Comedy Fest to honor Stephen Colbert
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN The new year is only 18 days old, but producers of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival have already tabbed their Person of the Year.Stephen Colbert, host of the newscast parody “The Colbert Report,” will be the recipient of the festival’s inaugural Person of the Year Award. The 13th annual USCAF is set for Feb. 28 through March 4 with events at various Aspen venues.The festival also announced Wednesday that it will honor filmmaker Blake Edwards with the inaugural USCAF Filmmaker Tribute. Edwards’ filmography as director includes “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the “Pink Panther” series, “10” and “Victor/Victoria.” He earned an honorary Academy Award in 2004, in recognition of his writing, directing and producing; and a worst director Razzie Award in 1989 for “Sunset.”
Also, Marie Cox and Marc Maron will co-host the Gaggle, an opinion show that borrows from the ESPN-style format to discuss politics and pop culture. Cox is the Washington, D.C. editor for Time.com and founding editor of the Wonkette. Maron, a stand-up comic, is the former co-host of Air America’s “Morning Sedition.” Panelists and guests for the Gaggle have yet to be announced.Colbert’s acclaimed show was a 2005 spinoff of “The Daily Show,” on which he appeared as a satirically uninformed correspondent. In addition to the tongue-in-cheek Person of the Year Award, Time magazine named Colbert one of its 100 most influential people in 2006. Speaking by press release, Colbert said, “I am humbled to be part of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’s tireless efforts to bring joy to the wealthy.”Also new to the festival is the Funny Picture Show, a component of the USCAF Film Program. The Funny Picture Show is an online search for the best in comedic short films. Submissions can be made at http://www.funnypictureshow.com; winners will be blessed with meetings with HBO Films and USCAF Film Programming executives.
Previously announced highlights of the 2007 USCAF include appearances by George Carlin and Don Rickles. Carlin will perform in the new headliner series of performances at the Wheeler Opera House; additional comedians in the series include Steven Wright and Katt Williams. Rickles will participate in a Q&A session after a special one-hour screening of “The Rickles Project,” a new documentary by John Landis. Rickles will also receive yet another new award, the Pinnacle Award.Additional programs include “Entourage”: Behind the Scenes; a special screening of “The Winner,” a series created by Seth MacFarlane set to debut this spring on Fox; The Big Picture, presented by HBO Films president Colin Callender; and Blogging: Buzz vs. Biz. The new show Broadband Theater will examine the genre-busting ideas found on the Internet, and New York-based storytelling group the Moth will make a return appearance in Aspen.
The festival will also present stand-up, sketch and alternative performances.Ticket packages, including the $125 Locals Package, are available at http://www.uscaf.com, or by calling (866) 350-3369.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is email@example.com