Arts and Culture

The Ten Best Comedy Shows in Denver in June

Kevin Hart headlines the Pepsi Center on Friday, June 29.
Kevin Hart headlines the Pepsi Center on Friday, June 29. Pamela Littky
It's summertime, and the laughing is easy in Denver this June, a month packed with comedic entertainments. From comedian-produced showcases at hip local haunts to movie stars headlining arenas, the month ahead offers comedic delights of both the humble and historic (like an appearance from living legend Carol Burnett) varieties. Kicking off with the fifth anniversary of Best of Denver award winner Lucha Libre & Laughs, the chuckles continue all month long. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver in June 2018.

Lucha Libre & Laughs: Wrestle Party
June 1 to 3, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater

Denver comedy's favorite wrestling show (and wrestling's favorite comedy show) Lucha Libre & Laughs celebrates five years of belly laughs and body slams with Wrestle Party, three consecutive days of rib-tickling ringside thrills. Featuring headlining comics Josh Fadem and Dicker Troy, Brooks Wheelan, Todd Glass and too many local mirth merchants to list here, each show offers guests a fresh batch of brawlers (including Japanese wrestling legend Kikutaro and LLL favorites like Lonnie Valdez, Allie Gato, Royce Isaacs and many, many more. As always, producer Nick Gossert will be on hand to referee poorly, host Bobby Valentino will host, croon and creep his way through the proceedings, and color commentary will be provided by Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund. Early-bird special tickets have already sold out, so make haste to the Oriental Theater's box-office page to buy yours, $20 to $80, and find out more.

click to enlarge ALLISON ROSE
Allison Rose
Rebel Yell Comedy and Wing Night
Saturday, June 2, 10 p.m.
Rebel Restaurant

Denver comedy fans are blessed with a surplus of local talent, but the scene's well-produced showcases and enthusiastic crowds are also a draw for traveling comics who pop into town for shows. Rebel Restaurant's Rebel Yell Comedy and Wing Night — seriously, don't sleep on those wings — continues Denver comedy's welcoming tradition with a pair of hilarious New York comics (Samantha Ruddy and Jake Flores) joining local funsters Zeke Herrera and Olivia Schyling for a finger-licking and rib-tickling evening of jokes. Hosted and curated by Allison Rose, Rebel Yell proves that even the scene's scrappy underdogs can offer some of the best lineups in the city. Admission is free. Visit Rebel Yell's Facebook events page to learn more.

Carol Burnett: Laughter & Reflection
Thursday, June 7, 7:30 p.m.
Bellco Theatre

A living legend whose influence reverberates through every kind of comedy (but particularly sketch and standup), Carol Burnett is appearing at Denver's Bellco Theatre for "An Evening of Laughter and Reflection Where the Audience Asks the Questions." After reshaping television in her image with the groundbreaking and still fondly remembered Carol Burnett Show, Burnett has never strayed far from the silver screen, charming audiences as an actor, comedian, panelist, host and talk-show guest. Indeed, her pace hasn't slackened a bit in her golden years. She won a Grammy for best spoken-word album in 2017, and her newest show, A Little Help With Carol Burnett, premiered on Netflix in May. Laugh your Thursday evening away in the company of one of comedy's most seasoned pros, and perhaps even gain some insight into the mind of a woman who hasn't stopped being funny on stage or screen since the 1950s. Visit Bellco's AXS events page to buy tickets, $59 to $175, and find more information.

Nikki Glaser
June 8 and 9, 7:15 and 9:45 p.m.
Comedy Works South

After developing her voice on the Midwestern club circuit, Nikki Glaser made a smashing television debut in the seventh season of Last Comic Standing, where she stood out with her frank material and unflappable stage presence, despite only advancing to the semi-finals. In the years since, Glaser has worked exclusively in television, appearing on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Conan and The Opposition With Jordan Klepper as well as in the film Trainwreck and in several sketches on Inside Amy Schumer. Lately, Glaser seems to have found a home on Comedy Central, where she hosted her own series, Not Safe With Nikki Glaser. The network also produced her latest one-hour special, the aptly named Perfect, in 2016. Visit Comedy Works' box-office page to buy tickets, $28, and learn more.

click to enlarge MANDEE JOHNSON
Mandee Johnson
Anthony Jeselnik: Funny Games
Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m.
Paramount Theatre

Leading the vanguard against delicate sensibilities, Anthony Jeselnik has built his career in the darkest corners of the comedic imagination. The first standup to appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Jeselnik parlayed his wickedly spiky performances on Comedy Central's Roasts into a bustling television career that included two seasons at the helm of his own show, The Jeselnik Offensive, hosting duties on the latest season of Last Comic Standing and parts on shows like Maron, Garfunkel & Oates and Not Safe With Nikki Glaser. He's also released a number of one-hour specials, including Caligula and Thoughts and Prayers. Jeselnik returns to Denver with a fiery new hour of material on his current tour, Funny Games. Admission is $35 at Altitude Tickets.

click to enlarge SCIENCE RIOT
Science Riot
Science Riot
Sunday, June 10, 7 p.m.
Clocktower Cabaret

A laboratory for laughs, Science Riot returns to the Clocktower Cabaret with a new name (the show was formerly called "Peer Revue") but the same novel premise. Rather than the unwashed reprobates who typically haunt this city's open mics, Science Riot's performers are upstanding members of the scientific community, representing a variety of STEM fields. Watch these braniacs embark on a crash course through the joke life, yielding hilarious and unpredictable results. Visit the Clocktower Cabaret's box-office page to buy tickets, $15, and learn more.

Jim Gaffigan: The Fixer Upper Tour
Sunday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.
Budweiser Events Center

The comic laureate of laziness and unhealthy foodstuffs, Jim Gaffigan has achieved a level of cultural permeation that most comics can only dream of. Gaffigan is one of those comics whose jokes are referenced in day-to-day exchanges and whose "inside voice" joke-telling style is instantly recognizable. His first book, Dad Is Fat, was published in 2013, and his self-released standup special, Mr. Universe, came out the year before that. Gaffigan has also appeared on Portlandia and all three Law and Order franchises, as well as in films like Super Troopers and Away We Go. Recently, Gaffigan became the executive producer and star of the eponymous Jim Gaffigan Show, which ran for two seasons on TVLand, and released his fifth standup special, the appropriately titled Cinco. Gaffigan's also been hitting the road with a vengeance these days, returning to Colorado for another arena-sized showcase at Loveland's Budweiser Events Center; visit the center's box-office page to buy tickets, $59.50 to $69.50, and learn more.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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