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Comedy, Entertainment, Happenings

The Outlaugh 2011 comedy festival is underway this weekend featuring standup comedy, sketches, short comedy films, and improv comedy workshops at the World Famous Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. As America’s first Gay and Lesbian Comedy Festival, Outlaugh has seen such big names as Lea DeLaria, Margaret Cho and Bob Smith in past years.

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Headlining the weekend is Suzanne Westenhoefer whose impressive career includes appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, HBO, Bravo, Logo and GSN as well as performances across the US in popular theatres, clubs and fundraisers. Suzanne will end the festival with a performance on Saturday night.

Other comics gracing the Outlaugh stage this year include: Jennie McNulty (One Night Standup LOGO), Nico Santos (Finalist San Francisco’s Best Comic Standing), Charlie Ballard (LOGO), Diana Yanez (Margaret Cho’s Sensuous Woman Show), Julie Goldman (LOGO’s Big Gay Sketch Show), Sabrina Matthews (Comedy Central), Mike Player (The Gay Mafia), Jason Dudey (LOGO), Sandra Valls (Showtime’s Latin Divas of Comedy), Andre Kelley (Comedy Central, LOGO), Justin Martindale, Fortune Feimster (Chelsea Lately), and many more.

On Saturday night the first Outlaugh Comedy Award will be presented to lesbian activist and comedian Robin Tyler, executive director of The Equality Campaign and a pioneer within the grassroots movement of the LGBTI civil rights fight. She has played a seminal role in the struggle for equal rights and was the first lesbian plaintiff to sue the state of California challenging the ban on same sex marriage.

A portion of the ticket price goes to support To buy tickets or for more information please visit

Outlaugh 2011 is sponsored by the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors Bureau and the City of West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.

Outlaugh 2011 is the 4th Outlaugh Festival. The first Outlaugh (2005) was America’s First Queer Comedy Festival and was filmed and made into a movie. OUTLAUGH! the movie played in LA’s famed Outfest Film Festival and in festivals across the world; it was released on DVD and is available on Netflix.

The second Outlaugh (2006) was filmed as an 8-episode TV series on MTV’s LOGO Network, is still airing and is available on iTunes. Outlaugh 2009 was a 3-day live event held in Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles and New York simultaneously. Mike Player, of The Gay Mafia Comedy Group founded the Outlaugh Festival and serves as artistic director; he also puts away all the chairs.

Mike is co-producing Outlaugh 2011 with Dan Berkowitz. Their goal is to create an annual West Hollywood-based festival, which grows in size each year. The festival will include many forms of comedy, as well as workshops for the public, awards, book signings, and panels. It will be a place where dreams come true. Full info at

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