Richie Steadman, producer of this year's Salt Lake Comedy Festival, wants you to think of the annual event as "General Conference only funnier."
Now in its third year, the festival has been expanded from three to five nights. It includes classes for aspiring stand-up comics but also includes shows for those who just want to sit back and laugh.
It starts on Monday, April 8 the day after the LDS church's Spring General Conference ends and is sponsored by X-96's "Radio From Hell" morning show, which Steadman also produces.
The events will be held at various locations throughout the valley, including the Midvale Theatre, Off-Broadway Theatre, Wiseguys Trolley Square and the Murray Theater.
Classes will be taught by: Bob Bedore, author of the best-selling "101 Improv Games for Children and Adults"; Eric R. Jensen, Off-Broadway Theatre's artistic director; Shawn Zumbrunnen, member of local band Rev Mayhem and writer for various groups and venues from the Off-Broadway Theatre to Voodoo Productions; and Keith Stubbs, a Utah comic, morning radio host and owner of the three Wiseguys comedy clubs.
Stubbs will be conducting a question-and-answer session for stand-up comics and those who want to try stand-up. "I don't teach comedy, but I'll tell you what I think," Stubbs said. "It's more of stand-up comedy 101."
Potential comics should take advantage of the chance to interact with Stubbs, the dean of local comedy, Steadman said. "Keith doesn't make himself available too often."
"Radio From Hell's" Bill Allred, who will perform in The Armando Diaz Experience, a long-form improvisation. Allred will tell personal stories that provide the inspiration for the resulting scenes performed by local comics.
From Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience was founded by Diaz, Adam McKay, the co-writer of "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights" and "The Other Guys," and co-founder of comedy website Funny or Die; and Dave Koechner, co-star in "Anchorman," "Thank You For Smoking" and a former cast member of "Saturday Night Live."
A portion of the festival proceeds will be donated to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
When • Monday-Friday, April 8-12
Where • Midvale Theatre, Off-Broadway Theatre, Wiseguys Trolley Square and the Murray Theater.
Classes • Comedy Improv 101, Stand-Up Q & A with Keith Stubbs, Musical Improv, Character Improv
Shows • The Humor Games, Salt Lake Steamer, Improv Home Evening, One Mic Stand, Salt Lake Comedy Film Festival, Best of Festival, Improv Showcase
Tickets • Festival Pass, $50 or Class Pass: $15 (both are available until Monday, April 8 at 5 p.m.); single show and class tickets also available at saltlakecomedyfestival.com/