The third annual Scruffy City Comedy Festival will take place the first weekend in November and today I have the first release of the lineup for the third annual festival. I have to thank festival organizer Matt Ward for allowing me to share the lineup first and for helping me appreciate stand-up comedy. It’s hard work and the people who are good at it are truly artists. This year’s festival, like 2014 and 2015, will include a range of performances, including national headliners and the best of our local scene and improv will, once again, be included.
A headliner will be featured each night and they run the gamut of comedy and each have a national reputation. Interestingly, one of those comedians with a national reputation is a local comedian. Trae Crowder rose to national prominence this year as the “Liberal Redneck.” Funny with a point, he’s about as unique a comic as you’ll find. I’ve included two of his videos below, but search “Liberal Redneck” on Youtube for more of his work. (Probably wise not to do this at work or around children unless you use head phones. 🙂 )
The festival takes place November 4 through 6 and all venues will be downtown and easily walkable, with Scruffy City Hall being the showcase for headliners, as well as others. In addition to the three headliners, you’ll find another three dozen or so comedians from across the country in addition to the local talent. Applications for a spot are still being accepted so, if you are interested, check out this link. Submissions require a video in front of a live audience lasting at least three minutes. Cost is $10 and submissions are accepted through September 5 at midnight.
Friday’s headliner is Baron Vaughn, “An amazing comedian and actor, Baron Vaughn currently stars alongside Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda in the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie. He also has been cast as the voice of Tom Servo in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot.” You’ll find him on Netflix and Comedy Central with his quirky descriptions of adult (and sometimes not so adult) life. It’s the kind of smart comedy I personally enjoy. This will mark only his second performance in Knoxville, so it’s a rare treat. The clip I’ve included here is safe for work, so go ahead, your boss won’t mind.
Saturday night (November 5) is a real treat, with headliner Aparna Nancherla, who recently recorded a half hour special for Comedy Central, taking center stage. Her latest album, Just Putting It Out There, recently landed in the top spot on Itunes comedy charts. Currently living in New York City, large measures of her humor are about city life and its travails. Her humor is also very smart and funny and the clip included here is also safe for work, so fire it up.
Trae Crowder, better known as the “Liberal Redneck” hails from Clay County, Tennessee, but has made Knoxville his home for the last six years. A part-time comedian, he shot to international fame in April when a short video he posted to Facebook and Youtube went viral. His surprising thoughts on transgender bathrooms has racked up over 21,000,000 views on Facebook. I’ve included it below and it is definitely not safe for work. I’ve also included his video recorded for the New York Daily News giving his redneck perspective on the Olympics (also not safe for work).
Tickets go on sale today at Scruffy City Comedy.com at $40 for the three day event. Prices rise to $50 the week of the festival. It’s a great chance to see just how good high-quality comedy can be and I hope to see you there in November. Enjoy some of their work below.