Now that Colorado has become one of the premier destinations for both marijuana and stand up comedy, appearances by ganja-humorist Doug Benson ("Super High Me," "Doug Loves Movies") have become a highly anticipated event for our state's red-eyed comedy fans. More than just a souped up Tommy Chong, Benson is also a knowledgeable movie fan, gathering large audiences with his comedy commentary of tacky yet beloved films. Teaming up with national theater chain The Alamo Drafthouse – which came to Denver in late 2012 – Benson is taking his celluloid silliness into movie houses around the nation, laying inside jokes and cinephile ribbing on audiences who can't get enough of the comedy medium popularized by "Mystery Science Theater 3000" in the '90s. You can catch him lovingly shred "Lethal Weapon" at The Alamo Drafthouse Littleton on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7:00 P.M.
Over the last decade, nationally touring comedians have begun to embed themselves in the Colorado comedy scene. While these funny men and women originally just passed through for a few gigs at Comedy Works or The Improv, it's now common practice for them to stay the weekend or longer, making the rounds on podcasts and showcases; sometimes they collaborate on a short film or two. Such was the case with New York's Rory Scovel, a Conan regular and star of the new TBS sitcom, "Ground Floor." Scovel has been a favorite of Denver audiences through his collaborations with The Grawlix web series, as well as through his role as the soft-hearted Principle Quinn in The Grawlix Amazon produced series "Those Who Can't." This Saturday, Scovel joins Denver comedy icon and Grawlix co-founder Adam Cayton-Holland, along with Kristin Rand and recent Comedy Works New Faces winner Jordan Doll for a one-night only show on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse.
Probably the most successful comic to come out of the Colorado scene since Roseanne Barr, Josh Blue's meteoric rise to fame has only intensified in 2013, with the release of his Showtime comedy special, "Sticky Change," and this month's performance on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson." While the "Last Comic Standing" winner could have easily capitalized on the heartwarming story of becoming a successful comedian with cerebral palsy, Blue's set doesn't rely on sympathy from his audience. Lately, he's been more interested in relating lost in translation stories about meeting his Japanese wife's family in Tokyo, or spending time in his Capitol Hill home where he hobbies as a painter, sculptor and hatchet-throwing enthusiast. After a long stretch on the road, Blue returns to the comedy club that launched him, performing five headlining sets at Comedy Works Downtown Dec. 19-21.
The name of Kayvan Khalatbari and his Sexy Pizza restaurant chain have been the fuel injectors that helped make Colorado comedy what it is today. After using the success of his Denver Relief marijuana dispensary to sponsor countless podcasts, comedy events and projects, Khalatbari has now begun producing shows on his own, beginning with the invite-only Sex Pot Comedy (where attendees are welcome to publicly smoke as much herb as they please), and now with the launch of his monthly series with Comedy 103.1 sales manager Andy Juett at The Oriental Theater. Pairing nationally touring comics with local comedians, the debut event this month brings in Sean Patton and Mike Lawrence with local boys Ben Roy and Jordan Doll. The event begins at 8:00 P.M. on Friday, Dec. 20 at The Oriental Theater.
Comedy Works "Secret Shows"
Wondering why you didn't hear about Dave Chappelle, Craig Ferguson and Dave Attell's recent performances at Comedy Works? Well, the legendary Denver comedy club prefers to keep its biggest headliners a secret, announcing the events only to those on its email list. It's admittedly a sneaky trick, but Comedy Works can afford to do this considering these shows typically sell out within a day or two (or, in the case of Chappelle's five-day run, mere minutes.) Hardcore comedy fans looking for an inside track to getting their paws on these coveted tickets before their less-informed counterparts, should sign up for the Comedy Works email list.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!
Music Blocks is a new, 5-minute podcast exploring how music conveys emotions. Developed with middle and high schoolers in mind, each episode dives into how musicians from a wide variety of genres, cultures and eras express feelings in music. Learn how to explore music more deeply with Music Blocks!
Sign Up For Our Newsletters
It takes a good day’s drive to cover Colorado, but we’ll help you do it in a few minutes. Our newsletters bring you a closer look at the stories that affect you and the music that inspires you.