After years of being on a hiatus, the historical ‘Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival’ (BABCCF) is returning to Oakland, CA. The festival will be taking place between ‘February 13-16’ at Tommy T’s Comedy Club in Pleasanton, CA.
Formerly a theater artist and poet, Tony Spires created the Bay Area Black Comedy Festival in 1986 in order to level the playing field for black and other comedians of color. Since then, it’s become one of the longest-running festivals for urban comedians and helped put the idea of ‘black comedy’ on the map.
After its inception in 1986, it wasn’t long before industry executives heard what was going on and began going to these shows that people couldn’t stop talking about.
Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Mike Epps, D.L. Hughley and Katt Williams are some of the legendary alumni from his competition. As well as Don ‘D.C.’ Curry, Robin Harris and Paul Mooney were all recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award that BABCCF provides.
The impact of that the platform is well documented of the years. Spires has shared that Jamie Foxx’s win at the festival allowed him the chance to try out for ‘In Living Color’. After Chris Tucker appeared in the BABCCF, his breakout 1992 Def Comedy Jam performance followed shortly after.
“We like to consider ourselves at the vanguard of the modern-day black comedy movement and have been there since the beginning”
Over 60 diverse stand-ups are scheduled to perform during this year’s festival in front of producers and executives, with a cash prize set for the winner. In addition to being a platform to showcase your comedic talent, BABCCF has also been proven to be a major networking convention. If you happen to be in Oakland, you can purchase tickets here.
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