A Brief History of the Boston Comedy Festival

2022 Boston Comedy Festival

Learnmore Jonasi
2022 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Learnmore Jonasi is a Zimbabwean stand-up comedian and actor. He stands at over 6 feet, his comedy is brought to life by past experiences, observations, and his view (from the top) which elicit rib-tickling laughs, regardless of the crowd. He has performed with and alongside the biggest names on the African Continent and performed in over 25 cities across 15 countries at various Theatres, Festivals, Comedy clubs, and on TV Shows. Most recently, he was the winner at the 2023 Boston Comedy Festival, the 2023 audience choice Jersey City Comedy Festival. In 2019 he won the National Arts Merit Awards as the Outstanding Comedian of the Year, the Savanna Comic Choice Awards as the Pan African Comic of the Year, and he was the People’s Choice Award winner in Steve Harvey’s Stand Up Spotlight competition. He can be seen touring all over the United States since 2022.

Joe List
Comedian of The Year

Joe List began his comedy career in Boston, Massachusetts in 2000 just weeks after graduating from high school. Since that time he has been featured on The Late Show with David Letterman as well as multiple appearances on Conan. He’s featured in Season 2 of The Netflix Series “The Stand Ups”. In 2015 List was a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing and had his own Half Hour comedy special on Comedy Central. His albums 'So Far No Good' and 'Are You Mad at Me?' can be heard regularly on Sirius Radio. List is also the co-host of his own popular weekly podcast 'Tuesdays with Stories'. When not headlining comedy clubs all over North America, List is a regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.

Brian Kiley
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Brian has appeared several times on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O'Brien”. Brian was a staff writer for Conan O'Brien for 27 years. In that time, he won a Emmy Award for Writing in a Comedy/Variety Series in 2007 and was nominated sixteen times. He was a staff writer on the final season of "Ellen" and won a Daytime Emmy in 2022. Much to his surprise, he was even featured in the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle. (He has never completed said puzzle.) He has had a recurring role on the Cartoon Network's "Delocated" and has been on "The Bonnie Hunt Show", “Comedy Central Presents”, “Dr. Katz Professional Therapist”, “The CBS Morning Show”, “Spotlight Café”, “Caroline's Comedy Hour”, “Comedy On The Road”, the Showtime Comedy Club network, the TBS Conan writer's special and “An Evening at the Improv”.

Topper Carew
Lifetime Achievement in TV

American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for such films as Talkin' Dirty After Dark and D.C. Cab. He is also the creator of the television series as Martin.


2021 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Orny Adams
Comedian of the year

Orny Adams delivers a powerful, incisive stand up routine that vacillates between the relevant and the absurd. Orny attacks what’s wrong with the world and sometimes even what’s wrong with Orny. He’s brutally honest, satirical and his performance is ceaselessly energetic. Orny has had one hour stand up specials on Netflix, Comedy Central and his third special “More Than Loud” debuts in December on Showtime. Orny has appeared all over television, most notably on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and The Conan O’Brien Show. And you might also recognize him as Coach from the TV show Teen Wolf which ran for six seasons.

Billy West
Lifetime achievement winner

has been in the voice acting profession for decades now, but he does not come across to people as a celebrity or a star. However, when one learns about the voice behind popular cartoon characters of Stimpy, Bugs Bunny, Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth, admiration for the actor comes quite spontaneously. Belonging to the old-school of voice acting, West could not make it big in Hollywood, but he is hailed in the animation industry as a great talent who is versatile and whose voice is apt for almost any cartoon character. Through his voice, he has given life to many cartoon characters so much so that, most of them are engraved in the memory of the viewers forever. Billy had a tumultuous childhood because of his abusive father, found respite in the little acts of comedy he performed in the presence of his mother. He discovered his true love for voice acting and found recognition in the animation industry. West’s ability to develop the personalities of the characters he speaks for is beyond praise and for his virtuosity he is often referred to as the ‘voice guru’.

2020 - Virtual Festival

Liz Glazer
2020 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Liz Glazer is an award-winning standup comedian, actor, and writer. Liz won first place in the Boston Comedy Festival and Ladies of Laughter Competition, has been featured in a full article in the Wall Street Journal (as well as Above the Law, Lex Magazine, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and other publications), and has opened for Myq Kaplan and Maria Bamford. Liz was also a part of the Seattle International Comedy Competition and will be a part of the upcoming HBO Women in Comedy Festival. As an actor, Liz has appeared on ABC's FOR LIFE and CBS's BULL, and is on the faculty at Lesly Kahn & Co., the Los Angeles acting studio. Liz is also writing a television pilot about her life, a draft of which was a semi-finalist in the Stage 32 writing competition. Liz began her career as most standup comedians do: as a tenured law professor. Liz attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving her B.A. magna cum laude and M.A. in Philosophy (Liz submatriculated into the graduate division so she earned both degrees in 4 years). Liz then attended the University of Chicago Law School where she was a member of the Law Review. After working as a transactional real estate lawyer at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, the New York Law firm, Liz went on to teach law and get tenure from Hofstra University's Maurice A. Deane School of Law, and also visited at other law schools such as Northwestern University Law School and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While she was a law professor, Liz published law review articles in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, the Columbia Law Review Sidebar, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review PENNumbra, among other journals. AND THEN, Liz gave it all up to do comedy, where her material draws from her own life as a lesbian, a rabbi's wife, and a former lawyer.

Mary Lynn Rajskub
Comedian of the year

Becoming fame-ish ain’t easy. Judd Apatow must love you, but never put you in one of his movies. Remember to go drunk to your Legally Blonde 2 audition and make sure Paul Thomas Anderson has your cell phone number. Don’t forget to accidentally kiss Rush Limbaugh in front of paparazzi. It’s all part of the gig. Self-deprecating and sharp, Mary Lynn’s debut collection of essays will have you laughing, cringing, and reevaluating your idea of fame. Smart, satirical, and relatable, this book gives new meaning to the word “icon” as Mary Lynn navigates showbiz against the backdrop of her own idiosyncrasies. She gives the people what they want: a raucous look at what it’s like to kind of somehow sometimes have a name in Hollywood. Like when she made out with Tom Cruise for forty-five minutes on a couch (with and without tongues!), only to have the scene left on the cutting room floor. Mary Lynn’s Fame-ish is an honest intimate look at sex, relationships, and career. You won’t want to put it down.

2019 – Our 20th Anniversary Festival!

Wilfred Padua
2019 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Wilfred Padua is a comedian in New York who has an MFA in Writing from some place in Chicago. He was the winner of the 2019 Boston Comedy Festival, and a finalist in Big Sky. He has also performed at Bumbershoot, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, 10,000 Laughs, and SF Sketchfest. He was featured on NPR and Sirius XM, and was named one of the 50 Best Undiscovered Comedians in America by Thrillist where they said his comedy was “impish” for some reason.

Emo Philips
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Described by Jay Leno as “the best joke writer in America,” by British comedian Gary Delaney as the best joke writer in the world, and by “Weird Al” Yankovic as one of the funniest people on the planet, Emo Philips has performed over 7000 times throughout the English-speaking world, including a multi-week run at the Playhouse Theater in London’s West End. Since starting out in Chicago in 1976 at the age of twenty, Emo has had award-winning comedy albums, several cable specials (including an hour-long one on HBO), and many appearances on network television, both in America and in the UK. He has appeared in films (most notably, as the table-saw demonstrator in UHF) and has lent his distinctive voice to animated TV shows (such as Slacker Cats, Doctor Katz, Adventure Time, and Home Movies), but his first love, stand-up, remains his true one.

Eugene Mirman
Comedian of the year

Eugene Mirman is a comedian, actor and hero who lives in Massachusetts. He voices “Gene” on Fox’s Emmy Award winning animated series Bob’s Burgers and hosts the Audible podcast, Hold On. He appeared regularly on Flight of the Conchords, Adult Swim’s Delocated, and Archer, and has two standup comedy specials on Comedy Central. His latest comedy special is available on Netflix. Eugene is also a frequent co-host of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science/ comedy show, StarTalk. His fifth comedy album, I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome), is available from Sub Pop Records in multiple formats — a 9 Volume Digital Set, 7LPs, a chair, and a robe.

2018 Boston Comedy Festival

Nancy Norton
2018 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Nancy began touring as a standup comedian in 1991 and tours nationally and internationally, headlining clubs and Conferences delivering Keynotes. Nancy Jokes: “Being born the 4th of 3 children, I thrive on the attention from strangers!” Norton is known for delivering engaging, high energy, face-paced performances that connect with universal truths through her in the moment and intuitive style and customized material. You may have seen Nancy Headlining at Comedy Clubs, Cruises, speaking at a Conference or on various TV showcases over the years: doing standup on “Evening at the Improv” on A & E, currently on Amazon Prime Video, in her one-woman show, “The Yellowish-Green Girl” on PBS and featured on Nickmom Night Out on Nickelodeon. Another one of Nancy’s passions is helping people remember the joy and empowerment one gets from being in the present moment. Humor is a basic human need and helps us stay healthy, de-stress, cope with trauma and enhances creative problem solving. Learn more through Nancy’s Keynote: “Find Your Ahahaha! Moments! Laugh and Grow Rich!” or through her improv workshops called “Practicing Playful Presence”. Nancy worked as a Registered Nurse for many years and shares hilarious healthcare anecdotes that will leave you in stitches… and really wanting to STAY WELL. Current project: Writing “Every Cloud Has a Silly Lining” a collection of short stories revealing how humor helps us cope with stress and trauma. Nancy lives in Colorado and balances writing, speaking, workshops and comedy engagements with being a “Single-Stay-AWAY-From-Home-Mom” to her teenage son. She and her son enjoy skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, martial arts, creating music, and camping at beautiful sights from coast to coast. Most of all, they seriously enjoy making each other laugh.

Lifetime Achievement Winner

Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler’s mom in American Pie (1999). Born in Boston, Massachusetts, She attended Norwell High School and Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She moved to New York and joined the Gotham City improv group. Then, she headed to Los Angeles where she became a long-running member of “The Groundlings” comedy troupe. Coolidge made her television debut in a guest role on NBC’s Seinfeld (1989), playing a voluptuous masseuse who won’t offer her professional services to boyfriend Jerry in a 1993 episode. Coolidge had her breakthrough role in American Pie (1999), as a boozed-up and sultry mom who seduces her son’s classmate with the comment that she liked her scotch and men the same way: aged 18 years. She recreated the character in the sequel American Pie 2 (2001). Then, she reprized her role as “Paulette” opposite Reese Witherspoon in the “Legally Blonde” franchise. Although, she lost the part of “Lynette Scavo” on Desperate Housewives (2004) to Felicity Huffman, Coolidge graced several TV comedies as well, with major guest appearances on Frasier (1993) and Sex and the City (1998). Then, she landed a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Joey (2004), as “Bobbie Morgenstern”, Joey’s agent, appearing in 37 episodes over two seasons. Her talent shines in a range of characters, from a gold-digging dog owner in Best in Show (2000), to a scheming wife of an elderly mogul in Down to Earth (2001), to an opportunistic mother in American Dreamz (2006). Coolidge’s gift for altering her appearance and manner, as well as her mastery of timing, shines in her perfectly hideous performance as “Fiona”, a wicked stepmother in A Cinderella Story (2004) opposite Hilary Duff, for which Coolidge won a 2005 Teen Choice Award. Her lasting collaboration with director Christopher Guest continues in For Your Consideration (2006).

Gary Gulman
Comedian of the year

Over 25 years in comedy, Gary Gulman has established himself as an eminent performer and peerless writer. His most recent standup special for HBO, “The Great Depresh,” is a universally acclaimed, tour de force look at mental illness, equal parts hilarious and inspiring. A product of Boston, Gulman has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, and a high school teacher. He has made countless television appearances as both a comedian and an actor. He is currently writing a memoir for Flatiron Books, tentatively titled “K Through 12

2017 Boston Comedy Festival

Andrew Mayer
2017 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

With a quirky delivery and an offbeat sense of humor, Andrew Mayer has quickly become a mainstay in Boston’s comedy scene. He has performed in the Bridgetown and Laughing Skull comedy festivals, and was a finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival. One time, a joke Andrew wrote was used in a question on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. Andrew’s debut album, Nonsense, was released in 2015.

Drew Dunn
2017 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Drew Dunn started performing at 21 and changed his mind since. He’s a New Hamphsire based comic, and he performs all over New England and New York City. Along with being a finalist in multiple other contests all over the region, Drew won the New Hampshire’s Best New Comic Contest in 2014. He is also the most recent winner of one of the longest running comedy competitions, the Beantown Comedy Riots. Drew was most recently featured in the prestigious Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson’s hometown of Norfolk, NE. And, he’s one of the most recent Boston Comedy Festival winner.

Barry​ ​Crimmins
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Barry was an Air America Radio writer and correspondent, and he is known for his political satire and being the author of the book Never Shake Hands With A War Criminal. He helped the Boston Comedy scene become relevant when he founded two of Boston’s most fabled clubs: The Ding Ho and Stitches. Comedians Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kevin Meaney, Jimmy Tingle and whole lot of others have cut their comedic teeth in these clubs Crimmins produced. After jump-starting Boston comedy, Barry left production to concentrate on performing. He gained attention as one of the top political satirists in the country pretty quickly. He has made a plethora of television appearances some being The NBC Nightly News, The HBO Young Comedians Special, and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He recorded two CD’s: Strange Bedfellows on A&M and Kill the Messenger on Green Linnet. The Boston Phoenix and other publications use Crimmins’ writing in their papers. He wrote for the Dennis Miller Show and has toured with Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Utah Phillips, Michelle Shocked, Steven Wright, Dar Williams and numerous others. He is an active grassroots activist. Barry has worked tirelessly for a many causes and has been honored on numerous occasions for dropping everything when his knowledge and leadership were needed. He received the Peace Leadership Award from Boston Mobilization for Survival and The Courage of Conscience Award from Wellesley College with Maya Angelou. On top of all that, he has won The Life Experience School at The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, and Community Works gave the Artist for Social Change Award to Barry for his years of activism.

Robert​ ​Kelly
Comedian of the year

Robert Kelly is an American stand-up comedian, actor, radio personality, and podcast host. Kelly frequently performs at the Comedy Cellar. He often appeared on The Opie and Anthony Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and has also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Premium Blend.

2016 Boston Comedy Festival

Rob Ryan
2016 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Nancy began touring as a standup comedian in 1991 and tours nationally and internationally, headlining clubs and Conferences delivering Keynotes. Nancy Jokes: “Being born the 4th of 3 children, I thrive on the attention from strangers!” Norton is known for delivering engaging, high energy, face-paced performances that connect with universal truths through her in the moment and intuitive style and customized material. You may have seen Nancy Headlining at Comedy Clubs, Cruises, speaking at a Conference or on various TV showcases over the years: doing standup on “Evening at the Improv” on A & E, currently on Amazon Prime Video, in her one-woman show, “The Yellowish-Green Girl” on PBS and featured on Nickmom Night Out on Nickelodeon. Another one of Nancy’s passions is helping people remember the joy and empowerment one gets from being in the present moment. Humor is a basic human need and helps us stay healthy, de-stress, cope with trauma and enhances creative problem solving. Learn more through Nancy’s Keynote: “Find Your Ahahaha! Moments! Laugh and Grow Rich!” or through her improv workshops called “Practicing Playful Presence”. Nancy worked as a Registered Nurse for many years and shares hilarious healthcare anecdotes that will leave you in stitches… and really wanting to STAY WELL. Current project: Writing “Every Cloud Has a Silly Lining” a collection of short stories revealing how humor helps us cope with stress and trauma. Nancy lives in Colorado and balances writing, speaking, workshops and comedy engagements with being a “Single-Stay-AWAY-From-Home-Mom” to her teenage son. She and her son enjoy skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, martial arts, creating music, and camping at beautiful sights from coast to coast. Most of all, they seriously enjoy making each other laugh.

John​ ​Ratzenberger
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Ratzenberger’s endeavors in Pixar and his roles in Superman and The Empire Strikes Back makes him the 6th most successful actor of all time, which is calculated by his total box office of over $3,000,000,000. John currently appears on Legit. He recently shot episodes for hit series Bones, CSI, Drop Dead Diva, and Franklin and Bash. Ratzenberger is best known for the role of mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the sitcom Cheers. He auditioned for the part of Norm Peterson, but he could tell they weren’t going to give him the part. He then asked if they had written a know-it-all, which the producers decided was a great idea. Cliff was created, and he’s best known for being a blowhard. Ratzenberger provided the voice for an animated version of Cliff on The Simpsons 6th season episode “Fear of Flying” Apart from entertainment, John also developed packaging alternatives for styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap.

David Zucker
Lifetime Achievement Winner

AbDavid S. Zucker is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Associated mostly with parody comedies, Zucker is recognized as the director and writer of the critically successful 1980 film Airplane! as well as being the creator of The Naked Gun franchise and for directing Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. Di Bona is considered one of the pioneers of reality TV, thanks to Battle of the Network Stars, which Di Bona produced in 1976. By the 1980s, Di Bona had become a producer for the syndicated newsmagazineout this person...

Patty Ross
Comedian of the year

Patty Ross is one of the most adored comedy personalities. Ross’ uniqueness and excellent stage presence have caught the eyes of audiences, corporations, and many others all over the country. Her captivating wit humorously described problems of everyday life of a tough but lovable character that is winning people over with every performance. The American Comedy Awards nominated Ross for Best Female Guest Star in a Sitcom for one of her appearances on Roseanne. She was also the featured female performer at the 1997 Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Canada. Ross’ extraordinary experience in the field. She’s opened for Andrew Dice Clay in 10,000 seat venues, and received a standing ovation from a convention of Montessori Nuns

2015 Boston Comedy Festival

Peter Martin
2015 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Peter Martin is a comedian living in Somerville. His humor relates to that of the Boston blue collar working class with his gritty taste. From absurd silliness to intelligent satire, Peter Martin has made a name for himself in the Boston comedy scene the past 7 years.

George​ ​Wallace
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Wallace grew up in Atlanta Georgia in the 50s and 60s, and he knew he wanted to be a comedian when he was 6 years old. He did go through college and earned degrees in marketing and transportation at the University of Akron. He moved to NYC in 1977 and worked in advertising sells before starting his standup career. Wallace’s first job in entertainment was writing for Red Foxx, and as his career developed he would contribute to many films. He has appeared on Seinfeld and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He also won the American Comedy Award for best male standup comedian in 1995. Wallace was a headliner for the Flamingo hotel and casino for over a decade ending his reign in 2014.

Dana Gould
Comedian of the year

Dana started performing comedy at the age of 17. He studied communications and theater at UMass Amherst, but after a year moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in comedy. He founded the San Francisco Comedy Condo in 1986 with another comedian named Alex Reid. Gould wrote and performed on The Ben Stiller Show, and has appeared in shows like MADtv and Seinfeld. He wrote for The Simpsons for 7 years, and was the co-executive producer from seasons 14-18. He left to pursue his own interests in screenwriting. Gould created his own podcast called The Dana Gould Hour. Recurring guests include comedians like Eddie Pepitone, and every episode is based on a different theme. Episodes from the podcast come out every two months.

2014 Boston Comedy Festival

Al Park
2014 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Park headlines shows regularly and has taken his act beyond Boston to Chicago, Cleveland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 2014, he was a co-winner of the Boston Comedy Festival. A week later, he won first place at the Cleveland Comedy Festival

Saurin Choksi
2014 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Saurin was the host of the White Guy Talk Show, which was aired on Fuse TV. In 2014, he won the Boston Comedy Festival, and his stand up has been featured on various outlets, including Fox TV and Sirius/XM Radio. Choksi produces Comedians You Should Know NYC and Brown Privilege, two of Brooklyn’s top comedy shows.

2013 Boston Comedy Festival

Paul Oddo
2013 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Paul Oddo is a standup comedian and an improviser. Paul won the Boston Comedy Festival in 2012, and he was also featured at the Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival & SXSW in Austin, the New York Comedy Festival, and The Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He is soon to release his first Standup CD/DVD, as well as his first book.

Lenny Clark
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Clarke was born in Cambridge in 1953. He was recognized as the “saloon comic” during the 1980s. When Standup Stood Out is a film detailing Clarke’s early career and affiliations with other famous Boston comics, such as Steven Wright and Denis Leary. In 1980, Clarke was a major contributor to the show Lenny Clarke’s Late Show featuring, which featured Wright and Leary. Sine the beginning, Clarke starred in his own short-lived network sitcom Lenny, and in other shows like Contest Searchlight, The Job, The John Larroquette Show and It’s All Relative and movies like Monument Ave., Fever Pitch and Southie. From 2004 to 2011, Clarke appeared in the recurring role of Uncle Teddy on Rescue Me. Clarke is an occasional guest on the WEEI radio shows in Boston. He announced he would be a regular on the sitcom Brothers as a racist neighbor who is married to a black woman during one of the radio shows. He wound up appearing in three episodes before the series was cancelled. In the 2011-12 TV season, he landed a role as the main character’s father on the NBC mid-season replacement sitcom Are You There, Chelsea?.

Judah​ ​Friedlander
Comedian of the Year

Friedlander has performed standup frequently during his entertainment career. While on 30 Rock, he was performing standup regularly. Friedlander has cited comedians Steven Wright, Sam Kinison, and John Mulrooney as influences. He also says that Dave Attell is one of his favorite comics. Friedlander’s uses deadpan delivery to humor audiences with exaggerated ideas of his life. Many of these claims are sayings shown on his trucker hats. The most common is “World Champion”, and he’s worn that one many times in different languages. One of his claims include being an expert in karate, having achieved an “extra-dark black belt” in the sport. In 2010, he authored the humor book How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion.

2012 Boston Comedy Festival

Alingon Mitra
2012 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Alingon debuted on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and finished first in the public vote 5 weeks in a row to win the comic comeback contest and perform on the finale. He has since been invited to do stand up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central. In addition, he wrote for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Adam Ruins Everything. Alingon went on to be named one of the “New Faces of Comedy” at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He also won both the Boston Comedy Festival and the “Funniest Comic in New England” contest in the same year.

Emmanuel​ ​Lewis
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Lewis was nominated for four Young Artist Awards for his role on Webster in the late 80s. Lewis’ popularity grew from his work as a spokesperson for Burger King. He appeared in television commercials for big companies like Campbell’s Soup, Life and Colgate. He played himself on an episode of The Weakest Link in 2001, and was voted off in the third round. He appeared in the reality show The Surreal Life in 2003, and in follow-up game episodes in later years. He has cameo appearances in Kickin’ It Old Skool and a 2013 episode of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Lewis has owned several companies: Emmanuel Lewis Entertainment Enterprises (dissolved in 2008), Global Entertainment Media Company (dissolved in 2011), and Future Begins Now (also dissolved in 2011), a music label, Flex Floss, a car wash, and a limousine company. On November 9, 2014, Lewis appeared on Ken Reid’s TV Guidance Counselor podcast. The episode was recorded live at the Davis Square Theater in Somerville, Massachusetts, as part of the 2014 Boston Comedy Festival.

Marc​ ​Maron
Comedian of the Year

Marc Maron has been a staple performer in comedy for over 20 years. Marc revolutionized podcasts by creating his own one called WTF. He has interviewed many celebrities (Robin Williams and Barack Obama being two of them) discussing current events. It’s one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world. Marc has appeared on many talk shows, including David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Charlie Rose and Bill Maher. Here’s a fun fact: he’s has appeared on Conan O’Brien more than any other comedian. Marc’s has a series, Maron, which airs on IFC. Marc created the show and handles all aspects of it. The show was nominated for a WGA award in 2016. Marc has written two books: The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah and a collection of essays titled Attempting Normal. Marc has 5 comedy albums, and performed in latest special on Epix in 2015.

2011 Boston Comedy Festival

Winner Landry
2011 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Landry is best recognized for his likeable hair, sprouting from charismatic follicles. He is a Canadian-born interracial love child whose hybrid existence, when mixed with a little dysfunction, makes for a fantastic recipe of comedy goulash. In 2007 he relocated to Atlanta to hone in on his craft, and in 2010 he took the title of “Best Male Comic” in the Atlanta Stands Up Awards. Taking inspiration from personal life experiences, his writing style carries a unique and passionate tone. Landry is downright hilarious and his “crossover” comedy style appeals to people from all walks of life, age groups and ethnic backgrounds. He was a finalist in the 2010 Great Canadian Laugh Off , the 2011 World Series of Comedy, the 2012 Miller Lite Stands Up Competition and he was the winner of the 2011 Boston Comedy Festival. Landry has appeared on Season 3 of TVONE’s “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?”, SiriusXM, and has worked with great comedic talents such as Dov Davidoff, Al Madrigal and Greg Fitzsimmons. Landry is a force to be reckoned with. With a smile that lights up a room and a personality to match, there is no telling what great things this young performer will achieve.

Jonathan​ ​Katz
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Jonathan started performing standup in 1981 at The Improv in New York City. One night, producers of Late Night with David Letterman came in to see a comedian from San Francisco, and Jonathan went on before him and was told that if he could do five minutes without the guitar (he used the guitar a lot) they would have him on the show.He debuted on Letterman in 1981 and returned eight times since then. A few years later he made his debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and he did a great job. Later in his career, he produced the show Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist on Comedy Central.

Bill Burr
Comedian of the Year

Bill Burr performs hundred of shows every year. In early 2004, he appeared in two episodes of Chappelle’s Show, and then in late 2005, his HBO special aired. Burr has been a guest comedian on the many shows like Bob and Tom Show and the Opie and Anthony Show. He has performed on Comedy Central many times. He came to fame in 2006 and released two moves that year. He performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Since May 2007, Bill Burr has recorded a weekly podcast. On this podcast, Bill rants and rambles with on the world of comedy, sports, relationships, religion, politics, customer service, and conspiracy theories. Bill Burr released his latest Netflix special earlier this year.

2010 Boston Comedy Festival

Nate Bargatze
2010 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

He grew up watching his Father who is a world class magician and decided to follow his footsteps in the entertainment business. Since he made his television debut on CMT Comedy Stage in 2007, he has had two appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, performed on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, and at the 2008 Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival in the ‘New Faces’ category receiving critical acclaim in the Hollywood Reporter. In 2007, Nate wrote for the Video Game Awards. Nate recently returned from his second tour in Iraq performing for the troops in Baghdad. He continues to keep the momentum going working every night in New York City comedy clubs when he is not on the road..

Saleem Muhammad
2010 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Saleem has been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “Last Comic Standing,” BET and CNN Headline News. This Dayton, OH native developed his sharp wit as the youngest of two children, and it has served him well as he’s now a favorite of clubs, colleges and theaters worldwide.

Robert Klein
Lifetime Achievement Winner

For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences, and he continues to have an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television, and in film. Born in the Bronx, he was a member of the famed “Second City” theatrical troupe in Chicago. He was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album of the Year” for his albums “Child of the Fifties” and “Mind Over Matter.” He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical, “They’re Playing Our Song.” In 1993, Klein won an Obie and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Wendy Wasserstein’s, “The Sisters Rosensweig.” Klein has also appeared in many notable films including, “Hooper,” “The Owl and the Pussycat,” “Primary Colors,” “People I Know,” “Two Weeks Notice,” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and “The Back-Up Plan” with Jennifer Lopez.

Joe Wong
Comedian of the Year

Joe Wong headlined the Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner where he roasted vice president Joe Biden. He made multiple appearances on the David Letterman and Ellen Degeneres shows. Joe’s life has been very boring except two surprises in 2010. He went to the Great American Comedy Festival and won the competition there. Then he became Boston Comedian of the Year, after failing to become Boise Idaho comedian of the year. Joe is a dedicated social networker, Facebook status commentator, a verbose twitterer, and an avid spam email reader. Joe holds liquor well. He just throws up everything else. Joe makes fun of himself in his standup routines. When Joe’s son is 3 years old, he would climb up a stool and say, “Hi I’m Irish!” Yes a 3 year old gets ahead of Joe in mocking him. Joe loves Starbucks and called soy milk “soy sauce” on more than one occasion. He later on claims soy milk should have been called white soy sauce to begin with. He likes watching people relaxing in the parks or on the street benches and wonders how they do it. Joe goes to the post office and grocery stores a lot. These activities make him feel very competent. Joe likes his rooms white. This way when he takes pictures there, he saves money on printer ink cartridges.

2009 Boston Comedy Festival

Dave McDonough
2009 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Dave is known for his deadpan style, and it has helped him climb up to his current popularity. He has performed in the Mottley’s, Dicks Beantown Comedy Vault, Nick’s Comedy Stop, and the Comedy Studio. He headlines all over the Boston area.

Tom​ ​Werner & Marcy​ ​Carsey
Lifetime Achievement Winners

Time Magazine called Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner TV producers with the “Midas touch.” Their astonishing run of hits includes That ‘70s Show, The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Grounded For Life, A Different World, Grace Under Fire, Cybill, Cosby, to name a few. In its three decade existence The Carsey-Werner Company has won multiple Emmys, Golden Globes and more and produced nearly 2000 episodes of unforgettable television that is celebrated and loved worldwide. One of the last remaining independent TV companies, these prolific producers have had an unprecedented impact on American culture and the entertainment business. Their classic shows continue to be seen in over 175 countries, in 50 different languages. “

Tony V
Comedian of the Year

Boston-area legend, Tony v was well-deserving of this recognition. Along with being a popular headliner at clubs and colleges all over the free world, Tony V has worked with Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, Bobcat Goldthwait, Steven Wright, Adam Sandler and countless other friends and nationally known acts.

2008 Boston Comedy Festival

Dwight Slade
2008 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Dwight Slade has had an amazing career in comedy. At 18, he finished 3rd in the Euphoria Comedy Contest, and later became one of the youngest performers to ever perform at the famous Comedy Store. He moved to Portland, OR in the 1980s, and he soon established himself as the premier standup in the Northwest opening concerts for Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Beck, and Dave Chappelle. He released two comedy CD’s on Humor Ink recordings, Weird State and Shut-up. In 2002, Slade became the first stand-up to make appearances at the three major North American Comedy Festivals: Aspen, Chicago and Montreal. Slade’s gained international fame after earning a five star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appearances at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. After a stellar performance at the 2008 Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, Slade was chosen to appear on a Tonight Show feature.

The Smothers Brothers
Lifetime Achievement Winners

The Smothers Brothers have appeared on numerous television shows over the past three decades. Two of them include their own shows: The Smothers Brothers Show, a sitcom from 1965 to 1966, and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, a variety show in 1967. The Smothers Brothers pushed boundaries of comedy by satirizing the Vietnam War, and their work has inspired many comedians to push other political boundaries.

Vin​ ​Di​ ​Bona
Comedian of the Year

He received an education at Emerson College, where he served as manager of the campus radio station, After graduating from Emerson and earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in film at UCLA, he worked for nine years at WBZ-TV. After he left WBZ-TV, Vin moved with his family to LA. Di Bona was unemployed for about eight months but finally became employed at CBS directing and producing documentaries, which earned him four Emmys and a Peabody Award. Di Bona is considered one of the pioneers of reality TV, thanks to Battle of the Network Stars, which Di Bona produced in 1976. By the 1980s, Di Bona had become a producer for the syndicated newsmagazine

2007 Boston Comedy Festival

Tommy Savitt
2007 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

After winning the BCF in 2007, Tommy kept his streak rolling into winning the 2008 Seattle International Comedy Competition. In addition, Tommy has devoted much of his time to entertaining our troops overseas.

Shelley Berman
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Shelley Berman began his comedy career in 1957 at a nightclub in Chicago. Since then, Berman has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, performed with the famed Second City improve troupe, and has appeared in films including Meet The Fockers, The Best Man and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan..

Mort Sahl
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Father of political comedy Mort Sahl’s iconic career may be most well noted for his groundbreaking stand-up technique in which he began referring to the daily headlines for material

Lewis Black
Comedian of the Year

Lewis Black is a name recognized by people all over the world. Aside from his countless appearances in film and on television, Lewis also has several half-hour and hour long stand-up specials that have helped make his a household name.

2006 Boston Comedy Festival

What a fun year! We gave out our first Lifetime Achievement Award to Norm Crosby and Comedian of the year award to Steven Wright. And we adopted our first comic the one and only Dan Boulger

Dan Boulger
2006 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

At the ripe young age of 20, Dan became the youngest winner of the Boston Comedy Festival. Another Boston native, Dan has spread his wings since winning the festival in 2006, including an appearance on Comedy Central’s Live At Gotham.

Norm Crosby
Lifetime Achievement Winner

Norm Crosby is a comedian sometimes associated with the Borscht Belt, but often seen on television in the 1970s. He is best known for his use of malapropisms, and is often called “The Master of Malaprop.” Born in Boston, he was originally half of the nightclub comedy team of Ethan Eichrodt and Norm Crosby. The act was a big draw at Bally’s Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. The duo enjoyed the height of its popularity in the early 1950s. Crosby went solo as a stand-up comedian, adopting a friendly, blue-collar, guy-next-door attitude.

Steven Wright
Comedian of the Year

A timeless talent, Steven was recognized at the 2006 BCF as Comedian of the Year, proving to everyone that he was still one of the best comics in the business after more than 30 years!

2005 Boston Comedy Festival

Ryan Stout
2005 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Ryan Stout is a well-crafted and seasoned comedian who has performed all over the world. A regular guest on Chelsea Lately, Ryan has also appeared on CONAN, HBO’s Funny as Hell, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, and his own half-hour special: Comedy Central Presents… Ryan Stout. His debut comedy album, Touché, was released by Comedy Central Records and reached #7 on the iTunes comedy charts. While still in college, Stout was already performing over 300 shows per year when, at age 22, he won the Boston International Comedy Festival’s stand-up comedy competition. He went on to perform at HBO’s The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the prestigious Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival in Montreal, and the very hip SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Within six months of moving to Los Angeles, he booked his first pilot, hosting a game show for MTV. That one job established him as a go-to host for any occasion and over the next few years MTV booked Ryan to host nearly 50 projects, including pilots, specials, and episodes of random television. He even hosted the iconic MTV Spring Break. He just released his 3rd album “MAN IN THE SUIT”

2004 Boston Comedy Festival

Our FIVE year anniversary!!!

Tom Cotter
2004 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

n addition to the winning the 5th Annual Boston Comedy Festival, Tom has gone on to do many amazing things In August 2013, AGT asked Tom back to perform as a special guest star (along with Train) and then again to host “The Season 8 AGT Snapple Viewing Party.” In January 2019 Tom was again invited back to the AGT stage – this time to perform against the best of the best “Got Talent” performers from other years and around the world in “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” In one the most talked about sets of the entire competition, Tom received a STANDING OVATION from the adoring crowd. Tom’s other numerous television and radio credits include “The Tonight Show,” “Last Comic Standing,” his very own “Comedy Central Presents… Tom Cotter,”The Howard Stern Show, Comics Unleashed, multiple appearance on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” and Celebrity Host of “Gotham Comedy Live” on AXS-TV.

2001 -2003 Boston Comedy Festival

These are the times before digital cameras.

Sean Quinn
2003 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Sean is a Comedian and Writer in Los Angeles

Robbie Printz
2002 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

Robbie has been seen on Comedy Central, NBC, MTV and A&E. The Improper Bostonian named him Boston’s Best Comedy Act in their Best of Boston 2003 issue.

Paul Nardizzi
2001 Boston Comedy Festival Winner

A Boston-based comic, Paul has made appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central and XM Radio. He has released two books as well as two comedy albums and also has a live performance DVD “Paul Nardizzi – Live from the Comedy Connection

2000 Boston Comedy Festival

First Annual Boston International Comedy Festival

Dave Russo
2000 Boston Comedy Festival Winne

After winning the inaugural BCF, Dave has gone on to be featured on E! Network’s “The Entertainer”, NESN’s Comedy All-Stars and “The Comedians”, America’s Comedy Magazine.