As September charges on, comedy fans across North America will have the opportunity to see a wealth of brilliant comics perform live. From solo tours to full-scale festivals, the month offers dozens of different comedy events to keep you laughing into the fall.
Oddball Comedy Festival Review One of the first festivals of its kind, Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival is well into its North American circuit that will run through Sept. 22. At the sixth stop on the tour, held at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Ill., on Aug. 31, current Roastmaster General Jeff Ross served as host on the main stage. In between sets at the festival, Ross did a great job of moving the show at a quick pace throughout the evening and interacting with the crowd. Secondary comics like Kristen Schaal and “The Daily Show’s” Al Madrigal played short, but action-packed, 15-minute sets, while headliners Flight of the Conchords and Dave Chappelle took the stage for extended, hour-long performances. Before the mainstage event began, a second stage—hosted by Brody Stevens—allowed a handful of local comedians to share their material with the crowd milling around for preshow food and drinks.
Fans attending a future show should take note that the use of cell phones is strongly discouraged as is heckling and talking during a performance, with the threat of possible ejection from the event. All in all, when the comedians were free to perform their sets without interruption, the festival went off without a hitch, providing the perfect combination of improvised banter and well-polished jokes that made the audience laugh throughout the night. Without a doubt, the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival is a must, providing a convenient way to take in a lot of comedy all in one place.
Oddball Comedy Festival tickets are still available for the remaining tour stops listed below:
Sept. 6 – Camden, N.J. – Susquehanna Bank Center
Sept. 7 – Holmdel, N.J. – PNC Bank Center
Sept. 8 – Mansfield, Mass. – Comcast Center
Sept. 13 – Englewood, Colo. – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Sept. 15 – Irvine, Calif. – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sept. 20 – Mountain View, Calif. – Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sept. 21 – Las Vegas, Nev. – Mandalay Bay Events Center
Sept. 22 – Phoenix, Ariz. – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Just For Laughs Toronto Spread throughout several Toronto venues, this year’s Just For Laughs comedy festival will bring dozens of international comedians and comedy troupes to the city, including Anthony Jeselnik, Bill Burr, Hannibal Buress, and members from The Second City. Headliners for the festival include Aziz Ansari and Sarah Silverman, while Family Guy Live will include a live reading from the cast of FOX’s popular animated show, as well as several songs featuring the voice actors alongside a live orchestra.
Solo Comedy Tours Later this month, a handful of veteran comedians will take new material on the road, collectively visiting nearly every state in the country. Beginning on Sept. 5, Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled to perform in 11 U.S. cities through Nov. 8, with stops including Las Vegas (Sept. 6-7), New Orleans (Sept. 27-28), and Pittsburgh (Oct. 5). Former “King of Queens” star Kevin James is continuing his stand-up tour that began in July and will run through Sept. 15. Later this fall, James will team up with fellow former sitcom star Ray Romano for the Aces of Comedy series at the Terry Fator Theatre in Las Vegas on Oct. 18-19 and Nov. 22-23.
Finally, Bill Cosby—still going strong at age 76—has been busy touring throughout the summer, with over 30 dates still on tap for audiences into December. The living legend also has recorded his first comedy special in 30 years, “Far From Finished,” which is set to air Nov. 24 on Comedy Central.