October has arrived, and the hot-ticket comedy shows are piling up like fallen leaves. From local favorites to visiting luminaries, the laughs continue all month long. With late-night legends, NPR darlings and champions of the comedy-club circuit all cracking wise on local stages, the joke harvest is particularly abundant this fall. In fact, narrowing this list down to ten events was an even greater challenge than usual this month. So read on, mark your calendars and get ready to rake in the laughs.
Dirty Laundry Dating Show
Wednesday, October 4, 8 p.m.
Unlike much of the increasingly busy Ratio Comedy calendar, the Dirty Laundry Dating Show has required a lot of retooling and rethinking, but Ratio Comedy producers Ian Douglas Terry and Andrew Bueno have revived the often chaotic event with new hosts Nick Gossert and Kacy Dahl. A live dating show where contestants vie for the chance to go on a date with each month's featured guest, the Dirty Laundry Dating Show abounds with suspense, laughter and possibly even a bit of romance. Creeps need not apply. Visit the Facebook event page for more details.
The Sklar Brothers
Wednesday, October 4, 8 p.m.
Gordon Gamm Theater in the Dairy Arts Center
At first glance, the idea of a comedy duo comprising identical twins seems like a gimmick worthy of P.T. Barnum. The Sklar Brothers, however, have become unlikely comedy-nerd heroes by maintaining distinct identities while mining their biological connection for a seamless stage banter wherein Jason and Randy Sklar complete each other's jokes and riff with twice the speed of a single comic. The extensive résumé they've accrued includes appearances on Those Who Can't, Comedy Bang Bang and Wild Hogs. The Sklars also have a knack for creating well-loved shows that get canceled before they have a chance to gain a cultural foothold, like Apartment 2F, Cheap Seats and United Stats of America. The Sklar Brothers will be appearing along with opening acts Scott Rogowsky and Adam Cayton-Holland at the Gordon Gamm Theater in Boulder's Dairy Arts Center on Wednesday, October 4, at 8 p.m. Admission costs $22 online at the Dairy. From Thursday, October 7, until Saturday, October 7, they'll be headlining at Comedy Works South. Showtimes and admission prices vary. Visit the Comedy Works calendar to learn more and buy tickets.
October 5 to 7
Comedy Works Downtown
Not unlike a human Pokémon, Funches is almost cartoonishly adorable — so it's no wonder he's found a home doing voice-over work for animated films and TV shows like Trolls, Bob's Burgers and BoJack Horseman. In addition to gently telling his jokes on Conan and The Tonight Show, Funches is also the reigning champion of the Internet on @Midnight. After three seasons in the ensemble cast of the NBC sitcom Undateable and another on the unfortunately short-lived series Powerless, Funches has slimmed down tremendously and continues to appear on shows like The Goldbergs and movies like Once Upon a Time in Venice, all without losing sight of his standup. A Denver favorite, Funches chose Comedy Works as the venue to record his acclaimed album The Funches of Us, and he's returning to town with a fresh new hour. Showtimes and admission prices vary. Visit the Comedy Works calendar to learn more and buy tickets.
The GABF LAuGhER
Friday, October 6, 10 p.m.
With the Great American Beer Festival in town, Denver's after-party scene is particularly lively during the opening days of October. While beer-besotted partiers have plenty of options, none of them offers a comedic roster that can compete with the GABF LAuGhER (get it?) on Friday, October 6, at Bierstadt Lagerhaus. Join the Pussy Bros. (Rachel Weeks, Janae Burris and Christie Buchele) as they welcome a crackerjack lineup to the beerhall stage, including Dusty Slay, Adam Cayton-Holland and a pair of secret surprise headliners. The $20 admission includes your first drink. Visit the Facebook events page for more details.
Power Move: Comedy in Action
Thursday, October 12, 8 p.m.
Among programming at the city's most unconventional comedy venues, shows at Image Brew studios thrive because of a collaborative spirit of goodwill. That tradition, started by Denver expat Mara Wiles's Funnyside Sessions showcase, continues at Power Move. Co-created by Denver comics Nathan Lund and Aaron Urist, Power Move is a monthly showcase that combines standup with sketch comedy and puts the "fun" into fundraiser. Each month, Lund and Urist solicit a suggested $5 donation to benefit a different worthy cause. Join them, along with local comics Patrick Richardson, Kate Strobel, David Glasspool and ShaNae Ross, as they help raise funds for storm relief efforts in Puerto Rico, with a suggested minimum donation of $5. Visit the Facebook event page to learn more.
October 12 to 14
Comedy Works Downtown
Natasha Leggero is no stranger to Denver. She recorded her comedy album Coke Money at Comedy Works back in 2011 and has returned several times in the intervening years. Her cutting routines are always a highlight of the otherwise hit-or-miss Comedy Central Roasts, where Leggero stands out as much for merciless wit as she does for her elegant couture, including her signature elbow-length opera gloves. Leggero enjoys the hard-won respect of her fellow comics both for the quality of her jokes and her refusal to apologize for them. She built up an impressive on-screen résumé, with memorable roles on Reno 911, Burning Love and DICE and in films like Let's Be Cops and Neighbors before creating her own series, the Gilded Age satire Another Period. Showtimes and admission prices vary. Visit the Comedy Works calendar to learn more and buy tickets.
Mile High Movie Roast: Pet Sematary
Friday, October 13, 7:30 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake
Alhough it's changed names and venues over the years, the Mile High Movie Roast is a Denver comedy institution. Spearheaded by local mirth merchant Harrison Rains, along with a small ensemble of the city's nimblest riffers, the ongoing series screens cult classics and fan favorites ripe for mockery in a Mystery Science Theater 3000-inspired event tailored for comedy-loving cinephiles. Join Rains and guest comic Christie Buchele as they skewer the ridiculous yet still terrifying 1989 filmic adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, just in time for Friday the 13th. Rains and Buchele will host a repeat screening/performance on October 20 at the Alamo Drafthouse's Littleton location. Learn more and buy tickets, $13.07 plus fees, at Alamo Drafthouse online.
Monday, October 16, 8 p.m.
Eddie Izzard was recognized early on in the United States for his energetic performances and colorful drag wardrobe. Though he generally sticks to impeccably tailored menswear these days, Izzard's digressive monologues remain as engaging as ever. With over ten different specials to his name, including the Emmy Award-winning Dress to Kill, Izzard cemented his status as British comedy royalty with his appearances on the prestigious Secret Policeman's Ball, and has since been warmly referred to as "the lost Python" by none other than John Cleese. A celebrated thespian, Izzard has delivered memorable performances on television series like The Riches and Hannibal as well as in such films as Velvet Goldmine, Oceans 12 and Cars 2. Izzard has never been more revealing than he is with his current tour in support of his latest book, Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens. In addition to one of Izzard's singular standup performances, the evening will include private photos, personal stories, and even a question-and-answer session with the audience. Doors open at 7 for an 8 p.m. showtime. Admission is $45 to $60 via Altitude Tickets, but don't hesitate, as seats are selling out quickly.
Friday, October 20, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
A darling of the NPR demographic, Birbiglia's affable everyman persona lends itself to longer bits based as much in storytelling as they are in standup. With a series of classic specials including Thank God for Jokes, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend and Sleepwalk With Me (which he also adapted into a feature film of the same name) under his belt, each new hour from Birbiglia feels like a major event — though he's also been increasingly busy with appearances in Trainwreck, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Orange is the New Black as well as behind the camera on Don't Think Twice and the aforementioned Sleepwalk With Me. Rolling through Denver with a fresh hour of material he's simply calling The New One, the maestro of embarrassing experiences has never been in finer form. Showtimes are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Admission costs $34.50 to $44.50 via Altitude Tickets, but make haste as they're selling out quickly.
Saturday, October 28, 8 p.m.
As steadfast David Letterman and Conan O'Brien loyalists, we must admit that it gives us pause to recommend this show. Putting his career-bookending Tonight Show scandals aside, however, the fact remains that Jay Leno is a comedy legend, deservedly added to the Television Hall of Fame in 2014. An avowed gearhead who's amassed a staggering private collection of rare automobiles, Leno shared some of his favorite cars with the public in his most recent televised venture, Jay Leno's Garage. Although his 22 years as a talk-show host have eclipsed his early career, Leno was an audience favorite and undeniable crusher in the Los Angeles club circuit in the ’70s, right at the center of a golden era for the standup form. Whatever your opinion of his late-night tenure, it's good to see Leno return to the stage. Doors open at 7 for the 8 p.m. showtime. Admission is $45 to $125 via Altitude Tickets.
Looking for more to do? Go to the Westword calendar.