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William Morris, Fantasma To Present Comedy Festival

MIAMI BEACH (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The William Morris Agency and Fantasma Productions have teamed up again with Comedy Central to bring the second annual South Beach Comedy Festival to South Florida January 17-20. On the heels of the success of last year's inaugural festival, Comedy Central will once again be the exclusive media partner of the festival.
South Beach Comedy Festival is a culturally diverse festival that will showcase Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Jim Breur, Margaret Cho, Andrew Dice Clay, Mike Epps, the triple bill of Comedy Central regulars Greg Giraldo, Mike Birbiglia and Robert Schimmel, Raul Gonzalez, Lisa Lampanelli, Artie Lange, Bill Maher, Hal Sparks, and many others.

In addition to the headlining performances, the festival will hold an open call on January 6 at The Improv Comedy Club in Coconut Grove for aspiring comedians to win a chance to perform at the festival on the Free Comedy Stage on Lincoln Road. Open call winners will move on to the final competition on January 8 and compete with other local comedians; winners of the competition will be announced on January 12. Last year's winner, Flip Schultz, went on to receive an offer to appear on Comedy Central's multi-platform series, "Live At Gotham", after performing at the festival and received further national recognition as one of the finalists on NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

In addition, South Beach Comedy Festival and Comedy Central have joined forces with 20th Century Fox for the festival's first movie partnership. Fox's February 23 release, "Reno 911: Miami!", will receive a special advance screening on January 18. The entire principal cast of the film will be on hand after the screening for an exclusive Q&A with the festival audience. Comedy Central will film a Christopher Titus one-hour special from the festival.

"Last year's event was a huge success and we are thrilled to be back for a second year with many more to come," said Raul Mateu, William Morris Agency senior vice president. "Last year we sold tickets in over 34 states and this year's line-up will take us to a new level. Our goal of becoming one of the premier events in South Florida and one of the premier comedy festivals around the world is within reach."

"This year’s festival will be bigger and better than last year," said Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions president. "The same great concept, with some fun new additions. We expect this to be a great event for local audiences as well as for people who want to fly in for a great weekend."

"Comedy Central is thrilled to once again be the media partner for the South Beach Comedy Festival," said Mitch Fried, SVP Promotion Marketing, Comedy Central. . "At last year's festival, we saw first-hand how viewers were eager to personally connect with the Comedy Central brand off-air during the live shows. This year, festival attendees will be even more immersed with our network's signature and risk-taking content including performances from top Comedy Central talent. We see this festival as part of Comedy Central's overall live performance strategy."

The festival performances will take place throughout South Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater, The Lincoln Theater and The Colony Theater. Creating a comedy mall down Lincoln Road, audiences by will be able to visit the free stand-up stage during the festival, which will premiere on and will be available for downloads to Amp'd Mobile customers. The Lincoln Road stage will be sponsored in part by the City of Miami Beach, which has been an active participant in the establishment of the festival since its launch last year. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen