Sid King

I visited Sid King’s once around 1982 for a bachelor party. The best man was committed to showing the groom and groomsmen an exciting time. This included a death-defying, high speed drive over streets and curbs to Sid’s. According to the article, Sid was a “benevolent showman.” My recollection is a bit raunchier, with Sid directing the dancers on stage and describing their personal attributes to the audience. It wasn’t until I saw his obituary that I learned that Sid had transitioned from showman to shoeman. I immediately clipped this article out, partly for personal nostalgia and partly to remember this historic Denver locale and Sid.
– Matt Holman

Sid King Obituary, 8/27/2000

Sid King Obituary, 8/27/2000

Sid Kings, Marion and Colfax, Denver. Photo by Donna Altieri.

Sid Kings, Marion and Colfax, Denver. Photo by Donna Altieri.

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14 Responses to “Sid King”

  1. Dennis Bauer Says:

    My best experience at Sid Kings was taking my fiancee’s friend from England to Sid’s place – “I’ve come all this way, to Denver, Colorado, and I’ve heard about Sid King and want to see what the ladies do there,” the cockney said to me.

    So I obliged – had been to Sids – illegally – when I was underage (another story) – and the Brit got his full worth, especially watching
    the one lovely lady who could do things with candles that I will not detail in this article. And yes, Sids running commentary was legendary.
    The Brit’s only complaint: “yank, the beer is overpriced and cold!”

    Indeed it was! But the experience was well worth it.

  2. Dirkle Quirkett Says:

    In the mid 70’s (e.g. 1974-75) I would occasionally drop into Sid King’s Crazy Horse bar for a beer and some laughs.

    It was more like, as noted previously, a burlesque / comedy place than a ‘strip joint.’
    Almost a *satire* of a strip joint, if you will.

    Sid would sit in the back of the inner showroom with a microphone and keep a running gag commentary going –
    “Here she is folks, Laborus Clitoris, the galloping greek from cherry creek …. wet your lips, honey … show ’em the titskas, etc etc”

    Occasionally a comedian would get up on stage to give the girls a break. While he was trying to tell lousy dirty jokes, it was open season on him, and everyone in the crowd would boo, shout, tell him to get off & go to hell, etc. – while he would throw insults back, cornball stuff like “why don’t you two put your heads together and make a perfect ass?”

    A lot of the ‘girls’ were in my memory older, some not even all that attractive,
    but they and all the waitresses were nice to us, even when we were to broke to buy more than one beer (there was to my knowledge, no cover, at least on week nights.

    Sid’s was a really friendly informal place, a Denver milestone and a tradition. We all miss Sid and the Crazy Horse.

  3. Jim Says:

    I was stationed at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital the summer of 1970. Some buddies and I used to go into town to the Crazy Horse bar every now and then. We had lots of fun and good entertainment there. I remember Sid’s headliner at the time was a girl with a 72″ chest! There was one time that we got “escorted” out the door. One of the girls came out in a Bat Girl costume and got down to pasties and g-string that wasn’t much more than the Bat symbol. Having as much to drink as I’d had, I jumped up, pointed to the girl and shouted out, “To the Bat Cave, Robin.” The whole house busted up and we were shown the door. What memories.

  4. Bob Vy Says:

    My wife performed there on New Year’s Eve 1969. She was 19 years old and we had only been married three months. We were with two other couples and we husbands talked our wives into seeing the New Years Eve show. All of us were over 21 except my wife and she was told under Denver law she wasn’t old enough to watch however she was old enough to perform. They would let her sit with us if she agreed to take part in the amateur contest. After a lot of coaxing from her girl friends she reluctantly agreed. She was told she only had to strip to her underwear however when she went backstage she was given a g-string and a bra that was made up of two tiny red hearts. To say the least our friends and I were quite surprised when her blouse and skirt came off. She didn’t want to take the bra off but Sid King asked for my opinion and after much encouragement from the crowd and our friends I gave the thumbs up sign. The bra came off.
    Sid Kings Crazy Horse Bar was the coming out party for many many of Denver’s finest young women. I’m still thrilled my wife was one of them.

  5. Bob Sklar Says:

    A charitable side? Amazing. I used to enjoy going there (ca. 1974), and I remember how the young ladies working there thought of him as a “dirty old man”. Legend had it that he weighed the liquor bottles at closing time every night and compared the difference to the amount of money in the cash register. He was considered so cheap that the bartender often slipped us some drink refills without our asking, and didn’t charge for them. The understanding, of course, was that these drinks merited a large tip, and I gladly obliged. I also remember his friend, Max, who had a dry cleaning store nearby, and who frequently acted as second MC.

    In any case, I can think of no better way to honor him than to quote him:

    …This girl will electrify you with her talents. Remember there’s three types of current which will kill a man – AC, DC and pussC.

    …Her legs are her best friends, but soon even the best of friends must part.

    …She’s got the kind of legs you like — one on each side.

    …Remember, no smilee, no payee. Reply: No payee, no layee.

    The last quote was spoken to a stripper who danced under the name Ming Toy Epstein, and who was, believe me, neither Chinese nor Jewish.

    LOL

    Bob

  6. Bob Sklar Says:

    … Sir, take your hands out of your pockets. It don’t look good!

    … HEY! WATCH MY MONEY!

    Bob

  7. J M Wiley Says:

    I remember being there on New Year’s Eve in 1969 when a young secretary from Sterns-Roger performed during the amateur contest. Down to her g-string and tiny bra she realized there was a table full of men she worked with and didn’t want to continue. Good old Sid King and the people she was with convinced her to continue. We knew she had great legs from the miniskirts she wore but after that performance… Wow! What a body!! She was married and soon after her performance she left the company. Sid Kings was a great place.

  8. Silas M. Crutchfield III Says:

    Went to the Crazy Horse in the 1960s while attending DU. One night Sonny Liston and his entourage showed up causing a real scene. That same night they were having a limbo contest and Mr King told me if I entered he would see that I won, the prize was a giant teddy bear. Needless to say I lost. In a real nice way, I ask Mr. King’s about his word that I would win. His only response was that I had worn out my welcome and had best be leaving. Despite my losing I will never forget The Crazy Horse.

  9. George D IV Says:

    In the mid 70’s my wife, myself and 2 friends, one who was blind went to Sids. It was about a 6 hr drive from Riverton, Wy. and worth every minute of it. We told Sid we had a blind gentlemen with us, and that he might need a little help in “seeing” what was going on! Sid did more than accommodate our wishes! It was a night to remember for all! I don’t know how many time we have talked, and shared, and laughed about this night, but it was an evening that will live on and on!
    THANK YOU SID for all the good times we had at your place!

  10. rogatian vacheron-constantine Says:

    Every time I drive past Colfax and Madison I am thankful for having grown up in the pre -digital, database interconnected internet driven, nanny state era we live in today.

    My first experience at Sid Kings was with my friends from high school. As long as our fake ID’s were spelled correctly and didn’t reek or stick from the rubber cement–you were in.

    Sid was a true showman. His schtick was the same every time but he delivered it with such perfect timing you’d have thought he was Regis Philbin talking about a new restaurant on the upper east side.

    I recall the sound of his voice saying: “Gentlemen…Welcome! Come have a set at the ‘Snack Bar’..” which abutted the stage. Sid must have traveled around the world because he would import the unique artisan tricks from around the stripper world.

    We had many a great evening at the Crazy Horse…my condolences to any 18 year old male who has never had the chance to enter into the banter that Sid would demand you had while at the “Snack Bar”. The kid whose communication pattern is lengthened by typing out a response and the amount of juice his wireless carrier has in his area. Those kids will never know what it’s like to go to a high class clip joint, get taken for the $50.00 champagne cocktail and try to explain their way out of it.

    No, today–they either scroll through their albums of sexted pics or catch a quick porn link on their cell phone.

    Sorry–it ain’t the same thing.

  11. Dave Says:

    I first visited Sid’s in 1955 when he hired a couple of amateur dancers and put a jukebox in the little back room of the restaurant. There was a small bar about half a dozen booths and a tiny kitchen. In 58 he had added space to the east and built a revolving bar with a stage in the center of it and had the first lunch time strippers. The next expansion was when the carpet shop on the corner left and he built another bar and bigger stage. I tended bar for him
    when things got busy and I have to say Sid was every inch a gentleman and an entrepreneur in the best sense. He sometimes gave me the impression that he did’t have any idea what he was doing but it always seemed to work out right. At the time there were about 6 clubs in downtown Denver and when they were running slow Sid was packed. I’m happy I knew such a great guy.

  12. Lorraine Says:

    Ha ha, my mother and aunt took me and younger brother here when I was maybe 13.
    Some guy (think it was the owner) gave us all red plastic back scratchers shaped like a hand giving the finger, later a dancer hit on me in the ladies room and I felt so sophisticated.

  13. Jim Says:

    I worked for Sid in the mid to late seventies. He had a little adult shop next to Crazy Horse and a company I ran called Videotapeit. That was in the day before everyone had camera equipment, etc. I will never forget the nervousness of the Arvada housewife who came in to hire me to videotape her kid’s dance recital! It was great working for Sidney. I still remember him as not only a great showman but as one of the most honest, generous, and kind men I have ever worked for. When I moved to help manage Crazy Horse, I saw him give more money to people in need than ANY man I have seen before or since. Dollars from the safe, from his pocket to every type charity you can imagine! Not to mention checks to children’s hospitals, etc. I asked him why he got no receipts for taxes, and he said, “It’s just money – just money”.
    God rest your soul, Sid, you were a good, good man and one of the last of your kind.

  14. Mark Says:

    My dad ran the parking venue behind the old Professional Arts Building at Lafayette St and Colfax. A lot of patrons of the Crazy Horse Bar would park there especially on Saturdays. During the summer i mowed the lawn at the PA building. I order for my dad to close the parking lot he needed the car keys returned to the guys in the bar. THAT was my job too. Go into Sid’s and find them, give them there keys and collect parking fees. WHAT a great job for a 14 yr old. Always in the side door in the alley.
    Was i the luckiest kid EVER!! The ladies were always nice and a little extra showy thinking i might turn and run. Just the opposite. Sid always made sure my dad had Christmas wrapped bottles of whisky during the holidays.

    Great memories. RIP Sid.

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