Some people go for the punch on New Year's Eve. Others go for the punchlines. If you want to laugh your way into 2012, here's the rundown on the ten best comedy events December 31:
10. Downtown Fireworks Yes, we know: This is a fireworks show. But this year, there will be costumed entertainment walking the 16th Street Mall while you wait for the fireworks to start -- entertainment that includes magicians, balloon artists and, yes, comedians -- and it's all free! The fireworks shows start at at 9 p.m. and midnight; visit www.denver.org for information.
9. Madcap Theater You're not going to find a much better deal than Madcap's $18 ticket prices -- and with three shows (4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.), you can still make plans afterward. The 9 p.m. show lets out at 10:30 p.m., which means you can still make a midnight countdown. Call 303-460-3854 or visit www.madcapimprov.com.
8. Wits End Comedy Club: The Laff Guru The Laff Guru will be supported by Curt Fletcher, and you've got two seating options: One at 7:30 p.m. ($10 to $15) and a blowout seating at 10 p.m., which costs $30 to $35 and includes an appetizer, a sweets buffet, bottomless champagne, party favors and a midnight countdown with the comedians. Call 303-430-4242 or visit www.witsendcomedyclub.com.
7. Voodoo Comedy Playhouse The new Voodoo Comedy Playhouse is offering a few options. If murder mystery/dinner theater is your thing, head over at 6:30 p.m. for the Dinner Detective show ($49 and up). Chris Charpentier, Nathan Lund, Sam Tallent and Bobby Crane are hosting the Fine Gentleman's Club at 10:30 p.m., which will take you into the new year. (Tickets for that are $8 and up) Call 303-578-0079 or visit www.voodoocomedy.com.
6. Bovine Metropolis Theater: On the Spot New Year's Eve If you love improv, Bovine Metropolis Theater's New Year's Eve show is just the ticket. It's all-ages, fast and funny, and since the theater is downtown, you can also catch post-comedy fireworks on the 16th Street Mall, since the shows are scheduled for 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Admission is $30; call 303-758-4722 or visit www.bovinemetropolis.com.
5. Adams Mystery Playhouse: Family Dinner Show & A Dickens of a Murder The Adams Mystery Playhouse does dinner murder mysteries year-round, so grab some sleuths and figure out whodunit. If you'd prefer an early seating, try the family dinner show from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for $24 to $32; there's also a seating available for A Dickens of a Murder, the playhouse's holiday homicide show at 8:30 p.m., which'll run you $49 to $53, and includes dinner (vegetarian and gluten-free options are available). Call 303-458-1848 or visit www.adamsmysteryplayhouse.com.
4. Finesse Mitchell at Denver Improv Former SNL cast member and funnyman Finesse Mitchell is headlining this New Year's Eve show; tickets for the show alone are $25, and there's a dinner option available that'll run you $35 to $45 overall -- a steal for a night of comedy with a meal. The show starts at 8 p.m.; call 303-307-1777 or visit www.improv.com.
3. Kenny Kane at Comedy Works South Absurdist Kenny Kane will headline three shows at the south post of Comedy Works on New Year's Eve; there's an all-ages option at 5 p.m., another show at 7:30 p.m., and a blowout at 10 that includes a champagne toast and party favors to celebrate the midnight countdown. Tickets run $25 to $55; call 720-274-6800 or visit www.comedyworks.com.
2. Steve McGrew at Comedy Works Steve "Mudflap" McGrew -- whom you might have heard on 92.5 the Wolf's morning show on your daily commute -- will be headlining an all-ages show at 6 p.m., followed by shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Both the 8 and 10 o'clock shows are 21-and-up, and you'll get a champagne toast and party favors at 10 to ring in the new year. Admission runs from $25 to $65; call 303-595-3637 or visit www.comedyworks.com.
1. Impulse New Year's Eve The audience makes the show at Impulse Theater, which is conveniently located in the basement of the Wynkoop, so this party is a double-whammy. The show package includes one entree of your choice and an appetizer or a dessert for each couple, plus a champagne toast with dinner (and a sparkling mead toast at midnight for the late show), a live DJ in the pool room, free party favors and the downtown fireworks on the front step of the Wynkoop. Shows are at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., and admission is $55 per person for the early show and $70 per person for the late show. Call 303-297-2111 or visit www.impulsetheater.com.
More New Year's Eve lists
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.