While the holiday shopping season is just days away, Denver comedy remains a gift that keeps on giving giggles all year round. November's comedic offerings are no exception; the days ahead are replete with well-produced local shows, innovative performers and benedictions from legends of the stage and screen. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver this month.
Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3; shows at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.
Imagining the evolution of comedy without the wild-eyed influence of Eddie Griffin is a bleak and joyless prospect. After making a career-launching television debut on HBO's One Night Stand back in 1992, Griffin emerged as a titan of the stage, as well as a reliable source of comic relief in movies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Undercover Brother and Redline; he also has a small but pivotal dramatic role in the current blockbuster remake of A Star Is Born. Like his idol Richard Pryor (whom Griffin has portrayed twice on screen), the fearlessly honest comedian mines his struggles for laughter on classic standup specials like Voodoo Child, DysFunktional Family and his most recent hour, Undeniable, which premiered on Showtime in early 2018. See Griffin set fire to the Denver Improv stage; for more info and tickets, $40-55, visit the Denver Improv box-office page.
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Saturday, November 3, 8 p.m.
Mirth mavens and pinball wizards unite at 8-Bit Comedy, an evening devoted to those dovetailing interests. Hosted by local standup Jo Kimbrell, the monthly showcase rings in its venue's one-year anniversary with a lineup that includes Arielle Kaplan, Ralph Grate, Nathan Lund and headliner Sam Tallent. Don't fear that the show will be drowned out by whirs and pings; Louisville's Tilt! Pinball has a separate events space so that neither the crowd nor the comedians are distracted as fellow patrons get their game on in the adjacent room. Tickets are $8 to $10 on Eventbrite or $15 at the door; find more details on the Tilt! Pinball home page.
Polite Tumor's Night of Humor
Thursday, November 8, 6 p.m.
People may think there's nothing funny about breast cancer, but that's only because they've never met comedian Sofiya Alexandra, a devastatingly witty survivor who turned to the catharsis of standup to cope with an unthinkable diagnosis. As part of its ongoing efforts to provide financial relief and emotional support for women fighting breast cancer, the organization Polite Tumor is welcoming the Los Angeles-based comic to headline the second annual Night of Humor, a show guaranteed to make every guest "laugh their tits off." The festivities include live ’90s music mashup from Duck and Cover and a wide array of boob paddles. VIP passes have already sold out, and a scant few $45 general admission tickets remain, so make haste to Polite Tumor's events page to buy yours and learn more.
Thursday, November 8, through Saturday, November 10 (showtimes vary)
Comedy Works Downtown
A tirelessly inventive performer capable of spellbinding crowds with sheer will, Sean Patton expands the boundaries of what standup can achieve. He's amassed an impressive list of on-screen credits on shows like Comedy Central's The Half Hour, This Is Not Happening and Those Who Can't, but nothing beats watching Patton connect with a live audience in real time. Luckily, readers have five chances to do just that at Patton's headlining engagement at the downtown Comedy Works. Buy tickets, $16 to $24, and learn more on the Comedy Works box-office page.
Mile High Movie Roast: Footloose
Friday, November 9, 7:40 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Littleton)
Kick off your Sunday shoes and get ready to giggle as the profoundly silly yet irresistibly tuneful Footloose gets the Mile High Movie Roast treatment. The Kenny Loggins-soundtracked tale of a fleet-footed rebel who boogies in defiance of scowling, dance-hating John Lithgow, the 1984 film offers a heaping helping of Kevin Bacon at his most sizzling, and it also happens to be particularly ripe for ridicule. Join Mile High Movie Roast creator Harrison Rains and guest comic Timmi Lasley at a comedy show that replicates the singular experience of watching a bad movie with an especially witty friend. For tickets, $12.50, and more information, go to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's box-office page.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live!
Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 p.m.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 turned heckling trash cinema into an art form. A low-budget public-access program that ultimately inspired thousands of fans to try their hand at bad-movie mockery (see above), the show blended sharp, deeply referential jokes about loosely copyrighted films with a book-ending science fiction conceit. Recently revived for Netflix with a new cast, the charmingly existential saga of a hapless dude (Jonah Ray) and his quippy robot friends (voiced by Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn) who've been trapped on a spaceship and forced to endure a gauntlet of the worst movies history has to offer celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its original premiere — a milestone likely to make original viewers feel very old indeed — with a country-spanning tour that stops by the Macky Auditorium. Creator and original host Joel Hodgson is hopping back aboard the Satellite of Love for the first time in 25 years. Buy tickets, $39.50 to $49.50, and learn more on the University of Colorado Boulder's events calendar.
eTown Comedy Live!
Thursday, November 15, 8 p.m.
Gather for a green-friendly gauntlet of giggles when eTown Comedy Live! returns with another evening of fine, locally sourced standup. For November's edition, host and curator Caitie Hannan invites Colorado-based comics Ben Duncan, Brandy Bryant and Aaron Urist to stretch their comedic wings, performing longer sets for the venue's loyal crowd of joke-loving environmental do-gooders. Head over to eTown's Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $10, and find out more.
Friday, November 16, 7 p.m.
Find out what the proverbial deal truly is when a legend of the laugh game alights in Denver to deliver a master class in observational comedy. Eponymous star and co-creator of network television's most delightfully misanthropic sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld has carved out a very comfortable niche within show business, one that allows him to follow whatever fancy he pleases. Fortunately enough for his many fans, Seinfeld fancies telling jokes and gabbing with fellow funny people on his Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and his contract with the streaming platform includes an impending one-hour special. Get tickets, $50 to $175, and more information via AXS Events.
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Lucha Libre & Laughs: Blackout Wednesday
Wednesday, November 21, 8 p.m.
The Oriental Theater
Lucha Libre and Laughs, the Best of Denver award-winning mashup of pro-wrestling and standup comedy, returns for a rare midweek rumble on Thanksgiving Eve with Blackout Wednesday, a chance for fans to slake their bloodthirst before they trim their turkeys. The feast of funnies and fisticuffs will serve up plenty of talent in the ring and on the mic as Nathan Lund and Christie Buchele crack wise throughout bouts featuring returning favorite wrestlers such as Anaya, Allie Gato and Xander Kreed before a four-way match that pits Bruce Rogers and Hunter Grey of the Ragnarockers against JK POP — making their official Lucha Libre & Laughs debut. Then comes the main event, a beefy brawl between Champion "Yoga Monster" Mike Sydal and challenger Royce Isaacs. The standup lineup of Dick Black, Michael Seyedian and Meghan DePonceau and headliner Andrew Orvedahl will provide a handy excuse to avoid your family (or bring them along if they're cool), so there's no reason to miss this pre-holiday helping of fun. Go to the Oriental Theater box-office page for tickets, $10 to $40.
Thursday, November 29, 7:30 p.m.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
An evening of beaker-bursting belly laughter awaits when Science Riot returns to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for a show that applies methodical rigor to the mysteries of humor. Scientists step out of the lab and up to the mic for a giggle-filled experiment that channels its performers' considerable brain power toward the comparatively frivolous endeavor of writing jokes. Tickets, $15, and more details are available on the Denver Museum of Nature & Science events calendar.