The Spokane Comedy Film Festival will debut at the Garland


Just for Laughs, arguably the world’s first comedy festival, was once a small gathering when it started in 1983 in Montreal. It’s now a massive event, attracting the biggest names in comedy.

Who knows what the first Spokane Comedy Film Festival will be like in the future? What is known is that the event, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the Garland Theater, will feature 25 to 35 comedy shorts ranging from 2 to 7 minutes.

The films have not yet been selected by the festival’s CEO, Josiah Carlson. “I always watch the movies,” Carlson said. “I will find out soon. Carlson, an animator at digital agency Seven2, is so selective that he doubts he’ll present any of his own shorts.

“I’m going to show the best because I want it to be a fun night,” Carlson said. Carlson, 36, does not feature any stand-ups. “I’m not going to do it yet, but who knows what we’ll do next year.”

The Mead High School graduate, who is a self-taught entertainer, started as a stand-up last year. “I thought it would be fun to try, so I did open mics at Spokane Comedy Club, Market Street Pizza, and Bolo’s in the Valley. I do open mics four to five nights a week.

It’s one thing to become a rookie stand-up, but it’s another to start a comedy festival. “I know,” Carlson said. “I thought that would be cool. I believe this city can support a comedy festival. Spokane is the perfect size for a comedy festival.

“Look around you. We have all these great things here, but you can always park. We have good cinemas, like the Garland. We have the Spokane Comedy Club, which is an incredible venue for a city this size.

The winner of the festival will receive $100. “It’s a start for our festival,” Carlson said. “I’ve had so many entries from the Interior Northwest. The response has been tremendous.

“I can see having multiple categories next year, but I’m focusing on this year. I’m going to go through the entries. We’re going to screen them, and I hope a lot of people come to the Garland and eat a lot of popcorn. .

Garland Theater General Manager Jasmine Barnes is delighted with the event. “It’s a really cool idea to feature comedy-based shorts,” Barnes said. “It makes sense to have this event since Spokane’s comedy scene is getting bigger and bigger.”

The eccentric Carlson decided the original event would be scheduled for a Tuesday when he glanced at the calendar and noticed a special date. “This festival was supposed to be on 2-2-22,” Carlson said. “How cool is that?

“It doesn’t happen on weekends, but the festival starts with a number to remember. Hope these numbers bring good luck and this is the first of many comedy festivals in Spokane.

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