With Denver's local comedy scene finally beginning to catch up with Comedy Work's national acts -- in terms of both talent and swelling audience numbers -- we figured it was time to assemble some of our favorite standup shows for the coming month. As we salivate over the smorgasbord of Denver's incredible hometown humorists and the big-name comedians passing through the more formal comedy clubs, we're overwhelmed by the challenge of deciding which gut-busting event to attend on any given night of the week. But somehow we managed to narrow the offerings down to this list of the ten best comedy shows for February:
See also: - Video: Adam Cayton-Holland makes his late-night debut on Conan - Lewis Black on socialism, Louis C.K. and the new NRA app - - Comedian Rory Scovel on crowd tension, Bobcat Goldthwait, and why Aurora didn't steal Batman from him
You may remember him as the spastic animal in the Police Academy series or as a lovably pathetic goon in other '90s flicks like One Crazy Summer or Scrooged. In addition to his dated past as a box-office draw, though, Goldthwait has a rich history of comedy cred, having opened as a standup on Nirvana's last tour and directed five feature films, including 2011's satirical smash God Bless America.
Combining music, standup and bizarre physical challenges (once asking Nathan Lund to remove his pants while keeping his shoes on), Kevin O'Brien and Jordan Doll's monthly Deer Pile show is an adventurous grab-bag of eccentric hilarity. This month's event features Aaron Urist, Timmi Lasley (of Ladyface) Nathan Lund and TAS house-band Total Ghost.
8. Open Mic Comedy at Lion's Lair every Monday Night
With the longest running open mic in Denver, Lion's Lair offers the ideal setting for newcomers to the craft of comedy. With this Colfax tavern's dim lighting, intimate stage and low-class aesthetic, there's little to be intimidated about when you toss your hat in the ring. And with Sam Tallent and Roger Norquist as the weekly emcees -- along with a cameo or two by Tallent's other Fine Gentleman's Club buddies -- even if you chicken out and decide to just sit back with a can of PBR, you're guaranteed a gut-busting good time.
7. Delusions of Randeur at Beauty Bar February 20
Hosting some of Denver's best local talent, Kristin Rand's monthly show at Beauty Bar has settled into its role as one of the great Capitol Hill resources of organic laughing gas. Along with her all-female sketch-comedy team, Ladyface, Rand has worked hard to establish herself as one of the most memorable names to come out of an ever-widening pool of talent. This month's headlining standup comic is Adam Cayton-Holland, straight off his late-night debut on Conan.
6. Tough Love with Bobby Valentino and the Mexican Fuck Machine at Deer Pile February 14
Now introduced as "the dark-hearted prince of Colfax," local comic Greg Baumhauer has been a lighthouse for emerging comic talent in Denver, consistently hosting open mics where they can take a shot at performing -- and he can call their sisters whores that are "too fat for meth." Emerging each month as alternate persona Bobby Valentino -- an equally volatile yet sophisticated, smooth mustachioed lounge singer -- Baumhauer is joined by a humble Caucasian piano player he refers to as "The Mexican Fuck Machine" for his Deer Pile show, "Tough Love." If you're looking for clean, PC comedy where all are respected and none are offended, you might want to stay home and watch Modern Family.
5. John Crist's Comedy Participation Awards at Comedy Works February 20
If you are looking for some clean comedy, John Crist is your man. Coming out of the Colorado Springs comedy scene, Crist is up-front about his relationship with Jesus, yet remains respected by the pot-smoking, viciously vulgar standups about town. "Crist is great," says Sam Tallent, "and the hackiest thing you can do is make fun of him being a Christian." This event is the first round of the Comedy Works Funny Final Four tournament, where four established Denver comics assemble a team of their favorite up-and-comers. Round one includes D Kelley, Vinnie Monetez, John Decelles and Nathan Lund.
Recently delivering his About A Boy-esque hip-hop comedy video "Single Moms," Chris Miller has established himself as a cornerstone of the Denver comedy scene, hosting the monthly Chris Miller Show at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. "Love and Laughter" features Kristin Rand, Hunter Carney, Willie Red, Jodee Champion, and Derrick Culver.
3. Rory Scovel at Comedy Works February 1-2
Making jokes about stealing old people and visiting sex shops while randomly slipping into a German accent for an unreasonable amount of time, Rory Scovel is still an incredibly accessible comic with multi-generational appeal. Earlier this week we caught up with Scovel to chat about Nirvana, gay comedians and why the Aurora theater tragedy could not extinguish his love for Batman. Read the full interview here.
Catch Denver comic Ben Roy while you can. Between his comedy team, Grawlix, recently filming a pilot for Amazon and his solo standup career taking Roy all the way to the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival (the equivalent of a band getting into Coachella), Ben Roy is a name in comedy that only gets larger and brighter with each passing year. Watch this video to find out why Ben regrets getting sober, finding that once you take off those "liquid earmuffs" the demons in your head only get louder.
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More than just the progenitor of retro fashion and some forgettable catch phrases, Pauly Shore grew up inside the nucleus of the 1980s comedy boom. Legendary Comedy Store club-owner Mitzy Shore was his mother, and when the inevitable time came for him to enter standup, he had larger-than-life comedy icon Sam Kinison as a mentor. Shore has done a respectable job of reviving his novelty career since Encino Man, directing a self-deprecating mockumentary and creating some very worthy Funny Or Die shortfilms.