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Laugh It Up at Denver's Ten Best Comedy Shows in March

Ben Roy records his latest album at Comedy Works Downtown on March 22 and 23.
Ben Roy records his latest album at Comedy Works Downtown on March 22 and 23.
Andrew Bray

A torrential downpour of comedy will keep Denver floating all month long. March's offerings include the inspired improv goofery of Middleditch & Schwartz, a new edition of Westword favorite Lucha Libre & Laughs, the earbud all-stars behind Doughboys and My Dad Wrote a Porno, and Ben Roy returning to town to record his latest comedy album. Keep reading to learn more about the ten best comedy shows in Colorado in March.

My Dad Wrote a Porno: World Tour
Thursday, March 5, 8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre
$49.50 to $59.50

The premise, content and tone of the hit British podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno is perfectly summarized by its cheeky title. The show is hosted by Jamie Morton, son of the show's eponymous author of novelistic smut, along with his quippy chums James Cooper and Alice Levine. Each episode presents a new chapter of Belinda Blinked, a series of bodice-ripping erotica replete with purple prose and outlandish plot developments ripe for Levine, Cooper and Morton's mockery. After graduating from streaming to an HBO broadcast, the My Dad Wrote a Porno crew is hitting the road for an international tour that lands in Denver on Thursday, March 5.

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Middleditch & Schwartz
Sunday, March 8, 7 p.m.
Paramount Theatre
$29.50-$39.50

Improvisers Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz have each cut a distinctive swath through the wilds of the entertainment industry. Schwartz voiced the title character in Sonic the Hedgehog, and Middleditch served as the series lead on the recently wrapped Silicon Valley. The duo shines brightest when bringing its "yes-and" antics to the live stage. Despite both performers' crowded show-business schedules, Middleditch and Schwartz pay tribute to their formative years at Second City and the Upright Citizens Brigade by presenting the art of long-form improv on grand theater stages. Each of the duo's extemporaneous performances are entirely unprepared, uninterrupted and unrecorded, offering a one-of-a-kind experience with every outing.


Doughboys: Live Podcast
Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.
Comedy Works South
$30 to $60

Comedians Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger of the Doughboys podcast can make even the most overstuffed belly quake with laughter. At regional fast-food franchises like Krystal, Lee's Sandwiches and White Castle to international behemoths like Burger King, the Doughboys boys punch up while they chow down, offering witticisms and criticisms that'll make you reconsider or maybe even crave America's favorite quick-and-easy eats. Rolling up to the Mile High drive-thru to sample and riff upon an as-of-yet undisclosed icon of local vittles, Mitchell and Wiger draw national attention to one of the country's most prominent chain-restaurant test markets. Join a crowd of goofy gourmands when the Doughboys duo takes to the stage for a mid-week feast of funny.

Anaya doles out another round of clobberin'.
Anaya doles out another round of clobberin'.
Hidden Vision Photography

Lucha Libre & Laughs: You Can't Sit With Us
Friday, March 13, 8 p.m.
Oriental Theater
$11 to $100

If you select a seat in the front rows of Lucha Libre & Laughs, be prepared: While you'll enjoy an up-close perspective of the evening's fancies and fisticuffs, you may need to dodge the ringside chaos as it spills into the crowd. Rope-jumping bad boy Anaya squares off against limber "Yoga Monster" Mike Sydal in the title bout. Enjoy tag-team matches with Allie Gato and Lonnie Valdez versus Heidi Howitzer and Caleb Crush, or the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo versus the Ragnarockers, while guffawing through sui generis color commentary provided by Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund. The evening's entertainment offerings also boast the comedy stylings of host Kyle Pogue as well as performers Caitie Hannan and Jozalyn Sharp.

Melissa Villaseñor
March 19 to 21, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
$18 to $26

One of Saturday Night Live's most versatile yet woefully underused "not ready for primetime players," Melissa Villaseñor is an ace impressionist, gifted improvisational actor and accomplished standup comedian. Making history as the first Latina to join the cast of the venerated sketch-comedy institution in its 45-year history, Villaseñor launched her career as a teenage participant in the Los Angeles Laugh Factory comedy camp before emerging into the spotlight as a semi-finalist in the sixth season of America's Got Talent. After subsequent appearances in Toy Story 4, Crashing, Barry and Ralph Breaks the Internet, Villaseñor is making a mid-SNL-season stop from Thursday through Saturday in Denver.

Dairy Comedy Presents: Nancy Norton and Funny Female Friends
Friday, March 20, 7 and 9 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center
$20

Following an unlikely career path from registered nurse to standup comedian, Colorado's own Nancy Norton has been enjoying an overdue hot streak. Crowned champion of the fortieth annual Seattle International Comedy Competition and the 2018 Boston Comedy Festival — thereby earning the honor of the first woman to claim top prize in the festival's history — Norton is one of the Centennial state's foremost funny people. Celebrate Women's History Month with a gaggle of giggles when Norton and her "Funny Female Friends" take to the stage at Boulder's Grace Gamm Theatre.

David Spade
Saturday, March 21, 8 p.m.
Pikes Peak Center
$39.50 to $49.50

Sultan of snark and Saturday Night Live alum David Spade enjoys a well-established on-screen persona that too often overshadows his triumphs as a standup. Launching his career as the wisecracking straight man to the late Chris Farley in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, Spade moved on to a flourishing on-screen career that included ensemble roles in long-running TV comedies like Just Shoot Me and starring roles in lowbrow hits like Joe Dirt and the underappreciated 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag — a film whose time is well past due for cult-classic glory. These days, Spade can be seen hosting the Comedy Central talk show Lights Out With David Spade or performing live on a stage near you (as close as Colorado Springs, in fact). Spade's March 20 performance at the Boulder Theater has already sold out, but he is playing the Pikes Peak Center.

Ben Roy: Live Album Recording
March 22 to 23, 7 and 8 p.m.
Comedy Works Downtown
$14

The growling lion of the Grawlix, Ben Roy is impossible to ignore. Barreling through the knee-jerk objections of any given crowd, eschewing brevity altogether and literally reaching out to touch his spectators, Roy brings the same punky and puckish energy to every performance, whether he's assuming the role of comedian or frontman of the band SPELLS. Back in Denver, after completing three seasons of the scholastic sitcom Those Who Can't, Roy is sticking with steadfast collaborators Andrew Orvedahl and Adam Cayton-Holland for the Grawlix Saves the World podcast and monthly Bug Theatre showcase, but his solo efforts are flourishing, too. Returning to Comedy Works, his former employer, Roy will be right at home when he records his third live album. While Roy's albums are guaranteed to reach through the speakers and scream his punchlines directly into your face, there's no substitute for the live experience.

Joel Kim Booster
March 26 to 28, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
$16 to $24

Joel Kim Booster may have been ill-suited for his Evangelical Christian upbringing in the American Midwest, but he's right at home under the spotlight and center stage. Initially gaining his footing as a performer in Chicago's theater and standup scenes, Booster boosted his national profile with standout appearances on Conan, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents. Currently appearing on the Hulu adaptation of Lindy West's Shrill and the NBC sitcom Sunnyside, Booster has also provided voice-over work for BoJack Horseman and Big Mouth, and written for shows like Billy on the Street and The Other Two. A word to the wise for early-adopting comedy nerds: Don't miss out on Booster's headlining engagement at Denver's own Comedy Works. In all likelihood, he'll be graduating to theaters soon.

Eddie Griffin
March 27 to 28
Denver Improv
$40 to $55

Imagining the evolution of comedy without the wild-eyed influence of Eddie Griffin is a bleak and joyless prospect. After making a career-launching television debut on HBO's One Night Stand back in 1992, Griffin emerged as a titan of the stage, as well as a reliable source of comic relief in movies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Undercover Brother and Redline; he also has a small but pivotal dramatic role in the Oscar-winning remake of A Star Is Born. Like his idol Richard Pryor (whom Griffin has portrayed twice on screen), the fearlessly honest comedian mines his struggles for laughter on classic standup specials like Voodoo Child, DysFunktional Family, Undeniable, and his most recent hour, E-Niggma, which premiered on Showtime.

Do you have a comedy event you want included in a list? Send the details to editorial@westword.com.

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