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Got Laughter? The Finger Lakes Does! (Ithaca Blog)

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The Finger Lakes Comedy Competition and Festival (April 26-28)

Three Days Worth of Laughs

“The only honest art form is laughter, comedy. You can’t fake it… try to fake three laughs in an hour – ha ha ha ha ha – they’ll take you away, man. You can’t.” ~ Lenny Bruce

Justin Williams. Photo Courtesy Finger Lakes Comedy Competition and Festival.I grew up pretty sure that being funny was important. Not more important than anything else like smarts or kindness, but definitely equally important. Before anyone goes supposing that this is a bad thing, I’d like to clarify that we were an equal opportunity humor home. From Lucille Ball and Phyllis Diller to “Laugh-in” and the Smothers Brothers, we were taught to respect it all. Whether it was the dry humor of “M*A*S*H” (well before I understood what dry even meant in reference to anything other than moisture, or lack thereof), or the raucous humor of Buddy Hackett (which we heard only when perched upon the upper steps leading to our bedrooms where we should have been asleep, certainly not with any adult knowledge…until now), we heard and saw it all.

I will never forget the hours we spent laughing at Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Delirious (again, clandestine cassette tapes) or how I wore out the VHS copy of Whoopi Goldberg on Broadway or watching “Match Game” with my father (I still love that show…thank you Game Show Network!). I even recorded then rewound and re-watched Lucille Ball’s facial expressions after school, only wishing I could do that kind of physical comedy.

I will never forget the first time I watched Richard Pryor’s Bustin’ Loose or Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin or Protocol. The moments I spent laughing and the people I laughed at are among some of my most treasured memories from childhood. It’s these laughs I want to pass along because there’s something incredibly intimate about the things we choose to laugh at, something incredibly human. There’s also something amazing about discovering a new comedian, like the time my cousin once asked me “Have you heard of this guy Zach Galifianakis?” years before The Hangover came out.

When we find someone funny, we want to share it with friends. What better way to share it with friends then to do it locally at the upcoming Finger Lakes Comedy Competition and Festival. I know for a fact we’ve got some funny folks around here. For 3 days, from April 26-28th you’ll be able to check a few of them out.

Erin Judge. Photo Courtesy Finger Lakes Comedy Competition and Festival.First there’s the competition part…that’s right…join and compete against some of the areas funniest people in a competition to be a headliner (paid gig!!) and claim the title of Finger Lakes Funniest Comedian.

Then don’t miss the comedy showcases featuring: Justin Williams, from 3 Dudes and a Broad Podcast, Laughing Skull Festival and Boston Comedy Festival, and Erin Judge who has appeared on Comedy Central and just recorded her upcoming comedy album in March. Steve Golder was crowned Ithaca’s Funniest person 2012 and he has not stopped making the crowd laugh.  The winner of Utica’s Funniest Comedian A. J. Foster has come to stake his claim in Ithaca.

It all takes place over three days, at various venues, but one thing’s for sure, Ithaca, it’s time to get your laugh on! Check out the full schedule here.

Jennifer B. Brown is a Barrel of Laughs and a Contributor to The Free George. Photos Courtesy Finger Lakes Comedy Competition and Festival

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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