Albuquerque Funny Fiesta set to give locals over a week of laughter - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Funny Fiesta set to give locals over a week of laughter

Gigi Bella is set to perform at her first Albuquerque Funny Fiesta on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the North Fourth Art Center. (Courtesy of Sante Guajardo)

Albuquerque Funny Fiesta is giving comedy lovers plenty of chances to laugh – almost too many, so there’s no excuse.

The festival takes place from Sept. 15-25 and features a plethora of performances, including stand-up, sketch, improv and variety shows. Jeff Anderson, who sits on the producing committee, said 81 acts are slated to entertain Albuquerque across multiple venues.

He said, “We wanted to showcase the amazing local talent, and then also bring in national acts to kind of both introduce Albuquerque to them and introduce them to Albuquerque.”

The festival, founded by local nonprofit Albuquerque Arts Hub, has been garnering the attention of national entertainers since its 2018 inception. After a break in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year will be Funny Fiesta’s third installment. Anderson said they received more submissions than ever, and over 30 different zip codes were represented in the applications.

“We’re excited that the word seems to be spreading,” he said.

Myq Kaplan

The festival will be headlined by comedian Myq Kaplan who currently hosts two podcasts and has a one-hour stand-up special, “Small, Dork, and Handsome,” on Amazon. He has been featured on Comedy Central, almost every late-night talk show, and competitions such as “Last Comic Standing” and “America’s Got Talent.”

In addition, Kaplan’s latest comedy album, “A.K.A.,” debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 2020. Anderson said that Kaplan is the biggest name Funny Fiesta has booked thus far.

“We’re really stoked to have Myq here. One, because he’s just freaking hilarious and his show is going to be amazing, and two … local comics have an opportunity to meet and chat with him,” Anderson said.

Networking is an enormous part of the festival. Anderson said some acts in Albuquerque have met touring comics during the festival and then the next year, they’re performing their own shows around the country. He said the goal is to create “a comedy pipeline.”

One local comedian who has made an impact beyond the city’s borders is Gigi Bella. The author and slam poet is an eccentric talent. With an unmatchable delivery, she has the ability to blend powerful statements with humor into her performance. Even if an audience member doesn’t fully understand poetry, her words entrap and enchant.

Though she was always into theater and songwriting, Bella first experienced slam poetry as a teenager. She said, “I just thought it was amazing that these people were so brave and awesome and cool, and writing and telling their own stories.”

Yet, it took years for her to share her own writing.

“I finally got up the courage to give it a shot, and the community was super encouraging, which led to me competing and representing Albuquerque multiple times on teams and individual national competitions.”

Sharing her stories was the right move for Bella. In 2017, she was ranked as the 10th woman poet in the world at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her other accomplishments include being named the Project X Bronx Poetry champion twice, as well as part as the first-ever Latinx Project X Bronx Slam Team, a Pink Door Fellow, and the National Poetry Slam champion and semifinalist.

Additionally, her work has been featured on Button Poetry, Slamfind and various poetry collections, as well as used by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. “It’s been a crazy 11 years. … Everybody has their own unique way to tell a story, and when I’m being my most honest self, I’m often telling jokes and being very silly,” she said.

Bella, who enjoys building a closeness between artist and audience, is debuting a musical element to her poetry and humor. She is set to perform on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. at the North Fourth Art Center. This year’s Funny Fiesta will be Bella’s first, though she has performed around town plenty of times and is ingrained in the supportive comedy community.

“I’m really excited to get to know them more and to get to see more work, just kind of delve into this big awesome thing that is the festival because there’s so much to see,” Bella said.

Over the course of the 11-day festival, performances are slated to take place at the North Fourth Art Center, The Box Performance Space, Dry Heat Comedy Club, The Historic Lobo Theater, Inside Out and Kosmos Restaurant. Fans can purchase individual event tickets, weekly passes and full festival passes.

Home » Entertainment » Albuquerque Funny Fiesta set to give locals over a week of laughter

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Film shines a light on the importance, history of ...
ABQnews Seeker
On Saturday, Jan. 28, 'Acequias: The ... On Saturday, Jan. 28, 'Acequias: The Legacy Lives On,' will premiere at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Pojoaque alums present anti-pest product on ABC reality show ...
ABQnews Seeker
At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, ... At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, the Pojoaque High School alums will take their product called Slick Barrier to 'Shark Tank', which airs on ...
'Shrinking' actor Luke Tennie hopes series helps viewers deal ...
ABQnews Seeker
'Shrinking,' starring Luke Tennie, Harrison Ford ... 'Shrinking,' starring Luke Tennie, Harrison Ford and Jason Segal, premieres on Friday, Jan. 27, on Apple TV+.
Comedian Bill Maher brings his live comedy show to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Though he's seen on TV more ... Though he's seen on TV more today, Bill Maher's roots remain in stand-up comedy. He will make a stop in Albuquerque on Saturday, Jan. ...
Blvck Hippie brings rhythmic riffs and deep lyrics to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Blvck Hippie is set to share ... Blvck Hippie is set to share experiences and moments with the Albuquerque crowd.The ac ...
Unparalleled level of creativity, quality make Sazón a singular ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sazón chef Fernando Olea was named ... Sazón chef Fernando Olea was named the James Beard Award's 'Best Chef of the Southwest' in 2022.
'Turn-of-the-century' duo Son of Town Hall bring music, theater ...
ABQnews Seeker
Son of Town Hall will perform ... Son of Town Hall will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales.
Turtle Mountain North celebrates first year with gala event
ABQnews Seeker
Turtle Mountain North First Anniversary Feast ... Turtle Mountain North First Anniversary Feast features a six course pairing menu.
Legendary country star Clint Black to play Kiva Auditorium
ABQnews Seeker
Clint Black has been on tour ... Clint Black has been on tour with his wife, Lisa Hartman Black and daughter, Lily Pearl on the “Mostly Hits & the Mrs. Tour,” ...
Subtronics bringing amped up live performance to Revel
ABQnews Seeker
Subtronics, aka Jesse Kardon, brings his ... Subtronics, aka Jesse Kardon, brings his “Antifractals” tour Albuquerque on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Revel Entertainment Center.