The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver: August 2017

Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff of the My Favorite Murder podcast are headliners of the High Plains Comedy Festival, August 24-46.
Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff of the My Favorite Murder podcast are headliners of the High Plains Comedy Festival, August 24-46. My Favorite Murder
August may be the final month of a particularly muggy summer, but Denver comedy is just getting warmed up: The month ahead has enough great comedy shows to tickle every rib and fancy in this fine city. From brainy podcast listeners and comedic locavores to air-humping enthusiasts and bloodthirsty wrestling fans, comedy nerds of every stripe can find their tribe and laugh the night away at any of the following ten events. Most joyously, the High Plains Comedy Festival returns to Denver for a fifth year, showcasing its best lineup yet.

click to enlarge TIM AND ERIC
Tim and Eric
Tim & Eric: 10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour
Tuesday, August 1, 8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre

As hard as it may be for aging fans to accept, it's been a full decade since Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! premiered on Adult Swim. In the ensuing years, the duo's nightmarish comic energy has influenced everything from filmmaking and sketch comedy to advertising. To celebrate their tin anniversary, Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker are embarking on a cross-country tour, bringing back beloved characters and introducing a bevy of new bits and songs. They'll be at the Paramount Theatre tonight, and few tickets remain, so act quickly. Admission starts at $42.50 via AltitudeTickets.

click to enlarge STEPHEN AGYEI
Stephen Agyei
Stephen Agyei
Thursday August 3, 8 p.m.
Comedy Works Downtown

For Denver-based comedians, there's no greater reward for their years of effort than a headlining gig at Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, an honor that very few of our scene's funniest people ever receive. Few comics have worked more or crushed harder than local favorite Stephen Agyei, who steps into the spotlight for his second-ever full-length set at his home club at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 3 (the first show sold out). Agyei, a perennial New Faces contest finalist who co-hosts the monthly Propaganda! showcase, recently made his television debut on the Denver episode of Viceland's Flophouse. He's also appeared with Roy Wood Jr. on NPR's All Things Considered and participated in the prestigious RIOT L.A. Festival. A devilishly funny performer who can sell the bejesus out of a punchline with a simple facial expression, Agyei is one of the leading lights of the local scene, and likely bound for greater success on one of the coasts. Don't miss your opportunity to see him perform while he's still a local. Visit Comedy Works' events page to learn more and buy tickets, $14.

click to enlarge AIR SEX CHAMPIONSHIPS
Air Sex Championships
Air Sex Championships
Thursday, August 3, 7 p.m.
Oriental Theater

While this list typically focuses on standup comedy showcases, there's no fighting the seductive rhythms of the Air Sex Championships, wherein performers sync up their favorite sex jam and writhe and gyrate like they're satisfying an invisible lover. The championships pit teams of official competitors and brave volunteers from the enthusiastic crowds against each other as they wriggle their way through elaborate coital pantomimes. A panel of judges, typically composed of comedians (though past judges have included pro wrestlers and adult-film stars), weighs in and decides which performer humps empty space better than everyone else. It's all very silly, and that's precisely the point. The show has toured across the country and, along the way, inspired both the documentary Air Sex: The Movie and served as a framing device for the indie comedy Love & Air Sex. Visit the Oriental Theater events page to learn more and buy tickets, $10.

Sexpot Comedy Presents Kenny DeForest
Thursday, August 10, 7 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Over the past few months, Sexpot Comedy's headliner showcases have settled into their new home at Syntax Physic Opera. An inviting hub for Denver creatives of all stripes, Syntax's red-velvet-adorned stage provides ideal aesthetics and acoustics for comedy and music alike. In the first of a pair of showcases it's producing this month, Sexpot welcomes Brooklyn-based comedian Kenny DeForest to run his hour. Named one of 2015's "Comics to Watch" by Comedy Central, DeForest is a festival favorite who co-hosts an esteemed showcase at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory and has also appeared on TruTV's Friends of the People and MTV's Bugging Out. Spotlighting local openers Derrick Stroup and Mina Thorkel, the showcase kicks off a week of local events DeForest is headlining. Visit Sexpot's events calendar to learn more about this show and to see the rest of the series' busy August schedule. Tickets, $7, are available from Nightout.

click to enlarge GEOFF DECKER
Geoff Decker
Lucha Libre & Laughs: Killing the Business
Sunday, August 13, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater

After a series of free events at venues scattered all over town, Lucha Libre & Laughs returns to the Oriental Theater for Killing the Business, a high-flying and side-splitting blend of brawn and buffoonery. Kicking off the ringside action with a battle of speed versus strength, the yoga-hewn Mike Sydal seeks to settle a score with the beefy Royce Isaacs, and that's before LLL favorites like Lonnie Valdez, Japanese wrestling legend Kikutaro, the Left Coast Guerrillas and more step back into the ring. With comedians Chance Moreland, Timmi Lasley, David Rodriguez and Anthony Crawford filling out the bill, $10 seems like a pittance for all the entertainment in store. Join Nick Gossert, Bobby Valentino, Alabaster Cain, Nathan Lund and Sam Tallent on Sunday, August 13, to see why Westword has named Lucha Libre & Laughs Best Comedy Night for three years running. Visit the Oriental Theater's events calendar to learn more and buy tickets.

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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