Denver's ten best comedy nights
We thought 2012 was a banner year for comedy in Denver -- but only three months into the new year, comics like Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland, Sam Tallent and Kristin Rand are setting the stage for this once-intimate scene to be blasted into national recognition. With so many great comedy nights already established -- and so many exciting new ones on the horizon -- assembling this list was like picking a favorite child. And while we've treasured the underground flavor that has for so long been the identity of the Denver comedy scene, the time has come to admit that some of these shows are getting too big for their britches -- which we hope is an omen of some larger comedy venues in the near future and not, God forbid, any of these talented standups leaving town for the bright horizons of the coasts.
10. Open Mic at Lion's Lair
Ask any comedians who've been in the scene for more than a few months, and they'll tell you: It all started at Lion's Lair. Troy Baxley's comedy night at this grimy Colfax bar was a platform for many emerging locals, such as the boys from Grawlix and Fine Gentleman's Club. And it's still going strong today. With its soft lighting, low ceiling and laidback, Bukowski-style seediness, the Lair remains the ideal place for both a newcomer to take the stage or a seasoned comic to try out new material. Lion's Lair open mic is free every Monday night at 10 p.m.
9. Altered Schtick
Comedy has been a tradition for gay bars and drag queens, but for some reason it's taken a long time for mainstream comedy fans to accept that this community has some of the best talent around. For this, and so many other reasons, we are grateful to have comedian Chuck Roy in our midst, setting up this queer and trans-friendly event at The Bar. Also regularly featuring comics Penny from Heaven, Jordan Wieleba and Mona Lott, the show delivers some biting inside jokes for the queer community, but is also hilarious for anyone wholly unfamiliar with this world. Altered Schtick is $7 on the last Friday of every month at The Bar.
8. Three Course Comedy
With so many new comedy nights sprouting up like teenage pimples on the face of Denver, it's exciting when an organizer digs deep and comes up with a thrilling conceptual event. Combining comedy with culinary, Three Course Comedy brings in a trio of standups who prepare either an appetizer, main course or dessert (all vegetarian) for the audience, and deliver some food-themed humor to spice up the meal. Hosted by Adrian Mesa and Eric Henderson, the next event features Devon Davis, Greg Baumhauer and Timmi Lasley. Three Course Comedy is free at 8 p.m. every fourth Thursday at Deer Pile.