@sweetwheatpete | Website
Where were you raised? Oxford, MI
Where do you live now? Los Angeles, CA
Who are you comedic influences? Bill Cosby, Dave Chappelle, Mitch Hedberg
When did you decide to pursue standup comedy and why? I decided to pursue stand up comedy when I was 17, senior year of high school. I’d been writing jokes since 15, and telling myself I’d try it one talent show. Senior year rolled around and I figured there was going to be no other time, so I went for it.
What was your first joke? Where did you tell it? How did it go? I remember my full first 5 minutes. I hit all the good topics; swearing, family, the elderly, death, coloring books, and how creepy little girls are… I had solid laughs and applause breaks the whole way through, and ended up winning the talent show. I think the very next show I did I was booed for my entire set. That’s pretty much comedy in a nutshell.
What is your proudest comedic accomplishment? I once ran into Bill Burr at a bar in LA, and everyone’s talking about the greatest sitcom being Seinfeld, and I interjected with a rant about how Seinfeld is trash compared to the Drew Carey Show (partially because I think it’s true, but partially to just go against the grain), and Bill was laughing his ass off. Making one of my idols laugh is more validating than any other credit I can think of.
See Peter perform in the Burbank Comedy Festival:
Comics without Borders: Sunday, August 17th – 9:00 p.m.
Hosted by Dat Phan from Last Comic Standing (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)
TMZ Comedians & Friends: Wednesday, August 20th – 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Rick Mitchell from TMZ (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)
Catherine (Cat) Wagner
Where were you raised? Granada Hills, CA
Where do you live now? Santa Barbara, CA
Who are you comedic influences? Anjelah Johnson, Jim Gaffigan and Kathleen Madigan
What was your first joke? Where did you tell it? How did it go? One tearful evening, after a particularly jerky dude broke my heart, I thought to myself, nothing could feel worse than how I feel right now. Not even telling jokes to 20 strangers and having them boo me off the stage. My first joke is one I still kind of do. “I’m insecure about my boobs. I know you think you see something here but it’s just foam, hydraulics, and a mirror hidden in the room that reflects my shoulders onto my chest.” It got a laugh at the time, but it’s evolved and expanded into its own creature.
What is your proudest comedic accomplishment? I’m still a relative newb, so getting into my first comedy festival (this one) would have to be my proudest accomplishment. There have a been many small proud moments leading to this one, though, as I watch my hard work pay off, like the first time I won back a room when the two previous comics had bombed. That was an incredibly rewarding experience.
See Cat perform in the Burbank Comedy Festival:
Ladies of Laughter: Wednesday, August 20th – 8:00 p.m.
Hosted by Wendy Liebman from America’s Got Talent (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)
Colorful Comedy: Friday, August 22nd – 9:30 p.m.
Hosted by Kimrie Davis from Scandal (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)
@chrisgehrt | Website
Where were you raised? Menasha, Wisconsin
Where do you live now? Santa Monica, California
Who are you comedic influences? Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Nick Swardson
What is your proudest comedic accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment is starting a touring Stand Up group called “The Convicts of Comedy.” (I know, its a terrible name) We are a group of comics that tour throughout the Southwest performing in places like San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield. We basically started our own tour. Cold calling bars and clubs all over and just seeing if they would let us put on a free comedy show. And we now have places we play at all the time, building up our audiences all over without needing TV exposure. Its allowed me to do longer sets and to have a great time with my friends.
What are you looking forward to most about the Burbank Comedy Festival? I plan on being at and around the festival everyday of it. I got a show with Brad Williams hosting that I’m looking forward to called “The Misfits of Comedy”, and want to check out as many seminars as I can. I also like the idea that one of the comedy legends performing in the festival could be in the audience during one of my shows. I remember doing a show in the Flappers main room one time and heard Keenan Ivory Wayans laugh at one of my jokes and that still makes me feel great.
See Chris perform in the Burbank Comedy Festival:
Misfits of Comedy: Monday, August 18th – 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Brad Williams from Mind of Mencia (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)
Headliners Showcase: Friday, August 22nd – 11:00 p.m.
Hosted by Kevin Shea from HBO’s Down and Dirty (Full Lineup & Tickets HERE)