Orange County Comedy Festival

2018 Featured Performers

Top-Notch Comedians, Comedy Groups & Podcasts

We crushed a lot of dreams and broke a lot of hearts during our meticulous selection process for this year’s festival.

Orange County is a fancy place. A place where a man in his late 50’s might own two or more Corvettes and have three or more ex-wives under the age of 30.

So, it’s not just any comedy performers who are going to do.

We received countless submissions from comedians, actors, and comedy performers from around the world.

And from all of these we narrowed our selection down an elite 36 comedians, sketch groups and podcasters.

In addition, we’ve booked surprise guests at all of our shows who you’ll recognize from TV and movies.

That’s right, Orange County, we’re spoiling the f*ck out of you this November.

Because you deserve it.

Alan Santiago

Alan Santiago was born and raised in Long Beach, California before deciding to uproot himself and move 31 miles to Los Angeles, California in order to pursue his dream of stand up comedy.

When not working his nine-to-five job in the dog eat dog world of mobile advertising, you can find him performing at various indie comedy shows around Los Angeles

Allie Zisfein

Comedian Allie Zisfein was born in New York City.

After graduating from Syracuse University the following year, Zisfein over-packed her bags and flew back to Los Angeles.

Since arriving in LA a little over a year ago, Zisfein focused on the stand-up comedy circuit and has performed at the Hollywood Improv, The Comedy Store Belly Room & Main Room, I.O. West, and The Second City.

She has also produced two successful comedy shows: Party Favors and HEIST!

Amanda Cohen

Amanda Cohen is a middle-age single woman who is definitely nobody’s mom. She’s your best nightmare: a fearless feminist atheist with a sharp sense of irony who will challenge your assumptions about older ladies, while still relating to all ages. She has 15 years in comedy…not in a row.

In her previous life she hosted a ton of shows and was just starting to feature on the road when the 90s comedy boom ended. She took a break from standup to go to the Second City Conservatory, Annoyance Theater and ComedySportz to study improvisation and sketch writing. An epiphany in 2015 inspired her to pick up a mic again.

In her past life she played played clubs and colleges across the midwest and east coast, including many great comedy clubs that don’t exist anymore (including at least one that literally burnt down). She opened for Paula Poundstone, Gilbert Gottfried, Jake Johannson, and many non-alliterative comedians as well. How long ago? She once hosted a show with a young feature named Patton Oswalt. Yes, feature. It was a long time ago.

Amir The Amiracle

Amir the Amiracle is the only Black & Arabic guitar comedian ever (as far as he or Google knows).

A Los Angeles native, Amiracle has appeared on TLC’s Style By Jury, Kingdom, Nickelodeon’s Wild & Crazy Kids, ‘Stronger than Nature’ music video, viral YouTube comedy sketch videos, and the feature film Ted 2.

For the last 5 years, Amiracle has been performing his unique style of comedy & music up and down the West Coast in various comedy clubs, colleges, comedy competitions and theaters.

His improvised songs win over crowds everywhere he performs.

​His musical brand of comedy is engaging and charismatic.

He finds hilarious material in his bi-racial family upbringing, his Latina girlfriend as well as his wonderful daughter.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is a born and raised redneck from the back waters of North Carolina.

He recently move to Los Angeles to pursue a dream of being a stand up comedian.

He’s been called the Walmart of Southern Comedians due to large quantity of jokes his sets include and the huge laughs his punchlines garner.

Anthony recently recorded a standup comedy special for Netflix.

Which is pretty awesome, too.

Brandon Ijames

Since beginning comedy in Huntsville, AL, Brandon Ijames has been lobbing joke grenades into crowds to blow minds and rattle funny bones in showcases spanning from M.i.’s Westside Comedy theater in LA to NYC’s Caroline’s on Broadway.

His surreal and thought-provoking one-liners center on self-deprecation, word-play, and other hyphenated terms.

He has warmed up Huntsville crowds for such national touring headliners as Baron Vaughn, Nate Bargatze, Erik Griffin, Chad Daniels, Tone Bell, Joe Zimmerman, Dave Stone, Emma Willmann, Shane Torres, Don McMillan, and many others.

Brandon can be seen regularly at Huntsville’s comedy club, Stand Up Live, and at the award-winning Straight To Ale Brewery, where he co-hosts/produces the monthly showcase Homegrown Comedy.

Brian Bahe

Brian Bahe is a Native American, queer stand-up comedian and writer originally from Phoenix, Arizona, now based in New York City.

His stand-up touches on his cultural experiences growing up in Arizona, navigating New York City, all of which is told from an unheard perspective in comedy.

Brian has performed in the Orlando Indie Comedy Festival, Motor City Comedy Festival, the Dallas Comedy Festival, and many others.

Brian co-hosts and produces the stand-up showcase GRANDBABY every Tuesday night in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

He also co-hosts the weekly comedy podcast UFOlogy where he talks with other comedians about UFOs and the latest in UFO sightings.

Cappuccino Brown

Cappuccino Brown is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has been dazzling crowds with his standup comedy performances since birth!

Come see him at a show and you’ll be quick to become a fan.

Chelsea London Lloyd

Chelsea London Lloyd is a Marin County native with a BA in Theatre from USC.

She is an actor and comedian whose accolades include testing for a series regular as the Jewish bisexual BFF on Grown-ish (Freeform.)

She starred on the comedic talk show “Clevver Now” (Defy Media/Verizon go90).

And her Alaska Airlines commercial currently is playing on every Virgin flight in North America and has over five millions views.

You can find her performing stand-up comedy and musical improv around Los Angeles. When she is not doing the funny, she writes about and volunteers for those who have lost a parent at a young age.

Dave Cerwonka

Dave was born and raised in Maryland. He’s been a featured performer at the BrokeLA and Ventura Harbor Comedy festivals.

He’s performed at the Hollywood Improv, The Comedy Store Belly Room & Main Room, I.O. West. The New York Comedy Club, The Stand in NYC & Golden Gang Comedy Club in Iceland.

Cerwonka’s stand up comedy is sarcastic, observational, personal and dumb. Dave is a versatile performer and musician who also practices improv, idiot and clown comedy.

He studied improv at the Groundlings, idiot with Jet Eveleth and clown with Mick Barnfather. He wrote and directed the parody sketch commercial Klonapark.

Dave lives in Los Angeles and produces the late night variety showcase Let’s Get Weird at the Lyric Hyperion Theater and stand up comedy showcase HuMaN ReSOURces.

Dave Yates

 Dave Yates, born and raised in Illinois, is a nationally touring comedian residing in Los Angeles, California.

His comedy has been described as a mixture of wit and whimsy.

Dave has been a featured performer at Laugh Fest, Summerfest, and the Broken Record Comedy Festival.

When not performing, Dave speaks at addiction recovery centers across the country.

In addition to touring, Dave makes and sells his own brand of hot sauce called HaHa Hot Sauce.

Derek Furtado

Derek Furtado is a contagiously energetic comedian from New England who has performed from one coast to the other.

Derek’s style of comedy brings uncomfortable moments to life with his attention to detail that will have you relieved you’re not the only one who feels “that way.”

Derek is the 2012’s Last Comix Standing Winner at Comix Mohegan Sun. He’s performed at the Rogue Island Comedy Festival and regularly toured with the late Ralphie May.

He wrote the Best Film in the 48 Hour Providence Film Festival 2012. He produced the award winning documentary “Be A Man.” And he performed in the 2015 World Series Of Comedy main event in Las Vegas.

Heather Kozlakowski

Heather Kozlakowski can be seen in television commercials, feature films and heard on the radio.

She is the founder of the all female comedy group The Laugh Riot Dolls and contributing writer to Absrdcomedy.com.

Heather has performed her profoundly honest and revealing brand of stand up comedy in Los Angeles and Metro Detroit.

She has also performed with Tig Notaro and Maria Bamford.

Irina Voronina

Irina Voronina is a Russian-born actress and comedian.

Irina’s unapologetic and straight-forward sense of humor will take you on a roller coaster ride from her life back in the USSR to becoming a Playboy model.

Irina’s TV & Film credits include “Reno 911!,” “Tosh.0,” “iCarly,” “13 Reasons Why,” and many more.

She  frequently performs at clubs in Los Angeles and produces her own all women stand-up show called “Comedy Stew.”

In 2018 Irina performed at San Diego Comedy Festival, Burbank Comedy Festival, Grrrl Riot Fest, and US Comedy Contest.

In November Irina will be performing at the Joshua Tree Improv Fest , Palm Springs Comedy Festival, and Orange County Comedy Festival.

Isabella Charlton

Isabella Charlton is a British stand-up comedian, writer, and actress, known for her dry one-liners and alienating her family.

She grew up in Hong Kong, and is now living in LA.

Isabella studied law at Oxford Universty before deciding to destroy her parents’ hopes and dreams by moving to Hollywood to pursue comedy.

She was chosen as one of the Laugh Factory Hollywood’s Fresh Faces 2018.

James Hancock

James Hancock III is an actor, comedian, and host living in San Diego.

In 2017 he was awarded multiple  comedy residencies in NYC, named one of the 10 funniest people in Philadelphia, and won South Jersey’s funniest person in 2018.

He moved to California after 8 years of active duty service in the Air Force.

Drawing from his multicultural upbringing, military service and unique life experiences, James uses his comedy to show how people of all backgrounds and ethnicities all laugh the same.

Joe Welkie

Joe Welkie is a comedian, actor, and writer based in Los Angeles.

He has performed stand-up comedy in a litany of comedy clubs including Gotham Comedy Club, Eastville Comedy Club, The Comedy Studio in Boston, Nick’s Comedy Stop, The Dead Crow Comedy Lounge, Joker’s Wild Comedy Club, Mad House Comedy Club, Flappers Comedy Club, Magooby’s Joke House, and The Baltimore Comedy Factory.

He has performed at the Cape Fear Comedy Festival, Laughing Devil Comedy Festival, Memphis Comedy Festival, and Baltimore’s Artscape Arts Festival.

Kazeem Rahman

Kazeem Rahman has been slowly heating up the comedy scene in the LA area for almost 2 years now.

Having been born and raised in Houston, TX, he uses his unique upbringing to see and tell comedy in ways that stand out in any group.

His irreverent humor and quick wit keeps audiences at the edge of their seats every time he is on stage.

Kazeem has been a stand-up for 5 years and has performed all across the country at clubs and colleges.

He is definitely comic to watch in the coming years when it comes to unique funny voices in the entertainment industry.

Lauri Roggenkamp

Lauri Roggenkamp grew up in Anaheim, California.

At 18 years old, she started standup comedy and became the first female to win the “Orange County’s Funniest Person” award.

Lauri is an Orange County comedy favorite.

She also performed in the “New Faces Unrepped” and “Best of the Fest” showcase categories at the 2011 Montreal Comedy Festival.

Maagic Collins

With a sarcastic wit, a unique perspective, and a refreshing outlook on life itself, Maagic (with two A’s) has been courting the California comedy scene for years.

He’s one of the fabled comedians who’s actually from Los Angeles; later moving to the Bay Area followed by five blurry years at Chico State where he graduated with the highly acclaimed Theater Arts degree. 😉

No stranger to the screen, you may recognize this Raiders fan from the NFL’s recurring Hyundai commercial where he’s seen holding a picket fence wearing an Arizona Cardinals jersey. He’s also worked on campaigns for McDonald’s, Capri Sun, and was in a commercial for IBM directed by Dax Shepard.

With more projects set to air this holiday season, you Maagic will be delivering the laughs on and off screen.

Marc Takemiya

Marc Takemiya is one of the most talented comedians in his family.

A long time ago Marc won the Orange County funniest person contest and was named one of the Hottest 25 People of Orange County.

He has opened for Tim Meadows, Daniel Tosh, Adam Devine and has been on Hulu TV, Comedy Time TV and Sirius XM radio.

Marc tours comedy clubs across the country spreading laughter and enjoying time away from his family.

Mary Becquet

Mary Becquet is a fiery ball of lady energy who can’t stop with the jokes and sarcasm.

Her stand-up comedy training wheels ran over countless innocent audiences in San Antonio, Texas, as she developed her craft over 5 years in comedy clubs and dive bars across south Texas and in every border town you can name.

Inexplicably, Mary got stage time and kept working and performing, until the fateful day in 2017 she threw away her future retirement and moved to Los Angeles to pursue comedy and acting full time.

Milan Patel

Milan is an Indian-American comedian from Portland, Oregon. Notable performances include the Bridgetown comedy festival, Desifest, Bumbershoot, and the 10,000 Laughs festival in Minneapolis.

He has been described as the crisis hotline of comedy. Audiences walk in ready to jump off bridges. But they walk out feeling like they’re soaring with the eagles. Expect to laugh and to have your spirits lifted to their highest potential.

There’s an old saying that goes, “Feed a man a fish, he eats a fish. Feed a man a bunch of fish, that guy is gonna be full…damn full.”

Not only will Milan’s zip-fast, quick-wit keep you laughing throughout his set, you’ll also walk away with your tummy bulging for the next few weeks thinking about his humorous anecdotes, titillating observations, and power-packed punchlines.

Morgan Jay

Morgan Jay is a first generation American performer based out of Los Angeles.

Originally from New Jersey, he started his career in NYC where he attended the Tisch School of the Arts.

With over six years of stand up experience and an extensive background in music Morgan has managed to create a unique performance that touches comedy and music fans alike with his smooth melodies derived from his love for classic R&B and Bossanova.

He’s performed at the San Francisco Sketchfest, Big Fire Festival, Iowa Comedy Festival, and the LA Comedy Festival.

He won 1st Prize in the 2012 Westside Comedy Showdown, 1st Prize in the 2018 Ventura Comedy Festival, and was 1st Runner up at the 2018 Boston Comedy Festival.

Morgan also won 1st Prize for best comedy/novelty song in the International Songwriting Competition which received over 16,000 submissions.

He’s also a hit on the college comedy circuit and was one of the top booking acts at NACA in 2017.

Nick Aragon

Originally from Stockton, California, comedian Nick Aragon keenly skewers everything he sees with his darkly hilarious point of view.

His comedy draws from his wealth of experiences ranging from growing up in a half Hispanic household to living next to a rotating menagerie of off-kilter neighbors in his thinly walled Los Angeles apartment.

Nick continues to perform at clubs and theaters across the country while writing, producing and starring in his eponymous  sketch series “Nick and Trevor and Other People.”

Nick Skardarasy

Nick Skardarasy is a comedian living in Los Angeles originally hailing from Michigan.

His comedy combines his experiences growing up as not the manliest Italian American kid, life living with a significant other, and his general distrust of robots.

He was once referred to by the Interrobang as a “generally non-threatening nice boy comedian” which he agrees is probably the best way to describe his act.

Noah Jorgensen

Noah Jorgensen is originally from Rhode Island where he started performing stand-up during his senior year of high school.

He moved to California soon after and has been performing his unique brand of coming of age comedy in clubs all around the state.

Paul Ollinger

Paul Ollinger borrowed $100,000 for a Masters of Business Administration degree, only to decide he wanted to be a stand-up comedian when he grew up.

After 15 years selling digital advertising for companies like Yahoo! and Facebook, he bailed on the corporate world to tell jokes full-time.

Today, Paul brings his unique career and family perspective to top clubs all over North America. He has shared the stage with the biggest names in the business, including Norm Macdonald, Bill Burr, Dave Attell, Roseanne Barr, Bob Saget and many more.

An official selection of the Orange County, Laughing Skull and Asheville Comedy Festivals, Paul has appeared on Red Eye on Fox, The Apprentice and The Weather Channel.

Paul is the author of You Should Totally Get an MBA: A Comedian’s Guide to Top U.S. Business Schools.

He lives in Atlanta with his wife, two children and French Bulldog, Colonel Tom Parker.

PMan

A high energy and highly talented comedian who performs throughout San Diego and the Los Angeles area.

PMan also produces, promotes and hosts a multitude of comedy shows.

He was the 2011 winner of the “Best Comedian Contest” at Pechanga Casino and a three-time finalist in the San Diego’s Funniest Comedian Competition.

He has opened for Michael Blackson, Loni Love, Jay Phillips and many more.

PMan consistently provides a solid headlining act with his uncanny ability to adapt to any comedy atmosphere.

This is why he is received enthusiastically by both the young and old audiences alike wherever he performs.

Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly is from St. Louis, Missouri whose storytelling style of comedy takes all of his life’s misadventures and presents them with a smile.

Whether he’s surviving a plane crash, negotiating a better deal with his mugger, or being mistaken for a gang member, he always finds the funny in it.

His youth pastor appearance and happy demeanor fit well with his clean style of comedy as he smiles through another wild misadventure.

Stephen Agyei

Stephen Agyei shines as brightly as his mischievous smile, with a style described by industry vet Lamont Ferguson as “calculated fearlessness.”

A regular at Comedy Works, Stephen has opened for some of the most prominent comedians in the country.

He has also performed at festivals such as Bridgetown, Limestone, LA RIOT, High Plains and The Great American Comedy Festival.

Stephen has toured internationally in South Korea, and was hand picked by Duncan Trussell to open for his most recent “I Am God” tour.

Stephen was introduced to a national audience thanks to his TV debut on VICELAND’s “Flophouse,” as well as being featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with Roy Wood Jr.

He was also a finalist in the 2012 Great American Comedy Festival, winner of the 2012 Comedy Works’ Clean Comedy Contest,’ and 3-time finalist in their New Faces contest.

Stephen quickly made a name for himself in the Denver comedy scene before moving to Los Angeles in 2018.

And he is ready for whatever comedic adventures lie ahead of him.

Veronica Kwiatkowski

Veronica Kwiatkowski is a stand-up comedian based in Los Angeles, CA.

She has performed at The Comedy Store, the Hollywood Improv, Flappers Comedy Club, and other venues around LA.

She also hosts a monthly show, Funny AF, in Santa Monica, CA.

Veronica’s comedy is a unique blend of wit, sarcasm, and depravity.

She is passionate about making people laugh and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Yashar Kafi

With his dry, deadpan delivery, Iranian born comedian Yashar Kafi examines American culture with sarcasm and irony, translating stereotypes into punchlines and bringing audiences to their knees.

Yashar’s cantankerous personae bears a close resemblance to an Iranian Craig Ferguson meets DeNiro in Taxi Driver.

Just 2 years after beginning standup, Yashar advanced to the semi-finals in KTLA’s Find Me a Comic competition, beating out hundreds of seasoned competitors.

In 2016, Yashar placed 2nd in LA’s Funniest Comic contest in the Headliner category.

Zahra Ali

Zahra Ali is a nationally touring comedian, writer, and actress.

She’s the coolest chick you’ll ever meet. Her arsenal of jokes tackle everything from tacos to terrorism, often leaving the crowd more enlightened.

She writes and acts with the sketch comedy group No Fly List at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood.

Zahra also co-hosts the the Facial Recognition Comedy podcast, and the 2 Girls, 1 Guy podcast from The World Famous Comedy Store.

She is also a producer and star of the very popular nationally touring Facial Recognition Comedy group.

301 Views (Sketch Comedy)

301 Views sketch comedy is a NYC-based sketch comedy group. They have been performing regularly at the People’s Improv Theater since 2014.

They’ve performed at the Charm City Comedy Festival in Baltimore, Hackensack Performing Arts Center in NJ, NYC Sketchfest, the Palm Springs International Comedy Festival, and LIT Comedy Festival in Washington DC, where they won the LIT Comedy Festival’s Laugher’s Choice award for best sketch group!

Their members’ work has been seen and featured at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, CollegeHumor, MTV U,  Splitsider, Funnyordie.com, The National Lampoon, BBC Radio 4, Sky TV, CBS, and The Village Voice.

808 Hip-Hop Improv

808 Hip Hop Improv is a Los Angeles based Long Form Hip Hop Improv Group. They freestyle. They beatbox. Dope beats. Dope rhymes. *Reggae Horns*

Cast: Shaun Fisher, Jay Hoskins, Mike Besaw, Sam Epstein, Andy Apuy, Natasha Lloyd, Sean Will, Jody Ortaygo

The A-Team Musical Improv (Ensemble Group)

The A-Team Musical Improv is a Los Angeles based group that brings you “The Biopic,” an entirely improvised one-act musical inspired by a real historical figure suggested by the audience.

Cast: Andrew Young, Annie Bond, Andy Apuy, Angela Giarratana, Charlie Caplan, Mary Lou Kolbenschlag, Tess Gattuso, Brad Varian

The Improvcast (Comedy Podcast)

ImprovCast with Jay and Landon features veteran improv teachers and performers Jay Sukow and Landon Kirksey talking with students and performers alike about their experiences in improvisation — how they got into it (Was it a Groupon? Most likely), where they are in their journey and how it’s affected their lives. Plus, each show features the world-famous “Dr. Ron Asks” segment, complete with original theme song.

So whether you are a fan of improv and/or conversations that flow easily between neuroscience to the value of non-sweep edits, this promises to be a memorable learning experience.

And, there’s an added bonus! Especially for the OCCF, Jay will be calling in from Copenhagen, where he recently became artistic director of ICC Theatre, Denmark’s only English speaking improv theatre.

So join us, won’t you?

The Orange County Comedy Festival

Orange County’s first-ever comedy festival featuring over 20 venues, 30 shows, and 60 performers. This November 14 through 18.

Bringing laughs, culture and great live comedy to the vapid, intellectual hellscape that is Orange County, California.

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