ABQ Funny Fiesta to feature 50+ local comedians

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque Funny Fiesta is returning for the third time, and organizers say it’s the biggest one yet. 

The 10-day festival kicks off Friday, Sept. 16. Organizer Jeff Andersen says there are 86 comedians scheduled to perform across eight different venues, including the Lobo Theater, The Box, and Dry Heat Comedy Club.

Andersen says there’s a wide variety of performances. 

“I think what really makes Albuquerque shine is, is kind of that sense of like, you don’t know what you’re gonna see, right? You don’t there’s not a specific like type of comedy or a specific type of performer,” Andersen said. 

Andersen says the event is providing a space for local comedians to network with national talent, but it’s also bringing more well-known comedians to Albuquerque. 

“We’ve had so many national performers say ‘I’m gonna come back then they started booking shows regularly here,’” Andersen said. 

Myq Kaplan, who’s appeared in several TV shows and comedy specials, is headlining the event next weekend. 

Andersen says the fiesta is helping to grow Albuquerque’s comedy scene and believes that can be a benefit for the entire community. 

“It’s a really healing kind of art form, right? It’s also a way for the community to kind of, you know, address itself in a way that’s really open and engaging,” Andersen said. “If you’re laughing together, that’s the first step in starting a conversation, right?” 

No one knows that better than local comedian Zach Abeyta. He’s been performing comedy shows in Albuquerque for more than five years. He’s also seen the worst Albuquerque has to offer. 

“So, I actually did get shot after one of my comedy shows on April 20,” Abeyta said.

 Abeyta says it happened right off Central in Downtown Albuquerque. He says he was walking his dogs just hours after his friends roasted him to celebrate his success.

“A car kind of approached us looking for some trouble tried to disengage it a few times. But it just, they were kind of looking for some trouble in found me that night, unfortunately,” he said. 

Abeyta was shot in the abdomen. He says his friends rushed him to the hospital and adds that was probably why he survived. He was released from a hospital a few weeks later and got back on the stage just two hours after. 

“It’s the most Albuquerque thing ever to be like ‘our next comedian was just shot, but he is here because he needs a $22 for rent,” he joked. 

Abeyta says getting back on stage and hearing the crowds laugh was part of the healing process. 

“Telling the story, just how it went really isn’t that funny. But being on stage, I’m able to make it fun and add the funny and dictate the story and narrate it in the way I want to tell it,” he said. 

Abeyta says taking the painful parts of life and finding a way to keep smiling is what comedy is all about. 

“Being in Albuquerque, between our crime, rent increases and the Rio Grande running dry, like we got enough things going on. So if people come out and get some laughs in, I think it’s a way to have our community just heal up a little bit more.” 

You can find more details about the Fiesta at this link.