National College Comedy Festival

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The National College Comedy Festival (often simply "ComFest" or NCCF) is an annual collegiate comedy festival founded in 1990 by David Miner. Hosted by Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, it is widely regarded as the premiere festival of its kind.

Background

ComFest is typically organized by the senior members of Skidmore's oldest improv ensemble, the Ad-Libs. The festival hosts improv and sketch groups from primarily north eastern colleges for a weekend of comedy performances. It usually also features headlining professional comdians, who perform and teach improv and sketch workshops for participating groups. Past professional groups have included the UCB Tour Co., TJ and Dave, The Improvised Shakespeare Co., Tig Notaro, and more. Being offered this performance opportunity is usually seen as a significant milestone in the life of a professional comedian.

Universities that usually attend include New York University, Yale, Harvard, Brown, Emerson, and more.

Legacy

ComFest has been written up by the New York Times, Splitsider, and more. It is often credited with transforming the nationwide collegiate improv community from a heavily shortform-dominated one into a heavily longform-dominated one.

Many student-participants have gone on to write and perform comedy professionally. Britanick, Derrick, and Gentlemen Party are three ensembles who performed in the festival as professionals after having done so as college students as well, all of them hailing from NYU and previously performing with either Hammerkatz or Dangerbox.

See also