2017 Performers

TODD BARRY - "30TH ANNIVERSARY CROWD WORK TOUR"

New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing “Third Conchord” on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke’s deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary. This year, Todd headlines FCF as part of his 30th Anniversary Crowd Work Tour.  http://toddbarry.com/

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COOK COUNTY SOCIAL CLUB

Cook County Social Club reunites at The Improv Shop in St. Louis for Flyover Comedy Festival! Chicago boys turned LA heartthrobs, this veteran foursome dominated the Chicago improv scene with a brand of bold, high energy improv that consistently blew audiences away during their 7 year open run at iO Chicago. Varying speeds like an elite racing car, this finely tuned machine seems to raise the bar just about every time they take the stage. Catch them at The Improv Shop for two shows on Nov. 11, one at 8 PM and one at 9 PM.

"Perhaps the funniest longform ensemble in the country..." - Splitsider.com

"...one of Chicago's most adroit and successful troupes." - Chicago Tribune

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HENRY PHILLIPS

Henry Phillips has been seen and heard performing his twisted songs and stories on ‘Comedy Central Presents’, ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, as well as satellite and terrestrial radio nationwide. His critically acclaimed comedy albums earned him mention in Billboard magazine’s ‘Critic’s Choice’, as well as acclaim from such notable artists as Moby, who has referred to Phillips’ music as “disconcertingly funny”. In recent years he has focused more on his acting and filmmaking. His semi-biographical cult comedy film “Punching the Clown” received the Audience award at Slamdance film festival ’09, and the sequel ‘Punching Henry’ is now airing on the Showtime network. He has also made acting appearances on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” (4 episodes) and Comedy Central’s “Drunk History”. His YouTube channel, featuring the tutorial cooking series “Henry’s Kitchen”, has garnered over 3 million views. Phillips continues to tour comedy and music venues throughout the US and beyond. http://henryphillips.com/

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EMILY GALATI

Emily Galati is whip-smart and not afraid to prove it. Known for her relentlessly clever style, she brings a social awareness and quick-wit to her shows. Emily isn’t afraid to delve into jokes that are controversial — occasionally bruising some feelings along the way and then gleefully waiting for those shocked and chagrined reactions after delivering the punchline. 
 

Emily has performed standup on the Conan on TBS, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comic’s Unleashed, Laughs, and Gotham Live. She has been chosen to represent Chicago in the "Best of the Midwest" Competition at Gilda's LaughFest, a semi-finalist in NBC's Stand Up for Diversity, and a finalist in the “Bob and Tom” Comedy Contest. https://www.emilygalati.com/ 

FRIDAY, NOV. 10 | 8 PM

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SAM TALLENT

Known for whip-quick wit and rollicking improvisations, Sam Tallent is one of the sharpest, most original rising talents in comedy today. He has been called "the absurd voice of a surreal generation" by the Denver Post, and, when not maintaining a "Black Flag esque tour schedule" (Savage Henry Magazine), Sam has worked alongside many of the biggest names in comedy, including Louis CK, Dave Chappelle, Doug Stanhope, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and TJ Miller. Sam has performed at the Oddball Comedy Festival, High Plains Comedy Festival, Hell Yes Fest, the Chicago Comedy Expo and the NY Film and Television Festival. Sam regularly headlines his hometown club, the legendary Denver Comedy Works. He recently won his battle on Comedy Central's Roast Battle, and was seen on VICELAND's Flophouse as well as the Chris Gethard Show. His writing has been published on VICE.com. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife and his dog. http://www.samtallent.com/

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REENA CALM

Reena Calm is an East Coast Jew turned Chicago favorite, and one of the most respected and requested comedians in the Midwest. Pulling from a lifetime of questionable choices, Reena’s material is autobiographical, silly, and charmingly inappropriate. Reena is a featured regular at the Laugh Factory and performs all over the country. She has featured in Chicago Sketchfest, Accidental Comedy Festival, Birmingham Comedy Festival, Milwaukee Comedy Festival, Burning Bridges Festival, Turnbuckle Fest, The Comedy Exposition, Limestone Comedy Festival, RiOT LA, and Just For Laughs Chicago. Reena has been a frequent guest on WGN and WBEZ radio and recently made her television debut on WCIU’s One Night Stand Up. She was named Comic of The Week on The Jackie & Laurie Show, she’s been called “also terrific” by the Chicago Tribune, and “not a disappointment” by her mother. http://www.reenacalm.com/

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JAMIE CUMMINGS

Originally from St. Louis, Jamie Cummings is an actor, writer, and director currently teaching improv at the People's Improv Theater (The PIT) in New York City. Jamie improvises with house team Borealis & musical house team Hello, as well as with the Local News. He co-created the two-prov show Elvis and Me: An Improvised Romance. He improvises/acts in the interactive Off Broadway show Accomplice. He wrote, acted and directed for the Emmy Award-winning Web sitcom Floaters, which screened at Sundance. He does voice-over and on-camera commercials for clients like GE and Showtime. He enjoys riding his bicycle around the city, and has run a couple of marathons. He loves to snowboard back in Colorado and catch the Cardinals back in St. Louis. He was recently named PIT All-Star. 

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MANDY SCHMIEDER

Mandy Schmieder can be seen as "I'm So Bad" Mandy, the bi-curious fitness student, the apologetic scientist, and the pregnant cannibal, as a recurring guest on Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer. She is also a current member of the improv comedy team The Quitters at The Peoples Improv Theater (PIT) in New York City where she contributes her trademark clueless matriarchs and violent nuns. http://thepit-nyc.com/

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KRISTEN TOOMEY 

Kristen Toomey is one of the top comedians in her hometown of Chicago. She has built a reputation for being a "comedy powerhouse". She is a charming, hilarious, fearless performer who attacks the stage with wit and brutal honesty about her life.

"Watching her is like watching a sitcom in the wings."-Chicago Reader

"Toomey is part of the tradition of comics who kill while sober."- Chicago Tribune

"Keep an eye out for Kristen Toomey"- Huffington Post

“Kristen Toomey is the Mother of all Comedians”- Rebellious Magazine.

In addition to her stand up, you can see Kristen on this season of Chicago Med on NBC and listen to her podcast BUTTHURT on iTunes!

Saturday, Nov. 11 | 8 PM | @ The Urban Chestnut Stage @ Gezellig

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ADAM BURKE

Originally from County Armagh (by way of London and Australia...long story), Adam Burke has been performing comedy in Chicago and throughout the U.S. for more than 10 years. He's a fixture on showcases and clubs around the Midwest and beyond. He is a regular panelist on NPR's topical quiz show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and has appeared on numerous other podcasts. He was the winner of Second City's Up Next Comedy Competition as well as Bridgetown Comedy and Just for Laughs Chicago festivals.

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TED DANGEROUS

Ted Dangerous was the second Improv Shop house team packing the house regularly from 2010 - 2012. Comprised of Chicago-trained improvisers, their style was fast, witty, and chaotic. They have even have a beer named after them at The Improv Shop: The Ted Dangerous A.P.A. The cast is John Langen, Kevin McKernan, Eric Christensen, Katie Nunn, Andy Sloey, and Steven Vance.

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DAMON MILLARD

Damon now lives a nomadic, bohemian lifestyle. Currently based out of New York, he spends most of his time on the road. Damon began standup in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2009 and he recently returned there to record his debut, full-length album, Shame, Pain, And Love. The album was signed to a major comedy label, Comedy Dynamics and is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, and streaming sites and XM radio. 

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BURNSIDE

Burnside is a long-form improv team performing the signature piece the Harold. The nine-member team was founded at The Improv Shop in St. Louis, MO in January 2015 after an audition process brought this group of performers together. Burnside currently performs multiple times a month on Improv Shop's Harold Night. They have also performed at the St. Louis Compass Improv Festival (2015, 2016, 2017), the Detroit Improv Festival (2016), the Chicago Improv Festival (2017).

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RACHAEL GOLDMAN

Biting yet upbeat, Rachael Goldman's entertaining rebuke of the “Midwestern nice” attitude has led her to work with such comedians as Bobcat Goldthwait, Gilbert Gottfried, Christina Pazsitzky, Rich Vos, Emo Philips, Jimmy Pardo and Bill Burr. Based out of southern Indiana, she regularly tours the Midwest and has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio show Bob & Tom.

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RAFE WILLIAMS

St. Louis comedian Rafe Williams' professionalism and reputation for being both a club and crowd favorite has already landed him feature spots for top headliners like Greg Fitzsimmons, Tony Hinchcliffe, and Taylor Williamson. In 2016, he received the honor of being named one of “2016's Rising Stars in Arts and Entertainment” by GO! Magazine and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as the distinction of winning Helium Comedy Club’s first annual “Funniest Person in St. Louis” competition. Rafe is a writer/cast member on STL Up Late, a late-night sketch comedy talk show on KDNL St. Louis ABC30 television, a regular guest and contributor on the We Are Live drive-time show on 105.7 CBS Sports Radio and also hosts his own podcast called “The Other Side of the Tracks,” available on iTunes.

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HAM KITTY

Ham Kitty was supposed to be one-show wonder: Five of Kansas City's most experienced improvisers entered a contest in 2015 to check off an item on one of their bucket lists. Eight months later, they'd set a record for consecutive wins in Underground Throwdown at the Comedy Theater, been awarded Breakout Improv Troupe by the KC Improv Company, and were runners-up in the Pitch Best of KC awards. Now that they're a "thing," they play monthly or more at KC's Kick and Buffalo Room. They perform separately with the KC Improv Company, Comedy City, and a variety of local theater companies. Ham Kitty is Trish Berrong, Katte Haugan, Tina Morrison, Ashley Osborn, and Jen Roser. At least two of them have been doing this since before you were born.

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Bobby Jaycox

BOBBY JAYCOX

Bobby has been performing stand-up comedy since he was 19. In 2013 he won the St. Louis Funny Bone Competition, and since he has been on fire with audiences across the city, performing regularly at Helium Comedy Club St. Louis and touring across the country. In addition to being a stand-up comedian, Bobby is also a graduate of The Improv Shop’s long-form training center and plays on their house team Burnside as well as with sketch group Bottom of the World.
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KENNY KINDS

Kenny Kinds, a comedian and sometime filmmaker, is one of the co-hosts of the live storytelling show and podcast, Sorry Please Continue. Originally from St.Louis, Mo he's opened for Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Buress, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford and Wyatt Cenac and travels around the country reminding everyone he encounters through comedy, that life is but a fleeting sad game.

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RIMA PARIKH

Rima Parikh is a St. Louis based comic and Chicago-based unpaid intern. Despite being dubbed “unapproachable” and “downright scary” by the community at large, she is basically a microwaved stick of butter on the inside. She is part of the Chicago based comedy collective, "Simmer Brown". Other credits include writing for Reductress and handing Tim Meadows a lukewarm cup of coffee one time.

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SOFIYA ALEXANDRA

Sofiya moved to LA as a Russian refugee with her mom at the age of 11. She was on the 3rd season of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, and she’s a writer on Amazon's series Danger & Eggs. She's performed at Limestone, Laughing Skull, Women in Comedy, and many more Comedy Festivals. She was named one of Playboy's 50 Funniest Women on Twitter and one of 18 Funny Women to Follow by HuffPo. She produces SURPRISE!, a mystery-lineup show featured in LAist, LA Weekly, & more.

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SORRY, PLEASE CONTINUE

A local favorite independent show, Sorry Please Continue has been described as a cross between The Moth Radio Hour and Mystery Science Theater 3000. This show will feature some amazing stories as told by a handful of Flyover Comedy Festival's funniest comedians, mixed with commentary from the hosts: Jeremy Hellwig (St. Louis), Kenny Kinds (St. Louis), and Kris Wernowsky (Cleveland).

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TINA DYBAL

Hailing from the Former Soviet Union but growing up in Kansas City, Tina Dybal is no stranger to the Midwest. Starting her career as a comedian in St. Louis just three years ago, she has become a regularly featured performer at Helium Comedy Club. Tina's unique upbringing, caustic humor and memorable stage presence have already landed her opportunities to work with some of the industry’s best comics. She has opened for comedians such as Carly Aquilino from MTV's "Girl Code”, Joey “CoCo” Diaz. and most recently Christina P. from the hugely successful podcast "Your Mom's House".

Outside of stand-up comedy, she is an accomplished comedic improviser. She completed training at The Improv Shop in St. Louis, Missouri and performs regularly as a member of the Improv Shop house team, “Vertigo."
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45 KINGS

We are a diverse 6 person long form improv team based in Chicago. We focus on having the most fun and our love for each other. We regularly perform a minimum of once a week and often times two or three. We've performed a The Playground, Stage 773, iO and many more. We were a finalist at CIT (College Improv Tournament), performed in the Chicago Improv Festival and National College Comedy Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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SCOTTIE

We are a diverse 6 person long form improv team based in Chicago. We focus on having the most fun and our love for each other. We regularly perform a minimum of once a week and often times two or three. We've performed a The Playground, Stage 773, iO and many more. We were a finalist at CIT (College Improv Tournament), performed in the Chicago Improv Festival and National College Comedy Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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WES CORWIN

Wes Corwin is a high-powered comedy mutant. Too weird to live, too rare to die. Wes has had his unique brand of humor featured on Cracked.com and @midnight. As a stand-up, he's opened for Bob's Burger's Kurt Braunohler, been featured at the New Orleans Comedy Festival opening for Nick Vatterott, and been featured the last two consecutive years at the Memphis Comedy Festival. When he's offstage, Wes sits in front of his computer, struggling to think of how to effectively end his bio.

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SHARUP KARIM

Performed at Zanies in Old Town, The Laugh Factory, The Second City's Beat Lounge and The Second City's DeMaat Theatre. Sold out first headlining show at the Bughouse Theatre and featured at The Basement in San Francisco, Comedy of Oakland, and at Eastville Comedy Club in NYC. Previous performer for the World Series of Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and at the LaughFest Comedy Festival in Grand Rapids. Producer/host of The Joke Box at The Joynt Lounge in Chicago.

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FISTFIGHT

Fistfight has been together since March of 2016. We started as a group who just wanted to do more improv together in a basement, and cycled through a couple of different experimental forms before choosing one to explore more deeply. Our first performance was May of 2017 at The Improv Shop, and we've since established a show at Heavy Anchor called Fistfight with Friends that we invite other teams to join us for. Although we're a relatively young group, there are over 35 years of improv experience among us. We're glad to finally be performing together as Fistfight.

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CARLY BALLERINI

Carly is a quickly rising Chicago comic. She produces three popular and unique shows in Chicago: Ladylike, Hoo Ha and SPACE. She has performed all over the Midwest, Seattle, Portland, Tennessee and was part of the Highlarious Festival and Ladylaughs and WICF in Boston. After life with a bi-polar mom who went to clown college, adorably clueless Italian grandparents and too many relationships to count, her wry take on a world gone mad will leave you unsettled in the most delightful way.

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PUTTY

Putty is six St Louis improvisers. They have performed in the New York Del Close Marathon, Chicago's Bughouse theater, as well as a six-week run this past summer at their home theater, The Improv Shop
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MATT ZIEMAK

Matt Ziemak is a young man from Tucson AZ. Like many people born in Tucson, Matt was born in a barn. He continued to live in that barn for 18 years. While confined to such a small space he had to learn to forge for himself, which turned out to just be watching standup all day. Matt has done a lot in his short 3-year career. He was even a finalist in the 2016 Arizona's Funniest Comedian contest, which is cool because stand-up IS TOTALLY a contest and not really about personal preference at all!

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AARON WEBER

Aaron is a standup comic born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. After barely graduating from Notre Dame in 2014, Aaron moved to Nashville and started doing standup. Since then, he's become a regular at Zanies Comedy Club and has performed in venues/clubs all over the Southeast. In 2016, Aaron helped break the Guinness World Record for Longest stand-up comedy show (www.brokenrecordshow.com).

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HOMEBURGER

HOMEBURGER is three friends who discovered each other in St. Louis and started an improv team because they love each other like crazy. Annie, Julia, and Lindsay have all been studying and performing for 4-5 years at The Improv Shop, St. Louis' only long-form improv theater, and are now branching out for shows around the city (and hopefully, the country). They strive to bring energy and fearlessness to their shows, riding the roller coasters of emotions and creating beautiful weirdos to make each other smile for a half-hour each week.

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GROUP SHOWER

Group Shower formed in classes at The Improv Shop training center in 2015 and has been performing together for 1 year. They are coached by the brilliant Melissa Darch.

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BOTTOM OF THE WORLD

BOTTOM OF THE WORLD

Bottom of the World is a cloak-and-dagger organization hell-bent on taking down the Wall Street fat cats, sanctimonious zealots, and lawless government. Their clandestine missions attempt to tip the scales of power in favor of the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Catch this show on the Improv Shop Main Stage following Cook County Social Club during Flyover Comedy Festival. $10

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ANDRES BECERRIL

Andres Becerril is a Mexican American Comedian based out of Denver, CO. He has cut his teeth in Denver and is ready to bring his mix of dad jokes, Mexican sense of humor and unapologetic crowd work to a stage near you.

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IAN ERICKSON

With an extensive background in improvisational comedy, Ian’s seemingly off-the-cuff style of storytelling shines through his friendly demeanor. Affectionately named “The Riffmaster General” by his peers and “a fat failure” by his enemies, Ian is relentless when it comes to exploring comedy in the moment, resulting in unforgettable shows. Ian has opened for headliners such as Andrew Santino, Joe DeRosa, Rory Scovel, and Nick Thune, and plans on opening for many more, if you’ll just let him.

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KATHERINE JESSUP

A former cubicle jockey and high school coach, Katherine now runs a delightfully weird storytelling show (Off the Rails!), co-hosts a podcast (Advice! with Dave & Kat) and has performed around the country. Her comedy has been called sublime, profoundly relatable, and also available for birthday parties. She’s headlined Charm City Comedy Festival, and performed at Seattle International Comedy Competition, Laugh Your Asheville Off, the Bentzen Ball, and the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival.

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LADY DIE

Lady Die is a four-person improv team raised in the St. Louis training center, The Improv Shop. Laura, Jen, Stephanie and Emily circled each other for years, then finally decided to come together and have fun together on stage. LadyDie focuses on the fun of improv, moving swiftly through scenes, always searching for ways to weave characters, emotions or patterns throughout their sets.

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EMILY HICKNER

Emily Hickner is a St. Louis- based comedian who infuses the personal with the absurd. She has opened for such acts as Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder and Hari Kondabolu.

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CHRIS CYR

Chris Cyr is a writer and comic who lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife, two dogs, and a cat. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Creator of Wild Card Comedy and produces Impolite Company, a monthly late-night comedy showcase.

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JEREMY HELLWIG

Jeremy is from St Louis. He co-hosts the show called Fatal Bus Accident, which he is never able to describe. He also co-hosts the live storytelling podcast called Sorry, Please Continue. He also does standup and sometimes writes dumb stuff for the internet.

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RYAN DALTON

After winning 3 championships, Ryan left the NBA to pursue his dream of playing professional baseball. After being just about the absolute worst baseball player to ever swing a bat, Ryan returned to the NBA and won 3 more championships. Ryan is considered the greatest NBA player to ever live.

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ROB T

Born in St. Louis, MO, Rob is a regular at Helium Comedy Club St. Louis. His traveling comedian storytelling special is coming soon as well as a podcast and showcase.

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SARAH PEARL

St. Louis' own Sarah Pearl brings the laughs with her honest, self-deprecating, and whimsical stand-up comedy. When she's not headlining shows throughout the Midwest, you can find Sarah disappointing her parents or eating alone at the nearest pizza buffet. A regular at Helium Comedy Club, she's worked with the likes of Reena Calm, Ryan Singer, AJ Finney, and Nikki Glaser.

 

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ANGELA SMITH

Angela Smith is a St. Louis based stand-up comic and producer of the monthly storytelling showcase "All the Feels" at the Improv Shop. She performs regularly on the local circuit and at Helium Comedy Club. Angela has opened for Sara Schaefer of MTV's "Nikki and Sara Live" and she's danced on stage with Kurt Braunohler while dressed in a full beaver suit. She has never felt more alive.

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JUSTIN LUKE

Justin Luke is a comedian in St. Louis. Justin Luke has done shows in that city and other cities. Justin Luke has performed at clubs and Justin Luke has performed at festivals. Justin Luke has opened for people that have been on TV. Justin Luke is proud of these accomplishments.

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YALE HOLLANDER

Local lawyer turned comic, Yale is relatively fresh on the St. Louis stand-up scene but he has made great strides the last two years, performing regularly at Helium Comedy Club and running his own successful showcase and open mic at Brennan's once a month. As KSDK recently put it, "There's no fancy methodology about his comedy. He's just a guy with a need to make you laugh." Catch Yale hosting the Handlebar Open Mic from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday of the fest.

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BRIAN MCDOWELL

Brian McDowell has returned to stand-up comedy after a long absence. Born in Memphis and raised in St. Louis, McDowell performed in comedy clubs around the country before temporarily retiring to write an award-winning humor column for a small-town newspaper in Kansas. Upon his return to the comedy stage, the hard-working comic has been bowling audiences over with his clever material and ranting style. He has been called “half-crazed and wholly hilarious” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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