According to America's preeminent groundhog meteorologists, we can expect six more weeks of winter and at least four more years of rapidly encroaching fascism. Needless to say, the cathartic release of comedy is in high demand, perhaps now more than ever. Fortunately, February's post-Super Bowl weeks are stuffed with a tasty ten-layer dip of comedy shows, the majority of which are proudly produced by local talent. From the literally in-your-face antics of Ben Roy and Bridget Everett to a preponderance of roast shows, Denver has delights in store all month long.
1. Pussy Bros Present: Birthday Party Comedy with Josh Blue
Monday, February 13
As the Grawlix and Too Much Fun fade into fond memories for the Denver comedy community, the Pussy Bros have taken their place at the vanguard as the scene's leading supergroup. Since their eponymous showcase debuted at El Charrito one year ago, the Bros — local standups Janae Burris, Christie Buchele and Rachel Weeks — have headlined at comedy festivals, produced one of Denver's best-attended shows and made great individual strides as standups. Sadly however, the Pussy Bros' first year as an institution was also marred by tragedy, with the sudden and heartbreaking loss of founding member Jordan Wieleba. Burris, Buchele and Weeks have admirably carried on, honoring Wieleba's legacy by not only continuing to run great shows, but to take up her mantle of proud advocacy and generosity. To celebrate the Pussy Bros' perseverance throughout this trying year, the trio has cooked up a new show at the Rackhouse Pub, fittingly called Birthday Party. With a lineup including Mara Wiles and Josh Blue, we wish we could celebrate the Bros' birthday every month.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.
2. Love in the Works
Tuesday, February 14
Comedy Works Downtown
While a comedy club may seem like a strange place to celebrate Valentine's Day, we can think of worse ways to spend a holiday fraught with obligatory romance than laughing the night away over cocktails with your date. Love in the Works, a comedy dating game show from the mind of Comedy Works regular Brent Gill, is back after a year of retooling and poised to steal laughs and hearts in equal measure. Pulling contestants from the crowd, Gill, along with fellow Denver comedy mainstays Nathan Lund and Stephen Agyei, will be riffing jokes while aspiring daters field questions and compete in challenges texted in by the audience, making it one of the few shows at Comedy Works that won't require crowd members to lock their phones in Yondr bags. Inquiring singles can send an e-mail to email@example.com and apply to be a bachelor, bachelorette or contestant.
The games begin at 8 p.m. Admission prices range from $25 to $119, with Valentine's Day packages available for couples on the Comedy Works events calendar page.
3. Nighttime Tonight
Thursday, February 16
The Deer Pile
Brian Flynn, a local comedian and co-host of The Revisionists podcast, has been quietly at work on Nighttime Tonight for months now, assembling a team of eager locals to write jokes and pitch segments for a new showcase modeled after late-night staples like Conan and The Daily Show, along with just a dash of Shandling-esque internecine struggle. Mostly, however, Nighttime Tonight is intended to be a place where members of the Denver comedy community can gather and indulge their creative whims. Flynn and company will be collecting donations for a different charitable organization each month.
Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is free; donation proceeds will go to the Marshall Project.
4. Gina Brillon
The Denver Improv
A veteran of the New York comedy scene she's called home since she started performing at the age of seventeen, Gina Brillon is a skilled comedian and the 2012 winner of NBC's Stand Up for Diversity Showcase. She's appeared on Live at Gotham, The View and Chelsea Lately, and also had a prominent role in Gabriel Iglesias's The Fluffy Movie. Unlike her boisterous co-star, however, Brillon tells jokes instead of making noises. Surprisingly sharp and observant for a comic with such mainstream credits, Brillon delivers relatable material without feeling broad or stale. Her first one-hour special, Pacifically Speaking, debuted in 2014. Brillon defies easy categorization and keeps the laughs flowing.
Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. each night, with an additional 9:45 p.m. late show on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $17; for tickets and information, visit the Denver Improv events page.
5. Sexpot Comedy Presents Bridget Everett
Friday, February 17
The Gothic Theatre
Bridget Everett is hilarious, but she's no mere comedian; she's the marquee act at a seedy cabaret located in a fever dream, straddling and motor-boating her fans with gleeful abandon. A trained singer with a powerful voice, Everett leads a supergroup called the Tender Moments, which includes erstwhile Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz. She's appeared on Girls, Lady Dynamite and Inside Amy Schumer as well as in the film Trainwreck, and her first one-hour special, Gynecological Wonder, premiered on Comedy Central in 2015. After spending decades trying to gain a foothold in the entertainment industry, Everett looks poised to finally capitalize on her immense talents. She has prominent roles in not one, but two major Sundance Film Festival premieres, Patti Cake$ and Fun Mom Dinner. Both films were acquired for distribution. Join Everett, a proudly unclassifiable entertainer, for an unforgettable evening of funny songs and fleshy encounters. Hosted by Sexpot's own Andy Juett.
Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 at axs.com.
6. Ben Roy
Sunday, February 19
Comedy Works Downtown
Last month, following a campaign of tweeted exhortations from the show's loyal fans, TruTV announced that it had ordered a third season of Those Who Can't. While fans who've followed Ben Roy's career — from his debauched Los Comicos Hilariosos days all the way through to the season premiere of the sitcom he co-created — rejoice in his success, many lament the scarcity of opportunities to see him perform live these days. Luckily, Roy's back for a special one-night-only headlining engagement at his home club. Ever the triple threat, Roy is also the frontman of local band SPELLS, which will be performing a family-friendly live show at Ross Cherry Creek Branch Library on February 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Showtime is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 on the Comedy Works Events page.
7. Sexpot Comedy Presents The Nerd Roast: Presidents
Friday, February 24
Since debuting last year, Sexpot Comedy's Nerd Roast quickly grew into a final Friday tradition for the entire Denver comedy community. Though the pay is scant and booking is a logistical nightmare, the show is a true labor of love for co-hosts/producers Preston Tompkins and Zach Reinert — whose Step Dads sketch videos are delightfully dark snippets of grim absurdity. The theme for this month's roast will delight history buffs and roast aficionados alike, as history's most memorable presidents square off on the dais. Local comics Dick Black, C.J. Willard, Cory Helie and Aarons Maslow and Middleton will portray former commanders in chief, both great (Obama; Lincoln; Roosevelts Teddy and Franklin) and ignoble (George W. Bush, Richard Nixon) in the best White House roast since the War of 1812. Fortunately, for anyone despairing over vile acts of the vile man currently holding the office, to enjoy the prospect of presidential humor, Trump will not be represented on the dais. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I'll be participating in this month's Nerd Roast in the role of FDR.
Showtime is at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
8. No Hard Feelings: Denver Roast Battle Show
Saturday, February 25
Brik on York
If you simply can't get enough roasts, chances are that you're a bad person and therefore entirely welcome at No Hard Feelings: Denver Roast Tournament. Unlike the Nerd Roast (whose hosts Reinert and Tompkins are both featured here), this battle of wits features Denver comics out of character and going for the jugular. Host Ben Bryant welcomes an all-white lineup featuring Denver comedy mainstays like Cody Spyker, Nicholai Roscoe, Alan Bromwell, Christie Buchele, Jacob Rupp and Zac Maas competing to outlast and out-roast each other in a bracket-style race to the gutter.
Showtime is at 11 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.
9. Lisa Lampanelli
Saturday, February 25
In yet another opportunity for roast lovers to feed their need for insult comedy, Lisa Lampanelli, standup's reigning "Queen of Mean" is closing out the month at the Paramount Theatre. Lampanelli's loyal and diverse fans flock to her shows precisely because they know that love is the best fuel for a truly scalding burn. A fixture of Comedy Central Roasts, Lampanelli, a proud equal-opportunity offender, has performed on talk-show staples such as The Tonight Show and The Late Show, released five standup specials and even hosted the AVN Awards in 2011. A fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights — though that doesn't spare that community from her mockery — Lampanelli famously raised $130,000 for the Gay Men's Health Crisis during her fittingly contentious appearance on Celebrity Apprentice 5.
Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.75 via AltitudeTickets.
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Todd Barry is a veteran standup best known for his appearances on such TV shows as Flight of the Conchords and Louie, as well as films like The Wrestler. He's released at least one episode of The Todd Barry Podcast every month since 2013. His last special, The Crowd Work Tour — which consisted of nothing but riffs and good-natured audience mockery — demonstrated Barry's quick thinking and a particular facility for ego-deflating burns. Rolling through Colorado for a pair of headlining showcases with a fresh batch of jokes, Barry has headlining engagements at both Fort Collins's Aggie Theatre (where the Fort Comedy trio has drawn sold-out crowds and formidable headliners alike) and at the Oriental Theater.