Ten best comedy events in Denver this May

Historically, the arrival of May Day signaled a call for celebration, for dancing around maypoles and leaving fresh flowers on strangers' doorsteps. And in Denver, comedy fans will find themselves presented with a May basket full of sun-ripened giggle blossoms to choose from all month long.

The Queen May is easily Comedy Works, with top-notch headliners at both clubs all through the month, including an ongoing visit from an increasingly less reclusive icon. Readers may in fact notice a suspicious absence of Dave Chapelle on this list, but those shows sold out mere hours after they were announced -- so including them in this list would be little more than an unnecessary reminder to all the Johnny-come-lately comedy fans missing out. (By all accounts, Chapelle's few late April shows were fantastic, so smug May ticket-holders are in for a treat.)

Fortunately, the comedy calendar is packed with other choice choices every week. Opportunities to see award-winning screen stars and living legends abound, along with conceptually novel local showcases which feature everything from the unlikely coupling of comedians and Luchadores to something fun for the moms -- who deserve it. Keep reading four our ten best comedy events in May...

See also: The ten best geek events in Denver this May

10) Comics Against Civility Sunday, May 4 Voodoo Comedy Playhouse

When comedians take on civility, everyone wins. Loosely based on the game Cards Against Humanity, the show asks comics to pick an audience-suggested topic card, then riff some uncivil jokes based off what they see. This month, comedians Mike Jones, Todd Couch, David Glasspool and Nate Balding will compete for the title of "Denver's Least Civil Comedian," though this is just the second installment in an ongoing contest with many rounds yet to come. Hosted by Zac Maas and Jake Browne of the Whiskey & Cigarettes podcast, Comics Against Civility pushes comics into the spotlight without the crutch of their road-tested act, offering the audience something new each time. In honor of the unofficial May the Fourth be With You holiday, the topic cards will feature Star Wars-themed prompts. The show is under Sex Pot comedy's rotating Sunday night series of showcases, which differ from other shows at Voodoo. Past installments -- including Cartoons & Comedy and The Fine Gentleman's Club showcases -- have been pleasantly weird.

Doors open at 9:30 for the free 10 p.m. show.

9) Pump & Dump Mother's Day & Pump it Dance Party Saturday, May 10 Holiday Event Center

Moms are an underserved demographic whose entertainment options are usually governed by screaming children. Comedian and songstress Shayna Ferm gets it. She knows that moms have more on their minds then the comparative absorbency of major diaper brands and, furthermore, that they could use a damn break already. That's why she started Pump & Dump, which showcases comics with children bonding with their maternal audience over cathartic jokes that are far from the stale, family-friendly entertainment moms usually get.

Join Ferm, MC Doula and special guest and fellow Momedian Debbie Scheer for an evening of comedy, dancing and drinks. Mother's Day breakfast in bed will probably taste even better with a slight hangover. And mark your calendars: Next month's Father's Day show will be co-headlined by Grawlix dads Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl.

The Pump & Dump show starts at 8 p.m., followed by the Pump it Dance Party at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $30 for VIP, which includes preferential seating, two free cocktails and a swag bag. Both are available from the Pump & Dump website.

8) Lucha Libre & Laughs: LaughMania Sunday, May 11 Oriental Theater

Celebrating its one-year anniversary this month is the Lucha Libre & Laughs comedy and wrestling showcase. The brainchild of producer and often referee Nick Gossert, LLL hits the sweet spot where the concentric circles of comedy fans and wrestling nerds overlap. This month's event features comedy jams from Kristin Rand and Chuck Roy, followed by body slams with Delta Jr., El Tecolote and International Superstar Colt Cabana. Come to Laughmania to celebrate LLL's big achievement and get suplexed in the funny bone.

Doors open at 6; tickets cost $10 and are available from the Oriental Theater website. Keep reading for more of the best comedy events in May.

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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

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