Wisecrackers for Every Comedy Style at Arch City Comedy Festival

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

This month, Columbus playshost to a slew of talented local and national comedians at the Arch City Comedy Festival. From Sept. 3 to 5, audiences at Short North Stage, Axis Nightclub and The Joint will have a laugh with 40 comedy-circuit veterans and outstanding local comedians. Whether you prefer witty observations or raunchy jokes, we rounded up some of our favorite acts who cater to your sense of

Those who enjoy witty, observational humor are in luck, as Arch City Comedy Festival's lineup is filled with comedians who have practically mastered the art, like headliners Al Jackson, Beth Stelling and Joe List. Jackson riffs on his time as a middle school teacher, while fellow Ohio native Stelling finds humor in her move to Los Angeles, being a bike commuter and the dating scene. If a self-deprecating bent is more your speed, List brings all his insecurities to the table.

If taboo topics are right in your wheelhouse (think George Carlin and Louis C.K.), then Henry Phillips, Stewart Huff and Jaye McBride should be on your radar. Guitar-wielding Phillips delivers hilarious anecdotes through song about decidedly dark subject matter like school shootings and drug use, and Huff proudly touts his Southern heritage while simultaneously poking fun at the stereotype like a thinking man's Larry The Cable Guy. McBride, a transgender woman, riffs on the dating scene and drugs with a self-aware sense of dark humor. Be warned: These comedians aren't for the easily offended.

Though the festival boasts talent from all over the U.S., some of our favorites cut their teeth right here at home. Justin Golak, Sumukh Torgalkar, Laura Sanders, Brooke Cartus, Travis Irvine and Erik Tait are Columbus comedy heavy-hitters gaining traction in larger markets. Golak is making waves in Chicago, while Irvine is conquering New York. Cartus has been featured onThe Huffington Post, and you can find Sanders onFunny or Die. It's just a matter of time before these insanely funny comedians break onto the national scene, so catch them in town while you can.