Scruffy City Comedy Festival Check-In Procedure

In case you are not already aware, Festival Passes are no longer available. Also day passes for SUNDAY are also sold out. That means if you snoozed, your only chance to meet and see the amazing Trae Crowder will be if he is hanging out during his buddies Drew and Corey’s sets on Friday and Saturday nights.

We DO still have day passes for Friday and Saturday available HERE>>

I have purchased my tickets, now what?

Ok great, well this is the easy part. Beginning at 6pm you can check in at Scruffy City Hall. They will have a list of all ticket purchasers. Give them your name and they will give you the corresponding wristband that you then will show to the person at door inside to gain access to the showroom.

NOTE: YOU CANNOT CHECK IN AFTER THE HEADLINE SHOWS. This means no check-ins after 11pm on Friday night, no check-ins after 9:30pm on Saturday night.  You have from 6pm-11pm on Friday and 6pm-9:30pm on Saturday.


I want to purchase Day Passes for Friday or Saturday

Day Passes are $21 online if you are worried about them selling and want to get yours now (Note: It is wise to get them in advance but they will also be available Friday and Saturday beginning at 6pm at the door


I want to purchase day passes for Sunday!

Too late, Sunday’s Day Passes are sold out.

Where the hell do I park?

Market Square Garage (which fills up quickly on weekends) State Street Garage, Locust Street Garage (furthest away) or the Walnut Street Parking Garage located RIGHT NEXT to Market Square Garage.

are the closest garages to Market Square where all of our venues besides Saw Works are located.  Here is a link to more parking options

Where ARE all the venues??



Want to know who is headlining the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival?

Do you want to know who will be headlining the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival?

The 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival is Friday November 4th through Sunday November 6th, 2016. The festival will be held at Scruffy City Hall and associated venues all in the Market Square District of Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. This is the 3rd annual festival. Last year we had headliners Andy Sandford, Jackie Kashian, Shane Mauss and Mia Jackson. This year we have another spectacular line-up of headliners as well.

Once again the festival will take place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The reason for this is we want working folks that do the 9-5 thing to be able to enjoy some great headliners, but we also want our service industry people (who often don’t work on Sundays) to be able to enjoy the festival as well!

The headliners will be performing each night at Scruffy City Hall. We will also have a few dozen amazing performers form all over the country performing showcases throughout the weekend at nearby venues AND at Scruffy City Hall as well.

If you are interested in being the first folks to hear the line-up of headliners for our festival, simply sign up for our notification e-mail list and we will send you the list of headliners on August 10th at 9am.  This is a full 5 days before the announcement will be made on our web site or social media accounts!

Sign up HERE>>

How to Get in Comedy Festivals

How to Get in Comedy Festivals

Submissions are now open for the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival.  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 (Matt Ward) also help run the Cape Fear Comedy Festival.  This year was our 7th 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.

2.) Be Original

Are your premises and/or punchlines 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 or simply approached in a lazy manner. This isn’t about censorship, this is about hard work showing through in your writing.

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.   Make sure your video is the length requested by the festival you are submitting to. Cut out the host. No one needs to hear them introduce you. Cut it to the moment you touch the mic. Below is a list of common mistakes I see all the time when reviewing submission videos.

*Bad Lighting

*The video is private or requires a password

*The video has a fucking ad in front of it. Seriously??

*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  a web site, it doesn’t count you out, but it does make a difference to ME more-so than to other comedy festivals. Your web site can link back to us, and that is important for SEO and for other promotional reasons.

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.  Did you know that an Iphone or a Samsung S6 or above can capture an acceptable HIGH RESOLUTION head shot? Toy around with it and watch this youtube video to learn how to do this yourself.

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.


Matt Ward

Trae Crowder Liberal Redneck

Trae Crowder goes viral with Liberal Redneck

Trae Croder goes Viral with Liberal Redneck Videos

Trae Crowder is killing it with his new video series The Liberal Redneck. Those who are familiar with Trae’s comedy knows that these videos don’t stray far from his act on stage.

More about Trae:
trae crowder liberal redneckTrae Crowder
Trae Crowder is an Liberal Redneck from the small backcountry town of Celina, TN, which somehow manages to be both extraordinarily beautiful and soul-crushingly depressing at the same time. He first stepped on stage in November of 2010, and hasn’t looked back. He likes to think of his material as being southern-fried intellectual humor. So basically he says a lot of big words in a funny sounding accent and sometimes people like that.

Trae has performed all over the country and has participated in multiple comedy festivals. He is also a writer and was accepted into the 2015 NBCUniversal Late Night Writer’s Workshop, as well as having multiple scripts be finalists in national screenwriting contests. Trae is not opposted to acting either, and once filmed an upoptioned pilot for CMT (produced by the Impractical Jokers).

Contact Trae through his Facebook or Twitter

2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festival Audience Grows, Sexiness Remains

Scruffy City Comedy Festival a Success Once Again!

The 2nd Annual Scruffy City Comedy Festival was a success in the eyes of all whom attended, performed or staffed the events.  We saw nearly 400 comedy fans over the course of our three day event.

Some Big Successes

Dustin Meadows wins Air Sex
Dustin Meadows wins Air Sex

Air Sex
Holy shit, this show went over so much better than expected. I KNEW it was funny, but I wasn’t sure if the crowd would turn out for it as they might be pre-gaming and getting drunk elsewhere for the next afternoons University of Tennessee Football game.  Nope, not an issue.  Chris Trew opened the show to a growing crowd that eventually filled most of the seats in Scruffy City Hall.  His opening routine had people in the room doubled-over with laughter.

Jackie Kashian
We intentionally put the empress of dorkdom on the main stage on Saturday night after the home football game because we knew she wouldn’t draw from that demo.  Jackie came in and performed an amazingly funny set to the largest crowd we have ever had for a comedy show at Scruffy City Hall.

Sunday Nights Shows
I personally began sweating bullets at about 7pm when the crowd seemed to be very light for the Sunday evening shows.  Little did I know, folks had been reading the schedules and were coming to see specific acts, so they all showed up about 15 minutes before showtime.  The biggest success here is that while Mia Jackson’s crowd was sizable, they stayed and even grew slightly for the Shane Mauss 10pm show.  We had an audience watching the final show of our festival at 11:45pm on a SUNDAY NIGHT.  This is what I was personally told would never work in Knoxville. A Sunday night show.  Glad to prove some folks wrong on that one.

Podcast Brunch during Scruffy City Comedy Festival

Live Comedy Podcasts Recordings with FREE Cereal at Pilot Light

This is another great opportunity to checkout some comedy for FREE!  Scruffy City Comedy Festival Performers will be podcasting all morning and into the afternoon.  Saturday is chocked full of comedy goodness!  Directly after Chris Trew finishes Trew to the game he will go down to Scruffy City Hall to prepare for his Improv Comedy Workshop that is scheduled for 3:30pm. Directly after his podcast the Blue Umbrella Tours begin in Market Square.  Look for the person holding the Blue Umbrella and follow along with them on an improvised ghost tour of Downtown Knoxville.

Come down to The Pilot Light for a day of fun as part of the Scruffy City Comedy Festival. We will be having live podcast recordings from some great comedians in town for the festival, doors open at 9:30am and the shows start at 10am. You can skip breakfast too because we’ll have a huge selection of FREE CEREAL for you to choose from.
The schedule for the day is:

10:00am – A screening of a [Burt Reynolds] movie.
11:30am – “How Have You Not Seen This?” podcast with Dustin Meadows and special guests discussing the movie we all just watched.
12:30pm – “Trew 2 the Game” podcast with Chris Trew and special guests
1:30pm – A screening of an episode of the “Golden Girls”
2:00pm – “Thank You for Being a Podcast” with Genevieve Rice and Anthony Desamito and special guests
3:00pm – “Podcast! Podcast! Podcast!” with Scott Eason and guests.
4:00pm – “Please Be My Friend” podcast with Hunter Roberts and special guests.

See you there!

Full Disclosure Improv Comedy Tonight 11/11 at Open Chord

11737844_905612922808145_4428461618774203900_n (1)Full Disclosure has just come on the scene in the last year bringing their long-form inform style to Knoxville. The troupe consists of members Keri Koczen, Kristen Ballard, Billy Kyle Roach, Travis Donahoo, Mark Jennings, Malorie Cunnigham and Rollin Prince.

Full Disclosure has a monthly FREE show at Open Chord State in West Knoxville. Here is the groups bio. Here is the show info

Full Disclosure
Open Chord
8502 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, TN 37919

w/ guest Matt Chadourne

Full Disclosure Comedy is a long-form improv & sketch comedy group self-taught on the UCB Comedy Improvisation Manual and “Truth in Comedy” by Charna Halpern. Before each practice and performance, we share our “full disclosure moments” and let everyone inside our heads.

Full Disclosure Comedy was formed in Fall 2014. Kerri Koczen and Rollin Prince threw around the idea of studying long-form improv while working together on show about sex trafficking in Knoxville, Tennessee. Shortly after that discussion, Koczen met Malorie Cunningham at a party in New York City. The two discussed their love for improv before realizing that Cunningham was moving to Knoxville. After the three began to create a comedy troupe, along with Mark Jennings and Billy Kyle Roach, they spent close to nine months studying techniques before their first performance. They continue those studies twice a week. Kristen Ballard and Travis Donahoo joined the group in March and help make up the improv team you see on stage today.

Besides monthly performances at Open Chord Music, FDC is apart of Scruffy’s Cinepub each month, a sort of “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. Full Disclosure has also been apart of the Third Coast Improv Festival and now the Scruffy City Comedy Festival!

Full Disclosure Improv Comedy Troupe “Full House Disclosure”

Einstein Simplified TONIGHT 11/10 w/ Jay Kendrick

Tonight is the final Einstein Simplified performance before the Scruffy City Comedy Festival.  They will be joined this evening by stand-up comic Jay Kendrick.  The show begins at 8pm at Scruffy City Hall and is free to attends, although tipping is encouraged!

Einstein Simplified is a big part of why the Scruffy City Comedy Festival happens.  In 2010, Scruffy City Comedy Festival producer I began producing shows in Knoxville for the first time.  I chose Patrick Sullivan’s, as it was the location at the time where Einstein Simplified did their weekly improv show.  I felt that if they peformed there, it was where I wanted to be.  Years later, both my shows and those weekly shows from Einstein Simplified have crossed venues paths multiple times.

Last year when we had our comedy festival Einstein Simplified was very supportive of it and even agreed to perform in a less than desirable time slot at 7pm on Saturday.  We appreciate the impact Einstein has had on this comedy community and this year are excited to see them take center stage at 9:45pm at Scruffy City Hall on Saturday Night.


Service Industry Sunday Comedy with Shane Mauss

Scruffy Comedy Festival Service Industry Sunday Just One Week Away!

#SCCF2015 Service Industry Sunday Comedy

One thing we talked about when planning the 2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festivals was having some shows that service industry folks could attend.  Sunday November 15th is Service Industry Sunday at the Scruffy City Comedy Festival. Most in the service industry have to work on Friday and Saturday nights, making Sunday a (Friday night out) of sorts for them.  So we decided to book TWO big headliners for Sunday for this year’s festival. On Sunday November 15th at 8pm, Atlanta’s Mia Jackson will be headlining Scruffy City Hall at 8pm.  At 10pm, Shane Mauss will be performing his hour comedy show about psychedelic drugs called “This is your Shane on Drugs“.

The 2nd Annual Scruffy City Comedy Festival takes place from Friday November 13th until Sunday November 15th in the Market Square District of Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.  There are 16 shows in those venues over the course of the three-day event. Over 30 out of town comedians and 20+ locals will be performing over the course of the festival.


We are excited to have a little something for everyone this year for our festival.  We also are happy to be able to do this affordably and with schedule flexibility.  For those of you that say “When are you guys doing a comedy show on the weekend?”. Well, this coming weekend is the pinnacle, so don’t miss it.  It only happens once a year!

Stay tuned for a very very special announcement via our twitter account @scruffycomedy that will allow you to see three BIG shows for FREE!!! We will annouce this at 6pm on Friday!

Also, there are new parking garages in Downtown Knoxville, so parking is FREE and readily available.  See the parking map for the city HERE>>. Also, we have some great events scheduled for earlier in the day on the Saturday if you don’t care about the Tennessee Football game, check those events out HERE>>.

Service Industry Sunday Comedy with Mia Jackson

First Friday Comedy at Saw Works Featuring Sumukh Torgalkar

First Friday Comedy Shows Prove Very Popular at Saw Works Brewing Company

Give thanks for a November edition of the First Friday Comedy Show at Saw Works Brewing. This month’s show is headlined by Columbus, Ohio’s Sumukh Torgalkar, along with performances from Asheville, North Carolina’s Minori Hinds, and Knoxville’s own Matt Chadourne. Tyler Sonnichsen is hosting this month’s show.

Also performing, Asheville's Minori Hinds
Also performing, Asheville’s Minori Hinds

As usual, there is no cover charge and plenty of great locally-crafted beers to enjoy, as well as a a food truck outside.

Here’s a bio of our headliner:

Sumukh Torgalkar was born in Cleveland, Ohio to two Indian people. It’s a simple statement but covers the adventure that is Torgalkar’s comedy. Focusing on such varied topics as his Midwest upbringing, his Hindu faith, and the Insane Clown Posse, Torgalkar weaves his personal experiences and observations via his dry but engaging sense of humor.

Torgalkar has helped organize numerous comedy festivals and tours the country performing anywhere from independent stages to comedy clubs to corporate events. He has opened for such major acts as Reggie Watts, Russell Peters, Kyle Kinane, and Chad Daniels.

Torgalkar also works as a freelance comedy writer and has contributed to MAD, 614, and Columbus Alive.

He released his first stand-up comedy album, “The Mispronunciation of Sumukh Torgalkar,” which appeared in the top 10 of the iTunes comedy charts in August 2015.

He probably has other credits, but he doesn’t remember them or you’re not interested anyway.