularly on Chelsea Lately and New York's enduringly popular Hot 97 morning radio show. Despite achieving success on his own merits, Rawlings embraces his Chappelle's Show renown, even titling his 2010 standup special From Ashy to Classy in honor of his most famous character. Rawlings has also put together an impressive resume of acting roles over the years, turning up on everything from Spiderman II to The Wire. Rawlings is effortlessly charismatic and innately watchable on either stage or screen.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with a 9:45 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25; get them on the Denver Improv website.

7) Portlandia Early Screening and Q&A with Fred Armisen 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 Gothic Theatre Denver and Portland are spiritually similar cities. They're both replete with outdoorsy hipsters who obsess over their dietary restrictions and, thusly, they're both ripe for good-natured mockery. It's fitting, then, that Fred Armisen, the co-creator and star of IFC's hipster-skewering sketch show Portlandia, is visiting our fair city with a special sneak preview of next season's premiere. After screening the brand-new footage, Armisen will be available for a question and answer session with the audience. While the screening/Q&A combination event is usually a recipe for boredom, the SNL veteran and newly minted Late Night with Seth Meyers bandleader can be relied upon to keep things from getting too wonky.

Doors open at 8 for the 8:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $15; get them on the Gothic website. Keep reading for more of March's best comedy events.

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