Comedy fundraiser at The Mill helps support upcoming festival

Ethan Simmons Paterson is one of 20 comics performing at the fundraiser -- photo by Shania Tromp
Ethan Simmons Paterson is one of 20 comics performing this Sunday. — photo by Shania Tromp

Too Many Comics – Green Gravel Festival Fundraiser

The Mill — Sunday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m.

At the Mill Sunday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., local comedians will perform in Too Many Comics, a comedy showcase raising funds for the 2015 Green Gravel Comedy Festival, which will be held in Iowa City in February.

“We’re the new guys, so we want to hit the ground running,” said Lee Keeler, head of Green Gravel, describing his new involvement in Iowa City’s rising comedy scene.

Too Many Comics (a reference to Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks, whose creator will be coming out for the festival) will feature 20 local comedians, each given five minutes on the stage to make you laugh. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of the comedic talent Iowa City has to offer.

“We’re hoping to have all kinds of voices at our festival that showcase the spectrum of different styles that make Iowa comedy so incredible,” he said.

Keeler said this show will be the only fundraiser they’ll host for Green Gravel Comedy Festival, in conjunction with their online crowdfunding campaign.

Keeler is ready to take on anything he can to make the upcoming Green Gravel Comedy Festival a success. For the past four years, he has been producing comedy shows in Hollywood, and his cohort Derek Eadon, owner of an PR firm based in Iowa, collaborated with Keeler recently on bringing comedian Pete Holmes to Des Moines. Green Gravel vice president Matt Mesaros is studying web and graphic design at the University of Iowa.

“As a staff both inside and outside of the realm of comedy, we are passionate about bringing our skills to something that we genuinely love,” Keeler said.

Keeler and his team are excited to see what lies ahead for Iowa’s state-wide interest in comedy.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to apply the experiences and connections that I’ve garnered while living away from Iowa and try to pour them back into my home state,” Keeler said. “Iowa comedy is going to grow with or without Green Gravel, but we’re trying to make our fest a destination by programming things you won’t see in other fests.”

Full disclosure: Little Village Culture Editor Arash Singh is hosting this event.

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