Arts and Culture

The Ten Best Comedy Shows in Denver: May 2018

Hannibal Buress headlines the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, May 13.
Hannibal Buress headlines the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, May 13. Maarten de Boer
There are few finer ways to wind down after a sun-dappled afternoon — or a chilly soaking from spring showers — than taking in a comedy show. From homegrown DIY efforts to headlining engagements from television stars like Hannibal Buress and Bill Maher, opportunities to laugh the night away abound in May. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver in May 2018.

click to enlarge Noonan's headliner John Novosad. - GEOFF DECKER
Noonan's headliner John Novosad.
Geoff Decker
Noonan's Nice & Naughty Comedy Night
Friday, May 4, 8 p.m.
Noonan's Sports Bar & Grill

Terri Barton Gregg's Hold Please Productions is back with a vengeance and a lineup packed with some of Denver's finest and funniest. Join local mirth merchants Jacob Hamel, Donelle Prado, Jack Barton, Pam VanNostern and headliner John "Hippieman" Novosad for a mulligan-free evening of local comedy at its very best. While you're there, be sure to try the deep fried Oreos! Admission is $10 (plus fees) via Eventbrite and $15 at the door. Find more information on Noonan's Facebook events page.


Designated Drunkard: Cinco de Oh No
Saturday, May 5, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom

Though conventional wisdom (and years of getting heckled) might suggest that inviting the audience to participate in a standup comedy show is a fool's errand, Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game wobbles the fine line between playing along and drunken anarchy. Co-hosted by Caitie Hannan and Westword's Byron Graham, the show deconstructs comedians' sets and turns them into prompts for the beery crowd to drink along. A First Saturday tradition at the Best-of-Denver-winning venue the Comedy RoomRoom, the show's time slot happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo this year, so the abundance of holiday revelers should add a dash of chaos to the Designated Drunkard's already volatile cocktail. The fittingly festive lineup includes up-and-coming Denver comics Joe Gray, Kevin Klatman and Natalia Kvalem, followed by a trio of Denver die-hards: Dick Black, Ben Kronberg and Adam Cayton-Holland. Admission is $5 at the door and via Nightout. Learn more by visiting Designated Drunkard's Facebook events page.


Pump and Dump Mother's Day Eve Comedy Show and Dance Party
Saturday, May 12, 8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre

A Denver comedy tradition running six years strong, the Pump and Dump Mother's Day Eve Comedy Show and Dance Party returns to the Paramount Theatre for another evening of songs, jokes and parental commiseration. The brainchild of comedy songstress Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee (MC Doula), Pump and Dump provides hardworking moms with a rare night out, packed with dancing, hilarious songs inspired by the trials of child-rearing — "Eat Your Fucking Food" is a notable example — and cathartic laughter they'll enjoy even more than a Sunday brunch. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. showtime. Find tickets, $26 to $45, and more information from Altitude Tickets.


Hannibal Buress: The Hannibal Montanabal Experience
May 13, 7:30 p.m.
Paramount Theatre
May 14, 7:30 and 9 p.m.
Aggie Theatre

Though Hannibal Buress is still most widely recognized for his unequivocally critical riff about the recently convicted Bill Cosby, the media focus on Buress's role in an important conversation does a disservice to the sui generis brilliance of his standup. In addition to showcasing his skills in the Hannibal Takes Edinburgh documentary and Comedy Camisado standup special, Buress's on-screen career has also flourished thanks to appearances on shows like Broad City and The Eric Andre Show as well as in films like Spiderman: Homecoming and Blockers. Winding through the West on his Hannibal Montanabal Experience tour, Buress is rolling through the Centennial state for a trio of theater shows, starting with a 7:30 p.m. gig on Mother's Day at the Paramount Theatre (visit the Paramount box-office page for tickets, $35). He'll also appear the following evening at the Aggie Theatre, courtesy of Fort Comedy. The all-ages 7:30 p.m. show is sold out, but tickets remain for the 9 p.m. show. Visit the Aggie's box-office page to get yours, $35 to $80, before they're gone, too.

click to enlarge Dat-Mocracy Tho! host Daniel Reskin. - TRISTAN WHEELOCK
Dat-Mocracy Tho! host Daniel Reskin.
Tristan Wheelock
Dat-Mocracy Tho!
Wednesday, May 16, 7 p.m.
Denver Open Media

After a few installments in the humble showroom at Mutiny Information Cafe, Dat-Mocracy Tho! is branching out into a new venue and broadcast network at Denver Open Media. Join host Daniel Reskin every third Wednesday in DOM's Studio A for a hilarious chat show that bridges the divide between Denver's comedic and political communities. The inaugural broadcast tackles an issue many Coloradans appreciate but don't fully understand: marijuana. Learn how the state's pioneering legalization efforts shape tax law and the justice system at an eye-opening discussion with industry leaders and punchy panelists. Admission is free; find out more on Sexpot Comedy's Facebook events page.


Laughs & Drafts
Friday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Diebolt Brewing Company

Readers who love craft beer and standup comedy are spoiled for choice in the Mile High City, and they'll have another fine option this month at Diebolt Brewing Company's Laughs & Drafts showcase. Co-hosted by enterprising Denver comics David Hanan and Michael Seyedian, May's lineup includes local openers Harrison Garcia, Arielle Kaplan, JD Lopez and Shanae Ross warming up Diebolt's taproom for headliner Allen Strickland Williams (Conan). And, of course, food trucks will be on hand for hungry guests. Interested parties can also inquire about a VIP package and Hanan's brewery bus tours. Admission is free. Visit Impulse Entertainment's Eventbrite page to learn more and reserve a spot in the showroom.

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