Bozeman, Montana – In an effort to entertain a rapidly expanding audience, Southwest Montana’s own comedy club, Last Best Comedy, is introducing a new festival there.
Owners Annie and Levin O’Connor of Last Best Comedy started the club in 2020, but they had been planning a festival long before that.
“We’re getting higher and higher quality of comedians coming through Bozeman. And we really want to bring a lot of people together. We want to highlight these people. We want to bring in improv and stand up, and we just want to have this party,” Annie said.
LBC is rolling out the red carpet for 80 performers from across the state and country who work in both stand up and improv for events happening Thursday through Saturday night. In addition to holding events in Bozeman, they are also running satellite events in Butte, Helena, and Townsend to allow attendees from further away to participate.
According to Levin, audiences who haven’t had the chance to watch this many active comedy performers have a chance to demonstrate performers how fantastic Montana and its audiences are.
Rich Hall, a former SNL writer, and Josh Johnson, a former journalist for The Daily Show, are two well-known comedians who are headlining the festival. However, the festival’s and LBC’s overall objective is to identify and support as many active, up-and-coming musicians as possible.
In Montana, outstanding comedians have been dedicating a lot of time to their craft, according to Levin.
“The act of taking them and putting them on a stage in a dedicated space or in a festival in a larger venue is an opportunity for everyone to appreciate what’s here and walking around us all the time,” he said.
Itty-Bitty Festivities on Thursday night, one of the opening events, is a fantastic way to watch many of the acts in a brief period of time. The event serves as a sampling so you can decide which acts you want to see more of later. 14 performers will perform in short sets on Friday and Saturday and longer sets on Sunday.
This weekend’s highlight event at LBC is another weekly event dubbed Notorious BOZ. A group of improvisers and residents of Bozeman share their life experiences to serve as the basis for improv situations.
Orange Tuxedo is a show that two prominent improvisers, Craig and Carla Cackowski, will perform.
This weekend is going to be incredibly busy, and there is something for everyone, according to Annie. Typically, individuals start modestly when starting festivals.
“We did not do that. We got multiple venues, multiple cities… We have been baking for months. Oh man, we’ve been baking so many goods,” Annie and Levin said.
Additionally, you can purchase daily passes, a festival pass that allows access to all events, or tickets to specific events.