Laugh factory: Get ready for the six-day LOL Comedy Fest

Ben Gleib
Ben Gleib

Scott Montoya may not be a comedian but he knows his comedy. From helping his dad hand out pamphlets for the United Farmworkers to organizing festivals, Mr. Montoya has been bringing unheard voices to the masses. Starting this coming Tuesday, the Santa Barbara Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival opens its doors for six days of stand-up comedy and more. A majority of the evenings are being filmed for broadcast, showing that Santa Barbara isn’t just being used as a practice run.

“Comedy is what is driving everything online right now,” Mr. Montoya says. “This is the best time to be in the comedy world. Even up to three years ago there was only Showtime and Comedy Central. Now it’s all over the place: there’s Netflix and we have our own channel on Hulu.”

Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr

After launching the “LOL Comedy Fest” in other cities, Mr. Montoya was looking at a new location. When San Antonio, Texas, didn’t pan out, Stephenie Hope of Carol Marshall PR (who represents SBIFF) suggested Santa Barbara.

“I was amazed to find out that there had never been a comedy fest in Santa Barbara,” he says. “And I was also amazed by the theaters. You have all these classic spaces coming back on line: the Vic got remodeled, the Lobero too, the Granada looks great.”

The Fest stops at all these locations, with most of the specials being shot at the Lobero. In addition to the line-up, they’ll be shooting a behind-the-scenes doc (“LOL Comedy Inc.”) and for Hulu a “Next-Up Stand-Up” Comedy Series, shooting at Carr Winery and other locations yet to be determined.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun,” he says.

The line-up

Tuesday, September 2

The festival kicks off with “Rip Rip Hooray,” a documentary celebration of the life and career of outrageous comedian Rip Taylor, who is still set on making the world a confetti-filled place at age 79. After the film, the man himself will be present for an informative Q&A. 8 p.m. Arlington Theatre.

Wednesday, September 3

Christopher Titus hosts the second installment of the series “Next-Up Stand-Up,” a preview of the special he shoots later this month. The line-up of up-and-coming comics includes Monty Franklin, Dylan Mandlsohn , Darren Carter, Eric Blake, Josh Waldron and Jarrod Harris. 8 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Super Naked is a band that’s somewhere between comedy and just having a good time. This isn’t a parody group, but something darker, taking on bleak situations (mostly relationship-based) and spinning them into deadpan songs. (Example: “I Wish I Never Saw You Naked.”) Currently the house band at Jon Lovitz’s comedy club in L.A., they are set to go big. 10 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Thursday, September 4

Canadian-Indian comedian Russell Peters kicks off his world tour at the Granada, with a rapid-fire set that pokes fun at everybody, no matter what race, religion or background. From hilarious crowd-work to his own extended family of nutty folks, Mr. Peters is currently one of the world’s most popular stand-ups. 8 p.m. Granada Theatre.

Hot Funny Femmes offers a chance to see seven of the funniest female comedians on the rise, in a showcase hosted by Monique Marvez and Nadine Rajabi. Features Amy Anderson, Grace Fraga, Jen Murphy, Rachel Bradley, Jill Michele Melean, Nadine Rajabi and Monique Marvez. 7:30 and

9:30 p.m. at the New Vic.

Friday, September 5

Jay Mohr films his one-hour special tonight when he plays the Lobero. Mr. Mohr, who’s acted, hosted a radio show, and written books, also believes stand-up should be a high-wire act: there’s no notes and no two shows are the same. 8 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Brad Williams should be better known as a stand-up — and one of the only little person stand-ups out there — and after this show he will be. He too is filming a one-hour special tonight. 10 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Saturday, September 6

Kirk Fox is known for his appearances on “Parks & Recreation” and host of “The Test,” but his stand-up is where it really started. He’ll be filming a one-hour special. 6 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Ben Gleib is also shooting his special right after Mr. Fox. He’s currently the host of Game Show Network’s “Idiotest” and was a long-time guest on “Chelsea Lately.” 8 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Andrew “Dice” Clay made a name for himself as the raunchiest of ’90s comedians, and fittingly hosts “The Blue Show,” a filmed special that features some very smutty people indeed: Eleanor Kerrigan, Jason Rouse, Michael Wheels Parise and Colin Kane . 10 p.m. Lobero Theatre.

Sunday, September 7

Closing off the fest, Jim Jefferies comes fresh off his successful FX comedy series “Legit.” The scabrous, un-PC Australian loves to ruffle feathers and sends the LOL Fest out on an edgy note.

LOL Comedy Festival

When: Tuesday, September 2-Sunday, September 7
Where: Various locations
Cost: Various prices

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