“Boston doesn’t fuck around with comedy,” Comedian of the Year and Medford native Robert Kelly said while receiving his honor from the Boston Comedy Festival, also quipping, ““The reason we’re funny is because of these streets, […] because we’re miserable people.” Noting the come-up of the Somerville area where the finale was staged (“you’re good looking people, not criminals! Way to get your act together, Somerville!”), he also acknowledged the group of comedians he came up with in Boston’s comedy scene: Louis C.K., Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr, and Dane Cook, before ultimately sharing, “I take a lot of pride in being from here.”
The reason we’re funny is because of these streets, […] because we’re miserable people.
“I guess I’m supposed to die after this? Not gonna happen, kids!”
“Stand up for people in worse shape than you are. At the end of the day, when you go home, you won’t have to look for a leader because you’ll be that leader,” urged the comic, whose activism was profiled in his mentee Bobcat Goldthwait’s film Call Me Lucky. Encouraging audience members to “be loving and decent and courageous and care about people,” it was a wonderful moment to ponder the social impact that comedy can have- and a shining example of what the evening’s winner could do with their talent.
And speaking of the evening’s winner…that should be read as “winners.” A scoring tie meant that the honor of Boston Comedy Festival winner will be shared between vocal dog enthusiast Andrew Mayer and novice Home Depot-goer Drew Dunn. There’s no word on how being named Andrew played into their victory, but they nonetheless shared the final spotlight with grace.
The Boston Comedy Festival concludes with the Liquid Courage and Beer Me! Shows, as well as the Stand Up for Recovery Benefit Show, with proceeds to go to the Lenny Bruce Foundation.