EMERGING BLACK & BROWN COMEDIANS WILL COMPETE FOR THE TOP SPOTS AT THE VIRTUAL ABFF COMEDY FESTIVAL JUNE 2-13
LOS ANGELES, CA, (May 12, 2021) – ABFF Ventures LLC., announced the names of the sixteen semifinalists who will compete in the 1st annual ABFF Comedy Festival’s stand-up competition, presented by Warner Media. The competition is the centerpiece of ABFF Comedy Festival dedicated to showcasing emerging Black and Brown comedians and comedy writers while introducing them to the industry at-large. The inaugural festival will be held virtually June 2-13, 2021, on ABFFPlay.com, the ABFF’s streaming platform.
The semifinalists selected will all perform in the first round before a virtual audience and panel of prominent industry judges. From this group, five finalists will be selected to compete in the final round of the competition. The winner and first runner up will receive a cash prizes of $7,500 and $2,500 respectively. All five finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 25th annual American Black Film Festival in Miami, November 3-7, and an opportunity to perform in front of the festival audience. Affion Crockett (Wild N’ Out) will host the competition.
As previously announced, television and film writer/producer Kenya Barris is this years’ ABFF Comedy Festival Ambassador.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase sixteen incredibly talented and funny comedians in the early stages of their careers. The ABFF brand expansion of the comedy festival was established to help propel new generations of diverse artists to the global stage. I am so excited to be able to provide a platform that fosters diversity, and a space for laughter,” says Nicole Friday, ABFF Ventures President.
2021 ABFF Comedy Festival Stand-Up Competition Semi-Finalists:
Travis Blunt hails from Syracuse, New York. His jokes center on personal issues — like being biracial, financial struggles, relationships and more.
Born and raised in Hyattsville, Maryland, the artist, known as Rallo, has always had a knack for comedy. Rallo was dared by a good friend to perform stand-up comedy at a Fourth of July dinner party in 2008…and the rest is history.
Kae Bradford is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. Kae’s quick wit and anecdotal tales of her upbringing bring joy and laughter to her audiences.
Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Marshall Brandon has been making people laugh since he uttered his first words. He recently landed the opportunity to spend the summer of 2020 at Chappelle Summer Camp.
Shanna Christmas is a comedian/actor from Las Vegas, Nevada, who took home the 2018 Devil Cup Comedy Festival trophy for Best in Stand-Up.
Reid Clark hails from Washington, D.C. In his 8 years as a stand-up comedian, his comedy has been described as dark, blue, and political, with elements of musicality and improvisation.
Cherie Danielle is an Atlanta, Georgia-based actor/comedian, and core cast member of “The Going Live Show,” a sketch comedy show on YouTube.
Eva Evans is a comedic Diva hailing from Englewood, N.J./Brooklyn, N.Y. She graduated from the Manhattan School of Comedy at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC and won the 2017 Manhattan Comedy Festival competition (NYC).
Rob Gordon, born and raised in Washington, D.C., found his love for comedy and laughter in grade school. He expresses himself not only on-stage doing stand-up, but also through skits and sketches on social media and YouTube.
Phil Hunt began his career in his hometown of Indianapolis and moved on to New York City. Poised, deliberate and polished, Phil’s mix of refined material combines unique observational commentary and imaginative storytelling steeped in a perspective all his own.
Haywood J. Thompson, “Hay J,” is a stand-up comedian and host from Cincinnati, Ohio, with the skill to entertain diverse crowds from Christian/Family events to music concerts. Hay J also teaches improv comedy techniques and is the winner of the national Funny Bone Competition.
Vannessa Jackson is a stand-up comedian and writer hailing from Rancho Cucamonga, California. Currently she resides in New York and performs stand-up comedy around the city.
Alan Massenburg is a comedian and writer originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2018, he won the New Comedian of the Year competition in Baltimore. He is also a writer/contributor for The Culture Collective, NYC, hosts “The Mass Hysterical Show” and co-hosts the “Proper Ebonics Podcast.”
Rashaun Reese is a stand-up comedian from East Orange, New Jersey. A natural comedian, his routine focuses on current events, life experiences and differences between men and women.
Kenté Scott, born and raised in Oakland, California, started doing stand-up at the world-famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. Kenté recently returned from co-headlining a tour of the U.S. military bases in Japan, is a regular guest on “Quake’s House” radio show (on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Network on Sirius/XM), and hosts the Comedy Cafe.
Star is a stand-up comedian, actress and singer from Brooklyn, New York. Her start in stand-up comedy began at Carolines on Broadway NYC, where she frequently performed and became best known for her impersonations and interactive storytelling.
Sponsors to date include WarnerMedia (Presenting), Nissan and SiriusXM (Official), Sony Pictures Entertainment and Starz, a Lionsgate Company (Supporting). Marketing Partners include TheGrio.com and Rolling Out.
For more information on the ABFF Comedy Festival and pass sales, visit www.abff.com/comedyfest/ and follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.