That’s opening night of The Bird City Comedy Festival, a three-day event packed with some of the best comedians in the country and Phoenix’s first ever all stand-up festival.
National headliners Dana Gould, Emily Heller, and Beth Stelling anchor the festival that features more than 50 stand-ups from around the country, along with staples from the Arizona comedy scene including Anthony Desamito, Billy O’Connor, and Bird City founder Genevieve Rice.
Heller will headline on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.at the Renaissance Downtown Phoenix, 50 W Adams Street. Heller’s credits include Late Night With Seth Meyers, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Comedy Central’s @Midnight. Joining Heller on the lineup are Katie McCarthy, Tyler Snodgrass, Ever Mainard, John Nguyen, Jason Webb, and Michael Longfellow.
Emily Heller, photo courtesy Bird City Comedy Festival
Stelling will headline at Last Exit Live, 717 S Central Avenue for a late show on Saturday beginning at 9 p.m. Stelling named "Best Stand-up Comedian in Chicago" by The Chicago Reader in 2010 and has appeared on @midnight, Chelsea Lately and The Pete Holmes Show, as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live. A veteran of many national comedy festivals, Stelling will be joined on stage by Desamito, Chris Trew, Ryan McKee, Shannon Noll, Mat Alano-Martin and Chris Bennett.
Beth Stelling, photo courtesy Bird City Comedy Festival.
Sunday night’s festival finale is An Evening with Dana Gould, 9 p.m. at The Pressroom, 4412 West Madison. Gould, a 35 year veteran of stand up, has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Maron, Real Time with Bill Maher, Anger Management, Seinfeld and The Ben Stiller Show. Dana served as Co-Executive Producer on The Simpsons and performed several voices for the show. He was also a producer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
Dana Gould, photo courtesy Bird City Comedy Festival.
Joining Gould on the bill are Anwar Newton, Ron Babcock, Sofiya Alexandra, Danny Lobell, Katherine Jessup and Abby Stassen.
Along with stand up, Bird City also features several improve and sketch shows, as well as a chance to sit in as Rice and Desamito record a live audience version of their weekly podcast “Thank You for Being a Podcast”. The weekly podcast features Rice, Desamito, and a rotating guest comic recapping an episode of the 1980’s sitcom “The Golden Girls”. Listed among their past guests are favorite local comedians Rob Maebe and Jennifer Capati, along with national headliners Shawn Halpin and Wendy Liebman. “Thank You for Being a Podcast” tapes at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at Renaissance Downtown Phoenix, 50 W Adams Street.
Genevieve Rice, photo by Matt Santos/MSP.
Author, musician, and humorist Mishka Shubaly will perform at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N Third Street, 10:30 p.m. along with Maebe, Michael Turner, Michael Longfellow, Michael Paul Kohn, Gene Moore, and O’Connor.
Billy O’Connor, photo by Matt Santos/MSP.
Shubaly is in the middle of an international tour promoting his recently released memoir “I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You” chronicling his life as the son of a rocket scientist, survival of one of the country’s first campus mass shootings, his spiral into drug and alcohol addiction, and his emergence as a bestselling author and award-winning singer-songwriter.
Mishka Shubaly, photo by Matt Santos/MSP.
Information on all venues, performers, and events, including single day ($15 and $25) or full festival ($50) passes are available at www.birdcitycomedyfestival.com.
Check out The Mile High Show this week featuring an interview with Rice at www.milehighshow.com/episode-80-genevieve-rice-the-bird-city-comedy-festival/