Comedy

The Bird City Comedy Festival Returns This April — Here's the Lineup

A group of performers at 2016's Bird City Comedy Festival
A group of performers at 2016's Bird City Comedy Festival Matt Santos
Last year’s spring festival season got a little funnier with the addition of the Bird City Comedy Festival. Founded by comedian Genevieve Rice, the inaugural event went so well, it’s back for its second year.

For its 2017 edition, Bird City will present local and international comedy performers working in stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and improv. They'll perform at multiple Phoenix venues, including Valley Bar, Stand Up Live, and Space 55, from April 6 through 9. And the lineup has just been announced.

Headliners include Greg Behrendt, Aparna Nancherla, JT Habersaat, and Kristen Levine — all have lengthy resumes that include prominent live performances and TV credits.

Behrendt is a New York Times bestselling author, has penned scripts for CBS and IFC, and has entertained crowds at the Edinburgh Festival. Nancherla’s television credits include Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow’s Netflix series, Love. Habersaat stays busy as a touring stand-up performer and podcaster, hosting The Road Podcast. He also curates the annual Altercation Punk Comedy Tour. Kristen Levine has a lot of funny stuff to talk about, like supporting a family as a single mom while working as a clerk in a porn shop. She’s also appeared on multiple episodes of Portlandia on IFC.

click to enlarge Anwar Newton at the 2016 Bird City fest. - MATT SANTOS
Anwar Newton at the 2016 Bird City fest.
Matt Santos
Another highlight is Chris Bennett, a.k.a. Mr. Chris. He's best known for his Facebook show, Mister Chris’s Apartment Show, the first of its kind for the social media site. It’s like a twisted Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood for adults, in which Chris has encounters with an array of colorful characters. If you can’t attend this one live, you can still follow along on your device of choice. Bennett and his co-creator Ryan McKee are both ASU alumni, and McKee is a digital writer and producer on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Other headliners include Onion managing editor Ben Berkley, another ASU grad who gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the Onion develops its content. There’s also funnyman, musician, and author of I Swear I’ll Make it Up to You, Mishka Shubaly, as well as LA comedian Danny Lobell.

A lot of locals will show off their comedy skills throughout the long weekend, including Leslie Barton, Mike Enders, Jason Hill, Jesse Johnson, Joleen Lunzer, Kristofer Royer, and Matt Micheletti.

Tickets are not yet on sale. For the complete lineup and more information, see the Bird City Comedy Festival website.
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Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young