Originating long before the city had anything even resembling a sustainable comedy community, Milwaukee Comedy Festival has grown and evolved in kind with Milwaukee’s humor scene. From August 2-6, the Matt Kemple-curated undertaking will offer an eclectic blend of stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy will come back bigger, better, and with a more renowned headliner than ever in the fest’s 12th year.

The festivities kick off with a Wednesday night showcase at Lakefront Brewery, before the official events move to The Underground Collaborative for the vast majority of performance, excluding and a Shank Hall showcase featuring MadTV and Reno 911! alumnus. Finally, the five-day laugh fest will culminate with an August 6 Turner Hall show headlined by actor, author, and comedian Michael Ian Black, who is making his Milwaukee return after more than three years.

Single-day passes (for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows) cost $15 in advance or $20 at doors. Weekend passes are $50, which includes the Turner Hall finale. Here’s the lineup (listed from host to headliner):

Wednesday, August 2 – 7 p.m. (Lakefront Brewery)

Joe Riley
Seth Davis
Erin Grotheer
Mat Alano-Martin

Thursday, August 3 – 7:30 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Variety Hour Happy Hour (Sketch)
Elijah Holbrook
Mike Berg
Ton Johnson

Friday, August 4 – 7:30 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Vik Pandya
Audrey Jonas
Christopher Schmidt
Keith MacGill

Friday, August 4 – 10 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Josh Ballew
Mike Wiley
Sam Priest
Prateek Srivastava

Saturday, August 5 – 4 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Matt Werner
Two, Too (Improv)
Funeral Twins
Jake West

Saturday, August 5 – 6 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

David Roth
Miles Hendrix
Last Action Movie (Improv)

Saturday, August 5 – 8 p.m. (Shank Hall)


Lahna Turner
Jill-Michele Melean
Debra Wilson

Saturday, August 5 – 11 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

AJ Grill
Sidekick (Sketch)
Carter Deems
Davon Magwood

Sunday, August 6 – 2 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Joe Murphy
Improvised Jane Austen (Improv)
Live from LaCrosse (Sketch)
Stacy Pawlowski

Sunday, August 6 – 4 p.m. (Underground Collaborative)

Josh Ballew
Sketch Marks (Sketch)
Dan Marse-Kapr
Matt Griffo (Musical Comedy)

Sunday, August 6 – 8 p.m. (Turner Hall)

David Louis
John Egan
Michael Ian Black