Although effective, the slap-line was quickly replaced by the punchline in most comedy clubs for its ability to induce laughter without inadvertently provoking duels. Enjoy harmless ha-has with today's GrouponLive deal to the Laughing Devil Festival, held at various venues throughout Long Island City from Saturday, May 12, to Sunday, May 20. See the schedule for specifics. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get two general-admission tickets to any show (a $40 value).
- For $35, you get four general-admission tickets to any show (an $80 value).
The brainchild of laughter luminaries Steve Hofstetter and Marshall Chiles, the Laughing Devil Festival pits more than 100 aspiring standup comedians against each other in a no-jokes-barred, nine-day tournament. Established headliners Dan Naturman, Godfrey, and Gary Gulman inaugurate the carnival of comedy in style at the Celebrity Kick Off on Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Naturman's Dangerfield–esque, self-deprecating style helped earn him third place at Last Comic Standing, and Godfrey lets his decidedly un-PC mind ramble through an energetic act seen on BET and Comedy Central. Warming up for a one-hour Comedy Central special himself, Gary Gulman may unleash his devastating criticism of the age-old rivalry between grapes and grapefruits or remark on the unholy alliance of toothpaste and citrus juice.
The remainder of the event determines who deserves to take home the grand prize: $2,500, more than a year's worth of gigs across the country, and the right to call up and brag to the class clown from elementary school. Audiences and a council of judges determine the winner. Sixty performers compete in the first round, with two one-hour shows each granting 30 jokesters two minutes of mic time. Eight then move on to face 40 previously determined quarterfinalists in four shows with 12 comedians apiece. The process of whittling away continues until Saturday, May 19, when seven survivors spend 10 minutes each trying to rake in the most laughs. Top performers step back into the limelight on Sunday, May 20, at the Best of the Fest show at 8 p.m. A portion of all proceeds for the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival goes to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation to aid their efforts in building a drug-abuse-recovery center.