Here are three of our featured comedians whose performances (and personalities) we’re really looking forward to seeing at the festival!
Erik Escobar | Website | Twitter
Comedic Influences: Emo Phillips, Dr. Cocacola McDonalds, Anthony Jeselnik
Grew Up: A house, Gardena, California
Current Residence: A large closet, Los Angeles, California
When did you decide to pursue comedy? Why? Freshman year, I had no interest in Theatre or Drama. I was busy expressing my artistic creativity as tight end for the BMHS Frosh football team. After practice was suddenly cancelled one day (We didn’t need it, our amazing talent and natural athleticism alone got us one and a half wins that season.), I made my way to Burger King when I came across about a dozen students screaming Pokemon references in between building two and three. I decided to hang out and voyeur into this new, untucked-shirt world. They soon called out “Any new kids want to play the next game?” At the time, I was a fan of Play Station’s Madden 2004 and thought a game of some sort might be fun. Myself and 3 strangers, each of us in a different class standing, then began to improvise a scene off the suggestion “kumquat.” I walked on out, put my hands in my pants, and did a variation of a Family Guy joke. Everyone laughed. A couple weeks later, I quit the football team to join the improv team. Eight years later, I left my full time to be a stand-up comic and teach improv workshops at low-income schools and juvenile halls. Both were the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
What was your first joke? Where did you tell it? How did it go? The first bit I ever wrote/performed was, “So I’m in college majoring in theatre, because my whole life I’ve dreamed of moving to Hollywood to become a waiter. I’m also doing a Spanish minor, but don’t tell her parents.” Everyone at the minimally-attended, on-campus open mic was pretty down until I joked about pedophilia — except weird old Janitor Joe, he just looked on, smiled, then put his pants on.
What is your proudest comedic accomplishment? It’s a tie between getting featured on the “What Not To Do” segment of Last Comic Standing’s season 7 or eating semen pudding on Tosh.o. I’ve finally made it, Mom.
Erik’s Scheduled Appearances:
Jessi Campbell | Website | MySpace
Comedic Influences: I believe my comedic influences extenf beyond comedians. Sometimes, I’ll see a really funny clown at a children’s birthday party and I’ll think to myself “Man, this guy is great. And I hope no one realizes I’m not supposed to be here and I don’t have any kid.”
Grew Up: I was raised in the high deserts of Arizona, living in a mud hut with my birth family until I was 8 and adopted by a “normal” family that understood my Hypertrichosis and integrated me into society. I still miss my old family sometimes. I’ll stroke the tails of my mustache and think of my days in the sun.
Current Residence: I split my time between Los Angeles and Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m part of an exclusive team of volunteers that helps dig up the bones of giants. It’s pretty important work. You’re welcome.
When did you decide to pursue comedy? Why? I decided to pursue comedy when I was 13. School wasn’t working out, I was having a hard time fitting in at the factory. I was smoking two packs of smokes a day and I just really needed a place to vent. I was walking home one night, clutching my lunch pail in my hand, my other hand holding my coat tight against the snow. And I saw this flashing neon light against the dreary background. I nodded to myself “Laughs, indeed.” I whispered to no one in particular. And I went inside. And I killed.
What was your first joke? Where did you tell it? How did it go? My first joke was a timely and hilarious (obviously) take on President Harry Truman and the conflict in Turkey. I remember getting on that stage in that speak easy, raising my voice so the audience could hear it over the cigarette dames, and yelling “I believe this Truman to be a bit of a scoundrel!” A hush fell over the room and even the piano man stopped playing. I had their attention. And I went on a rant unlike any other. By the end I could see the club owner at the bar, cigar hanging out of his mouth. He leaned to the bartender and said “this broad has some chops.”
What is your proudest comedic accomplishment? My proudest comedic accomplishment remains the day I performed at Fort Bragg. It was where my father got his Airborne training. After the show they presented me with an Iron Mike- a statue of the Fort Bragg mascot. I had already started crying when someone pointed up. “Look, daddy, that man is flying!” A small child yelled. It was my father, parachuting in to see me. I watched him in awe. He was an angel, floating down, a smile on his face. I clutched my statue and tears streamed down my face as he waved. He never even saw that semi coming down the road. I still have the statue.
Comedic Influences: Seinfeld, Ellen, Gallagher
Grew Up: San Diego, California
Current Residence: In the lap of luxury known as Sherman Oaks. But the nearest parking spot is in Studio City, so I kinda get the best of both worlds.
When did you decide to pursue comedy? Why? I remember in third grade I told a joke on the tetherball courts and a girl I liked laughed really hard and said I should be a comedian. It was all just a downward spiral from there.
What was your first joke? Where did you tell it? How did it go? I’ve told jokes all my life, mostly through writing or silly videos, but I didn’t try stand-up until four year ago at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York. It went really well, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I opened with a joke I still use now: “I studied film because I really want to be… a waiter.”
Why do you perform? I love the craft of stand-up and the satisfaction you get when you write a great joke. Joke writing is like trying to break a code. It can take a lot of work until it finally clicks. Doing that joke on stage and seeing it make people burst into laughs is like solving a math problem and knowing that it’s right. It’s a good feeling.
Fruit Cocktail Showcase – Aug 20 – 10:00 p.m. – Hosted by Jen Kober (Tickets HERE)
Diversity Showcase – Aug 23 – 7:30 p.m. – Hosted by Vanessa Graddick (Tickets HERE)