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Columbus Comedy Festival to showcase best of city

Courtesy of Justin Golak

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If laughter truly is the best medicine, then citizens of Columbus might have a solution to their spring allergies. 

The fourth annual Columbus Comedy Festival is slated for this weekend at Wild Goose Creative. The three-day festival, running in the evenings Thursday through Saturday, features different types of comedy including stand-up, improv, sketch and storytelling. 

“We kind of joined up with some of the comedians who had been performing in our space and we just decided to put on the event as a way to kind of help organize the comedians in town and to showcase their work,” said festival producer Nicholas Dekker . “We just kind of, flying by the seat of our pants, put together a three-day festival and packed it with as many performances as we could.” 

While Wild Goose Creative has regularly scheduled comedy events, including sketch comedy show “Monday Night Live” and stand-up show “15 and Killin’ It,” Dekker said the creative space is used for many different art forms. 

“Wild Goose does a little bit of everything in terms of the arts. We do everything from classes and workshops to things in visual arts and theater and storytelling and film and music,” Dekker said. “It’s just kind of a community art space where you can find a different event just about every night and you can connect with artists and their work.”

“Monday Night Live” is hosted every second Monday of the month, and each month showcases new material and a different special guest host. “15 and Killin’ It” takes place every third Friday of the month and features 5 comedians doing 15 minutes worth of material, which is also new every month. 

Beginning last year, Columbus comedy website ColumbusIsFunny.com teamed up with Wild Goose Creative to put on the festival.  Dekker said Wild Goose Creative dealt with marketing and the space setup for the festival, while ColumbusIsFunny was in charge of the booking. 

“Since they are comedians that work in town, they have an even better sense than we do of who to talk to, who to invite to perform, who to line up together,” Dekker said. 

Justin Golak, administrator of ColumbusIsFunny.com, said helping organize the comedy festival helps to promote the website. Golak described the website as “a go-to calendar for comedy events in the city.”

“(The Columbus Comedy Festival) is the kind of event that showcases the best of the city, so it’s a good way to get the name of the website out there,” Golak said.

More than 20 stand-up comedians are scheduled to perform throughout the festival, as well as several improv groups . Dekker said one goal of the festival is to promote local comedians, which is why a majority of the performers are from Columbus. 

“We’ve had other comedians come from out of town in the past and I think there will be some this year, but largely we wanted to keep it as a showcase of Columbus comedians,” Dekker said.

He said Columbus is home to a lot of great comedians, and the Columbus Comedy Festival helps to highlight and promote the comedy scene in Columbus. 

“In some ways the comedy scene in Columbus is a little under-appreciated or people just don’t know as much about it,” Dekker said. “We like doing the festival as a way to raise awareness for everything that’s going on. Columbus is an excellent city for a lot of different things, and comedy is certainly one of them.”

Dekker, who is also a theater lecturer at Ohio State, thinks students would enjoy the comedy festival.

“As someone who teaches at Ohio State, I know that OSU students appreciate good comedy,” Dekker said. “I think a lot of the performers at the festival have exactly the type of humor that Ohio State students would appreciate.”

OSU’s own improvisation group, Fishbowl Improv, first performed at the Columbus Comedy Festival last year and was invited back to perform this year. 

Daniel Cleveland, a first-year in biomedical engineering, joined Fishbowl Improv this semester and is excited to perform at the festival on Friday.

“It makes me feel proud, strange and professional all at one time,” Cleveland said. “Most of the festivals we do are at schools and other colleges, so going to this makes me feel like our club is pretty authentic and legit. It makes me feel pretty important.”

Cleveland said he is looking forward to meeting local comedians at the festival.

“I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, and it’s nice to be around a bunch of funny people because it’s really easy to laugh,” Cleveland said. “It should be a good night.”

Wild Goose Creative is located at 2491 Summit St., and the event starts at 8 p.m. each night. Tickets can be purchased through D-Tix at the Ohio Union Information Center for $5 or at the door for $10. 

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