(A Few) Accidental Comedy Fest Local Comedians Go to Great (Some) Lengths To Make Their Headliners Feel at Home

The Accidental Comedy group, founded by former Cleveland comedian , is dedicated to enriching the arts in Cleveland through live comedy and other productions. They are gearing up for this year’s SIXTH annual Accidental Comedy Fest in Cleveland. The fest has moved from its former home- the hipster bowling alley of Mahall’s in Lakewood to HILARITIES 4th Street Theater in the heart of downtown Cleveland. The move has allowed the fest to grow a lot, with 46 comedians from around the country set to converge at the club Labor Day weekend August 30 – September 3. One of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, Doug Loves Movies will be doing a LIVE episode over the course of programming. It’s a great excuse to linger downtown after the airshow and have a rich holiday weekend without spending a ton of money right in folks’ own backyard.

Performances focusing on 46 emerging artists from around the country include comedians that have appeared on (Dulcé Sloan, , , Nick Vatterott, David Gborie), , (Mia Jackson, Jim Tews, Drew Thomas), Comedy Central (Ryan Dalton, Dan Soder) and @midnight, including the 2 comics with the MOST wins in the shows history, and Doug Benson. Okay, so not all of the comedians are emerging- some are already pretty fully emerged.

“It’s really a weekend for my peers and mentors I’m able to talk into coming to Cleveland,” Rivas said. “I miss Cleveland every day, and I don’t know if that’s because I miss my family or the city because a lot of times they feel like the same thing. It’s cool that a weird thing I started under the Detroit superior bridge as part of Ingenuity Fest is now at the best club in the Midwest. And the Accidental members like John, still in Cleveland continue to put on quality weekly and monthly shows year round in the greater Cleveland area.  Since I moved to LA, I’ve been able to do a lot of cool stuff myself and have confirmed Comedy Central is sending representatives to cover the fest, and additional industry have been reaching out expressing interest in attending.”

Ramon and his hometown crew want everyone– performing comedians and visiting fans alike to feel at home in Cleveland, so his team planned to make individual recommends for all the comics coming into town. Comics tend not to be fans of organized activity- particularly at the Accidental Fest, so it kind of trailed off quickly, but before the plan petered out, we got a few of the results.

You can eavesdrop on some of those conversations and steal the recommends for yourself and quickly see that this festival is not like the others.  Much like the festival itself, this story is not slick or corporate, and it doesn’t play by any rules. Get your ass to Cleveland, it’s going to be a hell of a weekend!

Go to accidentalcomedy.com!


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“Hey this is Giulia, sorry I missed your call. Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you.”

***BEEP***

“Yo, Giulia ! Its Josh Morrow, from Accidental Comedy. You kicked ass at last year’s festival, so we had to have you back. We got you flying in Friday morning on Flight xxxx at xx am from LaGuardia. I’ll pick you up at the airport here at noon. On our way to the hotel, we can hit up Flower Child and Googie Style, two of the best vintage stores in town. Ramon Rivas is gonna meet us about 20 minutes after 4 on the rooftop at the hotel with a tiny, but impeccably rolled blunt. Don’t worry, we won’t send you on stage hungry. A bunch of us comics are meeting over at Mabel’s BBQ for these killer fancy BBQ sandwiches. With a dozen comics at one table, I am sure the conversation will get interesting. After dinner, we should have just enough time to stop by Erie Island Coffee Co for a cup of the best Italian-style house roasted coffee around. Then it’s just a short walk to Pickwick & Frolic for your 8pm show on the main stage with Ron Funches ! This weekend is gonna be dope. See you at the airport at noon !”


 & Jenny Zigrino

Jenny only told me that her favorite food is bacon and that she enjoys visiting historical stuff. Her only exposure to Cleveland was St. Patrick’s Day.

Hey Jenny,

I’m sorry that the only exposure you have had to Cleveland was St. Patrick’s day. To make it up to you, I have planned a day tailored to your interests during your return trip. When you wake up from your imminent hangover (it’s what we do) we will head over to Bar Cento in Ohio City for their Sunnyside Pizza with all of the breakfast foods you need; yes, including bacon! We will then depart on a Lolly the Trolley tour of Lake View Cemetery and Little Italy as I know you like visiting historical sites and your last name sounds Italian as shit. After the tour, I will take you to the historic West Side Market for some bacon jerky at J & J Czuchraj Meats. To build up more appetite we will head downtown by taking a stroll across the Hope Memorial Bridge for dinner at Greenhouse Tavern for their famous Roasted Pig Head. Once you have had your fill nibbling on piggy cheek, we will walk across the street to Pickwick & Frolic’s Hilarities 4th St. Theater because it’s showtime at the 6th annual Accidental Comedy Fest!


 & Megan Gailey

Megan Gailey is no stranger to Cleveland. Getting her comedy start in Chicago and being from Indiana, she is a Midwest Princess that has been destroying Cleveland crowds for years. She loves it here, citing the fact that she saw Kevin Costner’s “Draft Day” in theaters as proof. Every time she has come to Cleveland, everyone she meets immediately starts trying to sell her on how awesome the city is, which is one of the many things she loves about Cleveland. She said that her favorite thing about Cleveland is the men, which she lists among the best in the country. When I asked her to list her favorite places, she rambled off a list that would make any local believe that she truly understands our city. She listed restaurants filled with fatty foods and good beer, as well as the Botanical Gardens and Art Museum, each of the sports venues, and the casino that she loves because she believes they will serve anybody.

Megan’s love of sports, fatty foods, and the men of Cleveland lead me to believe that the perfect hot spot for her would be the Cleveland Browns fans’ main tailgate spot, the Muni Lot. Specifically, early in the season, before they look hopeless and people decide sleeping in is far more rewarding. Brats, beers, Bertman’s Stadium Mustard, custom Browns RVs, and Cleveland dudes as far as the eye can see. Plus, there is no possible way that anybody would ever even consider cutting anyone off. It’s Cleveland’s Sodom and Gomorrah, there are no rules. I had a cop kick over my beer once and come over to give me a hug to apologize. I know a lot of cities think that they have the best tailgates, but they don’t. We do.

Megan Gailey would be an amazing person to tailgate with, heck she is an amazing person to do anything with, she’s Megan Gailey. And if you have never seen her before, you should go way out of your way to see her. It’s worth it, and Accidental Comedy Fest in Cleveland, a city she lists among her favorite places to perform, is the perfect place to go see her.


 & Ron Funches

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Ramon Rivas II is a stand up comedian and eminent Latino from Cleveland, OH. Ramon's chill comedic vibes have made him a stand out performer around the country. His efforts through accidentalcomedy.com have played a small part in helping establish Cleveland as a comedy hub in the national scene. An alum of SF sketchfest, Chicago's Comedy Exposition & NBCUniversal/Second City's Breakout Comedy Fest & The New York Comedy Festival, where he was selected by Comedy Cental as a Comic to Watch, a huge honor for an unsigned talent from the middle of America.
Ramon Rivas II
Ramon Rivas II
Ramon Rivas II is a stand up comedian and eminent Latino from Cleveland, OH. Ramon's chill comedic vibes have made him a stand out performer around the country. His efforts through accidentalcomedy.com have played a small part in helping establish Cleveland as a comedy hub in the national scene. An alum of SF sketchfest, Chicago's Comedy Exposition & NBCUniversal/Second City's Breakout Comedy Fest & The New York Comedy Festival, where he was selected by Comedy Cental as a Comic to Watch, a huge honor for an unsigned talent from the middle of America.