LUCY FEST INTERVIEW: JAMIE WARD
Rooftop Comedy is thrilled to help produce the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy from August 3-7th in Lucy’s hometown, Jamestown, NY. In addition to 100th birthday celebrations and I Love Lucy tributes, the festival will present a lineup of stand-up legends, like Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone, and rising stars including Nate Bargatze, Christina Pazsitzky, Costaki Econompoulos, Lamont Price, Jamie Ward, and Justin Schlegel. Schedule info and tickets are available at LucyComedyFest.com.
With Lucy Fest just around the corner, we’ll be publishing interviews with some of the featured comics. Jamie Ward is one of Atlanta’s hottest comics, performing regularly at the renowned Laughing Skull Lounge, and has shared the stage with Natasha Leggero, Ronn White, and more. Winner at this year’s Port City Top Comic Contest, Jamie’s comedy is sharp, witty, with just a speck of niceness.
Rooftop Comedy: How would you describe Lucy’s influence on comedy? Why are you excited to participate in Lucy Fest?
Jamie Ward: Lucy’s influence can only be described as legendary. She was an absolute comedy genius. My sister and I grew up watching old episodes of I Love Lucy, that in my opinion are still hilarious. There are not many “classic” comedy shows that stand the test of time as well.
RT: It’s Lucy’s 100th birthday – what gift would you like to get her?
JW: I’d gather people together to celebrate laughter. I think this Lucy Fest is the most fitting tribute/gift you could give someone. In the short time I’ve been doing comedy, I’ve come to realize there is no greater feeling than sharing laughter with others. There is no object you could give her as a gift that would be more enjoyable.
RT: The Festival will host an attempt to set the Guinness World Record of the most amount of people dressed like Lucy Ricardo. Are you going to participate?
JW: I’d love to participate. I’m going to be pretty busy my short stay, so I’ll have to see if it fits in.
RT: How would you like your own 100th birthday to be celebrated?
JW: For my 100th birthday, I wish for the coherency to perform somewhere, and just enough people who care that I’m alive to share it with.
RT: As Lucy and Desi had hoped, the Lucy-Desi Center has announced a long-term plan to develop a center for comedy including a Comedy Hall of Fame. Who would you propose as the first three inductees?
JW: This is such a hard question. There are so many amazing options so the only way to answer that is pick the three that I look to the most. Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Bill Hicks.
RT: Any other shows or events that you have this summer that you’d like to share with us?
JW: I’m going to be performing at one of my favorite alternative comedy spots in Atlanta. I’m a special guest on the stand-up showcase at the Basement Theatre on the 28th of July.