2018

A super brief history of the Boston Comedy Festival 

2017

2016

Often credited with founding the Boston comedy scene in the 1970s with the founding of the Ding-Ho, Crimmins is responsible for the city’s status as a destination for budding comics. Lenny Clarke, Denis Leary, Jimmy Tingle, and countless others cite Crimmins by name for his contributions to the scene; indeed, he was introduced by the phrase, “we don’t have time for me to go through all the people he’s inspired.” Crimmins accepted with trademark dry wit (“I guess I’m supposed to die after this? Not gonna happen, kids!”) before issuing a clarion call to action that has similarly become a trademark of his presence, and the most openly political moment of the night.

 

“Stand up for people in worse shape than you are. At the end of the day, when you go home, you won’t have to look for a leader because you’ll be that leader,” urged the comic, whose activism was profiled in his mentee Bobcat Goldthwait’s film Call Me Lucky. Encouraging audience members to “be loving and decent and courageous and care about people,” it was a wonderful moment to ponder the social impact that comedy can have- and a shining example of what the evening’s winner could do with their talent.

 

 

 

Amma Marfo - ​ https://theinterrobang.com/boston-doesnt-fck-around-comedy-robert-kelly-barry-crimmins-accept-awards-boston-comedy-fest/

2000

The 1st festival....... 

​Dave Russo won 

2001

Gary Gulman​

Jennifer Coolidge

“Boston doesn’t fuck around with comedy,” Comedian of the Year and Medford native Robert Kelly said while receiving his honor from the Boston Comedy Festival, also quipping, ““The reason we’re funny is because of these streets, […] because we’re miserable people.” Noting the come-up of the Somerville area where the finale was staged (“you’re good looking people, not criminals! Way to get your act together, Somerville!”), he also acknowledged the group of comedians he came up with in Boston’s comedy scene: Louis C.K., Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr, and Dane Cook, before ultimately sharing, “I take a lot of pride in being from here.”​

2017 Contest Winners Andrew Mayer and Drew Dunn

2017 Contest Winner Nancy Norton 

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 B est 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. She also opened for Jackie Mason and Pat Cooper. 

John was a house framer when he started his career in the performing arts.  He appeared in minor roles in movies including Firefox , A Bridge Too Far, Superman as a missile controller, Superman II as the NASA control man, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 

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

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" 

2016 Boston Comedy Fest Winner: Rob Ryan 

Rob has appeared on FOX’s LAUGHS and G otham Comedy Live on AXStv. He’s also been featured on radio and television ads as an hilarious spokesman for “SHEETZ” gas and convenient stores. He performs nightly at the Broadway and New York Comedy Clubs, The Comic Strip, Gotham and others. Rob is familiar with writing since he’s been contributing to many sketch comedy groups in New York and L.A. Rob has started working with ‘The Reel Public’, an on-line sketch comedy group, and his sketches have been on MTV.com and CNBC.com. 

 

 

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 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. 

2015

Lifetime achievement winner Barry Crimmins

Comedian of the Year Robert Kelly

Comedian of the Year Patty RosS

Lifetime achievement winner John Ratzenberger

Comedian of the Year Dana Gould

Lifetime achievement winner George Wallace 

2014

Comedian of the Year Marc Maron 

Lifetime achievement winner lenny Clark

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. 

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

 

2013

Comedian of the Year Bill Burr

Lifetime achievement winner Jonathan Katz

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

 

 

 

 

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. ​

2012

Comedian of the Year Bill Burr

Lifetime achievement winner Jonathan Katz

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

 

 

 

 

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. ​

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. 

“I love playing drinking games like beer pong, flip cup or driving home.” - Peter Martin “I drink so I am fat, and I am fat cause I drink. It’s like a cycle.” - Peter Martin 

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. 

“A group that I have met distrustful of the number 33 are girls in their early 20s.” - Saurin Choksi 

“Young white girls come up to me and say, ‘Oh my god you are from India! Aladin was my favorite movie!’” 

- Saurin Choksi

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. 

“ There’s nothing funny about the hard work of stand-up comedy. But paying his dues is paying off for Al Park, who is one of the hardest working dudes in the local game.” 

- Improper Bostonian 

“I was walking with a friend, and he said, ‘Al I have been thinking of your weight problem.’ Great way to start a conversation. I don’t talk about your gambling and hooker addictions.” 

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. 

“I went to an Indian restaurant with a foodie, and he started explaining the food to me! He said, ‘This is tandoori chicken. This was made in a tandoor. I was like, ‘I know! I was made in a tandoor.’” 

- Alingon Mitra “It’s funny how some people would vote for a guy cause he’s not a politician. Like that there’s job!” - Alingon Mitra 

 

 

This was made in a tandoor. I was like, ‘I know! I was made in a tandoor.’” 

- Alingon Mitra “It’s funny how some people would vote for a guy cause he’s not a politician. Like that there’s job!” - Alingon Mitra 

 

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. 

“I found a website that sells discount grappling hooks, which seemed awesome. Then I thought about it and de cided that’s probably the kind of thing you want to pay full price for.” 

- Paul Oddo “Nobody hears me, but my favorite thing to yell at people who honk in traffic is, “We’re all in the same 

nightmare!” - Paul Oddo 

Landry has won the the Boston Comedy Festival and the World Series of Comedy. He recently was an Atlanta finalist for NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity Showcase, and in 2008, just two short years after starting, he earned a spot on TVONE’s hit show Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes? . Additionally, Landry has been heard on XM Satellite Radio and was the first winner of the Punchline Comedy Club’s “64 Comedian Super Comedy Competition”. 

“Why didn’t anyone tell me before I moved to America that I would be Mexican? It’s hard looking like me and living across the street from a Home Depot.” 

- Landry “In this country you are either black, white or Mexican. If you are any brown pigment, then you should be 

like, ‘Ole!’”

2011

Saleem has performed at the Comedy Castle in Detroit, Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Comedy Works in Denver, The Punchline in Atlanta, FunnyBone in Des Moines, and the Nationwide Comedy Box in Schenectady. His credits also include appearances on "The Tonight Show", NBC's "Last Comic Standing", FOX's "Best Damn Sport Show...Period" and BET's "Comic View.” He has toured with music greats "The Temptations", "Boys II Men" and Vanessa Williams as well as with comedy legends such as George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kathleen Madigan, and Gary Shandling. 

“Don’t invite me to your house if you have wicker furniture. Wicker furniture is a fat man’s kryptonite.” - Saleem Muhammad “It’s hard to convince people that I am not hungry.” - Saleem Muhammad 

 

 

Nate has appeared on Conan and Fallon multiple times, and he’s one of the first comedians to ever perform for Fallon. He was in Jimmy Fallon’s Clean Cut Comedy Tour. He has also performed at Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Moontower, and has been in three episodes of the WTF podcast. Nate has performed for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait over five times. He was mentioned in Rolling Stone Magazine by Marc Maron as a “comic who should be big” and in Esquire by Jim Gaffigan as “one of the top up and coming comics.” His first album, Yelled At By A Clown made it to number two on Billboard Top Ten Comedy and his most recent special Full Time Magic made it to number one. He was also named Variety’s top ten comics of 2015. 

“Performed at a prison, none of my jokes worked, they all had to do with being outside.” - Nate Bargatze “ Mom-and-Pop shops close for no reason. You go in there, you're like, "Why are you closed today?' 

- Nate Bargatze 

Boston Comedy Festival, PO Box 176, Leominster Ma 01453 USA
(844) HAHA-420

©2019 Boston Comedy Festival, All Rights Reserved.

Boston Comedy Festival Logo