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Kate Quigley comes home to headline the Cleveland Comedy Festival

November 9, 2018

Kate Quigley comes home to headline the Cleveland Comedy Festival

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the host of the Laugh Track column, a man who is enjoying the peace and quiet … Mike McIntyre!

Thank you, Cleveland. The election is over. Politicians are not constantly on my television bashing other politicians with exaggerations and outright lies. Finally, I can hear myself think ... about how much respect I’ve lost for politicians.

Cleveland Comedy Festival next week: Now into its second decade, the Cleveland Comedy Festival intends to stay strong with plenty of comedians from Northeast Ohio and around the country Nov. 14-18. While Playhouse Square is still considered home base this year, there is a new venue – Not Your Parents Basement in the Superelectric Pinball Parlor inside the 78th Street Studios. Festival alumni will be doing shows there.

The festival kicks off with local lawyer and former touring comic Michael Cheselka performing as part of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties. Beginning at 6:30 Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Music Box Supper Club, he’ll talk about his days days as an Outlaw of Comedy with Sam Kinison. You just need to reserve a table and order some food. After the food and stories, he’ll close with a stand-up set ($10).

The Music Box is at 1148 Main Ave. on the west bank of Cleveland’s Flats. Go to musicboxcle.com for info and reservations or call 216-242-1250.

The Hanna Theatre will be home to the “Homecoming Show,” featuring Northeast Ohio native Kate Quigley (she’s from Jackson, just outside Canton). She’s now a stand-up comic and actress in Hollywood. Her credits include “The Office,” “The Megan Mullally Show” and Playboy TV’s “Undercover.” She’s also pretty well-known for, as she describes them, “hot pictures” of herself on social media and wearing a bikini onstage to do her act. Twice.

I caught up with Quigley in L.A. this week after a late-night/early-morning set at the Comedy Store and asked if, in her mid-30s, she’s happy with where her life is.

“Completely honestly, I’m so happy. I feel so lucky every day. When I was a kid, I wanted to be on TV. All I wanted was to get paid to entertain people,” she said. And she has accomplished that goal. “In a way, I feel like if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I accomplished what I wanted as a kid, and everything else is icing on the cake.”

Quigley hosts a podcast called “Date Fails” about her own dating life and those of others. She has a unique perspective, having married a high school sweetheart at 19 and divorcing more than a decade later.

“A lot of my act is about starting life in your 30s, where most people start in their 20s. It’s my coming-of-age story,” she said.

Her parents still live in Jackson and still run the family business, Wyles Heating & Air Conditioning, which, by the way, is where she had her first job. She’s excited about the homecoming.

“The older I get, the more I missed kind of the quiet and peace of Ohio. It’s simple there, not a ton of traffic, you can get to places in 10 minutes,” she said. “I’m not hating on L.A. I love it. But Ohio is nice, because you can hang at a party and nobody is asking what are you working on, what’s coming up next. They just want to hang.”

If you want to hang with Quigley, who will be preceded by Shaker Heights native Rick Glassman, you can do that at the close of the festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Hanna Theatre in Playhouse Square. Go to playhousesquare.org for tickets or call 1-800-801-7407.

For more information on all of the Cleveland Comedy Festival shows, go to clevelandcomedyfestival.com.

Happy Birthday Dear Papa: The great Tom Papa is back in Cleveland to headline Hilarities and celebrate his birthday. Cleveland loves him so much, I’m sure he’ll get a “Happy Birthday” serenade. Preferably not right in the middle of a set-up.

Catch Papa at Hilarities at 8 p.m. Thursday ($25), 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday ($30), and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday ($35). Pickwick & Frolic is inside Pickwick & Frolic restaurant, 2035 East Fourth St., Cleveland. Call 216-736-4242 or go to pickwickandfrolic.com.

At the Improv: TK Kirkland headlines the Cleveland Improv at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20. The Improv is at 1148 Main Ave., next to Shooters on the west bank of Cleveland’s Flats. Call 216-696-4677 or go to clevelandimprov.com.

At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, former WNCX morning personality and world-class ranter Jeff Blanchard headlines. Tickets are $15.

Laugh alone with Trevor Noah: Only single seats remain for “The Daily Show” host’s gig at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 on the Hard Rock Live stage at the Hard Rock Rocksino. Tickets are $65-$115. Go to ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-745-3000. Call the venue for more information at 1-855-660-7625. The Hard Rock Rocksino is at 10777 Northfield Road in Northfield.

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