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Ngaio Bealum

Cheryl the Soccer Mom Michael O’Connell

Nick Pettigrew

l lo s

Kurt Weitzmann

Queenie TT

Brian Crall | Photo by Mike Ibe

Carlos Rodriguez


Organizers hope the second Sacramento Comedy Festival will make California’s capital a destination for comics nationwide Words Amy Serna


here is only one place where you can see 120 comedians in nine days. And we aren’t asking you to travel to San Francisco, Las Vegas or New York for this epic week. All of the comics are going to make their way to the Capital City to try and make your stomach hurt from laughing. The Sacramento Comedy Festival is ready to make its second appearance in September but this time with a lot more laughs to go around. You can catch local and out-of-town stand-up comedians, improv groups and sketch comics at Luna’s Café (in cooperation with comic Keith Lowell Jensen) and the Sacramento Comedy Spot from Sept. 7 through 15. The mastermind behind the giant laugh fest is Brian Crall, a veteran comic and owner of the Sacramento Comedy Spot, whose goal is to make Sacramento the next destination for great comedy. In 2005, Crall created a comedy club that was easily available and affordable for comics in training and audience members. “We decided from early on that we are going to be different from any other club and we are going to be accessible for people,” Crall said over the phone. “They don’t have to spend a lot of money and they are going to get a good quality product.” The Comedy Spot, located in Midtown, is a hot spot for standup comedy, sketch comedy and improv, drawing in big crowds. The club is home of the Anti-Cooperation League Comedy Troupe, In Your Facebook (where comics poke fun at your profile), The Syndicate (a sketch comedy team), Lady Business (an all-women


improv team) and a Top 10 podcast who will all be performing at the festival. “People come from out of town and they love our stage,” Crall explained. “They always compliment us on our professionalism and the quality of the local comedy groups, especially ones that the Comedy Spot produces.” After more than seven years of running the Comedy Spot, Crall decided to create a comedy festival that can call Sacramento home. One way that Crall is spreading the comedy love is by inviting comics from all across the country to see what Sacramento has to offer. “If we are going to make Sacramento a destination, we have to have a reason for people to come here in the first place, and people love performing in festivals,” Crall said. “We have people coming to Sacramento to see what we do, then they will start spreading the word and let people know that we have a great scene and that this is the place to do good comedy.”

Not only does the Festival draw comics and audience members to the Capital City for comedy but it’s a great way to put a spotlight on talented local comedians. A few of the performing local acts include Keith Lowell Jensen, Ngaio Bealum, Michael O’Connell, John Ross, Queenie TT, Carlos Rodriguez, Chazz Hawkins, Kristen Frisk and the improv group Mayhem from ComedySportz. One of the local talents to be featured in the festival is Nick Pettigrew, the co-producer of Critical Hit, a geek-centric comedy variety show that was created at the Comedy Spot. “I’ve been a geek my whole life and I love doing comedy, but it was hard doing geek-orientated stand-up but not finding an audience for it,” said Pettigrew over the phone. “So I wanted to create a show where I can make my own audience.” Another great local to be showcased is Cheryl the Soccer Mom, whose style of comedy does not seem to match her innocent name. A few years ago, Cheryl was a legitimate

“We have people coming to Sacramento to see what we do, then they will start spreading the word and let people know that we have a great scene and that this is the place to do good comedy,” –Brian Crall, Sacramento Comedy Spot

Issue 118 • August 27 – September 10, 2012

Dive Into Sacramento & Its Surrounding Areas

Submerge Magazine: Issue 118 (August 27 - September 10, 2012)  

Featuring reggae superstar Ziggy Marley, "doom-folk" artist Chelsea Wolfe, new restaurant Mama Kim Eats, artist/sculptor Mitra Fabian and th...

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