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Dana Gould’s Just for Laughs Keynote Address

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Comedy Business, Featured | 0 comments

I am a big fan of the keynote addresses at Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.  Laughspin does a great job capturing the keynotes each year and sharing them on their Soundcloud account.


This year, comedy legend Dana Gould speaks about his comedy history and the state of comedy in general.  These are must listens to all comedians.  Check it out.

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40th Comedy Booze Cruise featuring Victor Agreda Jr. and Drew Morgan

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Featured, Upcoming Shows | 0 comments

Get Tickets HERE>>
This time around the Comedy Booze Cruise is co-headlined by Drew Morgan and Victor Agreda Jr. Drew has been in NYC for over a year and is making his first performance back in Knoxville since the Scruffy City Comedy Festival last November. Victor Agreda Jr. might be leaving us for the beautiful west coast. He is the co-founder of the Comedy Booze Cruise and has been an integral part of the growth of the comedy scene in Knoxville since 2010.

Also appearing all the way from Los Angeles by way of Chattanooga, the unpredictable gutterbilly himself, DJ Lewis. Locals Trae Crowder, Waylon Whiskey and Danny Whitson round out the line-up.

Brace yourselves for a wild night of laughs and drinking. You may just end up with a Black Liver.

The Comedy Booze Cruise began in October of 2012. It is a late night two-hour riverboat cruise with a stand-up comedy show. Food is not served on board but two bars typically run during the cruise.

The Showroom is indoors on the bottom floor of the Star of Knoxville, a two-story riverboat.

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How to be selected to perform at the 2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festival

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Blog, Featured | 2 comments

Submissions are now open for the 2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festival.  Some of you are thinking “Great, another festival I can get a rejection email from…”  Well, here is how you can improve your chances to get into, not only the Scruffy City Comedy Festival, but other festivals all across the country.

As many of you know, I also help run the Cape Fear Comedy Festival.  This year was our 6th Cape Fear Fest. Since the inception of the festival I have watched hundreds and hundreds of submission videos myself.  In addition, I have spoken with others who run comedy festivals and discussed with them the things that they look for when it comes to selecting comics to perform in their festival from submissions.  The following is a summary of the most important things.

1.) Be Funny

Yeah, No shit.  Be funny is kinda like a Realtor saying “location, location, location”.  Sounds great and of course it is true, but what the fuck does it mean?  Well, a few things actually.  First off, be funny in your submission video. We know what WE find funny, but an audience laughing at your jokes is pretty helpful to influence how funny we feel a bit is.  The 2nd thing we will cover in #2

2.) Be original

Secondly, it means your ideas are unique, ones we haven’t heard others do, and genuine.  There is nothing less funny to the seasoned eye/ear than someone who is getting laughs in a room with jokes we have heard elsewhere or by using topics that are tired, common and played out.

3.) Make a GREAT Submission Video

What is a GREAT Submission Video?  One that is high quality, easy to see you on stage, easy to hear you speaking and hear the audience laughing and showcases a chunk of your better material.  Below is a list of common mistakes I see all the time when reviewing submission videos.

*Bad Lighting

*Bad Sound Quality

*Host doing three minutes before actual performer who submitted the video is onscreen

*Doing recording at a poorly attended show or open mic

*Recording video horizontal on a smartphone.

*Having your laughing buddy/spouse hold the camera, making them the only laugh heard on the recording.

*Making your video clip private on Youtube so it can’t be viewed by anyone but you.

*Recording a ‘Bringer’ show.  Yes, we can tell, mostly because the audience is laughing at ‘non’ jokes and stuff that isn’t as funny as they are making it out to be.

4.) Have a web site

If you are submitting to comedy festivals, you should have a web site. You can have one for free, doesn’t have to be fancy, but it allows promoters to refer someone to a single space that YOU control to view more about you.  Don’t understand computer boxes?  Get one of your computer savvy friends to make one for you that you have all the passwords to.  HAVE. A. WEB. SITE.  Don’t have  web site, it doesn’t count you out, but it does make a difference to ME more-so than to other comedy festivals.

5.) Have a head shot

If you are submitting to comedy festivals, you have to understand that these festivals WANT to promote an image of you.  Why not take a few minutes one day to have someone capture who you are as a comic or person.  You don’t even need a microphone in the picture, it’s cool, we know comedians use microphones, you ARE submitting to a COMEDY Festival after all.

6.) Don’t WAIT until the last day to submit

We all collectively as festivals view all of the submissions we receive.  However, if you submit earlier, we can take the time to view your submission with fresh eyes and ears.


That’s really all there is to it.  So if you don’t have a good submission video already, plan in the next month or so to film a few different shows to make a reel that is representative of what you do. Then come back and Submit to Perform at the 2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festival!


Matt Ward

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Open Chord expands to booking comedy in Knoxville

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Blog, Featured, Upcoming Shows | 0 comments

A new venue in Knoxville, Open Chord, has quickly established itself as a local music hub for all walks of music. Not only is at a live music venue, its got a fantastic kitchen, has an outstanding music equipment store, and even gives music lessons. It seems like they do everything. Well they realized they were missing a spot: comedy.

Lately they have expanded to include a once a month showcase of comedy called Spike Collar Comedy hosted by local comedian JC Ratliff. The event occurs the last Tuesday of the month (unless another event already was booked, its still new!).  The event has worked out so well for the venue they have now started booking national acts, deciding if they are going to book comedy then they are going all out.

This month they have booked on July 8th the amazing Eddie Ifft and on July 12th Mark Normand. These are two of the top ranked comics to watch of the year and shouldn’t be missed.

More on Eddie Ifft:

Eddie Ifft – has been called one of the most underrated comics in America by the Onion and has proudly told jokes  around the world to sold-out crowds in over 15 countries.  Eddie is the host of one of the most successful podcasts in  the comedy world called “Talkin’ Sh*t”. In August of 2014,  his Kickstarter campaign to fund “The Bingle Bus” a mobile  podcasting studio exceeded his fundraising goal and raised over $60,000, so he can take his popular podcast on the road!

He has been seen as a guest star on “Legit”, seen on the  FX network. He filmed a brand new DVD that released last  year, a follow up to his critically acclaimed DVD “Live From Australia”, which was filmed in front of a sold out audience at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Additionally, he has also released his own 30-minute special for Comedy Central and made numerous TV appearances on shows such as Showtime’s the Green Room with Paul Provenza, Showtime’s Tommy Chong 420 Show, E!’s Chelsea Lately, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, BET’s Comic View, NBC’s Late Friday Night, VH1’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Comic’s Unleashed. EDDIE’s popularity has spanned to Australia, where he has appeared on numerous TV shows, including Rove, Thank God You’re Here, The Footy Show and Good News Week.


More on Mark Normand:
Mark Normand is a biting, smart comedian based in New York City. In 2014, Mark was a semi-finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, premiered his Comedy Central Presents: THE HALF HOUR, and his debut “Still Got It” from Comedy Central Productions! So far in 2015, Mark is set to appear on the new season of INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, the upcoming feature TRAINWRECK, and continues to headline clubs and festivals around the country!

Mark has previously appeared on Comedy Central’s @MIDNIGHT, TBS’s CONAN, Comedy Central’s MTV Other’s INSIDE JOKE, Comedy Central’s JOHN OLIVER’S NEW YORK STAND UP SHOW, and won the 2013 Caroline’s March Madness competition, beating out 63 other comedians.


The next month show of local comedy at Open Chord will be July 28th with headliner Alex Stokes.

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Jenn Snyder returns to Knoxville for Comedy Booze Cruise this Saturday!

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Blog, Featured, Upcoming Shows | 1 comment

The last time Jenn Snyder hit the stage in Knoxville she gave to a group of rowdy clean-leather bikers at Old City Comedy.  The first time she was in Knoxville she received the only standing ovation ever at our comedy shows at the Edge Nightclub in West Knoxville.  She is quick, she is funny and she is ready to kick ass aboard the Star of Knoxville Riverboat this Saturday.

Also performing on this Comedy Booze Cruise are Leo La Camera, Joe Leeper, Miss James Holdiness, Natasha Ferrier and Liz Brooks!

Comedy Booze Cruise
Saturday June 20th 10pm-12:30am
Star of Knoxville Riverboat
300 Neyland Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
Tickets $10 Advance GetTickets_white
$15 at the dock

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Rip Roarin’ Big Fun Saturday night at Pilot Light

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Featured, Upcoming Shows | 0 comments

Comedy, music, film, art, horticulture, botany, beers, friends, pets, space and time. Matt Ward brings together some of his favorite people and some near enemies for a night of celebration, fun and truth. Cover is $3 OR ANYTHING you make yourself (crafts, food, etc, no poop, pee or other secretions including but not limited to Kidney Stones)

Matt Ward is a stand-up comedian originally from Central Ohio who helped build the comedy scene in Knoxville from a single open-mic comedians had to pay to perform to a vibrant scene full of great comics and shows. He has worked with Doug Stanhope and many more talented comedians as a performer and comedy producer. Join his friends for an absurd night of laughs before Matt relocates back to Central Ohio.

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