Cleveland Comedy Festival bringing a big batch of laugh-makers to town

He is a brave man.

His only weapons are his creative mind and a microphone; with those two things he will entertain you, not with song, mind you, but with jokes, stories, gags and one-liners.

He is the stand-up comedian.

Maybe you could do what he does. But probably not.

While there are almost always funnymen and funnywomen to be seen performing their craft at Cleveland venues such as the Cleveland Improv and Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, the city will be comedy hotbed Nov. 14 through 18. That’s when the 11th annual Cleveland Comedy Festival is set to take place.

A news release from the nonprofit entity of the same name that runs the festival states that more than 50 up-and-coming comics from across the country will be in Northeast Ohio to perform in shows at a variety of venues, with Playhouse Square serving as homebase.

“Eclectic would be the word for this year’s festival,” said Cleveland Comedy Festival Co-director John Wellington, in the news release. “There are a number of great shows for every type of comedy fan.”

Some shows highlighted in the release:

  • Canton native Kate Quigley, who has appeared on “The Office” and hosted “Undercover” on Playboy TV, will perform at the Hanna Theatre at Playhouse Square Nov. 17.
  • A “blast from the past (and the future)” is promised when festival alumni headline the Not Your Parents Basement in Superelectric Pinball Parlor inside 78th Street Studios. Mike Paramore tops the bill at 8 p.m. Nov. 14.
  • Four showcases, Nov. 14 through 16, will feature 40 of the best comedians performing in Kennedy’s Theatre with a Best of the Fest Showcase set for 10 p.m. Nov. 17 in the same space at Playhouse Square.

And then there’s all this, straight from the release:

For something completely different, UNProfessional Wrestling is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 15 with independent wrestling star, actor and “Art of Wrestling” podcast host Colt Cabana being joined by comedian and wrestling superfan Marty DeRosa as they watch terrible wrestling matches and provide commentary.

Sachsenheim Hall will host the Big Beer show Wednesday through Saturday where the Old Grandad Challenge and Comedy Bingo will be among the offerings featured.

Get more information at

Mark Meszoros has been noodling with a joke involving garbage bags and mortality for about five years. Maybe in five more he’ll be ready to take it to an open-mic night. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros. Image credit: Metro Creative Connection.

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