There'll be laughs ringing all through Deep Ellum with the return of the annual Dallas Comedy Festival, positioned to be bigger than ever, with an increase not only in programming, IE more performers, but also in the number of venues.
This year's version will feature 213 performers, 46 shows/panels/podcasts, and five stages. "We're adding two more stages in Deep Ellum, to make it a fun, walkable festival for the neighborhood," says executive producer Maggie Rieth Austin.
The festival is affiliated with Dallas Comedy House, the comedy showcase located in Deep Ellum. It began when they moved into their Commerce Street location, which had a small bar and a theater seating about 70 people.
"This year, we're partnering with Independent Bar & Kitchen, Off The Record, Deep Ellum Art Co, and Dallas Comedy House to put up shows across the neighborhood and bring in more performers/workshops/members of the entertainment industry," Austin says. "We're excited to activate more parts of the Deep Ellum neighborhood, and have our attendees experience great comedy and some of the best shops and restaurants Dallas has to offer right here in Deep Ellum."
Bringing in more industry folk to participate in panels ultimately provides bigger exposure for the participating comedians, which helps up the game on who they can attract.
This year's headliners include Daniel Van Kirk, Jaime Moyer, and Maribeth Monroe.
The bill also includes nationally recognized podcasts "PenPals" and Dallas-based podcast Sinisterhood, and two industry-specific stand up and character showcases.
Festival badges are on sale now. Individual show tickets go on sale March 1 at 10 am.
Other highlights include:
J-E-L-L-O! Per tradition, the Dallas Comedy Festival is a Jell-O shot lovers dream. Kicking off the festival on Tuesday night is a Jell-O shot tasting of this year’s festival flavors. It’s not a comedy show, but everyone can agree that Jell-O shots are the funniest of liquor drinks.
Texas night: Wednesday is Texas Night, with all comedians having roots in Texas. The night features working stand-ups, improvisers, and comedic actors and writers from across the state, as well as a few who are coming home to Texas for DCF. Paul Varghese headlines the 10:30 stand-up show closing out the night.
Sinisterhood Live Podcast recording: If you like murder and creepy things, you may have already heard of the Sinisterhood podcast, featuring local comedians Christie Wallace and Heather McKinney. These conspiracy-theory-loving funny ladies will be doing a live recording of their hit podcast on Saturday evening.
Panels. An industry panel afternoon features entertainment industry professionals from across the country and will highlight ways to break into the industry for those starting out. On Saturday, a look into the DFW entertainment industry will be discussed with local agents, filmmakers, and working comedians, followed by a panel about building your personal brand.
86 the Bar: The Dallas Comedy House will be moving in early April to a new home across the parking lot. The bar at DCH needs to be cleared out as much as possible by the end of Saturday, the last night of shows at their current location.
Jaime Moyer & Maribeth Monroe: In their hit two-person improv show, Jaime Moyer (Second City, Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls) and Maribeth Monroe (The Good Place, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Workaholics) will be closing out the festival with shows on Friday and Saturday night. Opening act is improv troupe The Late ‘90s from iO Chicago, returning for their third festival.
Hangover brunch: Join festival attendees and performers at brunch at Independent Bar & Kitchen. Badge holders receive 10 percent their bill.