Return home

Uptown Comedy Festival coming to Utica in October

Posted 5/23/23

The Uptown Comedy Festival is Oct. 5-8 at the historic Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts, 2014 Genesee St.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Uptown Comedy Festival coming to Utica in October


UTICA — The Uptown Comedy Festival is Oct. 5-8 at the historic Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts, 2014 Genesee St.

The headlining act, Trio, features improvisers Rich Talarico (Peabody Award-winning writer, SNL, Key & Peele, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), Bob Dassie (Community, Monk, Funny Or Die Presents) and Stephnie Weir (MADtv, The Comedians).

“Bob, Stephnie and I are really excited to be part of the Uptown Comedy Festival,” said Rich Talarico, who is originally from Frankfort. “We’re looking forward to bringing our brand of improv to Utica and sharing the stage with some of the best comedians around.”

The Uptown Comedy Festival promises to be an unforgettable event, featuring a diverse lineup of comedians. Audiences can expect to see a variety of other acts, including Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!, stand-up comedians, improv and sketch comedy groups from around the world and more. The festival will also feature masterclass workshops and intensives taught by Talarico, Dassie and Weir, as well as other guest instructors. Presenting sponsor is Amigos De Garcia, the production company of Emmy-winning comedy writer/producer Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl, Raising Hope, Sprung).

“We are thrilled to be hosting the Uptown Comedy Festival and are excited to bring some of the best comedic talent in the world to teach and perform here in Utica,” said Devin Mahoney, executive director of UTCA. “We’ve got an amazing lineup that’s growing every day thanks to the support of our presenting sponsor Amigos De Garcia and all of our local sponsors. We know this is going to be an incredible event.”

The Uptown Improv Festival is also sponsored by Bank of Utica, JAY-K Lumber, Walmart Distribution Center, Utica Roots, Joey’s @307, The Green Onion Pub, Fred F. Collis & Sons, Rustbelt Startup, Valley Signs, Dean Gordon Law, Happy Valley Improv, and Paul Chapman Insurance Agency, Inc.

Funding for Uptown Comedy Festival also includes a grant award totaling $10,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Following New York State’s historic investment for the arts, NYSCA has awarded $90 million since spring 2022 to a record number of artists and organizations across the state.

“On behalf of the entire council, I congratulate UTCA on this grant award,” NYSCA Chair Katherine Nicholls said. “Their creative work provides the benefits of the arts to both their community and all of New York. Arts organizations are essential, leading our tourism economy and fueling sectors such as hospitality, transit, and Main Streets across our state.”

UTCA will be accepting submissions from comedians interested in performing at the festival. The submission period opens on June 1. Interested performers can visit for more information and updates.

Passes for the Uptown Comedy Festival will go on sale July 6. For more information about the festival, including the full lineup of performers, workshops, and pricing, visit the festival website at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here