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Here’s the press release from organizers:
The Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival returns to downtown Asheville July 13th-17th. In only four years the festival has become the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast. For the first time since the festivals conception the producers teamed up with Rooftop Comedy to attract some of the freshest comics in U.S. This year’s festival will be anchored by comedy legend Jake Johanssen, as seen on two HBO specials, Comedy Central, and a record thirty-two appearances on David Letterman.
This year’s festival has been extended to a five-day event, kicking off Tuesday, July 13th with a “Local Comics of Asheville” showcase at the New French Bar. Wednesday there will be a feature film documentary presentation “I Am Comic” at the Fine Arts Theater, and then Thursday the festival moves to the beautiful Diana Wortham for two shows – the first with Headliner Josh Gondelman, winner of the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, and a very special late show with the Beards of Comedy tour, featuring Asheville’s own Joe Zimmerman. Friday features back-to-back Showcase shows with over twenty rising stars in comedy, handpicked from around the country, leading up to Saturday’s shows with Jake Johannsen.
The festival prides itself on its non-competitive nature, as the producers of Laugh Your Asheville believe stand-up should be enjoyed, not judged. For this reason, Laugh Your Asheville Off is the most comic friendly festival in the country, attracting the freshest and funniest untapped talent in the U.S.
The festival headliner, Jake Johannsen has become one of the most respected comedians in history for his unique ability to give the most common element new meaning. Not many comedians will devote six minutes to a single subject - especially one as seemingly mundane as a toaster, or as strange as his conviction that extraterrestrials are working among us. Jake was nominated as “Best Male Stand-Up Comedian” for the 1994 American Comedy Awards. His HBO Comedy Special titled “This’ll Take About an Hour”, was given an Ace Award nomination for best writing in an Entertainment Special. People Magazine’s 1992-year end issue listed the special as one of the Ten Best Television Shows, putting Jake in the same company as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Last Comic Standing producer Charlie Gerencer and New York Times best selling cookbook author and stand-up comedian Greg Brown produce the festival. Charlie & Greg were the perfect storm in getting Laugh Your Asheville Off to where it is today. The combination of Greg’s vision as a comic, and Charlie’s experience producing major live events has been a perfect marriage for making the festival what it is today.