Kickstarting the 4th annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival

The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, now in its fourth year, is unlike any other comedy festival. Intended to be a joke on the notion of comedy fests, it has nevertheless become a Brooklyn institution now, and as Mirman and his co-conspirators Julie Smith and Caroline Creaghead note, it has managed to become both “sincere-and-ironic.”

Keeping with that theme, they have taken to Kickstarter in hopes of raising money to pay for this year’s event in September. I’ve spoken to Mirman, and this list of ridiculousness is, in fact, quite real. They do plan a full Day of Science this year. In past years, they’ve offered pig roasts and fake VIP laminates, and they’ve sold rocks emblazoned with names of comedy industry insiders.

Among the things they’d like to do this September: Pay the people who work for the festival; build an ice cream limo or buy an ice cream truck (the former sounds wonderful, the latter sounds feasible); fly in some performers and put them up in hotels to expand the event; set up a petting zoo; host an “Awkward Party Bus”; stage a VIP section inside the Bell House. Roll the video clip to hear it straight from Mirman:

With 30 days left in their fund-raising period, they’ve already received $3,842 from 45 backers. The most popular donation level of $20 so far has 12 donors getting their names printed in the festival guide as racists. That’s much more popular, ironically, than giving $5 more to be printed in the festival guide as “Acquaintance of Eugene.” Hmmm.

They’ve also received initial backing at the $500 level for guests on the aforementioned Awkward Party Bus (which includes access to one show, an autographed headshot and a signed poster), as well as the $1,000 level to put their names on animals in the petting zoo (this level includes “Double VIP” access to two shows, a pre-show “meet and hug” with Mirman and access to the party bus).

I love the $8,000 donation level, which earns you $5,000 in $1 bills.

And who will chip in $10,000 or more? If you do, you’ll get paid accommodations “in a nice hotel” for four nights, “a weirdly decorated, very heavy chain that gives you and  a friend access to all the festival shows,” and your very own handler — “this person will probably be around 22-years-old and only sort of helpful.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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