Kentucky Comedy Festival

2023 Fesival Highlights

Wrather Hall – Murray, Kentucky
October 19-21, 2023

2023 Event REcap

Kentucky Comedy Festival!

The inaugural Kentucky Comedy Festival, created by Western Kentucky native Ben Wilson and his English Bulldog Farley, was held October 19 – 21, 2023 to support comedy and our great state.  Profits from the show were donated to Mr. Wilson’s Living the Dream with Ben and the Bulldogs Scholarship at Murray State University and future Kentucky Comedy Festivals in Western Kentucky! 

We extend our sincerest thanks to those who attended and shared of laughter with and support for our community at the 2023 Kentucky Comedy Festival!

2023 Photo Highlights

our 2023 Comedians

Night 1

October 19, 2023

On October 19, 2023, Night 1 of the festival featured some of the best comedians in the business, including White Trash Cinderella Lace Larrabee (@lacelarrabee), Eric O’Shea (@ericosheacomedy), Jasmine Ellis (@jasmineelliscomedy), and The Kentucky Corp Jester Mark Klein, who has been featured on Dry Bar Comedy, America’s Got Talent, and more!

Night 2

October 20, 2023

Night 2 of the festival continued on October 20, 2023, and featured Kevin Farley (@kevfarls), Tammy Pescatelli (@tammypescatelli), and Brad Upton (@braduptoncomedy), who have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, and Dry Bar Comedy.

Night 3

October 21, 2023

Night 3 of the festival continue3 on October 21, 2023, and featured Henry Cho (@henrychocomedy), Derrick Stroup (@derrick_yells),  Murray resident Jeremiah Martin (@jeremiahmcomedy), and Murray resident Jamaal Gardner (@JamaalTheCashierGardner) who have been featured on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late, Late, Show, and NBC’s Young Comedians Special.

Our Comedians

Henry Cho

Henry Cho’s TV credits include appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late, Late, Show, and NBC’s Young Comedians Special. He served two years as host of NBC’s Friday Night Videos and had many guest roles on various network sitcoms. Cho was co-creator, co-producer and co-writer of The Henry Cho Show on GAC. On February 11, 2023, he was inducted as the 229th member of The Grand Ole Opry.

Kevin Farley

Best known as a comedian, actor, and writer, Kevin Farley has been entertaining audiences for over two decades with his observational comedy and relatable humor. With appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, and more, Kevin Farley is a seasoned pro that will have you laughing all night long.

Brad Upton

A veteran of the comedy scene, Brad Upton has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years with his clever jokes and quick wit. He’s a favorite among comedy fans and with appearances on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, and more, Brad Upton is a comedian that will have you laughing all night long.

Tammy Pescatelli

A comedian and actor with a style of comedy that is relatable and real. A regular on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents and Last Comic Standing. Tammy’s observational comedy and wit make her a must-see comedian.

“White Trash Cinderella”
Lace Larrabee

A rising comedy star, Lace Larrabee has been making audiences laugh with her unique brand of comedy that blends observational humor with her southern roots. With appearances on Dry Bar Comedy and America’s Got Talent, Lace is quickly becoming a must-see comedian.

Eric O’Shea

A comedian and actor, Eric O’Shea has been performing stand-up comedy for over a decade. With a knack for storytelling, Eric’s comedy is relatable and hilarious, making him a favorite among audiences.

Jasmine Ellis

With a style that is both bold and relatable, Jasmine Ellis is a comedian on the rise. Her performances have been featured on Dry Bar Comedy, and she’s known for her ability to connect with audiences with her observational and relatable humor.

The Kentucky Corp Jester Mark Klein

With a career spanning over 20 years, Mark Klein is a veteran of the comedy scene. His quick wit and clever jokes have made him a favorite among audiences across the country.  He talks. You laugh.

Derrick Stroup

Alabama native and stand-up comedian Derrick Stroup is not your average slow talking Southerner. With the cadence of an angry auctioneer, he locks people in with his detailed stories and over the top energy. Like chasing his dreams of stand-up comedy, Derrick moved to Denver, Colorado in 2015 and has never looked back. Since then he has become a regular at several clubs in the state and the country.

Jeremiah Martin

Jeremiah Martin was raised in western Kentucky where he first observed and laughed at the norms of small-town life. His outlook and comedy have gotten him booked and in front of crowds in several clubs throughout the country such as Loony Bin’s, Comedy Off Broadway, The Caravan, Ft. Wayne Comedy Club, and many others where he’s been fortunate enough to work with comedians such as Dale Jones, Jodi White, Slade Ham, Stewart Huff, and Matt Holt.

Jamaal Gardner

From cashier to comedian, you don’t know what Jamaal Gardner might think of next. Jamaal is aiming for a career as a full-time stand-up comedian. He has performed alongside celebrities he never thought he’d meet and says “There’s nothing like making a whole room laugh at your thoughts. It’s addicting beyond words.”

our 2023 hosts

Ben Wilson, Founder
Kentucky Comedy Festival

Ben Wilson is the founder of the Kentucky Comedy Festival and native of Paducah, Kentucky and Calvert City, Kentucky.  He is a 1999 graduate of Murray State University and a 2004 graduate of the University of Miami (FL) law school with a Masters of Law in Real Estate Development.  Ben has been practicing law as a real estate attorney in Florida since 2004.  He is excited to bring the Kentucky Comedy Festival to his hometown area to bring laughter to Western Kentucky and support to Murray State!

Mallory Hudson
Miss Kentucky 2023

Mallory Hudson is Miss Kentucky 2023, a passionate advocate for inclusion and education. She’s a senior at the University of Kentucky, studying Communications and Political Science. Mallory has a strong background in theater, championing her Community Service Initiative, “Inclusive Stages.” She serves as the official spokesperson for Kentucky Proud, supporting local agriculture. Mallory aims to be remembered for her advocacy, leadership, and commitment to empowering others.

2023 Presenting Sponsors

Kentucky Comedy Festival