Telluride Comedy Fest: Overview + Lily & Andrew

Telluride Comedy Fest: Overview + Lily & Andrew

Tickets here for the 17th annual Telluride Comedy Fest at Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House, co-produced by Sheridan Arts Foundation and hosted by former town clown and thespian Jeb Berrier, 2/11 – 2/14, 8 p.m. Two former locals, now successful touring comedians/writers/improvisers, Andrew Michaan and Lily Sullivan, living the dream in Tinseltown return to town to perform over Presidents Weekend. Scroll down to listen to their podcast.

Interviewed The New York Times, Bob Odenkirk, who played the lawyer Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad,” defined comedy as honesty.

Comedy Fest Poster copy

“There are a couple of things wrong with me; some of them I make money off of. Ultimately what we’re all doing is trying to turn our psychological problems into a paycheck.”

In general, we tend to laugh at is a subversion of logic, when what we see is not what we get.

“Nothing produces laughter more than a surprising disproportion between that which one expects and that which one sees,” said 17th-century philosopher Blaise Pascal.

The infamous Monty Python sketch about cross-dressing lumberjack is a case in point.

Forget your troubles come on get happy starting when the 17th annual Telluride Comedy opens Thursday, February 11, 8 p.m., with Locals Night. Comedy Fest is an hilarious weekend of entertainment featuring some of the funniest, most talented performers working today. Each night offers up a unique mix of stand-up, sketch, and improv. (The differences are addressed in Andrew’s and Lily’s podcast.)

In a New Yorker riff, satirist Bruce McCall made a list of safe and harmless subjects for comedy routines: the British Royal family, Canada and its citizens, comb-overs – well maybe not in this election cycle – a duck walks into a bar, the farmer’s daughter, wigs, kids today, and weather. Guaranteed none of McCall’s safe bets will get a minute of air time over Presidents (and Valentine) weekend when this year’s line up (see details below) –  Jason Mantzoukas, Rob Huebel, Adam Pally, Jon Daly, Gil Ozeri, Claire Mulaney, Brent Weinbach, and Ian Edwards  –  takes to the Opera House stage to smash sacred cows – psychology, mortality, morality, government, politics, religion, money and relationships – into hamburger meat.

Often it won’t be pretty. (Not pretty is how Steve Martin defines comedy.)

Lily Sullivan grew up in Telluride and is thrilled to be performing at the Telluride Comedy Festival, an event that sparked her interest in making people laugh for a living.

Lily Sullivan

Lily is an actor, writer, and improviser now based in Los Angeles. But she grew up in both Chicago and Telluride.

After graduating Bates College in Maine, Lily went on to study improv and sketch comedy at iO Chicago, the Annoyance, The Second City Conservatory, and UCB. She then performed for The Second City Touring Company and Second City Communications in Chicago. She also worked with Second City Theatricals aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn. (Yes, really.)

Lily now performs with the The Late 90s at iO Chicago, Bishop at iO West, and at many other theaters around town with her favorite group of gals, Fanny. She also enjoys making videos for viewing on the YouTube channel, many of which have been featured on BuzzFeed, the Second City Network, NBC Chicago, and The RedEye.

Because she is a middle child, Lily craves attention.

Andrew Michaan  grew up in the wood of Colorado, did some more growing up in the woods around Portland, Oregon, and now lives in L.A., where he hopes to complete his journey of self-discovery and growth. And stay out of the woods, metaphorically speaking.


Andrew has been a regular at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland; Seattle’s Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival; and the Riot LA Comedy Festival. He also produces and co-hosts Good Looks, a monthly live show in downtown L.A.

At the Telluride Comedy Festival, watch for Lily on Locals Night and at the Late Night Improv and Stand Up Show on Friday.

Andrew will be performing Late Night Friday and also at Saturday’s Stand Up Show.

To learn more from Lily and Andrew, click the “play” button and eavesdrop on on our conversation. (And follow Andrew on Twitter.)

Telluride Comedy Fest, history:

The Telluride Comedy Festival began in 1999. Since then, each year over President’s Day Weekend, the Sheridan Opera House has played host to some of the country’s best funny men (and women), who come to town for four nights of over-the-top monkey business.

In 2003, Sheridan Arts Foundation director Ronnie Palamar popular local actor/director Jeb Berrier, about co-producing the show. Jeb turned around and asked his former acting buddy Rob Corddry (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Ari Fleischer in “W,” “The Heartbreak Kid”  with Ben Stiller, “Blades of Glory,” etc.) to come to town. When the superstar accepted Jeb’s invitation, recruiting other top-tier actors was a snap.

Many past Comedy Fest performers went to become household names: Aziz Ansari, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Jack MacBrayer (30 Rock), Rob Riggle, Stephanie Weir (Mad TV), Tig Notaro, and Nick Kroll, to name a few.

17th Annual Telluride Comedy Fest: Weekend overview

Festival Attendees:

  • Jon Daly —UCB Comedy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Kroll Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, Drunk History
  • Ian Edwards — The BBC’s The World Stands Up, HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Conan O’Brien. Ian is also the first comedian signed to Conan’s new comedy record label, ‘Team Coco Presents’, for his album 100% Half Assed.
  • Brent Weinbach — Stand up comedian. Winner and recipient of the Andy Kaufman Award, recognizing innovation in stand-up comedy. Has appeared on Conan, Lopez Tonight, @midnight, Kroll Show, HBO and toured with the Comedians of Comedy.
  • Rob Huebel — Crash Test, Transparent, The Descendants, Children’s Hospital, I Love You, Man, The League, Reno 911, Burning Love, Kroll Show, Mindy Project, Comedy Bang Bang
  • Jason Mantzoukas — The League, Neighbors, HBO’s Enlightened, The Dictator, Transparent, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Drunk History,  Baby Mama, Parks and Recreation, Children’s Hospital, Kroll Show.
  • Adam Pally — Mindy Project, Happy Endings, Iron Man 3, Kroll Show, Comedy Bang! Bang!, UCB Comedy
  • Gil Ozeri —  Written for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Happy Endings, NTSF:SD:SUV and Children’s Hospital. Regular at UCB and their shows Asssscat and Hot Sauce.
  • Claire Mulaney — Writer for SNL, and currently lives in LA where she does standup and improv with Fanny and Vacation Ladies.
  • Andrew Michaan — Originally from Telluride, Andrew has been killing it on the LA stand up circuit. He has performed at the Bridgetown, Bumpershoot, Riot LA comedy festivals and hosts “Good Looks” a monthly stand up show in Downtown LA.
  • Lily Sullivan The other hometown performer returning to her roots. Lily’s credits include a stint with the Second City Touring Company and iO Theater in Chicago. She now lives in LA where her Videos have been featured on BuzzFeed, Second City Network and the RedEye. Lily performs regularly at Second City LA with Wine Night, Fanny, and Vacation Ladies.

Nightly Schedule:

Thursday Locals Night:

As per the Comedy Fest tradition, the festival opens with our all-star lineup of comedians paying tribute to the people who live and work here in Telluride, making it the special, quirky place that it is. This show is a mix of characters, sketches, stand-up, and improv that celebrates (and pokes fun at) the place we love. But you don’t have to be a local to attend. Tickets are discounted to $30 and $40 for table seats!

Friday Night: Improv and Stand Up:

Featuring: Jason Mantzoukas, Rob Huebel, Gil Ozeri, Adam Pally, Jon Daly and special guests.

Late Night Friday: With improv from Lily Sullivan and Claire Mulaney and stand up from Andrew Michaan, and Brent Weinbach, and more.

 Stand Up Comedy Saturday:

Join us for a brilliant night of standup with Andrew Michaan, Brent Weinbach, and Ian Edwards.

Sketch Comedy and Improv Sunday:

The 17th annual Telluride Comedy Festival ends with a sketch and improv finale featuring Jason Mantzoukas, Rob Heubel, Jon Daly, Adam Pally, and Gil Ozeri.

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