Back by popular demand, the Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) presents their semi-annual Comedy Nights, Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 9, at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Once part of the three-day international independent film festival, NCFF Comedy Nights has grown to become its own signature event having welcomed such infamous characters as Marc Maron, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Tim Heidecker, Brett Gelman, Eric Andre, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, Kyle Kinane, John Early and Kate Berlant to name a few.
“We’ve been lucky to host so many up-and-coming comedians, right before they have their big break,” shares Jesse Locks, executive director. “Often times these comedians are working on what will become their signature jokes, and local audiences can later share bragging rights that they saw so and so before they made it big.”
This year’s mini fest kicks off Friday, April 7, doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm, with a free live tapping of The Poundcast with DJ Douggpound best known for his work on shows such as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, The Eric Andre Show, and Portlandia; and comedian Brent Weinbach, a favorite from previous NCFF Comedy Nights. Together the two joke around and talk to various guests which include musicians, comedians, directors… you never know who might show up.
Headlining Saturday, April 8, doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm is comedian, actor, writer Beth Stelling, from Netflix’s “The Stand Ups” plus star of comedy specials “Simply the Best”, “The Half Hour”, and “Girl Daddy” – produced by Conan O’Brien and Team Coco and hailed “The Best Debut Special of the year,” by the New York Times.
“We are very excited to welcome Beth to NCFF Comedy Nights for the first time. We’ve been wanting to bring her for a while,” says Locks. “Local audiences may remember her from the episodic comedy short “High Country” which was written and directed by Heather Donahue, and loosely based on Nevada County, that premiered at the festival in 2015. Not only is she a funny, but she’s a fantastic actor as well.”
As a writer, Stelling has written on I Love You America with Sarah Silverman, The Last O.G. on TBS, HBO’s Crashing, Another Period on Comedy Central, Apple’s upcoming animated series Strange Planet and she is currently writing for season 8 of Rick and Morty for Adult Swim. Beth is a go-to hire for punch-up on features, after getting her start as an on-set writer and Associate Producer for the hit summer film Good Boys written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
On the acting front, Stelling has a recurring role on Peacock’s comedy Rutherford Falls opposite Ed Helms and Jana Schmieding. She can also be seen in season 2 of Amazon’s series Red Oaks opposite Jennifer Grey, as well as guest starring on Comedy Central’s series Corporate.
Opening the night is Carly Kane, a writer, producer, and stand-up currently based in Los Angeles. She started comedy in Chicago where she was a regular at The Comedy Bar, The Laugh Factory and Zanies. She was featured in NBC Breakout Festival in 2019. She’s performed all over the country and has produced a variety of shows from The Blackout Diaries, a critically acclaimed story telling show to The Big One, a successful monthly comedy show out of her backyard.
Sunday night wraps with a screening of the hilarious black comedy The Death of Dick Long (Rated R, 100min), doors 6:30pm, film 7pm, presented by The Onyx Downtown. Written by Billy Chew and directed by Daniel Scheinert (one half of the Swiss Army Man, Everything Everywhere All At Once duo known as Daniels) The Death of Dick Long expertly balances the hilarity and heartache of what happens when dark secrets are dragged kicking and screaming into the light. New York Magazine wrote of the film, “You can feel your brain melting away as you watch it, and that’s not always a bad sensation” and the Houston Chronicle shared “At its best, “The Death of Dick Long” has a similar deadpan appeal and grim humor of “Fargo.” There’s no wood chipper but what replaces it is equally disturbing.”
“NCFF’s Comedy Nights is all about the ridiculous, absurd, and zany,” says Locks. “I think we all deserve a good laugh about right now.”
Tickets for the weekend’s events range from free for The Poundcast taping on Friday, $20 for Saturday night’s headlining live comedy show, and $10 for the film screening on Sunday. Wine and beer, along with popcorn and snacks will be available for purchase at all events.