Denverites preparing for the year's witchiest season have plenty of chances to giggle their way through the autumnal heebie-jeebies at a heaping harvest of comedy shows in October. Kicking off with a benediction from comedic royalty, the month is replete with opportunities for every sort of fancy to be tickled. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver in October.
Mel Brooks: Back in the Saddle Again
Saturday, October 6, 2 p.m.
A comedy legend will alight upon Denver with one of his most timelessly satirical pictures in tow when Mel Brooks presides over a screening of Blazing Saddles. A sterling example of Brooks's irreverent wit at its very sharpest, the potent hilarity of Blazing Saddles has hardly diminished in the 44 years since its initial 1974 release. Revisit the comedy classic in the company of the remarkably spry nonagenarian, who'll be regaling the crowd with anecdotes and cheekily responding to audience queries following the screening. Every bit as hilarious as you remember, Blazing Saddles fully retains its capacity to spread belly laughs like fart-fueled campfire, and comedy fans would be remiss to pass up this historic opportunity. Buy tickets, $49.75 to $139.75, and find more details on Bellco Theatre's AXS page.
October 11 to 13; showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
The toast — or scourge depending on one's perspective — of this year's White House Correspondents Dinner, Michelle Wolf is on a mission to find the funny in a politically fraught era. Wolf's delightful yet canceled-too-soon Netflix series The Break eschewed political comedy's prevailing paradigm of meticulously researched yet joke-light deep dives in favor of cathartic laughter, and the same sensibility is evident in her standup. Wolf's HBO special Nice Lady heralds the arrival of a necessary comedic perspective, offering a giggly balm for troubling times. Tickets, $35, are selling out quickly. Buy yours and find out more on the Comedy Works box-office page.
Jaguar Morning Show Season 2 Launch Party
Sunday, October 14, 7 to 11 p.m.
Guffaw your way into a fitter body with the Jaguar Morning Show, a defiantly absurd path to self-improvement led by Jay Gillespie and Andy Juett. After securing a regular 9 to 11 a.m. time slot on the endangered Denver Open Media airwaves, the Jaguar Morning Show embarks on a second season of green-screen-abetted aerobic madness with a launch party at Denver Improv. Join Juett and Gillespie, along with a cavalcade of local comics and musicians, for an evening that celebrates (and supports) DIY creators. Visit the Denver Improv box-office page to buy tickets, $10, and learn more.
Val Kilmer Presents Cinema Twain
Sunday, October 14, 8 to 10 p.m.
While reports of Mark Twain's death haven't been exaggerated at all for well over a century, the spirit of the definitive American author lives on in Citizen Twain, a film adaptation of a popular one-man show written and performed by Val Kilmer. Dramatically mustachioed and resplendent in a white three-piece suit, Kilmer flawlessly replicates the barbed wit and raconteur's showmanship that made Twain's oratory so compelling. Join Kilmer for a screening of Citizen Twain followed by a quip-heavy question-and-answer session with Kilmer/Twain, who doesn't break character even after the credits roll. General admission is $35; $80 VIP tickets include a photo opportunity and meet-and-greet with Kilmer. Go to the Oriental Theater's box-office page for tickets and more details.
October 17 to 21; showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
Even the most casual standup fans ought to recognize Kyle Kinane as the gravelly voice of Comedy Central's network promos. However, there's much more to Kinane than a distinctive baritone; his often-imitated but never-equaled tales of debauchery and despair are surprisingly rich with writerly detail and emotional vulnerability. Kinane may shine in comedic roles on shows like Those Who Can't and Love, as well as in brief appearances on Conan, This Is Not Happening and The Standups, but he truly works wonders in his trio of classic one-hour specials, Whiskey Icarus, I Like His Old Stuff Better and Loose in Chicago. Kinane embarks on a week of entertaining Colorado comedy fans on Wednesday, October 17, with a 7 p.m. show at Fort Collins's Aggie Theatre, $30 to $35, before heading down I-25 for a weekend engagement at Comedy Works Downtown from Thursday, October 18, through Sunday, October 21. Admission to those shows is $27 to $32; showtimes vary. Find out more onthe Comedy Works box-office page.
The Rambler: A Night of Comedy
Friday, October 19, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Vauxhall (at the Ramble Hotel)
Before Adam Cayton-Holland co-created a sitcom, founded the High Plains Comedy Festival or penned a heart-wrenching memoir, he was known around town for reliably producing some of the best comedy shows the city had to offer, including the sorely missed monthly Grawlix show he ran with Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl at the Bug Theatre. Cayton-Holland's latest endeavor, The Rambler: A Night of Comedy, heralds the comedian and former Westword scribe's homecoming with a presentation of Denver's finest and funniest. The Rambler's formidable debut lineup includes Cayton-Holland and Orvedahl, along with David Rodriguez (Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival), Nancy Norton (the first woman to win the top prize at the Boston Comedy Festival), and Troy Walker (The Late Late Show). The first show of its kind at Vauxhall, a stylish and inviting performance venue located within the boutique Ramble Hotel, the Rambler offers Those Who Can't fans a chance to laugh the night away while awaiting the third season. Get tickets, $12, and learn more on the Ramble Hotel's Eventbrite page.
October 19 to 20, 7:15 and 9:45 p.m.
Comedy Works South
No one tells a dirty joke quite like Dave Attell, though his shambolic appearance and wearied perspective make his act seem effortless. His comedic rhythm flows with an almost musical precision and spares no one in the audience from paroxysms of laughter. Attell's a king of the road who wears his proverbial crown as comfortably as his ever-present ball cap; his boozy travelogues were immortalized on Insomniac With Dave Attell (a Comedy Central cult-classic that's overdue for revival), and his most recent one-hour special, Road Work. Though reliably hilarious in films such as Trainwreck and shows like Crashing, Difficult People and The Simpsons, comedy clubs are Attell's natural habitat, so fans shouldn't miss his weekend-long headlining engagement at Comedy Works South. Showtimes are at 7:15 and 9:45 p.m.; visit the Comedy Works box-office page for tickets, $34, and more information.
October 19 to 21, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.
Standup comedians face an uphill road on Saturday Night Live, which is why many of its mic-bearing cast members, like Finesse Mitchell, earn greater distinction after moving on from television's longest-running sketch series. While Mitchell's strong impression skills saw him lampooning public figures like Morgan Freeman, Bobby Brown and Ray Nagin, he's long since overshadowed his three-year SNL stint with standup specials, film and television appearances, and a robust touring schedule. In addition to co-starring in shows like Roadies, Brothers in Atlanta and Splitting Up Together, Mitchell has performed on Comedy Central Presents, BET's ComicView, and Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops. He's also got a new, still-untitled one-hour special currently in post-production, so comedy fans shouldn't miss this opportunity for an early glimpse at the material. Buy tickets, $17 to $20, and find out more on the Denver Improv box-office page.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Mile High Movie Roast: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Friday, October 26, 7:40 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Hockey-masked teen killer Jason Voorhees may be a slasher movie icon, but his pop-cultural endurance is arguably more attributable to a Halloween costume-friendly retcon of the character's costume design than the quality of any one of the films in the Friday the 13th franchise, which tend to diminish with each subsequent sequel. Jason Lives, the sixth installment of the unkillable series, is particularly dire, which is why it's a perfect target for the movie-heckling hellions of Mile High Movie Roast. Join Harrison Rains and a rotating guest comic for an evening dedicated to finding comedic treasures amid the trash heap of cinema. Find tickets, $12.50, and more details on the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema box-office page.
Lucha Libre & Laughs
Friday, October 26, 8 p.m.
Denver's best comedy show leaps off the ropes for another evening of funny bone-shattering entertainment when Lucha Libre & Laughs returns home to the Oriental Theater on October's final Friday. The month's title, Then Who Was Phone?, may not make any damn sense, but when the lineup of talent in the ring and on the mic is this impressive, it doesn't really matter. Along with emcee Bobby Valentino (Greg Baumhauer in scumbag crooner mode) and color commentators Nathan Lund and Sam Tallent, local comics Aaron Urist and Mike Stanley are on hand to provide the evening's quotient of laughs. The headlining matches pit Women's Champion Allie Gato against nimble challenger Delilah Doom before current LLL Champ "Yoga Monster" Mike Sydal defends his belt from Martin Casaus, who's eager to recapture his former title. Rib-tickling ringside thrills abound at an enduringly delightful hybrid of standup and professional wrestling; fans of either medium owe it to themselves to check it out. Readers can buy tickets, $10 to $60, and learn more on the Oriental Theater box-office page.
Do you have an event you want included on one of Westword's lists? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.