The fourth annual High Plains Comedy Festival has just announced the first wave of comics for this year’s event, and the roster continues their tradition of mixing some tremendous names with some of the best up and coming talent in the country. The festival, founded by Denver comic and The Grawlix member Adam Cayton-Holland, was started as a way to showcase both local and nationally-known acts in Denver’s up-and-coming Baker neighborhood. As such, the comics recruited by the festival come from a wide range of backgrounds and highlight the comedic style of various cities across the U.S.
Last year, Anthony Jeselnik was the festival headliner, but the folks at HPCF have outdone themselves this year with three headliners already announced. Those headliners are:
Garfunkel and Oates: The musical comedy duo, consisting of UCB alums Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, will perform at the festival’s finale show on August 27th. The pair have been performing together since 2007; they produced their first half-hour comedy special in 2012, and have released three successful albums to date, called Slippery When Moist, All Over Your Face, and Secretions.
Kyle Kinane: This Illinoisan comic has done the rounds all over television: He’s appeared on Workaholics, @midnight, Conan, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Those Who Can’t, and has also provided his voice acting talents to beloved shows like Bob’s Burgers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Adventure Time.
Cameron Esposito: This Jane-of-all-trades comedian/actor/writer/podcaster has made appearances all over television as well, from TBS, NBC and IFC to Cartoon Network and Comedy Central. She hosts her own podcast, called Put Your Hands Together, and writes a bi-weekly column for The AV Club. Esposito will join Garfunkel and Oates and Kinane during the festival’s August 27th finale show.
On top of the killer headliners, the festival also announced a list of 40 comics, both locals and outsiders, who will be featured throughout the three-day event. Some of those comics include:
Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy: These three are the founding members of The Grawlix, a Denver-based comedy group who recently sold their sitcom pilot, Those Who Can’t, to truTV. They will take the stage both individually and as a group, which is sure to please the hometown crowd.
Bobcat Goldthwait: The comedy legend who starred in cult classics like the Police Academy franchise and Tapeheads, will bring his insightful comedy to the HPCF stage.
Jonah Ray: Star of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, Seeso’s travel parody show Hidden America, and the upcoming reboot of the beloved Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Baron Vaughn: Late-night circuit veteran (Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) and co-star of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. He will also join Jonah Ray on MST3K as the voice of robot companion Tom Servo.
Aparna Nancherla: A NYC-based comedian/writer who has performed on Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, The Meltdown, and Adam DeVine’s House Party. On top of her TV/acting credits, which also includes appearances on Netflix’s Love and Inside Amy Schumer, Nancherla has also written for Late Night with Seth Meyers and FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.
Steve Agee: Best known as “Outside Dave” on hit comedy New Girl and as Steve Myron on The Sarah Silverman Program, the comic also has some voice acting and writing under his belt; for Bob’s Burgers, Adventure Time and The Cleveland Show, as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Andy Milonakis Show, respectively.
Sean Patton: Patton is a late-night circuit veteran, having performed on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Conan (multiple times.) He’s been on many of television’s biggest comedy shows, such as Ari Shaffir’s hit storytelling show This Is Not Happening, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, and IFC’s Maron.
These are only a few of the many comics that will be metaphorically (or perhaps literally? Idk what goes on there) tearing up the stages of downtown Denver this August. High Plains has developed a tremendous reputation for featuring some of the best up and comers in comedy, and despite co-founder Andy Juett running the festival this year (he’s moved to Los Angeles), that tradition remains intact. We’re excited to see some huge talent like Nick Vatterott, Ahmed Bharoocha, Ian Karmel, Noah Gardenswartz, David Gborie, Amy Miller, Martin Morrow, Jermaine Fowler, and Sam Tallent showing up on the list.
This year’s festival will take place from August 25th to the 27th, at venues across Denver’s South Broadway street and the Paramount Theatre. The final wave of comics, along with the festival’s schedule and tickets for individual shows, will be released sometime in July. Interested fans can currently buy VIP festival passes, as well as tickets for the headliners’ finale show, at the High Plains Comedy Festival website.