The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in December

December is a traditionally festive month. But between its Judeo-Christian holidays, family gatherings and glittering lights, it can be easy to go the entire month without replenishing your giggle stores. Fortunately, December is also a month of giving, and hoards of presents await under the chuckle tree, ready to reward Denverites who've accepted the fact of miserable weather by now. With enough creative local showcases to fill an entire advent calendar as well as a visit from comedy royalty, our cups of good cheer runneth over with Holiday-themed comedic entertainment this wintry month. 

10. Paul Mercurio
December 3-6
The Denver Improv

Paul Mecurio is a hard-working comedian with a truly impressive list of credits. Having performed on Comedy Central Presents and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, he's now the warm-up comic for several high-profile TV shows, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Daily Show and Red Eye on Fox News. A canny political satirist, Mecurio is a frequent guest on cable news programs, and he won an Emmy for his outstanding individual work on the Daily Show's landmark Indecision: 2000, which ushered in the unquestionably superior Jon Stewart era of that show. In addition to his considerable behind-the-scenes efforts, Mecurio also hosts the The Paul Mecurio show, a podcast that has featured high-profile guests such as Jay Leno and Paul McCartney.

Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. each night, with additional 9:45 p.m. shows on the weekend. Tickets cost $17 on the Denver Improv website.

9. The Gutcracker
Sunday, December 6
Comedy Works Downtown

Holiday-themed entertainment presents its creators with a challenge. Comedy has to be funny, even when it's all trussed up in red and green. Perhaps that's why riffing on a classic has proved to be such a durable way to eke some laughs out of seasonal tropes. Deacon Gray's The Gutcracker continues this time-honored yuletide tradition with Denver comedians portraying the characters from E.T.A. Hoffman's short story and made famous by the Tchaikovsky ballet. The cast includes Timmi Lasley as Clara, Christie Buchele as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Nathan Lund as the Mouse King, Adrian Mesa as a gingerbread soldier and Gray in the titular role. After eating a medicated gingerbread cookie, the Nutcracker awakes and finds himself on a whimsical comedy showcase populated with holiday icons. Bundle up and go see Gray's weed-fueled fever dream come to life!

Showtime is at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 on Comedy Works' website.

8. Euge Chuckles Holiday Comedy Show starring Liberace!
Friday, December 11
The Armoury

Denver comedy titans Chuck Roy and Eugene Kenny have joined forces to create the regular EUGE! Chuckles Comedy showcases at the Armoury, an erstwhile soccer pub that has evolved into a talent crucible for Denver's molten-hot comedy scene during off nights. Bringing the best local talent to alternative stages and offering new comics a chance to be vetted by veterans, EUGE! Chuckles has been delighting audiences for its entire existence, but they have a particularly special show planned this month. The duo have kept quiet about their methods, but somehow they've resurrected Liberace, "the biggest, gayest star Las Vegas ever produced," according to Roy. The pianist and consummate entertainer may have died in 1987, but the man they called Mr. Showmanship isn’t above a little costumery and digital trickery when there are crowds to entertain. 

Showtime is at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5. They're available both at the door and through Eventbrite.

6. Jerry Seinfeld 
Friday, December 11
Temple Buell Theater

Jerry Seinfeld is comedic royalty. Though his eponymous sitcom continues to yield its co-creator and star both accolades and millions of dollars in syndication royalties, Seinfeld continues to meticulously hone his standup act, dropping in for surprise sets at subterranean New York comedy clubs and mounting huge national tours whenever the fancy strikes him. Despite his avoidance of high-profile roles in the past couple of decades, Seinfeld's televisual ubiquity has only increased as classic reruns seemingly air in a perpetual 24-hour loop on cable. Interest in the man is so high, in fact, that fans are willing to watch him aimlessly hang out with his successful peers in that wisp of a web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Seinfeld famously eschews album recordings and live specials these days, so it's worth the steep ticket prices to check in on a legend. 

Showtimes are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are still available from third-party sellers like Vivid Seats. Prices vary, but they will likely cost more than face value at this point. 

5. Here is Something Festive
Wednesday, December 16
The Denver Improv

The Denver Improv has yet to fully define itself as a comedy club. Through offering deliberate counter-programming to Denver comedy's bearded white guy paradigm, the Improv has built up a diverse audience by offering a wide variety of performers. Many of their comedian-produced local shows have struggled at the franchise club. Perhaps DIY marketing is insufficient to get people to schlep out to Stapleton, but the club remains admirably willing to invest in local talent. With Here is Something Festive, audiences will have a whole grab bag a of giggles to gobble at the Holiday Variety show. Featuring local comics Roger Norquist, Rick Bryan, David Rodriguez and the industrious Agency boys opening for Improv favorite Rion H. Evans, it promises to be an evening of mirth and merriment. 

Showtime is at 7:30. Tickets cost $10 on the Denver Improv website.

4. Mike E. Winfield
December 17-20
The Denver Improv

Mike E. Winfield is an unforgettable comedian. Onstage, he maintains the sort of effortless appeal of early Dave Chappelle, for whom Winfield frequently opens. He's performed standup on shows like Comics Without Borders, The Late Show with David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central's Live At Gotham and he had a recurring role on the 2011 season of NBC's The Office. Thriving television career aside, Winfield's true skill comes across in live performances where his unique style shines. 

Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. each night, with additional 9:45 p.m. shows on the weekend. Tickets cost $17 on the Denver Improv website.

3. Crush City: The War on Crushmas
Saturday, December 19
The Savoy Event Center

Westword has been preaching the Gospel of Crush City loudly and proudly as of late. When a legitimately great show struggles to draw ticket holders, it becomes a real bee in our bonnet, so we get evangelical. We do what we can to nudge our readership toward the brilliant work of local creatives. At any rate, Crush City rebounded magnificently from the brink of cancellation last month and they're back again with a characteristically crush-centric lineup. Kevin O'Brien, Rick Kerns, Kira Magcalen and Steve Vanderploeg step up to the chortle decks before headliner the prodigal Andrew Orvedahl (whose series Those Who Can't was just renewed for a second season three months before its TruTV debut) makes his triumphant return to his hometown, the city of crush.

Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $7 at the door. 

2. Amuse Booze
Monday, December 21
El Charrito

Despite a venue relocation and a brief hiatus, Amuse Booze has never lost a wobbly step on its way to being one of Denver's most purely fun comedy nights. Join hosts and co-creators Anthony Crawford and Meghan DePonceau for a bar-tending competition elegantly stirred into a comedy showcase. An unannounced trio of bartenders will be competing to mix the best Old-Fashioned for Brian Hocker, Boilermakers for Adam Cayton-Holland and Gin and Tonics for headliner Josh Blue, with the teetotaling Aaron Urist sipping on nothing but laughs in their newly designated sober spot. Like Crush City, Amuse Booze is a testament to the creativity of Denver's arts scene and what they can achieve with combined effort. 

Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5 at the door. 

1. A Very Sexpot Chris-mas with Chris Gethard
Wednesday, December 23
The Oriental Theater

Chris Gethard is a hero to certain mawkish generation of alternative comedy fans. An Upright Citizen's Brigade-hewn improviser, Gethard has branched out into writing, acting and standup, but never wavered in the good-natured if unsettling commitment to absurdity at the core of the UCB ethos. The Chris Gethard Show, which originated on New York public access but now airs on Fusion, is a cult classic and a monument to the unpredictable brilliance of DIY art. Gethard, who also starred in the ill-fated Comedy Central series Big Lake and wrote the aptly titled memoir A Bad Idea I'm About To Do, is boldly experimental, once walking all the way from Los Angeles to Manchester, Tennessee for Bonnaroo, relying only upon the kindness of strangers the entire trip. He's a fitting headliner for the pioneering Sexpot Comedy showcases, which return to the Oriental this month for a special blowout. This show, which was wrested into existence by the combined efforts of co-sponsors MassRoots and Sexpot, features the Gethard-anointed comedy stylings of Zach Reinert along with a merry coterie of locals to fill the bill.

Doors open at 8 p.m. for the 8:30 p.m. showtime. Tickets cost $15 on the Oriental Theater website