ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Friday, the Albuquerque Funny Fiesta will once again take over the city’s theaters and comedy venues. Spanning over two weekends, the festival will feature the comedic talents of not only the Albuquerque comedy community but national acts as well.

“The Funny Fiesta actually has, I would say, like a sample platter of every type of comedic art possible, which makes us very different than other festivals in the country,” says Sarah Kennedy, Albuquerque Funny Fiesta committee member as well as co-owner of the Dry Heat Comedy Club. Along with stand-up and improv, those in attendance will be able to see shows that include sketch comedy, combined comedy and drag performances, and “Mystery Science Theater-esque” comedy riffing over a film.

Local performance artist Gigi Bella says she’s excited to showcase her work among the comedy community. “I’m not a traditional comedian so to me, it’s really exciting to see that kind of umbrella expand to all kinds of funny,” she says. “I really like expressing myself through jokes so, being a part of the Funny Fiesta to me means getting to show the world this part of my work that so often is just kind of in the background and that’s really exciting.”

The Albuquerque Funny Fiesta’s first year was back in 2019 after the local nonprofit Albuquerque Arts Hub asked the local art community what they needed more of. “The comedians that they interviewed had mentioned they needed more networking opportunities…there wasn’t any physical space for them to perform in; and so, out of that, [Arts Hub] started the Funny Fiesta, which was kind of a great way to get the comedians here some stuff that they needed and also to help bring in people from out of town for them and for everybody to get to meet each other,” says Kennedy. She adds that part of the fiesta’s mission is that 50% or more of the people who get accepted to the fiesta have to be from New Mexico.

This year’s headliner is Myq Kaplan, who has specials on Amazon as well as Comedy Central. He’ll be performing at the Historic Lobo Theater on Friday, September 23 at 8 p.m. Comedian Anastasia Washington will open the show and local comedian Zach Abeyta will host.

The schedule boasts an array of shows over the weekends of September 16 and 23. Shows will be held at the North Fourth Arts Center, The Box Performance Space & Improv Theatre, Dry Heat Comedy Club, The Historic Lobo Theater, Insideout, and Kosmos Restaurant. Tickets can be purchased on the Albuquerque Funny Fiesta website.