That moment on a haunted hayride when you suddenly realize what’s about to happen and part of you panics, part of you needs to see what’s in the dark woods? That’s Murderfist.

If you ask anyone that has seen this award winning sketch comedy group, they will say “it blew my mind. Amazing. I never want to watch anything else. Why did you miss it? You were so wrong. So wrong.” Murderfist is a favorite at comedy festivals, and that is an understatement.

Named Best Sketch Group at the 2010 ECNY Awards, Murderfist was “birthed from the festering arm pit of Florida. [They] were formed by a combination of college student, drifters & drug dealers, which are all basically the same thing anyway,” explains John Moreno. Murderfist consistently pushes the boundaries of comedy. For example, the thirteen hour-long show they did at the People’s Improv Theater (PIT) in NYC. They performed 110 sketches. No repeats. If that’s not impressive, you’re a liar.

Murderfist sketches are bizarre, dream-like drug sequences met with intelligence and impeccable comedic timing. They push the audience out of their comfort zone, while taking care of them. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly take a sketch too far, they push it just a little further. The Kissing Booth sketch, for example. We’ll let you experience it on your own time (NSFW):

When asked where they see the future of comedy going, Murderfist said they want to see “some real Running Man shit. Take murderers out of prisons and put them right back where they should have been since the beginning, in death match comedy! Sure OJ Simpson was funny in Naked Gun, but wouldn’t he be even funnier in a cage match against the Latin Kings. We’re changing the WORLD!”
Who would they love to share the stage with, living or dead? John Wilkes Booth, Groucho Marks and Bruce Vilance.

Join Murderfist on a “journey to the extreme horizon of your mind-ocean;” Friday September 6 at 1030PM in ImprovBoston’s Main Theater.

Noelle Gray - Stand-Up comedienne and warrior

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting several performers and acts from across the festival. Our first feature is of Noelle Gray, a Stand-Up comedienne from New Haven, Connecticut.

Noelle was originally diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2007. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and was told that her chances of getting cancer again were slim. She began practicing stand up comedy in 2011. In 2012 she celebrated her five year cancer-free diagnosis only be to re-diagnosed with cancer again a month later.

In September 2012, after a single round of IV chemo her doctor informed her that she had been misdiagnosed, that the IV chemo was not needed, and that it wasn't lung cancer, but metastatic breast cancer in the lungs. Not only was the chemo not needed, but she was now several months into having a serious diagnosis without having received correct treatment for it.

Up until this point she had not explored her diagnosis on stage as the topic of it was too painful to talk about. 16 days after the chemo, the day her hair started to fall out, Noelle wrote her very first cancer-centric set. Four hours later she was on stage trying out her new material.

In February of this year Noelle got some very unfortunate news. The breast cancer had spread to her brain which lead to both chest and head radiation therapy and another round of chemo. Noelle finished the treatment in July of this year. She jokingly likes to tell people that breast cancer in the head means she's got tit for brains.

Now just two years into stand up, Noelle's material is centered around her experience of dealing with what is now terminal cancer, how it impacts her life, and how she perceives the world around her.

See Noelle in the Saturday at 10pm show in the Studio Theater! - tickets available here:



The 5th Annual Boston Comedy Arts Festival is right around the corner and we need our friendliest, most reliable, and awesome community members to help make it another success!

We have been very fortunate to have amazing volunteers each year of the festival so we know that you're out there and just waiting for the word to put your name in again! That time is now friends!

This year BCAF will run from Tuesday, September 3rd to Sunday
September 8th. We will need volunteers on each of these nights as well as during the day.

BCAF will once again be hosted at ImprovBoston and will have
additional shows at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square on Friday
and Saturday. Potential volunteer roles include:

Volunteer Coordinator -This position will work directly with the BCAF Producer to make sure all our volunteer needs are covered in advance of the festival dates. You will be responsible for communication with the volunteer staff and communicating with the House Managers working each night. You can expect to float around to each venue as needed. All volunteers will report to you, and you report directly to the Festival Producer. This position requires more pre-festival hours as well as time during the festival than other volunteer positions.

· Registration Volunteer (Both day time and night time staff needed) - Check in Performers

· IB Green Room Coordinator - Continue Registration, answer questions, keep noise down, keep room clean

· Line Manager - Manages the line for shows for performer passes

· Brattle Line Manager - Manages the line for shows for performer passes

· Brattle Green Room Coordinator - Answers questions, keep noise down, tell performers when to go on

• Street Team positions- take to the streets with posters and postcards, spreading the word about the festival.

• Hospitality Coordinators – help coordinate the after parties, including arrangements, setting up rooms, assisting the front of house throughout the parties, and assisting with clean up after. This position requires staying late at the Theater, especially on Saturday September 7th.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of the most exciting annual events at IB (and we know you are) please email the festival staff at!

Now Accepting Submissions

The 2013 Boston Comedy Arts Fest is now accepting submissions. Spread the word! And don't forget - the submission Deadline is 11:59PM on TUESDAY June 25, 2013.

We are also accepting submissions for workshops as well.

Volunteers Make It Happen!

BCAF Volunteers

Now that we're mid-BCAF, I want to take this opportunity to thank the quiet heroes of the Boston Comedy Arts Festival. Year after year, volunteers from the community step up and make sure that each night goes smoothly by passing out flyers, checking in performers, guiding people to the right shows and generally keeping the chaotic festival environment sane. I'm grateful to the many people who stepped up to volunteer this year, especially the people who jumped in last minute. The list below contains ImprovBoston performers, students, local artists and much more.

A huge thanks to each of them for making BCAF possible.


Andrea Lathrop, Annie Kozakiewicz, Ben Walsh, Bobby Smithney, Colleen Moriarty, Dan Chapman, Daniel Saunders, Jay Milano, Jesselynn Opie, Judith Nathans, Kelsey McLaughlin, Kevin Quigley, Laurel Fitzsimmons, Lauren Magnuson, MaryAnn Cicala, Melissa Paradice, Milo MacPhail, Nate Lopez, Peter Overzet, Russell Sickinger, Sarah Pelrin, Shane Tully, Shawn Musgrave, Skim Kimball, Steve Sarro, Thomas Towell, Tim Hannafin

Thank you.


Claire Smithney
Director of Volunteers

Hot off the PR

Boston Globe BCAF Cover

As a freelance publicist, I get to represent a lot of things from heady experimental pieces, to dance, to musical theatre and much more. One my biggest joys is getting to do PR for events like the Boston Comedy Arts Festival. There is nothing more thrilling than promoting a event that gets people out of their houses for an evening to laugh. I have been working in comedy PR for over four years and festivals are one of the aspects of my comedy work that I truly love. (Who wouldn’t? I get to correspond with a lot of funny people, REALLY FUNNY PEOPLE, from all over the country, A LOT).

This year, it has been a thrill to see the Boston area pick up on how great this year’s Fest truly is.

Did you see that cover of the Boston Globe’s Entertainment section?

Check out the BCAF Press Roundup:

Boston Comedy Arts Festival takes a ‘Risk!

Boston Globe Picks for BCAF

Weekly Dig’s Festival Picks

Boston Magazine Preview

My personal BCAF picks:

Last year the two sets I walked away from the festival remembering most were North Coast (Friday Night, Brattle Theatre, 10pm), and MURDERFIST (Saturday Night, Brattle Theatre, 10pm).

NorthCoast is a thrill to watch. They create a hip-hopera right before your eyes. They have impeccable timing and their shows are hilarious. The pace they create at is incredible to watch. They are on a bill with Junior Varsity and the Magnet Theatre Tour Co. Both are two incredible improv teams from New York City, you won’t be disappointed.

MURDERFIST is raw, dark, weird (sometimes), and utterly hilarious. Their scenes come at you at a blistering pace. Just when you think they can’t go any further, they do. They are sharing a bill with ImprovBoston Mainstage who already blew the roof of their home stage Wednesday night with their hilarious, free-form, organic scenes. You don’t want to miss this bill.

I also highly recommend MISTER DIPLOMAT (Friday, ImprovBoston Main Theater, 10:30pm). This will mark the first time DSI Comedy Theater’s all-star MISTER DIPLOMAT team performs with the Boston cast. During this show, a special celebrity guest tells stories that the performers use to create hilarious scenes. Every performance I have seen of MISTER DIPLOMAT has always been thrilling to watch.

There are a lot more shows I could recommend, but I finish with this, have you bought tickets yet? You don’t want to miss it.

Carrie Gorn
Perpetual Motion PR
Freelance Publicist

BCAF Family Show

Family Show

The Family Show is proud to be showcased in the Boston Comedy Arts Festival, and we hope that you'll come see our take on "family friendly" improv. Many times "family friendly" is a synonym for "for kids" which is in itself a euphemism for "dumbed down". The ImprovBoston Family Show prides itself on utilizing a child's creative potential, rather than condescending to him.

We don't swear, and we don't make direct references to sex, but we see these constraints as a challenge rather than a limitation. Come on by and bring the kids, bring grandma and grandpa to, also crazy aunt Rose and creepy uncle Charlie. At The Family Show, everyone can play.

The Family Show - Saturday 9/8, 6PM

Featuring: Emily Holland, Emily Laverdiere, Emily Franz, Kate Semine, Christine Toohey, Sarah Bell, Holly Tarnower, Melanie Hardy, Dan Chapman, Burch Simon, Sam Ike, Ben Walsh, Brad Taylor

Enjoy the show.

Joe Creedon
Director, Family Show

Rick Andrews Boston Homecoming

Magnet TourCo at NCCAF

It is always a thrill to be back in Boston.

I grew up here, learned how to do improv here, committed my first few felonies here, etc. Since I started doing improv back in IB's humble old Inman square digs, improv and comedy in Boston and around the country has exploded, and this festival is a testament to that explosion. Some of this country's best improvisers, instructors, and writers call Boston their home, and many of those folks will grace the stage this weekend. Most of the rest of the country's best are coming through town, too. You're lucky!

Here's what I'm going to be sure not to miss this weekend. Note: Narrowing things down was nearly impossible.

North Coast - Freestyle rapping and improv. You did read that correctly. North Coast is non-stop fun, as they wend their way through improvised scenes and improvised rap, complete with beat boxing, dance moves, and backing vocals. It's insane. No one has bigger energy than North Coast. No one has more swag than North Coast. And their secret? No one has more fun than North Coast. Can't miss.

Trike - There are few improvisers more talented than buds Peter McNerny and Nick Kanellis in Trike. And with the two of them together--yikes. Total support, fearlessness, and craft at all times, and you'll be doubled over. Come and watch two of the best who also happen to know exactly what the other person is thinking at all times.

IB Mainstage - Boston's best; I love how this show keeps evolving, it's got a different flavor every time I see it, and you never know what to expect, but you always walk away satisfied. A can't miss!

Two Man Movie - Another can't-mess-with-duo. Neil and Anthony never miss a beat as the move through "The Movie" form; a show where they improvise a complete movie, from the characters, story, camera moves and fades, etc etc from start to finish. They also happen to be two of the funniest dudes around. Guaranteed to be better than 95% of actual movies.

Kiss Punch Poem - I'm lucky to get to watch this show a lot and it still blows me away. Improvisers and poets come together to create a unique once-in-a lifetime show. The improvisers play off the poets, and the poets play off the improvisers. I love seeing hilarious scenes come from truly heartfelt or even sad moments in the poems, and I love seeing the whole thing wrapped up at the end by the always amazing final poem.

Rick Andrews
Magnet Theater (TourCo)
New York, NY

Harold Night BCAF Fraternity

I'm so excited for this year's Boston Comedy Arts Festival. The amount of great acts is ridiculous. I'm also happy to have the Harold Night All-Stars performing on Wednesday night at 8:30pm, as part of ImprovBoston's 30th Anniversary Celebration. Our cast is psyched to be part of such a great night celebrating some of the best shows ImprovBoston has had over the years.

Our Harold Night All-Stars cast:

- Natalie Baseman (Maxitor)
- Ken Breese (Birthday Milk)
- Pete Fenzel (Rich Uncle)
- Sasha Goldberg (Maxitor)
- Geoff Ross (Respectable Gentlemen)
- Ben Scurria (Rich Uncle)
- Ben Snitkoff (The Rack)
- Lori Strauss (Birthday Milk)
- Nils Vaule (Chapter 9)

And it's great to see some acts in this year's festival that we've had the pleasure of hosting at Harold Night over the years. Here are some of those teams that I suggest you make a point to see:

Bastards Inc. - Wednesday, 9:30pm

Four of my favorite improvisers and they just all happen to be on the same team. If you're new to the Boston improv scene and never got a chance to see them when they were ImprovBoston mainstays, do yourself a favor and catch them this year.

Casual Sex Offenders - Thursday, 9pm

I've been able to see them a handful of times over the past few years and they always impress me. They have a great balance and team dynamic. They're always having fun, which means I'm having fun too.

Magnet TourCo & North Coast - Friday, 10pm

You can't miss this 10pm show. Magnet TourCo is some of the best performers from the Magnet Theater in NYC. We have had a ton of acts from the Magnet Theater perform at Harold Night and they always bring their A game. There is so much talent at that theater. Junior Varsity, another great Magnet team, is also performing in this show. And then there's North Coast. Want to be impressed? Check out the freestyle rap longform improv from North Coast. They don't mess around, so be ready.

Brick & 10£ Ally - Saturday, 7:30pm

Brick is another team from the Magnet Theater that wowed me when they performed at Harold Night. And 10£ Ally is an impressive 3-person musical improv group from NYC. If you're a fan of musical improv, then be sure to catch them.

Kiss Punch Poem - Sunday, 7:30pm

Part improv show. Part poetry jam. All awesome. I absolutely loved this show! Take great improvisers and have them perform scenes inspired by rich poetry from impressive NYC poets. Then tie it all together at the end with an improvised poem inspired by everything you saw earlier in the show.

And that's just a small chunk of the shows from this weekend.

There's also other big acts like RISK! (Friday, 8pm), Two Man Movie (Saturday, 8pm), and sketch comedy from MURDERFIST (Saturday, 10pm).

Start resting up now so you can take in as much as you can! Enjoy the fest and keep an eye on ImprovBoston and Harold Night (normally Thursday nights at 8pm & 10pm) for great shows in the weeks and months after the festival ends.

Jeff Perry
Harold Night Producer

DJB Stand Up Stand Outs

The People's Show

As head of the standup comedy program here at IB, I'm proud that ImprovBoston is the home of the Boston Comedy Arts Festival. And I'm excited that we're showcasing some of the best acts out there. It means a lot to the Team here that so many standup acts applied to take part in our comedy party. It's an all-encompassing, accessible cross section of amazing comedy right here in Cambridge.

Comics you shouldn't miss this week:

Friday, September 7th: You should head to the ImprovBoston Studio Theater to check out Guitler Raphael. He is straight up belly laughs. Trust me. He's one of Boston's best and you don't want to miss him. Also on that show is Suni Reyes (NYC) here doing her Burgers and Tostones show. Which do you want to laugh at? Burgers or Tostones? Be there and you'll laugh either way.

Saturday, September 8th: Get yourself to the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.

At 4PM, Joe Wong brings back his ALL CHINESE standup show that sold out last month at ImprovBoston. Joe has performed at the White House. He's also made several appearances on the Late Show With David Letterman and Ellen. He's one of the best joke writers in the game - in any language. (I'm told this show has just SOLD OUT!)

At 8PM, the Brattle hosts two other acts you've got to see. I saw Aaron Hertzog absolutely kill it at this past year's North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. He's insane. On that same bill is Victor Varnado who has been performing nationally for over 10 years. He won the Just For Laughs Competition in 2001 and he's been on Jimmy Kimmel, Conan and Comedy Central since. This show will not disappoint.

Sunday, September 9th: Check out the 9PM show at the ImprovBoston Main Theater. It's a standup showcase that is stacked with talent including Tom Keller, who represented North Carolina at this year's Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson's hometown in Nebraska.

Dana Jay Bein (DJB)
The Man @ImprovBoston
Comedy Jerk of all Trades


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