Arts » Comedy

Booking Limestone: Why these comics were picked

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Tom Brady at the Comedy Attic
  • Submitted Photo
  • Tom Brady at the Comedy Attic

How do you book a major comedy festival? Limestone co-creators Mat Alano-Martin and Jared Thompson received over 300 applications for the festival; they whittled it down to just 40. Here's why each comedian was chosen, in their own words. (Note: MAM is Mat Alano-Martin; JT is Jared Thompson.)

Tig Notaro - With fearless honesty and impeccable timing and delivery, Tig is one of the few modern day greats of the art form. - MAM

Pete Holmes - With a contagious boyish wonder, Pete radiates sheer joy in poking fun at himself and the world around him. - MAM

Maria Bamford - A no-brianer for our first year and my favorite comedian. - JT

Doug Benson - Doug loves Bloomington, having recorded two Doug Loves Movies and eleven stand up shows at The Comedy Attic after performing at BCT in 2007 as part of the groundbreaking "Comedians of Comedy" Tour. - JT

Jackie Kashian - That thing where the smartest lady in the room is also the nicest and the funniest? That's Jackie. - MAM

Graham Elwood - Graham is no stranger to Btown, having headlined The Comedy Attic numerous times, and recently starred in Doug Benson's new documentary "The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled." - JT

Al Jackson - Equal parts after-party swagger and nice guy likability, Al is a monster on stage. Limestone being his Bloomington debut is one of the things I'm proudest about for the festival. - MAM

John Roy - John's career has nearly taken off so many times, when it finally does he will take his rightful spot at the top of the heap as one of the best pure joke writers of our time. - JT

Joshua Murphy at the Comedy Attic - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Submitted Photo
  • Joshua Murphy at the Comedy Attic

Geoff Tate - Geoff is a favorite among Bloomington comedy connoisseurs after guesting on the podcasts "Doug Loves Movies," "You Made It Weird," "The Todd Glass Show," and "The Smartest Man in the World." - JT

Stewart Huff - A master storyteller with an uncompromising vision, Stewart might be best classified as Self-Actualized comedy. I can think of no other comic who so seamlessly incorporates their philosophy on life into gut busting stories and jokes. - MAM

Richie Holliday - Weird Al Yankovic nailed it when he described Richie as "brilliantly silly." Absurd and whimsical comedy balanced with a laid back and charismatic delivery. - MAM

Chris Mancini - One half of the hit podcast Comedy Film Nerds (taping a live episode at the festival), Chris steps out from behind the podcast mic to take the stand-up mic for an added bonus. - MAM

Greg Behrens - From Atlanta, Greg's jokes dissect pop-culture with an easy going wit. - MAM

Sagar Bhatt - A festival favorite (Bridgetown, Boston, Laughing Skull, etc...) for good reason. A commanding stage presence and an angsty, hilarious take on the world. - MAM

Ben Bizuneh - Ben started his comedy career while a student at IU, but hit his full stride once he moved to L.A. Engaging and personal, his stories are unique and universal at the same time. - MAM

Tom Brady - Tom is the only two-time winner of The Bloomington Comedy Festival and is, as always, looking for love. - JT

Sally Brooks - Hailing from the mountains of West Virginia, Sally has shared the stage with some of comedy's best. - JT

Pete-john Byrnes - Dense and heady jokes with deep references, Peter-john is one of a kind. - MAM

Duncan Carson - From Austin, TX - Duncan bridges the gap between so-called "alternative comedy" and classic stand-up with fantastic results. - MAM

John Cessna - John turns the confusion and disappointment of post-college "real life" into jokes that draw from glory days nostalgia and adult absurdity. - MAM

Saurin Choksi - Smart takes on everything from dating to race to the economy to pop-culture, Saurin makes it all work in one seamless package. - MAM

Sarah Connor - Her sarcastic, tomboy candor cuts to the heart of the trials and tribulations of the modern single lady. - MAM

Brad Wilhelm at the Comedy Attic
  • Submitted Photo
  • Brad Wilhelm at the Comedy Attic

Josh Cocks - Was not asked to be a part of Bloomington's first comedy open mic in September 2008 and has been repeatedly disrespected ever since. - JT

Mike Cronin - Nickname "Meat," or as Comedy Attic owner Jared Thompson calls him, "Beef," Mike's self-deprecating story-telling has made him a favorite not only in his hometown of Cincinnati, but across the midwest. - MAM

Dan DeCotis - Great hair, but more importantly, great jokes. His submission clip was one killer punchline after another. - MAM

Conor Delehanty - Another comic who started in Bloomington and moved on to a bigger scene, (Chicago), Conor's understated delivery sets you up perfectly to be sucker-punched by his great jokes. - MAM

Sherman Edwards - The Chicago Reader's 2012 Best Stand-Up Comic in Chicago and for good reason. With a background in improv, Sherman's confidence and conversational style allow him to go farther into concepts for deeper laughs. - MAM

Tyron Foston - Laid back and conversational, Tyron has a great observational approach to politics, relationships and day to day life. - MAM

Brian Frange - Former house emcee of The Comedy Attic, in-house art director for the club, lived with the Thompsons. - JT

Drew Frees - Energetic and overtly silly, Drew attacks the stage with an absurd take on young married life. - MAM

Charles Gould - Co-host of the wildly popular "Unbelievable Podcast" which will have a live taping at Limestone. - JT

Jon Hancuff - Soft-spoken, Jon's jokes sneak up and blindside you. Probably my favorite joke writer in Bloomington. - MAM

Brett Hiker - Jokes this edgy only work when they're this smart. Brett is one of the comics I'm most looking forward to this year. - MAM

Tyler Jackson - Tyler advanced to the semifinals of the 4th Bloomington Comedy Festival while living in Louisville and now resides in Chicago. - JT

Janelle James - Most would argue that it's impossible for a comic to be both cooler than cool AND hilarious, but Janelle proves them wrong. I know it's a weird leap, but she feels like Nina Simone with jokes to me. On my must-see list. - MAM

Kid Kazooey - A Bloomington legend, we're so happy to have Kid opening up our family-friendly show. Part Hoagy Carmichael and part Shel Silverstein, the Kid abides. - MAM

Gabe Kea - Gabe's dad played professional hockey for the NHL's Atlanta Flames and St. Louis Blues. - JT

Steven Knows -Steven has a ballsy take on race, and I love it. - MAM

Katie Rose Leon - Katie talks about what it is to be a young, single, nerd lady. Where Star Wars and her grandmother's attempts to fix her up co-exist side by side. - MAM

Christine Little - A Hoosier now living in L.A., Christine balances midwest charm with big city smarts into one funny package. - MAM

Tabari McCoy - One of Cincinnati's most recent break-out comedians, Tabari comes to Limestone the same year as his debut album for Rooftop Comedy Recrods. Synergy. - MAM

Michael McLaughlin - His urban upbringing and natural white boy awkwardness allows him to move from a John & Abigail Adams correspondence joke to a dick joke with the greatest of ease. It's an infectious mix. - MAM

Ben Moore - Bloomington's first ever full-time professional comedian, his debut album "Never Coming Back" debuted in the iTunes top 40. - JT

Joshua Murphy - Bloomington's original comedy wunderkid is partially growed-up and wowing audiences all over. - JT

Jamison Raymond - The reigning "Funniest Person in Bloomington" and creator of the comic book "Henchmen." - JT

Darren Rodgers - One of the most distinctive comedic voices from the Louisville scene, Darren's comedy combines finely focused observational humor with jokes drawn from his daily life for maximum effect. - MAM

Matty Ryan - A Chicago kid with a consistently fresh take on every topic he tackles. - MAM

Jenn Schaal - From Minneapolis, Jenn's self-deprecating style is not only hilarious, but unbelievably endearing. - MAM

Dwight Simmons - An IU grad started in Btown, moved to Chicago, then to Indianapolis and is arguably the hottest comic in that city. - JT

Jeff Steinbrunner - Another representative from the impressively strong Chicago showing, Jeff's cleverness and likability rule the day. - MAM

Linda Stogner - Delightfully bizarre, Linda stood out among all of the submissions as a true original. Another one on my must-see list. -MAM

Brent Terhune - Indy's undisputed king of puns and wordplay, Brent's comedy both disarms and charms. - MAM

Kevin Thornton - A star on the Fringe Festival circuit, Kevin's openly gay and politically minded comedy is sharp, smart and fearless. -MAM

Irene Tu - Irene knows that sarcasm works best when subtle, and it's this light touch that makes her stand out. - MAM

Butch Wesley - The gravel-voiced Butch's observational humor and intricately layered stories have made him a crowd favorite in his hometown of Cincinnati, and throughout the midwest. - MAM

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