Stand-up comedy is one of the last bastions of hand-to-hand combat. Armed with only a

microphone, talented (and not so talented) people take the stage, hoping to connect.

Why do people start performing stand-up? Comedian Jaye Toler explains,

“ARROGANCE. I kept attending comedy shows and wondering why these headliners

were getting paid because they all sucked. In 2009, a waitress at a comedy show

overheard me talking trash about the headliner and dared me to try it. Since then, I’ve

realized it isn’t as easy as it looked…”

Jaye is one of the performers at the RVA Festival of the Laugh, February 26-28th at the

Capital Ale House downtown. Tickets are $10 in advance and a four-show pass is $35.

For the complete lineup and to purchase tickets, please visit

Richmond is full of veteran talent like David C. Wingfield and Jacob McFadden, new

talent like Mary Jane French and Patrick Buhse, and many in between. With four shows

and 20 comedians, there will be a wide variety of styles and topics.

The headliners of the four shows are Ray Bullock on Thursday night, Jon D. Miller on

Friday, Micah Bam-Bamm White at 7:00 on Saturday and Odyssey Michaels at the

Saturday 10:00 show.

The idea for the shows came together last October when Peter Kaufman and Glenn

Robertson performed at a benefit show at a benefit show at a VFW Hall in King William

County. The crowd of 42 people loved the show. More importantly, the comedians came

from all over Virginia just to get some microphone time in front of real people.

Peter asked Glenn why there was no comedy festival in Richmond. Glenn said, “There

are 100 beer festivals, 12 jam band festivals but no comedy festival.” “That stops right

now,” said Kaufman, stamping his foot for emphasis.

Adding Tracey Leverty of Echelon Events Management, Anthony Krickus of Summit

Media and the good folks at Capital Ale House, the event came together quickly.

Kaufman said, “The most impressive part of this whole festival is getting to know the

comedians. They have some great stories of how they became comedians. They’re

incredibly supportive of each other and can often be found around town at open mic

nights. Whether it’s at the 955 Comedy Club at Bottom’s Up Pizza, run by Ray Bullock

for the past 16 years, or any of the other open mics around town, Richmond is a city that

loves comedy.

Sponsors for the RVA Festival of the Laugh include S2 Creative, Classic Rock 96.5,

103.7 Play, Echelon Event Management, Sweetwater Brewery, Cobb Technologies and

Capital Ale House.