Arts and Culture

The Ten Best Comedy Shows in Denver in August

June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas of the How Did This Get Made? podcast co-headline the High Plains Comedy Festival, August 23-25.
June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas of the How Did This Get Made? podcast co-headline the High Plains Comedy Festival, August 23-25. Earwolf
The dog days of August are a fine time to laugh, so Denver comedy fans are fortunate that the month ahead boasts one of the funniest offerings of the year thus far. Whether you're a fan of trashy cinema, lucha libre wrestling, hilariously defiant women, or comedy nerd-bait shows like Arrested Development, Joe Pera Talks With You or Bob's Burgers, the weeks ahead are rife with comedic riches. Furthermore, August closes out with the Sixth Annual High Plains Comedy Festival, a celebration of the Denver comedy scene that welcomes some of the world's best comedians to the Mile High City. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver circa August 2018.

August 3 to 5, showtimes vary
Denver Improv

A prolific character actor and comedy-club veteran, Luenell first rose to national prominence as the opening act on Katt Williams's American Hustle Tour and appearing in the concert film of the same name. In addition to performing on Snoop Dogg's Bad Girls of Comedy and Stand-up in Stilettos, Luenell has had memorable roles in everything from comedies like Borat and the Think Like a Man and Hotel Transylvania series to action thrillers like The Rock and Taken 2. She'll be appearing all weekend at the Stapleton stalwart comedy club, so locals have multiple opportunities to see her perform. Don't miss them; Luenell Campbell may be billed by her first name only, but that's because there's no mistaking her for anyone else. Visit the Denver Improv's box-office page to buy tickets, $20 to $55, and to learn more.

Eugene Mirman
Wednesday, August 8, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater

The Oriental Theater's conquest of the guffaws of Denver-based comedy fans continues in side-splitting earnest throughout the month of August, and Eugene Mirman's headlining showcase is an early and formidable example of the storied venue's clout. Currently heard on Bob's Burgers and seen in the Netflix standup special Vegan on His Way to the Complain Store, Mirman was instrumental in shaping contemporary comedic sensibilities, both in his standup and appearances on Flight of the Conchords, Delocated and Broad City. Mirman hasn't performed all that often in the Mile High, so fans shouldn't miss out on this hopefully no longer rare opportunity. Visit the Oriental Theater's box-office page to buy tickets, $20 to $25, and learn more.

click to enlarge GEOFF DECKER
Geoff Decker
Lucha Libre & Laughs: Creative Has Nothing for You
Friday, August 10, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater

Fresh off a monthlong hiatus with a reinvigorated yen for bloodsport, Sexpot Comedy's Lucha Libre & Laughs returns to the Oriental Theater for another Westword-approved evening of punches and punchlines. Hosted by lounge-lizard emcee Bobby Valentino, the key ingredient to Lucha Libre & Laughs' success is the butt-obsessed color commentary of Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund, who'll be on hand throughout the evening to roast wrestlers along with comedians Roger Stafford, Janae Burris and Adam Cayton-Holland. With opening brawls between LLL favorites like Lonnie Valdez, Allie Gato, Hoodlum, Len Parker, Cody Devine, Anaya, Arik Cannon and more, there'll be ringside thrills aplenty well before the climactic triple threat between current champion "Yoga Monster" Mike Sydal, DJZ and Dakota Draper. Visit the Oriental Theater's box-office page to buy tickets, $15 to $60, and find more details. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I'm on this show, too.

Joe Pera, Jo Firestone and Conner O'Malley: The Blue Berry Tour
Thursday, August 16, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater

Fans of Adult Swim's absurd yet heartwarming series Joe Pera Talks With You are in for a treat when Joe Pera, Jo Firestone and Conner O'Malley's Blue Berry Tour adds another gem to the Oriental Theater's formidably funny August calendar. Pera co-stars and co-writers Firestone and O'Malley are talented standups — they've written for and appeared on The Tonight Show and Late Night With Seth Meyers, respectively — who've been instrumental in shaping the show's utterly sui generis comedic voice. But there's something about Pera's good-natured awkwardness that makes every situation just a bit odder and funnier. So we encourage readers to do themselves a favor and binge-watch the whole first season — it won't take long; each episode is just eleven minutes long — before seizing the opportunity to see the three minds behind one of the of the most delightful shows on television. Find tickets, $15 to $20, and learn more on the Oriental Theater's box-office page.
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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