The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in October
October, a month of harvest moons and costumed goons, is upon us. While there’s perhaps no better month to take in the natural beauty of our fair state, the early sunsets and evening chill leave plenty of time for comedy. Fortunately, a bountiful joke harvest awaits leaf- and laugh-peepers alike this autumnal month. The calendar kicks off with the current host of The Daily Show, just in time for an election whose outcome could be scarier than any Halloween ghoul, and tricks and treats abound all month long. As always, ten spots (listed in chronological order) are insufficient to capture all the great comedy coming through Denver in October, so be sure to check our Comedy Club events pages and 5280Comedy.com for any gems we’ve missed.
Offensively Delicious with Beth Stelling and Matt Braunger
Wednesday, October 5
As Offensively Delicious approaches its third anniversary, the Sexpot co-sponsored event has become a calendar highlight for brewhounds and comedy fans alike. Admission to this unique evening includes sample beers from Alpine Dog, Great Divide, Spangalang, Renegade, Shmaltz and Brooklyn brewery (to name but a few) and an opportunity to network with luminaries of the beverage game before watching those same industry folks attempt standup comedy. All the beery camaraderie is a mere prelude to the real show with co-headliners Beth Stelling and Matt Braunger. Braunger, who co-founded the prestigious Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, has been a constant televisual presence since briefly joining the cast of MadTV in 2008. Since then, he’s appeared on programs like The Tonight Show, The Comedy Central Half Hour andUp All Night. His most recent special, Big Dumb Animal, premiered on Netflix last February. Stelling is a rising star who’s appeared on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live and @Midnight. Her Comedy Central Half Hour was named one of the best specials of 2015, and her latest album, Simply the Beth, is available from Comedy Dynamics.
Sexpot Comedy Presents Billy Wayne Davis
Friday, October 7
The Bug Theatre
Billy Wayne Davis is a standup comedian, son of the South and erstwhile Blue Angels pilot. He’s appeared on Last Comic Standing, was the host of Morgan Spurlock’s Freedom: The Movie and featured in Ralphie May’s Filthy Animal Tour. Davis made his debut on the New Faces showcase on last year’s Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, but he’d already been the focus of Denver’s forward-looking comedy-fan community, thanks to frequent appearances at Comedy Works, Too Much Fun, High Plains and a number of Sexpot showcases. Local comics Ryan Nowell, Roger Norquist, Mara Wiles and Deacon Gray join host Andy Juett at the kooky and spooky Bug Theatre for a fine evening of Sexpot-style laughs.
Showtime is 10 p.m. Tickets cost $8 from Night Out and $10 at the door.
Lucha Libre & Laughs: Ladies’ Night
Sunday, October 16
The Oriental Theater
While professional wrestling has been historically regarded as one of the dude-liest purviews around, closer examination reveals hordes of lifetime female fans — and then there are the talented women stepping into the ring themselves. Perennial Westword favorite Lucha Libre & Laughs celebrates their contributions this month with Ladies’ Night, a special event boasting all the high-flying Luchador action spectators have come to expect, but with fewer dudes. Local comics Janae Burris, Kira MagCalen and Rachel Weeks join headliner Mara Wiles to keep the Oriental Theater’s aisles rolling with laughter between matches. LLL favorites such as Left Coast Guerillas and Lonnie Valdez return to the ring, and for the main event, Candice LeRae, Allie Gato and Angel Trinity will square off in a triple-threat title bout. With color commentary from Nathan Lund and Mitch Jones, Lucha Libre & Laughs: Ladies’ Night suplexes the patriarchy.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showtime; admission is $10. Tickets are available at the door and from the Oriental Theater events page.
The Nerd Roast: Monsters vs. Slashers
Friday, October 28
The Nerd Roast is justifiably one of the most popular showcases at El Charrito’s Comedy Room Room. Though recent casts have strayed from the show’s titular mission statement — seriously,Friends vs. Seinfeld? Is everyone who owned a TV in the ’90s somehow a nerd? — the roast returns in fine nerdy form with Monsters vs. Slashers, just in time for Halloween. A literal murderer’s row of filmdom’s most popular masked killers, including Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers (not an especially chatty bunch) and Freddy Krueger, will haunt the dais opposite classic Universal monsters like The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man. The Nerd Roast presents a unique challenge to its roasters, who must find a costume and write five new minutes of jokes too specific to workshop at open mics beforehand or repeat in any other context. With the right spirit, however, the Nerd Roast can achieve the perfect symbiosis of fandom and creativity, spiked with the sickest burns on the Front Range. (Conflict alert: Booking eight comics for this show can be a logistical nightmare for its hosts, and I am currently the only comic who’s agreed to perform. I’ll be appearing at the Nerd Roast as Dracula. )
Showtime is 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations (collected for Planned Parenthood) are strongly encouraged.