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Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy

ROOFTOP PAL NATE BARGATZE ON CONAN!

Nate Bargatze is a good friend of Rooftop and we’re so happy to see his recent set on Conan. Watch him read his hilarious back-and-forth text exchange with his wife and find out his complex feelings on mosh pits. Congrats Nate on getting onto Conan again! Keep up the good work.

P.S. If you enjoy his late night set, be sure to check out his Rooftop Comedy page and learn about his Tennessee roots, his reasons for wanting to visit Cambodia, and more (hilarious) glimpses from his marriage.

COMEDIENNES FLOCK TO JAMESTOWN FOR LUCYFEST

The concept of a comedy festival in Lucille Ball’s legacy was discussed with the honoree, herself, shortly before her death in 1989. Above all other ideas, the festival concept resonated with her as a way to not just preserve her legacy, but showcase emerging talent. This year The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center and Rooftop Comedy will realize that idea by presenting 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, including headliners Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone, as well as rising talent like Tammy Pescatelli and Christina Pazsitzky. Oh, and we invited some guys, too—like Nate Bargatze, Costaki Economopoulos, Andrew Norelli and Lamont Price.

“We know that Lucy and Desi’s intentions were for their legacy to live on in the form of living, breathing comedy that would be as progressive and contemporary as they were,” said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

Living, breathing, and kicking, the Festival presents comedic icon, Joan Rivers, on Thursday, August 4th at 8pm at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Rivers was the only guest host to ever appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, a host of her own late night show on FOX, winner of an Emmy for her work on daytime television and has 50 years of stand-up experience. Rivers actually co-starred with Lucille Ball in an episode of Here’s Lucy during which the two reportedly had great respect and affinity for one another.

Paula Poundstone, the first woman to ever earn a Cable ACE award for stand-up, joins the Festival lineup as the headlining act on Saturday, August 6th at 8pm at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Poundstone has two HBO stand-up specials under her belt along with a self-titled show on ABC and numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Sesame Street. In addition to her chops in stand-up, Poundstone is an accomplished author and a panelist for National Public Radio on the popular program Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Audiences will enjoy Poundstone’s hilarious take on any subject, from politics to housecats.

The Rooftop Comedy Showcase on Friday, August 5th at 8pm at the Reg Lenna Civic Center will feature Los Angeles comedienne Christina Pazsitzky. Pazsitzky demonstrates her sharp wit not only through performance but writing as well and these talents have helped her gain quick momentum in the comedy world. Pazsitzky has been a writer and regular guest on the E! show Chelsea Lately and was a finalist on Season 6 and 7 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. While Pazsitzky does perform around the country she has also gone global to entertain the troops in the Middle East, Africa, and South Korea. She represents an important part of this festival and its goals: to showcase not only what’s hot in comedy but also what’s coming.

Pazsitzky recognizes the gravity of being selected to perform in Lucy’s honor and says of the icon, “Lucy is the OG Gangster of comedy. I don’t think there is a more beloved female comedian in history. Lucy was daring. She played a housewife who wanted more and went out and got it. She ignored the limitations of her time. I think that’s what any great comedian does. She also had a thing for Latin guys, which I can relate to.”

The festival has also attracted comedy-veteran, Tammy Pescatelli, who resides nearby in Meadville, PA. Pescatelli was a finalist on Season 2 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing which secured her reputation as one of the funniest women in the comedy world. Tammy has appeared twice as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and recently was featured in her own special for Comedy Central. Pescatelli’s newest endeavor is starring in WE TV’s A Stand Up Mother where she attempts to balance her family and her growing career with a lot of laughs. Coincidentally, the show was originally pitched as a modern day I Love Lucy, only Tammy is Desi, trying to keep her husband, Luca, out of the act.

Pescatelli looks forward to her involvement in the Festival which includes a performance on Saturday, August 6th at the legendary Tropicana Room. She says, “Like all of America, I love Lucy. The fun is going to be non-stop all weekend, so eat your Vitameatavegamin.”

Want to check out the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy? Schedule info and all tickets are available at LucyComedyFest.com.

LUCY FEST INTERVIEW: JAMIE WARD

Lucy Fest Comics

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.

LUCY FEST INTERVIEW: CHRISTINA PAZSITZKY

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 now.

With Lucy Fest just around the corner, we’ll be publishing interviews with some of the featured comics. You’ve probably seen Christina Pazsitzky on the E! show “Chelsea Lately” and NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing”. Christina’s sharp and brutally honest comedy makes her one of the hottest acts out there. Look out for Christina’s debut comedy album later this year.

Rooftop Comedy: How would you describe Lucy’s influence on comedy? Why are you excited to participate in Lucy Fest?

Christina Pazsitzky: Lucy is the OG Gangster of comedy. I don’t think there is a more beloved female comedian in history. Lucy was daring. She played a housewife who wanted more and went out and got it. She ignored the limitations of her time. I think that’s what any great comedian does. She also had a thing for Latin guys, which I can relate to. I’m excited to be in Lucy Fest because I hear there will be free hot dogs and beer. That and I love the idea of being a part of the celebration of one of my all time favorite comedians.

RT: It’s Lucy’s 100th birthday – what gift would you like to get her?

CP: She was such a badass. I know she liked to smoke, so a carton of Pall Malls (That’s the brand I imagine she’d like for some reason) and a martini. Oh, and a mink coat. I heard somewhere that she liked mink coats.

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?

CP: Not unless they changed the official Lucy costume to sweatpants and a pit-stained t-shirt.

RT: How would you like your own 100th birthday to be celebrated?

CP: I book a cruise with all my friends and family called “My Last Cruise”. We all drink tons and eat buffet, then at the end of the week, I get catapulted into the ocean.

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?

CP: Well, let’s start with Lucy if that’s not a given. Then, Richard Pryor, Roseanne Barr, and Sarah Palin – only if we’re accepting unintentional comedians.

RT: Any other shows or events that you have this summer that you’d like to share with us?

CP: I have a cool podcast called “Your Mom’s House” that you can download on iTunes under “Deathsquad”. I’m also releasing a CD with Rooftop Comedy very soon! It’s tentatively titled “It’s Hard Being a Person”.

SUBMIT TO THE LUCILLE BALL FESTIVAL OF COMEDY

Rooftop Comedy is thrilled to be co-presenting the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy with the Lucy Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamesville, NY. From August 3-7th, 2011, the festival will present huge names in comedy like Joan Rivers and Whitney Cummings, along with many, new rising stars. While this year marks the very special 100th Birthday of Lucille Ball, the festival will continue annually to honor Lucy’s wishes in celebrating in laughter.

To submit, please visit www.rooftopcomedy.com/events/lucyfest and fill out the submissions form including video links of your set posted on RooftopComedy.com. If you do not yet have videos on our site, please submit them here first. We will not review video sets on external sites. A $15 fee will also be required to cover submission processing. If you have any questions about the submission process, please email jenniferc(at)rooftopcomedy.com. Good luck!