Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 | 4:44 p.m.
It’s not often you get Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook, Tracy Morgan and Joan Rivers to all come together for a weekend of uproarious comedy.
But this weekend, The Comedy Festival returns to Caesars Palace for its fourth year of laughs.
In addition to an all-star lineup of comedians, the 2008 fest includes more outside-the-box acts like ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and a roast of newly reunited stoner buds Cheech and Chong.
Last Comic Standing vets Josh Blue, Ralphie May, Lavell Crawford and Gabriel Iglesias will also be on hand, along with international comedic sensations John Oliver (of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Canada’s own Russell Peters.
Whatever your comedy tastes, you’re sure to find something to your liking in this stacked three-day line up:
Thursday November 20:
Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show at the Colosseum: Ellen DeGeneres will be filming in Vegas for her massive variety show, which is scheduled to air on TBS on Nov. 29. Last year’s version included Chinese acrobats, jump-roping masters, free cash and Wayne Newton, this year Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show promises a fresh crop of specialty acts showcased together for the first time.
Josh Blue and Ralphie May at the Palace Ballroom Two of the most popular comedians to emerge from the Last Comic Standing franchise, Josh Blue and Ralphie May are teaming up for this year’s The Comedy Festival. Famous for incorporating his cerebral palsy into his act, Blue made his first Comedy Fest appearance at the 2004 show, in which he won the $10,000 Royal Flush Comedy Competition. Ralphie May’s successful stand up career includes a platinum DVD Just Correct, a Comedy Central special and TV appearances on shows like The Tonight Show. Read more about Blue here.
Comedivas with Joan Rivers at the Augustus Ballroom: Feisty brash comedian Joan Rivers has run the gamut from writing best-selling books to hosting her own TV show. Now Rivers returns to her comedic roots as host of the Comedivas show at The Comedy Festival featuring great XX chromosome acts like Kate Clinton and Suzanne Westenhoefer.
Breuer Unleashed: Jim Breuer and Pete Correale at the Palace Ballroom: Saturday Night Live veteran Jim Breuer has gained popularity with his dead-on impressions. He became a pioneer of the “heavy-metal comedy” revolution, combining his love of rock 'n' roll with comedy and going on to host a Sirius Satellite Radio show Breuer Unleashed with his sidekick, comedian Pete Correale.
Triple Threat of Comedy at the Augustus Ballroom: Yea, we got your triple threat right here: Jamie Kennedy, Mitch Fatel and Danny Bhoy. You already know actor Jamie Kennedy from films like Scream and his own successful comedy series The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Alongside him will be award winning comedian Mitch Fatel, who boasts the title of the #1 most-requested comedian on Sirius Satellite Radio. And rounding out the talented trio is Scottish-born comedian Danny Bhoy who has gained international fame for his hilarious stand up, and being a Scottish comedian actually named Danny Bhoy. What are the chances?
Friday November 21:
Down & Dirty with Jim Norton at the Augustus Ballroom: Nothing like a hot cup of Jim Norton in the morning. As a regular on the Opie & Anthony radio show, the comedian known for his role on HBO’s Lucky Louie and his stops on the late night circuit gets into a lot of ears before most people have even finished their double non-fat lattes.
Jerry Seinfeld at The Colosseum: For a guy who had a "show about nothing," Jerry Seinfeld has certainly made something of himself. Seinfield's beloved sitcom has spawned some of the most memorable characters in television history, and this weekend Jerry Seinfeld will bring his unique brand of observational comedy to the Colosseum as part of The Comedy Festival. Seinfeld will have another show on Saturday night, also at 7:30.
Cheech & Chong: Roasted at the Palace Ballroom: Everyone's favorite stoners, Cheech & Chong, have made a career of making jokes about other people, and hitting the bong on the regular. Now it's their turn in the hot seat as they prepare to be roasted (or should we say, smoked) by close friends and fellow comedians.
The Kids in the Hall at the Augustus Ballroom: Canadian sketch troupe The Kids in the Hall – Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson - broke into the comedy scene with their HBO sketch comedy show. Their name is based off a line from Sid Caesar who would blame poorly received jokes on “the kids in the hall,” meaning the young writers who hung out around the studio. After successful solo careers, The Kids in the Hall have reunited to bring their signature blend of comedy to fans of their stand up shows.
David Alan Grier at the Palace Ballroom: David Alan Grier, or DAGs as his buddy Adam Carolla likes to call him, is currently working on his new Comedy Central series Chocolate News. His outrageous performances on In Living Color, Loveline and Thank God You’re Here have taken him a long way from his start in a radio adaptation of Star War on National Public Radio.
Dane Cook at the Colosseum: Comedian Dane Cook has made the transition from stand up to the big screen with movies like Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck, Mr. Brooks and My Best Friend’s Girl. His stand up routines have wowed huge crowds at Madison Square Garden and his second CD, Retaliation, went double-platinum after debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 charts, but to us, Cook will always be Floyd, the bandana-ed chef in Waiting.
Russell Peters and Friends at the Augustus Ballroom: Canadian comedian Russell Peters is gaining steam in the world of U.S. stand-up comedy. He has sold out gigs internationally and has joined the exclusive ranks of comedians who have headlined and sold out Madison Square Garden. He’ll be joined in his Comedy Fest show by three rising stars: Tom Segura, Nick Thune and Dom Irerra.
Saturday November 22:
Laffapalooza hosted by Tracy Morgan at the Palace Ballroom: Bronx native and former SNL god Tracy Morgan will host a gathering of top comedians including Lavell Crawford, Mark Curry, Earthquake, Corey Holcomb and Sheryl Underwood. The 30 Rock star plays wild and unpredictable movie actor Tracy Jordan, a character not too far from his own outrageous personality.
Jerry Seinfeld at The Colosseum: See above listing for more info.
John Oliver & Friends: British comedian John Oliver, known for his biting sarcasm on The Daily Show will be performing live along with Rob Riggle and Rory Albanese. Oliver has recently broken into the world of films with the not-so-critically acclaimed Ben Kingsley misstep The Love Guru.
Andrew Dice Clay: Like Rocky, Andrew Dice Clay hit the top of his sport before sinking down into the shadows, and like stair-running boxer, Clay has laced up his gloves again and is back in action. Known for being outrageous and controversial – he was actually banned from MTV and boycotted by Sinead O’Conner - Clay has used the media backlash from his hardcore antics in his favor and is the self-proclaimed Undisputed Heavyweight King of Comedy. Whatever that means.
Caliente Comedy with Gabriel Iglesias at the Augusts Ballroom: Latino comedians Gabriel Iglesias, Pablo Francisco and Anjelah Johnson take center stage in this stand-up event. Iglesias, a former star of All That and contestant on Last Comic Standing, calls himself “Fluffy Man” (because “fluffy” sounds cuter than fat) and is known for wearing loud Hawaiian shirts and being named Comedy Central’s Comedian of the Year in 2006.
Jeff Dunham at The Colosseum: Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, a regular on Leno and Carson's late night shows and was voted Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic at the American Comedy Awards and won first place in Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Showdown. If that’s not good enough for you, too bad.
Dave Attell at the Palace Ballroom: An accomplished comedian and host of The Gong Show with Dave Attell, Attell’s decidedly adult material has earned him a reputation as a "comic's comic." As the host of Comedy Central’s Insomniac with Dave Attell, which he calls “Wild on E! for ugly people,” the New York-born comic spends nights wandering the streets of major cities offering bitterly witty comments on the drunken citizens he meets along the way. Hey, we do that too!
Mike Epps at Augustus Ballroom: Mike Epps has made the transition from stand-up to movies with roles in such films as Talk to Me, The Fighting Temptations, Next Friday, How High, Bait and Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins. The funny man has also appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and toured with the series’ live troupe.
For more information, visit TheComedyFestival.com.