The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in January

January is an overrated month. From New Year's to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January bundles up against the treacherous snow and punishing cold, assuaging its regret over resolutions broken with indica, hot toddies and Netflix marathons. But you can break out of the doldrums with comedy; the January lineup includes perennially listed local favorites and returning visits from high-profile headliners. Here are ten reasons (in chronological order) to bundle up and check out a comedy show in the first month of 2015:

See also: The Five Best Denver-Area Art Shows in 2014

10) Comics Against Civility Round 3 Finals Friday, January 2 Oriental Theater

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. Loosely based on the literal bullshit-peddling party game Cards Against Humanity, the show asks comics to pick an audience-suggested topic card, and select pre-written answer cards. The jokes tend to be dark, twisted and decidedly uncivil. In January, finalists from rounds past Greg Baumhauer, Cody Spyker, Jill Tasei and John "Hippieman" Novosad will square off for the title of "Denver's Least Civil Comedian." We've said it before and we'll say it again: When comics take on civility, everyone wins.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $5 on the Oriental Theater website.

9) Lucha Libre & Laughs Sunday, January 4 Oriental Theater

Denver's most inventive and elaborate comedy showcase comes off the ropes with a lineup as muscular as the luchadors themselves. The brainchild of wrestling superfan Nick Gossert, Lucha Libre & Laughs has consistently put on great shows and drawn a loyal fanbase out to the Tennyson hinterlands each month. This time comics Ian Douglas Terry, Timmi Lasley, and Brett Heicher join headliner Ben Roy, telling jokes between bouts and cracking wise with color commentators Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund; Xander Creed squares off against Aiden Young before the headlining match. Fans should also check out the new Sexpot comedy web series Valentino's Lounge, which features LLL emcee Bobby Valentino interviewing wrestlers from the upcoming show and plenty of shit-talking heel turns.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show; tickets are $10 on the Oriental Theater website.

8) Carly Aquilino January 7-10 Comedy Works Downtown

The first thing audiences notice about on-the-rise standup Carly Aquilino is her shock of bright red hair, dyed a shade that does not occur in the natural world. Fortunately, Aquilino transcends her stage hair with witty and relatable material that delves into the muck of personal relationships and champions self-actualization. After making a big splash on the New York standup scene, where she's a regular at the Gotham Comedy Club, the quick-witted and telegenic Aquilino soon found a home on television. The break-out star of MTV's The Girl Code, Aquilino has a facility with jokes and insight into relationships that liven up the show's stale format. She's parlayed her success into further television appearances on shows like Guy Court and Ain't That America. This week, she'll be joining the illustrious ranks of Carson Daly by hosting the New Year's Eve festivities on MTV. In town in January to headline for four nights at the downtown Comedy Works, Aquilino is just getting started on a long career in comedy and broadcasting. Here's a chance to catch her on the rise.

Showtimes and ticket prices vary. Go to the Comedy Works website for ticketing information. Keep reading for seven more of the best comedy events in January.

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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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