Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Announces Partnerships, New Events

The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy has teamed up with the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival and national partner, Pandora Comedy, to bring two new events to the region.

According to Steve Neilans, communications coordinator for the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will produce a night of comedy called the “Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs” for its regional partner, the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, Friday, July 5, and a “Comics to Watch” showcase for Pandora Comedy, Thursday, Aug. 1.

The Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs will be headlined by comedian Tammy Pescatelli, winner of Comedy Central’s “Stand-up Showdown” in 2010 and finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” season two. Pescatelli also participated in last year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival as a host and as an entertainer. According to Pescatelli, she’ll bring the funny with her to Ellicottville.

“That’s what I do – I find the funny,” said Pescatelli. “Here’s the thing about outdoor festivals: generally, for comedy, they aren’t very good. They’re like, ‘Oh boy that’s hard because there are so many distractions.’ But, I’m so excited because I know this area, and we’re all just so happy to outside that we’ll consume it no matter where it is.”

Tony Deyo and a collection of other comedians whose credentials include: NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno; CBS’ “Late Show” with David Letterman; and NBC’s “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon, will also be performing during the Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs.

For more information about the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, which will feature Creedence Clearwater Revival and country-music star Gretchen Wilson, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.

Pescatelli will return to Jamestown on Thursday, Aug. 1, to host the Comics to Watch showcase, which is sponsored by Pandora Comedy.

“I’ve been trying to help as much as I can to bring the Lucy-Fest into the comedy world because I really believe there is so much potential in it,” said Pescatelli. “So, I think it’s really great that they decided to hook up with Pandora. It’s going to be a lot of exposure, not only for the Lucy-Fest but for each of the individual comics that participate.”

Pescatelli will be joined at the Comics to Watch showcase by comedians Keith Alberstadt, Joe Machi, Cy Amundson and Jackie Kashian.

“The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has featured then-rising comedians such as Ellen Degeneres, Lewis Black, and Ray Romano in the past and aims to do the same with this showcase,” said Neilans.

Alberstadt is a contributing writer for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update series and National Lampoon. He is also a regular performer for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Machi is the winner of the New York Underground Festival’s Emerging Comedian award, and he recently appeared on “Late Night.” Amundson performed during last summer’s Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, and was named as CMT’s Next Big Comic in 2011. Kashian has appeared on the TBS’ “Conan,” “This American Life” with Ira Glass and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central.

According to Neilans, in addition to the Comics to Watch showcase, Pandora Comedy and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy are working together to develop an interactive exhibit featuring Pandora’s “Comedy Genome Project,” which will be located at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during the the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Pandora launched Comedy in May of 2011, and currently features more than 20,000 comedy tracks in its catalog from more than 1,500 comedians.

“Pandora is very excited to be working with the Lucy Desi Center on this first-of-its kind comedy attraction,” said Kelly Anneken, comedy curator at Pandora. “Helping Jamestown visitors learn more about America’s rich humorous history is perfectly aligned with Pandora’s mission to connect our listeners to comedy they love. We’re also thrilled to carry on the legacy of one of American comedy’s greatest stars by presenting a showcase at this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.”

Tickets for Comics to Watch, Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, the GIs of Comedy, Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs and other events during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which is scheduled for Aug. 1-4, are available by visiting LucyComedyFest.com.