The definitive guide to comedy festivals for 2017


Last year, it seemed as if there were a comedy festival somewhere in the world every weekend, if not more than one. How does 2017 stack up compared to 2016?

Here’s what we know and what’s happened so far already…






  • SXSW: Interactive, Film and Music festivals, with comedy panels, screenings and live shows every day and night, March 10-18, 2017. Austin. TEXAS.






Cabo Comedy Festival: May or June 2017. Shows in English and Spanish, plus a competition, panels and awards. Cabo San Lucas. BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR. MEXICO.

QueerCom is Pride Weekend’s Unofficial LGBTQ Comedy Festival. 3 days of improv, stand-up, sketch, drag, storytelling, solo shows, musical acts, screenings, panels, full-length musicals, and anything else funny you can think of. QueerCom is built to highlight New York City’s funniest LGBTQ comics in every medium.


Comedy Central presents Colossal Clusterfest: June 2-4, 2017. San Francisco. CALIFORNIA. Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, Ice Cube, Chromeo, Tegan and Sara, Chris Hardwick, Hannibal Buress, Broad City, Bob Odenkirk, Lil Dicky, Fred Armisen, Princess, Vince Staples, Anthony Jeselnik, Reggie Watts, Tig Notaro, Pete Davidson, Natasha Leggero, Moshe Kasher, 2 Dope Queens, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, Preservation Jazz Hall Band, and many more. Go here for the full lineup!

  • MaxFunCon: June 9-11, 2017. Lake Arrowhead. CALIFORNIA.
  • Southwest LaughFest: Comedy competition “Southwest Funniest” and more. El Paso. TEXAS.
  • The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival: Now in year six. June 15-18, 2017. Chicago. ILLINOIS.
  • Great American Comedy Festival: Celebrating comedy in the hometown of Johnny Carson, June 14-17. Norfolk. NEBRASKA. With Martin Short, Robert Klein, Larry Miller, Wendy Liebman and more.
  • Snubfest: June 20-25, 2017. Featuring comedians rejected by other comedy festivals. Chicago. ILLINOIS.
  • Skankfest NYC: Legion of Skanks Presents The Anti Comedy Festival. June 23-25, 2017. Long Island City. NEW YORK.
  • Del Close Marathon (DCM): Submission accepted until March 7, 2017. Improv comedy marathon hosted by the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) founders and featuring groups from around the world, around the clock in multiple NYC venues. Now in its 19th year. June 23-25, 2017. New York. NEW YORK.


  • Just For Laughs: The biggest comedy festival. Now in its 35th year. First half is dominated by Francophone acts. Final week features ComedyPro conference, panels, speakers, podcasts and all of the English-speaking acts. July 12-31, 2017. Montreal. QUEBEC. CANADA.
  • Joshua Tree Improv Comedy Festival: Debuting in 2017! Improv groups, sketch groups and stand up comics are invited to submit an entry for the Joshua Tree International Improv/Comedy Festival. All entries are welcome and can be accessed at,  where you will also find additional submission information. Entries will be judged by a selection committee, and the committee’s official selections will perform at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center, 61231 Highway 62 in Joshua Tree, on July 8-9, 2017, as part of the festival.  These performances will then be judged by a live audience to determine an overall winner.  The overall festival winner will be offered a paid return engagement at the theatre. Other events being planned for the festival include an opening gala, comedy and improvisation workshops, and many live performances and appearances from revered household names and up-and-coming stars.




NYCSKETCHFEST: The comedy community in New York City has grown from humble beginnings to one of the premiere cities for improvisation and sketch comedy. With several longform-improv theaters boasting some of the best improvisers and sketch performers in the country, our local comedy community offers a uniquely diverse and exciting comedy scene featuring a wide variety of comedic styles and philosophies. To showcase this, The New York City Sketch Festival was created not only to celebrate the diversity of talent but also to foster links between writers and performers in New York City with artists from all over the world, as well as with members of the entertainment industry at large. Coming Fall, 2017!

SOLOCOM: The PIT, along with award-winning solo show artist Peter Michael Marino (Desperately Seeking the Exit) presents SOLOCOM, NYC’s Only All-New Solo Comedy Festival. For four days in November, the PIT’s stages are taken over by all-new world premiere solo comedies by artists from across the country, Canada and England. SOLOCOM 2016 featured everything from autobiographical performance to sketch, storytelling, stand-up, music, dance, drag, puppetry, autobiographical puppetry, autobiographical discography, magic, multi-media, critically acclaimed Edinburgh Festival artists, fake talk shows, fake podcasts, cooking, improv, cabaret, pole dancing, a Bob Ross led painting session, clowning, beautifully obsessive Star Trek fandom, and the fearless acting of a cardboard box. Coming Fall, 2017!




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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