Arts and Culture

Laugh It Up at Denver's Ten Best Comedy Shows in October

Tig Notaro headlines the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts  in Fort Collins on Friday, October 11.
Tig Notaro headlines the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts  in Fort Collins on Friday, October 11. Bob Chamberlin
October has much more to offer than trick-or-treat candies and pumpkin-spice lattes. Colorado's comedy harvest is particularly bountiful this October, with so many great shows packed into the next month that standup fans will have some difficult choices to make. Whether you favor the poetic filth of Jim Norton and Coco Diaz, the politically tinged humor of George Lopez and Janeane Garofalo, Halloween-themed editions of Doug Loves Scary Movies and Lucha Libre & Laughs, or merely the perfectly crafted jokes of Tig Notaro, the following list contains just the show for you. Keep reading to find out more about the ten best comedy shows in the Denver area this October, and get ready to laugh all month long.


George Lopez: The Wall Tour
Friday, October 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Paramount Theatre
$39.95 to $79.95

President Trump's proposed barrier along the southern U.S. border remains among the most farcical elements of his administration's deliberately cruel immigration policies, and George Lopez is here to bring it crumbling down, one joke at a time. After starring in a pair of eponymous sitcoms (Saint George and George Lopez), hosting his own late-night talk show (Lopez Tonight) and appearing in a string of movies like Real Women Have Curves, Swing Vote, El Chicano and the Beverly Hills Chihuahua series, Lopez has returned to full-time standup with renewed vigor. His latest special — also called The Wall — premiered on HBO in 2017, but the daily insanity of life during the past two years should leave the acclaimed comedian with plenty to talk about. Admission is $39.95 to $79.95 via Altitude Tickets; a second show has been added due to high demand, so be sure to reserve your seats now.


Janeane Garofalo
October 10 to 12, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
$25 to $27

An alt-comedy pioneer, political commentator and unlikely rom-com star, Janeane Garofalo has defied facile categorization ever since she first hit the stage, joke book in hand. Garofalo quickly parlayed her sui generis standup persona into ensemble roles on deeply influential game-changers like The Larry Sanders Show and The Ben Stiller Show, riding the forefront of a creative evolution that continues to shape comedy to this day. A flourishing on-screen career followed, with appearances in films like Reality Bites, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Ratatouille, and Wet Hot American Summer, as well as shows like The West Wing, Broad City and 24 —whose fans were often outraged by the comedian's outspoken views. Garofalo is returning to Denver for a weekend-long master class in standup, so head over to the Comedy Works box-office page to buy tickets, $25 to $27, and find out more.


Tig Notaro
Friday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
$15 to $32

The world is lucky to have Tig Notaro. A cancer survivor who's endured more than her fair share of personal tragedies, Notaro chronicled her struggles brilliantly on the award-winning standup album Live and in the documentary Tig. Adversity isn't what makes Notaro such a delight, however; it's the pure joy of an impeccably crafted joke. Her closing bit from her latest one-hour special, Happy to Be Here, for example, stands among the greatest bait-and-switches ever captured on video. Though her semi-autobiographical sitcom One Mississippi ended with the collapse of its streaming platform Seeso, Notaro has already secured roles in the upcoming movie Instant Family as well as the television series First Ladies. Don't miss out on your chance to see one of the world's most delightful comedians when Notaro rolls through the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Collins. Tickets, $15 to $32, are selling quickly; click over to the Lincoln Center box-office page to get yours, posthaste.


Alonzo Bodden
October 11 to 13, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.
Denver Improv
$15 to $50

Alonzo Bodden has achieved the ideal balance of brains and bravado, a feat so rare that few comedians can even aspire to it. Winner of the third season of Last Comic Standing, Bodden has made the late-night TV rounds, appeared in Angel, Californication, Fresh Off the Boat and Scary Movie 4, and served as a recurring panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me. An avowed gearhead, Bodden has also hosted programs such as 101 Cars You Must Drive and America's Worst Driver, and remains a frequent guest on Jay Leno's Garage. Fresh off the release of his latest one-hour special, Heavy Lightweight, Bodden is stepping back into the ring — aka the Denver Improv stage — to punch and punchline his way through a few hilarious rounds. Visit the Denver Improv box-office page to buy tickets, $15 to $50, and learn more.


Joey Diaz
Saturday, October 12, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Paramount Theatre
$29.50 to $39.50

Comedy legend and enthusiastic Cheeba Chew fan Joey "Coco" Diaz loves Denver, and Denver loves him right back. A peerless purveyor of dirty jokes and debaucherous stories, the Cuban-born and New Jersey-raised comedian discovered his true calling after dropping out of the University of Colorado's Engineering program and hitting local clubs like Comedy Works and the now-defunct Wit's End, where he also worked as a doorman. Diaz has subsequently come a long way from checking IDs and taking tickets; these days he's a regular fixture on Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening, an accomplished actor with multiple appearances on shows like My Name Is Earl, Maron and I'm Dying Up Here, and a highly in-demand comic who's successfully made the leap from clubs to theaters. The enterprising Diaz also hosts The Church of What's Happening Now podcast and released his latest one-hour special, Socially Unacceptable, in 2016. Swinging through Colorado with the evocatively titled 56 and Still Slinging Dick tour, Diaz is in finer and funnier form than ever. Check out Altitude Tickets to reserve seats and find out more.

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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham