No matter what show you attend, you are going to see one of the best comedy shows of your life.
Be sure to get your tickets to the finals on saturday night.
Hello, my name is Marshall Chiles (festival founder/owner and "Dude Man" behind the Laughing Skull Lounge) and I would like to personally tell you about The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival. Hopefully the following will answer most of your questions...
How is the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival different from other festivals?Most comedy festivals try to get as many big names as possible and focus on celebrity appeal to sell tickets, while we focus on pure talent by only brining in the best unsigned comedians from all over the country (with the occasional celebrity surprise). One main focus of this festival is to showcase these up-and-coming comics for the comedy industry's top agents, managers, and bookers so they can advance careers to the next level. In the past six years, we have had numerous comedians go on to perform on The Tonight Show, Conan, Letterman, Comedy Central, NBC, America's Got Talent, Just for Laughs Montreal, and much more!
How does the contest work?With submissions from over 600 comedians, we only selected the best 101 to perform in 60 shows at 15 of the city's best venues over the course of 6 days, with the top 72 of them competing for the coveted first place prize.
The 72 competing comedians will be judged in two preliminary rounds (Wednesday - Friday), then the top 11 from that pool will advance to the semi-finals (8 pm Saturday at Terminal West). From there, the top 6 will advance to the finals (10:30 pm Saturday at Terminal West), where ultimate fate of the winner will be decided.
Every Show features 12+ comedians, and no 2 shows are the same. Also, new this year is the Set-List Tournament, hosted by Paul Provenza. Described as "comedy without a net", this extremely popular LA based show features comedians being shown a random word that they then have to build their jokes off of, without any preparation, which proves to be the ultimate test of who can deliver under pressure. The winner of the Set-List Tournament (consisting of 5 shows at Relapse Theatre) will also advance directly into the semi-final round of the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival competition.
Why did I start this festival?I had always wanted to have a comedy festival that was judged by people who truly know stand-up comedy. Most competition comedy festivals are judged by a radio DJ, a hair dresser, and a life coach. Sorry, but those people do not know what means to be a great stand-up comedian. On a regular basis I hear comedians say things along the lines of, "I live in LA, but I had to come to Atlanta to get seen by LA industry."
What is the future for the festival?Ideally, I see the city of Atlanta being completely encapsulated by stand-up comedy for an entire week, in the same way the Edinburgh and Montreal Comedy Festivals have done. The Laughing Skull Lounge team is working hard to build something great that will eventually grow into hundreds of shows that will bring in audiences from all over the country; and turn them into comedy fans.
Now that we have great sponsors like SiriusXM and Creative Loafing, I believe we can make this goal a reality in the next few years. Stay tuned and tell a friend!