“Our festival should be graduating from comedy college this year.”
The next Boston Comedy Festival isn’t until 2023. Don’t worry, there’s still time to try out if you’re a comic.
In the meantime, BCF founder and comic Jim McCue and his crew are keeping the laughs rolling as always, including this weekend with another Best of the BCF show at the Somerville Theatre.
We asked McCue about the upcoming gig and his thoughts about the scene as well. Spoiler alert: shit is “popping.”
We probably ask you this every year, but can you believe you have been doing this for 22 years?
It’s actually going to be the 23rd year in May. Our festival should be graduating from comedy college this year.
Now that we’re more or less past the pandemic to the point that there are shows happening on a regular basis and few cancellations, how would you say the festival emerged from COVID? Weaker? Stronger? Rebuilding time?
As always we adapt, improvise, and overcome. To steal a line from my time entertaining the troops.
We spoke about how you went viral during the pandemic, but beyond that, do you see much hope in virtual standup so to speak in the wake of what you saw and learned over the past few years?
Comedy is always changing and evolving. That said, there is nothing like a live audience. Stand-up comedy is the only art form that requires an audience to create.
There seem to be quite a few shows and rooms popping up. It’s hard to tell if it’s more or less than usual, but as someone who has seen this scene in many iterations, what’s your analysis of what’s happening in Boston comedy these days? A lot of activity?
Yes, the Boston scene is popping. Stage time is the lifeblood of comedy so we can look forward to some amazing acts developing in the Boston market.
How do you stay on top of things? Mostly people sending demos? Or do you still make it to the clubs? How is the recruiting going for the May festival? Or at least how will it go?
I’m not sure I have ever been accused of staying on top of things, but you need to jump in with both feet and swim as best you can. We are taking submissions on our website and our team is trying to spend more time in clubs to see the talent in their natural environment.
Finally, tell us about this upcoming Best Of event and who will be joining you on Nov. 12.
I’m really proud to be part of the show. Corey Rodrigues is a highly sought-after national touring college, club, and corporate performer. He was the winner of the Catch a New Rising Star, the Funniest Comic in New England, and the 2017 Big Sky Comedy Festival. Rodrigues has been featured on the hilarious Gotham Live, Laughs on Fox, and True Tv’s Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks. In 2018 he released his Dry Bar Comedy special, was voted “best of the fest” at the Big Pine Comedy Festival, and was picked as one of TBS’s Comics to Watch at the New York Comedy Fest. In 2019, he made his late-night TV debut on the Conan O’Brien show.
Bethany Van Delft was named “Best Comic” by Boston Magazine in both 2020 and 2019, and her debut comedy album, I’m Not a Llama, dropped to good reviews and an impressive number of minutes at #2 on the iTunes charts. She is a regular host for the Moth and has a story included in the Moth book, All These Wonders. She hosts iHeart Radio’s kids news podcast “The Ten News” and co-hosts the Nova/PBS digital series Parentalogic.
Kate Sisk is based in Brooklyn and is an alumnus of UCB’s Harold Night, a contributing writer for the Onion, and a recent participant in the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop. Kate’s stand-up comedy about life as a gender-nonconforming person and former member of the Puerto Rico Women’s National Soccer Team has earned Kate appearances in the HBO Women In Comedy Festival and the Finals of the Boston Comedy Festival. Kate is also the co-host of the award-winning podcast, We’re Having Gay Sex.