The Ten Best Comedy Shows in February

Tiffany Haddish headlines the Paramount Theatre on Friday, February 23.
Elton Anderson Jr.
Tiffany Haddish headlines the Paramount Theatre on Friday, February 23.
February has arrived, bringing 28 days of mirth and merriment with it. In a city where locals can find live standup at different venues every night, a list of a mere ten events can only hope to scratch the surface of Denver's bustling scene. Indeed, this short month's calendar overflows with shows to suit comedy fans of every stripe, from sophists to sophisticates. Keep reading for the ten best comedy shows of February 2018.

Jim Norton
February 2 to 3, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown

Jim Norton is an unapologetic advocate of brazen, uncompromising honesty. A comic's comic who honed his skills in the unforgiving rooms of New York City, Norton has developed a cult following over his long career. He has turned up on comedy-nerd TV favorites such as Crashing, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Inside Amy Schumer and in films like Top Five, Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Spiderman. A rabid defender of free speech, Norton returns to Comedy Works' subterranean downtown outpost with a fresh hour of jokes and zero fucks to give. Showtimes and admission prices vary; visit the Comedy Works box-office page to learn more.

Todd Barry 30th Anniversary Crowd Work Tour
February 2 and 3
The Oriental Theater
The Aggie Theatre

Todd Barry is a veteran standup best known for his appearances on such TV shows as Flight of the Conchords and Louie, as well as films like Pootie Tang and The Wrestler. His last special, Spicy Honey, marked a return to punchline-driven form for the dulcet-voiced comic; before that, The Crowd Work Tour — which consisted of nothing but riffs and good-natured audience mockery — demonstrated Barry's quick thinking and a particular facility for ego-deflating burns. To celebrate his thirtieth year in the industry, Barry is back on the road with another tour devoted to the art of extemporaneous joke-writing, and he's rolling through the Oriental Theater on Friday, February 3. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Readers in the Fort Collins area can also catch a completely different hour from Barry the following evening at 7 p.m. at the Aggie Theatre. Admission to either show is $20; visit the Oriental and Aggie box-office pages to get tickets and learn more.

Mile High Movie Roast: The Phantom
Friday, February 2 and 16, 7:30 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake and Littleton

Though 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 perfectly for comedy-loving cinephiles. Join Rains and Denver comedy champion Nathan Lund as they mock the purple-suited pomp of the misbegotten 1996 flop-buster The Phantom. Visit the Alamo Drafthouse box-office page to buy tickets, $12.50, and find out more.

Colin Quinn The "One in Every Crowd" Tour
February 8 to 10, showtimes vary
Comedy Works Downtown

Despite a lengthy on-camera career that began back in 1987 (as the host of MTV's Remote Control), Colin Quinn generally seems most comfortable when he's telling jokes or gently roasting fellow comics. As the host of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, the gruff Brooklyner brought a weary yet punchy panache to the position, bringing the same verve to The Colin Quinn Show and Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, two unfortunately short-lived efforts that have nevertheless proved to be enduring influences. On the big screen, Quinn often turns up in the filmic endeavors of his fellow SNL alums, including Night at the Roxbury, Sandy Wexler and Grown Ups, but he demonstrated unexpected pathos in Trainwreck. Standup has always remained at the forefront of Quinn's efforts, and his last three specials, Long Story Short, Unconstitutional and New York Story, experiment with the form while still delivering laughs. Quinn's latest tour, "One in Every Crowd," is similarly united by a central theme, and fans shouldn't miss the opportunity to watch the new hour take shape. Showtimes and admission prices vary; visit the Comedy Works box-office page for more details. Check Westword's arts section later this month for a Q&A with Quinn.

Brandon T. Jackson
February 9 to 11, showtimes vary
Denver Improv

A writer, actor, rapper and standup comic, Brandon T. Jackson is a multi-talented performer who can effortlessly win over nearly any audience. An ace impressionist, Jackson got his start opening for high-profile comics like Chris Tucker at the Laugh Factory before amassing an impressive résumé of film and television credits including Mr. Robinson, BoJack Horseman, Tropic Thunder and the Percy Jackson series. Most recently, Jackson appeared with his fiancée on Oxygen's Living with Funny, a docu-series exploring the private lives of comedians and their loved ones. A Denver Improv favorite, Brandon T. Jackson is not to be missed. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 303-307-1777 or visit the Denver Improv's box-office page to learn more and buy tickets.