Another Year, Another ComFest: All You Need to Know
Hey there comedy fans! 2019 is the 30th anniversary of the National College Comedy Festival. This year’s headliner is Hari Kondabolu, whose performance will be coupled with other comedy acts such as Paranormal Comedy and, of course, the visiting college improv and sketch comedy groups that build the show. The producers for this year’s comedy festival are Kallan Dana ’19, Christopher Isaacson ’19 and Grant Landau-Williams ’19, who are sure to bring a stellar show.
The event begins on Friday, Feb. 9 at the JKB theatre with the first round of student improv groups performing at 7p.m. Later that night, the first professional acts — Paranormal Comedy, with Demi Adejuyigbe opening — will start at 10p.m. Following the same schedule, Saturday will see the rest of the college groups before Hari Kondaboulu with Carmen Lagala opening close the weekend later that night.
The lineup this year features some veteran — and crowd favorite — groups, plus exciting newbies. Some of those performing include Vassar’s Indecent Exposure, Brandeis’ False Advertising, Emerson’s The Girlie Project, NYU’s Dangerbox and After School Improv, and Loyola’s 45 Kings. ComFest will also be featuring a musical-comedy group for the first time, which is sure to be unique and a crowd pleaser. Along with the sketch and improv acts that are coming from other schools, the Skidmore comedy groups will be performing as well.
When preparing this year’s event, the producers focused on outreach. The search for college comedy groups coming to campus starts with an application that is later reviewed. The sketch and improv groups are then chosen based on their funniness and if they have a unique style and/or a particular gimmick - something that stands out compared to other groups.
On the other hand, finding professional acts who are willing to come to a college campus always proves to be a tricky process. Traditionally, the producers compile a list of their favorite comedians and reach out to them in the hope that they would be willing to come for a reduced price. Otherwise, they find comedians who are more within their price range that they are still excited about. This can be a trying process; it requires tedious negotiations with managers and agents.
However, in the end, Skidmore has been the host to people such as Tig Notaro, Rhea Butcher and now Hari Kondabolu, showing that dedication can pay off in the search for comedy.
And since Isaacson puts it best: “it’s the up and coming comedy festival for up and coming up and comers.” This festival is sure to be one to remember.
Tickets are currently being sold in Case Center, $7 for college shows and $10 for professional acts.