Updated: The ten best comedy events in Denver in June
Updated: Since this post was originally published, Tracy Morgan -- who performed a show in Denver June 1 -- was injured in an auto accident.
As summer approaches at its leisurely, flip-flopped gait, comedy fans have a full calendar of laugh appointments ahead. While almost nothing can compete with the natural splendor of a languid June evening spent outdoors in Denver, only a jejune goon would miss out on these fine shows. Besides, at a comedy club you're significantly less likely to accidentally drink the moth that flew into your beer. From stars of stage and screen gracing local venues to a showcase that actually encourages comments from the audience, comedy nerds will be drawn to these events like an eclipse of moths to an outdoor light bulb.
It's important to note that a lot can happen in a month, and national headliners often have to reschedule long after press time, so dates are subject to change (which happened last month with Bobcat Goldthwait). Regardless, there's plenty of live comedy in June that's guaranteed assuage your melancholy, and reduce you chances of discovering the unmistakable taste of foamy moth.
10) The One-Liner Show
Voodoo Comedy Playhouse
The tradition of one-liner comedians includes such luminaries as Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg. A good one-liner requires the precision of a haiku and the timing of a metronome. James Gold has dedicated a monthly showcase to the lost art of the micro-joke, challenging local comedians to string together an entire five-minute set of one-liners -- and inviting the audience to crown a winner. One-liner jokes take mere seconds to complete, so in this context, five minutes is much longer than it may seem. The June lineup includes Gold, contestants Joshua Skillman, Timmi Lasley, Cory Rhoads and Haley Driscoll, as well as headliner Tim Messenger.
The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $5 at the door. Pre-sale tickets cost $3 at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse website.
9) Father's Day Pump & Dump
Saturday, June 14
Hard Rock Cafe
Shayna Ferm and MC Doula are joined by Grawlix fathers Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy in a special Father's Day edition of their Pump & Dump showcases featuring new songs, guffaws aplenty and all the cathartic boozing you expect from these typically mom-centric shows, only this time geared toward the dads -- who are affectionately referred to as "mother-fuckers" in Pump & Dump's surprisingly dense internal lexicon. A ticket for your own father would be a great gift, even though what he really wants is for you to do him proud for goddamn once.
Tickets cost $15 for balcony seats, $20 for general main floor seats, and $30 for VIP, which includes preferential seating and a pre-show cocktail reception. Check the Pump & Dump website to buy tickets.
8) Making Fun
Brent the Gill at last month's Making Fun
Thursday, June 26
In most cases, comedy audience membership is a spectator sport. Unbidden participation in a standup set inspires enmity at best; at worst, it makes your face a target for tossed drinks and fists. At Making Fun, however, feedback from the crowd is built into the show's format. The brainchild of comedic power duo Christie Buchele and Kristin Rand, Making Fun gives each comic who performs a three-minute set before audience members get to write in tags for jokes or zing the comics and have the funniest lines projected onto a screen behind the comedian onstage. This month features local crushers Aaron Urist, Haley Driscoll, Matthews Monroe and Wayman, plus a secret special guest.
The show begins at 8 p.m. It's free, but donations are suggested.
7) Chuck Roy presents Daddy's Day
Sunday, June 15
Voodoo Comedy Playhouse
Chuck Roy's idea of a perfect day for "Daddy" is undoubtedly too raunchy for any Hallmark card. Continuing his longstanding tradition of ringing in the holidays with dirty jokes, Roy has two consecutive shows scheduled on Father's Day, which gladly no longer shares a date with PrideFest. The first show, Comedy Radio Theater, is an old-school radio play punctuated by standup sets from Matt Need, Mona Lott, Bradley Haltom and Jordan Wieleba. In the second show, 5 New Jokes, the same comics will compete to see who can generate the best extemporaneous joke.
Comedy Radio Theater begins at 7 p.m. and 5 New Jokes at 8:15 p.m. Tickets to each show cost $10 at the door. Pre-sale tickets are $8 each or $12 for both shows and available on the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse website.
Keep reading for more of the best comedy events in Denver.