Meet Sammy Anzer: Denver Comedian Performing at the 303 Magazine Comedy Cabaret

Sammy Anzer, Denver comedian

Denver comedian, Sammy Anzer, grew up with his mother and sister in a one-bedroom apartment in Queens, NY. His mother tucked them into bed by eight o’clock, and Anzer fell asleep to the soothing sounds of his mother’s laughter, folding clothes as Jerry Seinfeld performed on the screen. One night, he caught his mom giggling away at the comedians set in front of brick walls. Wiping away sleepy eyes, he asked, “Are you watching your joke show?” Years later, he performs his “joke show” every night in front of Colorado crowds, headlining comedy clubs like Loonee’s Comedy Corner and performing nationwide. He’s collected thousands of followers on social media; Ziwe interviewed him, created a web series, and will soon feature at the first-ever 303 Magazine Denver Comedy Cabaret.

Meet Sammy Anzer, the teacher turned local comedian who is quickly becoming a Mile High household name, and reserve your tickets HERE.

Sammy Anzer Denver comedian
Denver comedian, Sammy Anzer, performs on stage at local venue. Photo provided by Sammy Anzer.

It wasn’t Anzer’s initial plan to pursue comedy. Jokes were always in his back pocket, a hidden talent that came out with his friends, but Anzer set his sights on being an educator. “I grew up with seven of the funniest guys ever. We joked around with each other, telling stories. Still, I always seemed to care a little more about the “hey, why is this funny?” said Anzer. His observations prompted his friends to push him to do a New York comedy competition, and the timing felt “serendipitous.” Anzer was introduced to a newfound passion just as he planned to become a high school teacher in Memphis, Tennessee.

For seven years, Anzer juggled both acts like Hannah Montana. “I taught high school during the day and performed comedy at night,” said Anzer. Until 74 weeks ago, he took the road less traveled and quit his day job to perform comedy full-time. “I still love teaching, and I never really wanted to quit. Two wise women I respect said, “Hey, teaching will be there. If you have this chance, you should go for it. Do it for one year and see if it works. And if you start going hungry and can’t pay rent, you’ll know you gave it a shot.” I took their advice and had an opportunity to perform with some of the best comedians in the world at the Comedy Cellar. After I did that, I realized, hey, I could hang with these comedians.”

In a way, Anzer didn’t entirely quit teaching. He still finds a way to incorporate education into his act and style of humor. “Being a comedian made me a better teacher, and being a teacher made me a better comedian. And I’m using the same muscles a lot,” said Anzer. I’m basically trying to reach people, engage them and make them think.”

Anzer could not be happier finding his foot in Denver. “Denver is undoubtedly in the top ten comedy scenes in the country. We have a very strong comedy scene with strong comedians. We also do something that I’ve never seen any other scene do,” Anzer enthused. “When you come into our local club, Common Works, after waiting 16 weeks to do your first two minutes, we have a person who will tell you, Hey, you got your first laugh, eight seconds in. You average this many laughs per set. Then, you will also get feedback from the senior comedians. This community style of conscious comedy development creates a strong, intentional, punchline-driven comedian. And whenever I tell people about this, wherever I go in the country, they’re always impressed.”

Sammy Anzer Denver comedian
Sammy Anzer, a Denver comedian, reaches wide audiences performing in Minneapolis. Photo provided by Sammy Anzer.

In the last year, Anzer has found a way to combine education and comedy by infiltrating the local art scene. In his Comedians Talk Art web series, Anzer visits institutions like Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Art Museum with fellow stand-ups while showing audiences that art is for everyone. “When I quit my day job, there was a pressure to develop an online presence on social media. I thought I would want to be true to myself if I were to develop an online presence. I want to do something that’s going to entertain, and I want to do something that’s going to make people think,” said Anzer. “I grew up thinking art wasn’t for people like me, people who look like me, people who talk like me, people who are from where I’m from. I noticed that same trend in my students. And I love looking at art now. I grew out of all those negative conceptions, and I was like, I love art and want other people to love art.”

On April 6th, for the first time, Anzer will have the opportunity to make audiences think and show guests that he “does what he likes” at 303 Magazine’s inaugural Denver Comedy Cabaret. Even if his favorite part of doing a comedy show like this one is the interviews, he’s excited to put comedy on a pedestal and give it a moment to shine. “I had a few positive experiences modeling for Denver Fashion Week, and I love the opportunity to reach a new audience and show them how fun and artful stand-up comedy can be,” said Anzer. I don’t know of any fashion/lifestyle magazines crossing over into live stand-up comedy, so when I heard 303 was pushing into that brand-new territory, I wanted to be a part of something cool and brand new.”

You can catch Anzer this upcoming month along with headliner Hannah Jones, host Tyler Benderr and, as Anzer describes it, “super cool” comedy contest winners Andrea Vahl and Georgia Dukes for their 303 Magazine Denver Comedy Cabaret debut.

Tickets range from $22.50 to $90. Learn more about Sammy Anzer on his website, or follow him on Instagram at @badboyanzer.

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