What a joke! The Santa Barbara Laugh Festival plans to put us in a better mood
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After, COVID, mudflows, fires, unemployment and a possibly speeding bike coming at you while you are shopping, the Santa Barbara Laugh Festival hopes to put you in a better mood this week.
Executive producer and festival founder Luis Moro and co-producer Samantha "Sam" Bear say society overall needs the comedy help after so many challenges in the past few years.
They have been putting on stage shows throughout Santa Barbara with both first-timers in comedy and pros for about two years.
This was going on even during the pandemic when people were not always comfortable coming together and bursting out in laughter, occasionally next to someone else's face.
Tuesday evening at Augie's, Moro said this week he has three days of comedy set with 30 comedians.
The event will be held on the back lot stage at the Red Piano at 519 State St. in the downtown Santa Barbara promenade.
Thursday will be local comedians, from the 805.
Friday will be wide open with international comedians.
Saturday will be break out comedians who are on the verge of national appearances.
Moro says "laughter helps heal, unite and create peace, with the person laughing."
He was a victim of the Montecito debris flow and faced a tremendous setback in 2018. Coming out of it and moving forward, he says laughter made a big difference.
Moro wants to share that with others.
He is known to say if you are having a bad day or are depressed, go see standup comedy.
"The Santa Barbara Laugh Festival is committed to being part of the conversation that makes a difference," said Moro.
Bear jokes that she and Moro will be "co-parenting" the festival. She has stage competitions with Jimmy Kimmel's Funniest College Student in American contest, appearances at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club and the 2020 Laughs Unlimited Competition. She has been hosting comedy shows throughout Santa Barbara for months.
She told some of the comedians prior to the event, "I am really excited for you and to be reminded of the community spirit in Santa Barbara."
Moro is an actor, director, producer, comic and event manager who wants to bring a new burst of positive energy and fresh entertainment to the community.
Judges for the festival will include Teresa Kuskey Nowak from the La Boheme Professional Productions, Abe Powell of the Bucket Brigade, Drew Wakefield from Cork and Fork 805 radio , and DJ Darla Bea.
Powell said, "It's been crazy times and at the same time we have seen America get more divided than we have ever seen in our lives, in generations." That's why he supported this unified comedy show.
Comedian Jessica Winther said she loves Santa Barbara and has come up from Los Angeles. "They request me. Like, who requests me? I'm flattered. "
A careful Santa Barbara mom, TV host and comedian Victoria Charters said her jokes are safe because "it gets reported to my kids through everyone! "
Sam Silverman has made it to comedy stages saying " I'm here because my wife told me to. She signed me up for classes because I'm too chicken."
Music teacher, trivia host and comedian Madelena Fossatti said just to showcase the talent makes the event a good idea. "Support for the arts, support for the artists, people working on their crafts. We seem to all get along and have a great time working together."
The Red Piano is known for its piano bar sing alongs on its front patio and main stage inside. The owners developed the entertainment stage in the back to have an alternative site for additional piano events and comedy. It has proven to be a unique new venue and the home base for Moro and his comedy shows.
For more information go to: Santa Barbara Laugh Festival