With three female comedians, three Davids (Spade, Chappelle, Sedaris) and a whole lot of masked wrestlers on the schedule, November is shaping up to be a delightfully eclectic month for Denver comedy. We have secret shows from Comedy Works, a Scottish wunderkind and another performance on the budding Boulder standup scene. So grab a cup of tea or coffee, settle down with your planner and get ready to budget your laughs for the chilly weeks ahead.
10. Epilogue Comedy
Hosted by local mic-rat Timmi Lasley, the Epilogue Comedy night has been bringing Denver comedy out of its Capitol Hill/RiNo/Downtown trenches and into the comedically neglected Baker neighborhood for the last few months. Tucked into the cozy confines of the Mutiny Information Cafe, November's show features the seasoned chops of Mara Wiles and Jordan Doll.
10 p.m. Saturday, November 30, at Mutiny Information Cafe.
9. Delusions of Randeur
While most of the Denver DIY comedy shows take place in bars, theaters or public spaces, Delusions of Randeur stands apart in the Beauty Bar dance club. And fitting for this unorthodox setting, Kristin Rand's monthly variety show is a never-stale, up-tempo hodgepodge of live interviews, standup and a generous amount of crowd-work from the endlessly charming Rand.
8. Lisa Landry
It's nothing new to see a crude, cynical, female comedian gain a following with her don't-tell-me-what-a-lady-is persona. Chelsea Handler and Natasha Leggero have been playing up that angle (with brilliant results) for a few years now. But with her Southern-fried accent and Kentucky roots, Lisa Landry provides a disarming character that enchants you with her quaint accent (something most Americans associate with wholesome idiocy), and then takes a sharp turn with a razor sharp one-liner.
7. Dairy Comedy at Twisted Pine
Since last spring Boulder has been growing a young comedy scene that both partners with and rivals its counterpart in Denver, with comic James Gold and the Dairy Center bringing in a lot of talent from Denver while also utilizing the handful of comics living inside the Boulder bowl. Now teaming up with Twisted Pine Brewery for an in-house comedy showcase featuring Vinnie Montez, Brett Crandall and Nichole McCormack, Dairy Comedy is quickly becoming the name most synonymous with Boulder laughs.
6. Lucha Libre and Laughs
Just like politics in Washington, standup comedy isn't all that different from professional wrestling. "It's you against the audience, and you have to best them," Denver comedian Sam Tallent has been known to say. And that's why Sexpot Comedy's Lucha Libre and Laughs wrestling and comedy show is so damn brilliant. Featuring the intimidating muscle of wrestlers Delta Junior, Zeven El Guerrero Azteca, The Insatiable Johnny Crash, Paul Basila and the vocal weaponry of comedians Elliot Woolsey, Timmi Lasley, Nate Balding, Sean David and host Bobby Valentino, egos will clash against egos, and the show isn't finished until there's blood on the microphone.
5. Daniel Sloss
Debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the tender age of eighteen, this Scottish dreamboat may look like an minor character from the Harry Potter films, but he is a genuine wunderkind of twenty-first century comedy, delivering biting commentary on the urban life of a Euro millenial.
4. Ralphie May
Featuring literally the biggest comedian in the world, Ralphie May's show is not for those with a low tolerance for politically incorrect commentary. Mentored by a sadistic Sam Kinison when he was just a teenager, May has built up a reputation for twisting wigs and delighting rebels over the last decade. And if you're feeling drunk and important during his show, go ahead and try to heckle him about his corpulent stature -- he's surely never heard it before, and does not have a bunker-busting retort that will bring you endless humiliation.
3. David Spade
We all know him as the break-out straight-man to Chris Farley's explosive animalism in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, and perhaps some will even remember his role as the villainous little twerp spreading celebrity black gossip on Saturday Night Live's Hollywood Minute segment. And now the '90s king of deadpan cynicism brings his squirrely schtick to stand-up.
2. Dave Chappelle
What, nobody told you about this show? That's because it was a secret. Each month Comedy Works withholds the information about its upcoming surprise guest, revealing the news only to those who are Comedy Works members. And with previous appearances by Dave Attell, David Spade and Craig Ferguson at these hush-hush monthly shows, it's definitely worth your time to do the free sign-up to get on the mailing list for these coveted events. The announcement of Dave Chappelle's weekend shows sold out in moments, motivating the reclusive comedian to add two more shows.
1. David Sedaris
Why put a literature reading in the top slot for comedy events? Yes, 99 percent of the time this would be a ludicrous idea, but anyone who's had the good fortune to attend a David Sedaris reading knows that he can deliver as many killer one-liners as Louis C.K. or Brian Regan, often leaving the audience gasping with giggles like they were in a comedy club. After selling out his initially scheduled performance, Sedaris has booked an afternoon show for his throngs of humor hungry fans. And if you're somehow still unfamiliar with his cynical wit and deadpan delivery, we seriously recommend you check out his Live at Carnegie Hall album.
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For more comedy commentary, follow me on Twitter at @JosiahMHesse.