Arts and Culture

The Ten Best Comedy Shows in Denver: September 2018

Ms. Pat headlines the Denver Improv comedy club from September 28 to 30.
Ms. Pat headlines the Denver Improv comedy club from September 28 to 30. Courtesy of
As the season shifts from summer to autumn, local comedy nerds can take comfort in the fact that Denver's entertainment scene never takes a month off, no matter how spectacular the previous thirty days have been. September heralds the arrival of stage-scorching veterans like Ms. Pat, Craig Robinson and Bill Burr in a month crowded with inventive and genre-spanning local showcases. Indeed, local producers nearly rival out-of-towners in the Mile High City's theaters and comedy clubs with formats that combine jokes with professional wrestling, Hitchcock-inspired improv and gleeful movie-roasting. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows in Denver in September 2018.

Craig Ferguson: Hobo Fabulous Tour
September 7 to 11, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown
Boulder Theater

Known for his quick wit, debaucherous stories and thick Scottish brogue, Craig Ferguson has defied the odds by remaining consistently delightful across a wide variety of televisual platforms, including a regular role on a prime-time sitcom (The Drew Carey Show) and a host of game and talk shows. The Emmy Award-winning comedian is rolling through Colorado for shows at Comedy Works and the Boulder Theater. Sporting a repertoire of brand-new material in the wake of his most recent Netflix special, Tickle Fight, Ferguson is as frisky and frivolous as ever with his current hour. Tickets are selling fast; as of press time, only $50 tickets for the Sunday and Monday Comedy Works shows remain. Tickets to the Tuesday, September 11, show at Boulder Theater are $39.50 to $49.50 via Ticketfly.

click to enlarge LUCHA LIBRE & LAUGHS
Lucha Libre & Laughs
Lucha Libre & Laughs: Pro-Wrestling and Beer
Thursday, September 13, 7 to 9 p.m.
Ratio Beerworks

Lucha Libre & Laughs persists in its quest to delight local comedy nerds even during its periodic breaks from the Oriental Theater. Join tireless producer/bumbling referee Nick Gossert along with color commentators Mitch Jones and Ian Douglas Terry for a complimentary round of joke-rich ringside thrills. Though professional wrestling and standup comedy may seem to be unlikely stage fellows, Lucha Libre & Laughs reliably pummels every guest's funny bone. Find out more on the Ratio Beerworks Facebook events page.

D. Kelley Live Comedy Album Recording
Thursday, September 13, 8 to 10 p.m.
Clocktower Cabaret

Denver's comedy community unfailingly supports the career milestones of Mile High-hewn standups, which is why they'll be out in full force when D. Kelly records an hour of jokes he's spent eleven years developing. Celebrate Kelly's debut album, and maybe even have your laugh recorded for posterity, at a chuckle-filled evening of DIY triumph. The lineup also includes openers Rachel Weeks, Al Goodwin and Shanae Ross. Since Kelly's set will be recorded, the Clocktower Cabaret requests that every guest arrive by 7:45 for the 8 p.m. show. Visit the Clocktower Cabaret's box-office page to buy tickets, $10 to $20, and learn more.

Joel Kim Booster
September 13 to 15
Comedy Works Downtown

Truth and experience tend to inform the best comedy, and Joel Kim Booster's experience has been unlike any other. Adopted by white, home-schooling evangelicals, Booster — who's of Korean heritage — struggled to come to terms with his sexuality in such a religious household, often joking, "[I] literally knew I was gay before I knew I was Asian." These days, Booster mines his idiosyncratic upbringing for one cathartic belly laugh after another, both through standup (he's appeared on Conan and Comedy Central Standup Presents) and the loosely biographical sitcom Birthright, currently in development at an undisclosed network. There's never been a better time to catch Booster's delightful act, so get your tickets, $16 to $24. Find out more on the Comedy Works events calendar.

Mile High Movie Roast: Fatal Attraction
Friday, September 21, 7:40 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Littleton)

Get ready for boiled bunnies and savage funnies at Mile High Movie Roast's riff-driven excoriation of Fatal Attraction, the perversely unsexy 1987 erotic thriller from the otherwise talented Adrian Lyne. Michael Douglas and Glenn Close star in this tawdry tale of an affair gone awry. Join host Harrison Rains and Westword's own Byron Graham for a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style takedown of a movie whose gender politics have aged as poorly as Douglas's haggard face. The jokes "are not going to be ignored, Dan!" Visit the Alamo Drafthouse box-office page to buy tickets, $12.50, and learn more.

HitchCocktails Denver
HitchCocktails: Improvised Thriller and Drinking Game
Saturday, September 22, 6 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera

With their stunning twists, icy blondes  and phobias galore, the films of Alfred Hitchcock are ripe for parody. The drink-swilling and riff-spilling troupe behind HitchCocktails, an improvised thriller and drinking game, merrily goofs on the Master of Suspense's storytelling touchstones. The extemporaneous performance is leavened even further by an interactive drinking game based on cues from the show, which is conveniently held during Syntax's happy hour. Admission is $10 at the door, cash only. Find more details on Syntax Physic Opera's Facebook events page.

Ms. Pat
September 28 to 30
Denver Improv

An unparalleled champion at finding humor in dire circumstances, Patricia Williams — known by the nom de stage Ms. Pat — has endured through an unimaginable gauntlet of adversity, including but not limited to physical abuse, teenage motherhood, a stint in Fulton County Jail and two gunshot wounds. Ms. Pat's comedy is buoyed by her unimaginable hardships; however, she offers a sense of comedic catharsis best expressed in her memoir, Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat. She's appeared on Last Comic Standing and BET's Comicview, along with Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening and Roast Battle, but nothing beats the transformative experience of witnessing Ms. Pat's comedy live. Seize the goddamn day and buy tickets, $17 to $48, for an inspirationally funny hour in the company of a comedy master. Visit Denver Improv's box-office page for more details.

I Mom So Hard
Saturday, September 29, 8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre

While parenting does consume an undue amount of a mother's spare time, people don't lose their sense of humor upon giving birth. A comedy show dedicated to overcommitted and underserved breeders, I Mom So Hard offers hardworking mothers a chance to unwind and laugh the night away. Respective mothers of two with a combined forty years of stage experience, Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley riff on everything from the grossness of child rearing to the virtues of dry shampoo in a relaxing and relatable evening of judgment-free jokes. Admission is $37.50 to $47.50 via Altitude Tickets.

Bill Burr
September 29 to 30, 7 and 10 p.m.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House

A road-hardened stage stormer with zero fucks to give, Bill Burr is an expert at sneaking gut-quaking laughter past an audience's well-intentioned objections. Proving more than any other working comedian that standup is in fact bloodsport, Burr can triumph over a hostile room with rib-tickling vitriol, offending and delighting in equal measure. Ample evidence of Burr's diabolical comedic prowess exists in his indispensable run of one-hour specials, including classics like Walk Your Way Out, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way and You People Are All the Same. Creator and co-star of Netflix's bleak and profanity-riddled animated sitcom F Is for Family, Burr has an on-screen career that has included tough-guy turns on shows like Breaking Bad and films like Date Night, but he'll be breaking free from his acerbic persona with a role as failed presidential candidate George McGovern in the upcoming Gary Hart biopic, The Front Runner. Burr will bring his hilariously frothy rage to Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House during September's final weekend, and only a Philadelphian would be dumb enough to miss it. Visit Seat Geek for tickets starting at $101; secondary vendors are the only option for these sold-out shows.

Courtesy of Throwing Shade
Throwing Shade Live
Sunday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.
Gothic Theatre, Englewood

Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi of Earwolf's Throwing Shade podcast are descending upon the Gothic Theatre to serve up an ear- and eyeful of delightfully barbed analyses of pressing issues. Scorching hot takes on politics, pop culture, LGTBQ and women's rights abound, and the event description promises "singing, dancing, games and clowns." Take the podcast experience out of your headphones and onto the stage; visit the Gothic Theatre box-office page to buy tickets, $30 to $35, and learn more.

Do you have an event you want to see on this list? Send the details to [email protected]
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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