Blue Whale Comedy’s original mission was to put Tulsa on the national comedy map. By bringing comedy to Tulsa, Blue Whale has expanded on an already burgeoning performing arts scene and exposed local talent to some of the most gifted and successful acts in the country, helping them to hone their craft and be given the opportunity to take their own acts on the road.

In 2014 the first BWCF took place in June at the Comedy Parlor and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The festival was headlined by Judah Friedlander and Matt Besser and was a mix of stand-up and improv comedy, roundtables, and after-parties. After a research trip to Los Angeles to check out RiotLA, the team felt like they knew what direction the festival needed to go. In 2015 the festival moved out from the Performing Arts Center and into the bars and restaurants of Tulsa’s historic Blue Dome District. The second year of the festival grew twofold with acts Natasha Leggero, Michael Ian Black, Nikki Glaser, and Nick Thune. Podcasts, a Tulsa stage, workshops, and a comedy short film fest were added and the festival played host to over 100 comedians and improv groups over their four-day weekend.

In 2016, BWCF moved to Tulsa’s vibrant Brady Arts District with headlining shows held at historic and legendary Cain’s Ballroom. Acts and shows for 2016 included Eric Andre, Fortune Feimster, Ron Funches, Julian McCullough, Nate Bargatze, Tony Hinchcliffe, James Adomian, Monroe Martin, Byron Bowers, Ashley Barnhill, Goddamn Comedy Jam (Comedy Central), 7 Minutes in Purgatory (Comedy Central), and the Julian Loves Music Podcast. The festival was in over 10 venues throughout the weekend with over 3000 people in attendance over 4 days.

2017 will be the 4th Annual Festival and the team is excited to be back in the Brady Arts District with another amazing line-up of entertainment including 50+ stand-ups, podcasts, live music, film, roundtables, panels, parties, and more.


Blue Whale Comedy Festival Crew


Meg is a Founder & Director of the Blue Whale Comedy Festival and serves as Marketing & Communications Manager for Guthrie Green and all related projects.  She is a Sagittarius who shares a birthday with Sarah Silverman, Bette Midler, and Richard Pryor.  Meg serves on the Board of Directors for Emergency Infant Services and is secretary for the Brady Arts District Business Association.  She has been a life-long lover of comedy and has never missed an episode of Saturday Night Live.  True story, Meg had a dreamy poster of David Letterman in her junior high school locker.  Her favorite quote is “humility is no substitute for a good personality” from author and humorist Fran Lebowitz.  Meg’s favorite comedian right this second? Maria Bamford.  Her favorite thing about life in Tulsa besides friends, family, Guthrie Green, and creating the Blue Whale Comedy Festival? The tacos, man.  #cancun4life


Shannon has been with the festival since its birth. She is currently Program Manager for Gathering Place and all related projects. Her first witness to a stand-up show was in a New York City basement club, when she had no idea what a drink minimum was, or that Jessica Kirson was about to change her life. From that point on, Shannon had a new found love for comedy. Some of her favorites are Joe DeRosa, Byron Bowers, Jerrod Carmichael, and Chris Cubas. “Our festival is a super important element of what our team does every year. We get to bring in national comedians for Tulsans to experience and offer a chance for our local comedy scene to learn and have a blast while doing so! We don’t have to go to NYC basement clubs anymore to know what great comedy is. We have it right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma”.  Shannon loves Mexican food, her husband, and fleece blankets.


Eric Lieberman is a Blue Whale founder and director and has been with Blue Whale since its initiation.  He is a life-long Tulsan and proud dad to two awesome kids.  He deals in rare cars and badassery.  He sees a red door and he wants it painted black. He is the most interesting man in Tulsa.  


Eric Himan is an award-winning, nationally touring artist based in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma who has opened tours for Ani DiFranco, Leon Russell, among others. Eric currently works Guthrie Green as Program Manager and has dabbled in stand-up comedy.  BWCF shares this incredible person with many folks as Eric is involved in all things Tulsa and adored by many, but we think he likes us best.


Andrew is a web developer and internet marketer by trade, but is very active in Tulsa’s comedy scene. Most nights, you can catch Andrew performing at a comedy club, bar or music venue somewhere in the Midwest. He was first runner-up in Tulsa’s Funniest Comic Competition in 2014 and participated at the World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas last year. He’s opened for Dan Soder, Joe DeRosa, Kyle Kinane and Michael Ian Black. Andrew works to help build and maintain relationships with comics for Blue Whale, whether they’re a local performer or a touring headliner. Aside from comedy, Andrew enjoys live music, movies, reading, conversations about space and a good slice of pizza.


Ryan Howell is a storyteller and stand-up comedian who grew up in Tulsa. In 2015, he was named “The Best Storyteller in Tulsa”. His comical and entertaining stories have been featured in storytelling festivals around the state, onstage at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and National Public Radios’ Tales from the South. In addition to storytelling, Ryan is a regular host of “Squeaky Clean”, a monthly standup comedy show at Tulsa’s Comedy Parlor where he also produces a bi-annual show called “Dear Diary: Adults Reading from their Awkward Teenage Diaries”. Ryan is deeply involved with several festivals around the state, serving on the Executive Committee for Tulsa’s Linde Oktoberfest, Territory Tellers Spirit of Oklahoma Festival, and BaseCamp Camping and Music Festival at Turkey Mountain.


Okcate Evita Smith is the Box Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for Tulsa’s Blue Whale Comedy Festival. She holds a degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Tulsa and is an experienced event manager and director. She is passionate about Tulsa’s non-profit and arts scenes and has been selected as a representative for the 2016 class of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Leadership Arts Program. A transplant from St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, she moved to Tulsa nearly eleven years ago and is genuinely happy to call Tulsa home. You can find her out and about volunteering, working on community projects, taking in live music and theatre, or watching cult classics at the Circle Cinema. This year marks her third year with the Blue Whale Comedy Festival, and she hopes you will join her volunteer posse this fall!


Ryan Drake is the reason that #MCM was invented. Currently living the dream in Oklahoma City, he is a 28-year-old comedian, DJ, writer, event planner, and radio host. In 2004, he lost his virginity at a party while the song “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” played in the background. In 2008 he started a podcast that was later picked up by TheSpyFM, and eventually created two weekly radio shows that he still hosts and produces (State Of The Art & Pairadime Music Radio) for Oklahoma’s NPR affiliate, KOSU. In 2015 he released his debut comedy album “Drinking Games For One Person” and is still waiting patiently waiting for it to go platinum (it’s available on iTunes!). He also works as an Event Coordinator for Western Concepts Restaurant Group in Oklahoma City and is a regular personality for OK’s most notorious local-social blog, The Lost Ogle. He has a perfect dog named Zooey and attends the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival every year.


Josh Kampf, devoted father of two and Michael Keaton enthusiast, is the Director of Advertising Sales for the Tulsa VOICE.  Josh is originally an Okie from Muskogee but has been working in the Tulsa journalism scene for over a decade.  Josh was the 2014 Oysterfest Eating Contest Winner at Guthrie Green, eating over 150 oysters in 10 minutes.  That’s madness, but we love him anyway.  


Destiny Green, small town turned city girl, started with our team at the beginning of 2016 and now serves as the Administrative Assistant to Tony Moore at the Gathering Place. Destiny runs a tight ship and frequently gets these cats in a bathtub, like a boss.  Like, if there were a Mrs. Organized Pageant, she would win. Destiny is a proud mamma of two hilarious boys, has worked on the Route 66 Marathon for a decade, as well as the past several Center of the Universe Festivals.


Scott Bell was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After many years living abroad and making records in Canada, as well as stints touring the world playing guitar and running sound, he returned to his musical home in Tulsa. Known for bringing world-class sound to Guthrie Green, he also produces records for artists, teaches guitar to children, and composes modern dance scores for Tulsa Modern Movement. He is currently at work on a new record of original music.


This is David Nofire’s first year with the Blue Whale Comedy Festival. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and his Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies at the University of Oklahoma. In addition to working as a librarian, he also programs the monthly Graveyard Shift series at Circle Cinema in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Lacy Applegate books the comedy shows at Cherokee Casino & Hotel in West Siloam Springs, OK.  She’s been a comedy fan for as long as she can remember.  Her most notable achievement is three podcast mentions in one week last summer.  She won’t tell us who her favorite comedian is because it’s definitely you but she doesn’t want to hurt everyone else’s feelings, so don’t say anything to the others, OK?  


Kelli Brown is Tulsa’s gatekeeper to your favorite events at Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom, but Kelli’s involvement goes far beyond holding down the ticket booth; She has a long history of entertainment industry involvement, having travelled with national touring acts, lead merchandising campaigns, and served as handler for some rather unruly rock stars. In addition to her work with Cain’s, Kelli owns and operates Okie Crow, a gift shop specializing in unique and handmade items in Tulsa’s downtown Deco District.


Matt Janey, a familiar face in the Brady district,  brings more than 10 years of experience in not-for-profit and federal grants management.  He has chaired national committees focusing on communications, research and evaluation, and social media strategy with a history of involvement planning and hosting conferences and events.  Matt is a Tulsa enthusiast and can be found photographing and promoting downtown culture, the craft beer and cocktail movement, and Tulsa’s diverse music and entertainment scene.


Spencer is a full time Principal Consultant at Pine Hill Consulting LLC and a part-time jockey of discs.  Spencer is one of the most knowledgeable folks you will ever meet on music, history, and the history of music. He is a proud member of the Cherokee Nation, and a full on OU football fanatic.  Did we mention he’s funny as heck?


John White, also known to many as “Juan Blanco” is a site supervisor for Center of Employment Opportunities.  He comes to Tulsa by way of the great state of Arkansas and is one funny SOB. He likes beard bacon and whiskey. You can find John at Cain’s Ballroom frequently, especially at shows like Widespread Panic and Trey Anastasio.


Josh Fadem – Comedian, Tulsa Native

Byron Bowers – Comedian

Abbey Londer – RiotLA Festival Director

Jason Watts – Comedy Parlor

Maronzio Vance – Comedian, Actor