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Post Tagged with: Knoxville comedy

What a Joke!

What a Joke!

I’m excited to announce that Knoxville will be participating in the WHAT A JOKE National Comedy Festival taking place on Inauguration weekend in January. The festival is the brainchild of NYC comedians Jenn Welch and Emily Winter and will be taking place in 29 cities across the United States and England (thanks to my friend and former Knoxville comedian Matt Chadourne now living in Oxford, England). Jenn and Emily were featured in a recent interview with the Christian Science Monitor about the What a Joke festival and why it means so much to them (and me and so many others who have asked to join the effort).

Proceeds from the festival will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, because– hoo boy– are they going to likely need it over these next few years.

Here’s a video to introduce the concept:

Festival sponsor The Knoxville Mercury was kind enough to publish this Q&A about Knoxville’s part in the What a Joke Comedy Festival with me in today’s issue.

I am thrilled by the response so far with 40+ comics pledging to donate their time and talent to perform in Knoxville. What started with a plan for a one-night show has blossomed into full festival mode with comedians (and a few other performers) taking the stage at five venues (and counting) over two nights.

There will be a lot of places to keep up with news about the festival, including the What a Joke National Comedy Festival web site and Facebook page, the What A Joke Knoxville web site, and the RainShine Comedy website and Facebook page.

Let’s do something positive, Knoxville. See you at the festival in January.

December 15, 2016Comments are DisabledRead More
Andy Sandford added to Scruffy City Comedy Festival lineup!

Andy Sandford added to Scruffy City Comedy Festival lineup!

Well, as the old story goes, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

The bad news is that Ben Kronberg, the announced Friday night headliner for next weekend’s Scruffy City Comedy Festival, has had a change of schedule beyond his control and will not be able to join us for the festival fun. As I mentioned in my earlier post about Ben Kronberg and the Scruffy City Comedy Festival, I was very much looking forward to hosting a show with Ben as the headliner.

But, the good news is really good news, indeed. The new headliner, with a helpful reference from Ben, is the amazing Andy Sandford.

Andy Sandford will headline the Scruffy City Comedy Festival on Friday, November 13, at Scruffy City Hall. And, I still get to host, so I’m super cool with that.

If you’re a fan of watch comedians on late night TV, you’ve likely seen Andy recently on Conan.

Or maybe you’re a fan of Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force. A character based on Andy, and voiced by him, is a part of that popular show, as well.

His comedy album “Me the Whole Time” won rave reviews in 2014 and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Scruffy City Comedy Festival main stage. You can get all the details about Andy and the festival over at

In addition to Andy, the show will include sets from Lydia Popovich, Clark Jones, Brock Wilbur, and Carmen Morales. See you there!

November 5, 2015Comments are DisabledRead More
Sunday at the Festival – Showcase Hosting

Sunday at the Festival – Showcase Hosting

I’m excited to have two opportunities to host shows at this year’s Scruffy City Comedy Festival. Earlier, I mentioned I’ll be hosting the Ben Kronberg show on Friday night at the festival. But, that’s not all. I’ll also be hosting a stand-up showcase Sunday evening (November 15) at Preservation Pub on Market Square.

Preservation Pub is home to Knoxville’s longest running comedy open mic and, thus, a more than fitting venue for the Scruffy City Comedy festival. It also happens to be the very first place I ever performed stand up comedy for an open mic, but that’s likely an historical designation important only to me. Regardless, I’ve made a lot of comedy friends over the past couple of years at Preservation Pub and I’m looking forward to introducing you to some of them that night, along with a bevy of talented out-of-town comics (who I also hope will become good friends, too).

The line-up for the night includes Tom Emmons, Anthony Desamito, Paige Bowman, Scott Eason, Travis Irvine, Matt Chadourne, Jon Durnell, Genevieve Rice, JC Ratliff, Dustin Meadows, Tyler Sonnichsen, Katherine Jessup, and Jeff Blank. You can take a look at the line-up and a full listing of all their social media links on the Scruffy City Comedy Festival event page for the show.

Tickets for the whole weekend or individual day passes are available on the Scruffy City Comedy website. See you there!

Scruffy City Comedy Festival, Nov 13-15, 2015, Knoxville, TN

October 29, 2015Comments are DisabledRead More
Excited about the Scruffy City Comedy Festival – Ben Kronberg show

Excited about the Scruffy City Comedy Festival – Ben Kronberg show

UPDATE: Sadly, Ben Kronberg has had to cancel his appearance at the Scruffy City Comedy Festival, but happily we’ve got Andy Sandford on board to headline the show now (read the update here).

Ben Kronberg

I’m quite excited to have been among the local comedians selected to host shows at this year’s Scruffy City Comedy Festival.

And, while hosting is an honor for any show of the festival, I’m especially honored to be hosting the first headliner show of the festival on Friday, November 13, 2015. Our headliner is Ben Kronberg, a funny man who isn’t afraid to experiment with comedic forms by mixing his brilliant observations with music he digitally creates on his iPhone, or simply upending the standard joke telling format.

For me personally, there’s a nice moment of kizmet at play here, as my first comedy festival hosting will be for Ben Kronberg, almost two years after I performed on one of his shows in Knoxville for my first paying guest spot in comedy. I guess whether he likes it or not, Ben gets to serve as my milestone marker for various points along my comedy path.

Ben has been on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Last Call with Carson Daly, among other credits. And, though he probably doesn’t care one way or the other, I can say I still like him way better than Roseanne Barr does.

Ben is the headliner that night, but he isn’t the only talented comedian to hit the stage at that show. He’ll also be joined by Lydia Popovich who is returning to #SCCF2015 (that’s the fancy hashtag we’re using this year) after winning hearts and minds at the inaugural Scruffy City Comedy Festival last year. Clark Jones returns to Knoxville for the festival. Back in June he was one of the first headliners (along with Kenny DeForest) at the first ever First Friday Comedy at Saw Works Brewing, a monthly comedy showcase I co-produce along with my friends Tyler Sonnichsen and Sean Simoneau. We’ll also be welcoming to the stage Brock Wilbur and Carmen Morales to round out an amazingly funny opening headliner show at Scruffy City Comedy Festival.

Tickets are available for Friday only passes or full weekend passes on the Scruffy City Comedy website. I can’t wait to see you there as I get to take the stage at my first comedy festival surrounded by so much amazing talent as Ben, Lydia, Clark, Brock, and Carmen.

See you there!12189166_1053468561330912_544351650205057902_n

October 28, 2015Comments are DisabledRead More
Thawed Out and Ready for Comedy

Thawed Out and Ready for Comedy

After spending 12 of the last 14 days unable to leave the house thanks to the February winter storms, I’m more than ready to try out a few jokes and fun for area stages. So, here’s what this week looks like for me so far:

QED Comedy Lab - 2ED: The Return of the Reckoning


Monday, March 2 — QED Comedy Laboratory

It’s another fun night of experimental comedy tonight at the QED Comedy Laboratory (also know as the friendly confines of the Pilot Light in Knoxville’s Old City). This week’s theme is “sequels.” So, for 2ED: The Return of the Reckoning, each performer will be pitching ideas for sequels that can’t, won’t or shouldn’t happen. Although she has been invited, we have not been able to confirm if Harper Lee will attend. Nevertheless, we’ll likely raise a toast tonight in honor of her upcoming release 2 Kill 2 Mockingbirds. Matt Chadourne is our host.

The show is free to attend, although donations are always accepted. Showtime is 7:30ish. It’s a cash only bar, so stop by the ATM before you visit.

Station Comedy featuring Blayr Nias on March 4


Wednesday, March 4 — The Station Comedy Showcase

Yes, usually I’m talking about The Station because I’m the host, but this week is a bit different. I’m handing over the hosting reins for the week to my friend Tyler Sonnichsen. This week, I’m going to perform a regular set. I’ll probably still end up hyping the drink and food specials out of habit, but it will be nice to try something different. Also, it will just be good to have a chance to get things running again at The Station after two consecutive weeks of cancellation because of winter storms.

The headliner this week is Blayr Nias from Charlotte, NC. We’ll also be joined by Max Fine from Atlanta, GA, and Knoxville’s Sean Simoneau.

Tickets are $10. Wine is available from our host, Blue Slip Winery, and food is available from Forks on the Road food truck. Doors open at 6:30. Showtime is 7:30.

KnoxVegas Comedy banner


Friday, March 6 — KnoxVegas Comedy

The last time I performed at Sassy Ann’s was as an opener for the great Tim Northern. It snowed a bunch that night. I am hoping we’ll have just as many laughs this time, with far less precipitation.

This week’s show at Sassy Ann’s is a return to the show’s usual format of open mic comedy with two or three feature comics sprinkled throughout the night’s festivities. Happily, I get to be one of the feature comics this week, along with John Miller and Grady Ray. Our co-hosts are Jay Kendrick and Chase Dyer.

There’s no cover. The show starts at 9 pm. It is a 21+ and smoking venue.

March 2, 2015Comments are DisabledRead More