College loves comedy, but comedy loves Skidmore. This is a great time for comedy across America, let alone on college campuses. But at Skidmore, it’s been the golden age of comedy since 1989. That is the year that David Miner—a former member of the Ad-Liberal Artists, now producing Parks and Recreation—put on a comedy festival showcasing not only Skidmore’s talents, but also the talents of groups from neighboring colleges and up-and-coming professionals.
“It reminds me of a Folklore. It gets passed down from student to student,” explained Senior co-Producer Rebecca Baruc. Baruc, along with co-producer Adam Fisher-Cox, began forming the 2015 show last spring by drafting a list of candidates for the professional act. Ron Funches, Kyle Dunnigan, Pete Holmes, and Aparna Nancherla all topped the list. But there was one comic who stood above the rest; 43-year-old Tig Notaro was the number one pick. “I guess I could take it to that one set, Live,” Baruc says, “[it is] a very unique set…unlike everything I’ve heard.” Live was promoted on Louis C.K.'s website just two years ago. Live, arguably Notaro’s most well known performance, exemplifies a skill she has mastered: the art of mixing tragedy and wisdom, while simultaneously being entertaining.
Neither Baruc nor Fisher-Cox foresees a career in comedy, despite possessing what seems to be an incredible feel for high quality, enchanting performances. Shortly after Notaro confirmed her performance at Comfest in August, she signed a book deal, was awarded an HBO show, and piqued the interest of several prominent news outlets. “She said she’ll do whatever she thinks is funny,” says Fisher-Cox.
Sixteen college comedy groups will perform alongside Notaro, her opening act Chris Thayer, musical improv group Baby Wants Candy, and professional sketch comedy group Gentlemen Party. Thirty-six other groups applied to be in the show by submitting 15-minute video recordings of their group. The producing team got to work, analyzing the stage presence and group dynamic of the applicants. Some groups, namely comedy clubs from Brown, Yale, and NYU were automatically granted an invitation to Comfest based on consistently positive past performances.
Producer Fisher-Cox says that despite the stresses of organizing and putting on a show of this magnitude, “it is very satisfying—I’m so excited to be introducing it to people.”
Tickets will go on sale on Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. Students should go to the second floor of Case to line up and receive a code used for online ticket purchase. The event has never taken more than two days to sell out, so get your ticket fast before sales open to the general public on Feb. 10.