What You Need To Know About The 2014 Oddball Comedy And Curiosity Festival
The 2014 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival will keep fans in stitches through Sept. 21. On that day, the traveling comics will tickle funny bones in Austin, Texas. This is the second time in as many years that Live Nation and the Web site Funny or Die has launched this cavalcade of roving hilarity.
Yet, in many ways this is the first year that the tour has really been what organizers have envisioned: a comedy version of an itinerant rock festival.
In 2013, the Oddball Comedy Festival was more of a headlining show. Many fans arrived late and only cared about seeing Dave Chappelle. While the comic genius had done several events since quitting his über-popular show in 2005, the 2013 Oddball Festival was by far his biggest gig.
While I’m a much bigger fan of last year’s co-headliner, Flight of the Conchords, even I admit that Chappelle’s star shines brighter—he might be comedy’s number one talent. By tapping his services, organizers didn’t ensure the success of their festival; they ensured that their festival would be all about Chappelle.
In 2014, the marquee isn’t as top heavy as it was in 2013 and there are several solid comedians on the undercard, so to speak, that will definitely make arriving on time worthwhile. Leading the list of funny people is Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Dave Attell, Demetri Martin, and Jeff Ross.
There are also a few comedians you may have seen on television but didn’t know they did stand-up: Chris D’Elia, Brett Morin, Chris Hardwick, Whitney Cummings, and Aziz Ansari (he plays “Tom Haverford” on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation).
Then there are comedians whose acts might be unfamiliar to novice fans but are still sidesplittingly waggish: Marc Maron, Reggie Watts, Moshe Kasher, Michael Che, and Hannibal Buress. Reviewers love Buress’ act and often pick his set as the night’s best.
Unfortunately, not every comic will make every show. To know which funny people will crack wise when the festival comes to your town check out their Web site.
For example, Sarah Silverman will appear at the Aug. 31 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival in Tinley Park (Chicago) but C.K. Louis will not.
Aziz Ansari is booked for the Sept. 7 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado but not Jim Gaffigan. However, you’ll be able to catch Jim Gaffigan at the Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival in Irvine, California.
Doors to the Oddball Festival open at 5pm. The secondary “festival stage” is hosted by Brody Stevens and will feature performances by local comics. Take this any way you want to, but the official Web site says you’ll never know who will show up. At 7pm, comics begin telling jokes on the main stage. Organizers warn that the comedy will cease at exactly 11pm.
That’s the “oddball comedy” part but what about the “curiosity” part? Well, that’s fulfilled by the Cut Throat Freak Show. Based in Oklahoma City, this quartet of freaks performs a variety of unusual acts including fire breathing, glass eating, hammering nails into one’s nasal cavity, sword swallowing, and balloon sculpting.
Of course, the biggest freak at the 2nd Annual Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival is the no camera and no cellphone policy. Organizers don’t want you to bring a camera to the festival or whip out your cell phone while you’re there.
Apparently, there’s a huge black market for pictures of Dave Atell telling jokes. Bands like Phish allow you to record their concerts but the Oddball Comedy Festival doesn’t want you taking snaps of Bill Burr? I don’t get it but it’s their festival so it’s their rules.
Don’t worry about getting a bite to eat before or after the chortles. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand to serve you tasty victuals and refreshing libations.
To prepare you for the coming jocularity, Clickitticket has put together a brief rundown of some of the comics you’ll enjoy when attending the 2014 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival.
"Does this fat make me look fat?"
One of his generation’s top stand-ups, Louis C.K. is best known for his FX series Louis. He’s been nominated for more than two dozen Emmy Awards and revolutionized the comedy business with free concerts download and direct-to-fan ticket sales.
“I need more rape jokes.”
Sarah Silverman answers the age old question of what would a comic be like if you combined Heidi with Red Foxx and Jason Schwartzman. Silverman had a cup of coffee on Saturday Night Live and her own show on Comedy Central.
“Oh my god 50 Cent has no idea what a grapefruit is!”
If you want to check out Aziz Ansari just go to Netflix. There you’ll find three of his stand-up specials: Buried Alive, Dangerously Delicious, and Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening. Buried Alive is a Netflix original.
“People always assume that I’m shallow because I’m really pretty.”
Amy Schumer is the host of her own sketch comedy show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer. The show has entertained guest appearances from Josh Charles, Paul Giamatti, Patrick Warburton, and Christine Teigen.
“You always hear that swimming is the best exercise but have you seen how fat whales are?”
If you’ve never heard of Jim Gaffigan just go to YouTube and look for his “Hot Pockets” bit. It will leave you rolling on the floor laughing. The pallid comedian generally cracks jokes about food and his own laziness. In 2010, Gaffigan performed a couple of shows in Israel.
“Want to get rid of the white trash in America have a free Toby Keith concert on a casino riverboat and the boat will sink from the weight of their mullets.”
We wanted to mention Dave Attell because he’s one of comedy’s most under-appreciated and overlooked comics. He earned a huge cult following thanks to his show Insomniac with Dave Attell that aired on Comedy Central from August 2001 to November 2004.
“I lost to Cloris Leachman.”
Jeff Ross is probably the world’s greatest roast host. In fact, he’s been dubbed “The Roastmaster General.” He was also the first stand-up comic to ever appear on Dancing With The Stars. Ross and his partner were the first couple eliminated from the show.
“From here on out it's all going to be thinky pain.”
Marc Maron has a degree in English literature which probably explains why he’s such a great storyteller. He also co-hosted his own national morning drive radio show. Recently, Marc Maron dated Moon Zappa, the eldest child of Frank Zappa.
“If I wear a Captain Picard shirt it's because I want some motherf***er to 'make it so'.”
Chris Hardwick is a prolific voice actor and television host. He’s so good at those jobs people sometimes forget he’s also a very funny stand-up comic. Hardwick used to be roommates with Wil Wheaton.
Brent Morin and Chris D’Elia
“My heart was sweating... like you're in high school and you call your teacher 'mom' for no reason.” - Morin
“Rap is the only music where you can go 'yeah' in the middle of your job.” - D'Elia
Brent Morin and Chris D’Elia are both participating in the Oddball Comedy Festival and both star on the NBC sitcom Undateable. Don’t worry, no one else has ever heard of that show either. In fact, Morin and D’Elia haven’t even heard of it. Speaking of bad sitcoms, D’Elia played Whitney Cummings’ boyfriend in the NBC sitcom Whitney. Cummings appeared at few Oddball Comedy Festivals earlier this year.
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