The Sarasota Comedy Festival

There are many comedy festivals in the world. The Sarasota Comedy Festival is the only one of its kind to benefit abused children and social service agencies assisting less fortunate children and adults. The Sarasota Comedy Festival is a perfect combination of two distinctive, but highly successful events.

The first Sarasota Comedy Jam, held in 1994, was created to raise money for abused children in Sarasota County. The second event, The Cartoon Classic, started in 1987 with a golf tournament featuring world-renowned cartoonists raising money for one of the area’s hospitals. These two events combined in 1996 to become the Sarasota Comedy Festival, celebrating all the wonderful things that make us laugh.

Since that time over $250,000 has been distributed to the United Way of Sarasota County, Inc. and the Child Protection Center. Each year, the Sarasota Comedy Festival moves us closer to our goal of eliminating child abuse in our community. It’s a positive effort to give those less fortunate, hope and opportunity.


Nationally known comedians Steve Allen, Phyllis Diller, Richard Belzer, Richard Jeni, The Smothers Brothers, Diane Ford and many others have graced The Comedy Festival‘s Mainstage Events. The 4th Annual Sarasota Comedy Festival will not disappoint.

Over the years, the following illustrious cartoonists have given so much of their time, art and humor: Lynn Johnston, For Better For Worse; Jeff MacNelly, Shoe; Dean Young, Blondie; Mike Peters, Mother Goose & Grimm; Chris Browne, Hagar The Horrible; Henri Arnold, Jumble; Bruce Beattie, Beattie Blvd.; Al Konetzni, Disney Illustrator; Brooke McEldowney, 9 Chickweed Lane; Ralph Smith, Captain Vincible and Paul Szep, editorial cartoonist, Boston Globe.


The mission and goals of the Sarasota Comedy Festival are to conduct an annual, week-long, international comedy festival featuring an extensive variety of world-class comedic artists and performers – comedians, cartoonists, filmmakers and playwrights – as well as educational shows and workshops. The Festival attracts regional, national and international guests to our area while creating a forum for new and innovative comedy ideas and performances.

Net earnings from the Sarasota comedy Festival will help to financially support the Child Protection Center and United Way of Sarasota County, Inc.

This ten-day Comedy Festival celebrates all the wonderful things that make us laugh. A wide range of world-class comedians cartoonists and other notables in the entertainment industry come to Sarasota, Florida to participate in this annual fundraising event benefiting the Child Protection Center and United Way of Sarasota County, Inc.

The Festival kicks-off with a Fashion Meets the Funnies Fashion Show on beautiful St. Armands Circle on Thursday, November 2. The FREE, family event on Friday, November 3 is the Cartoon Walk, Downtown Sarasota. The Sarasota Comedy Festival Comic Strip Competition – A very special competition of original cartoon artwork open to 3rd – 12th graders plus adults and judged by world-renowed cartoonists.

Other events include the Funnybones Luncheon, 10 Comedy Dinners, the Cartoon Classic Golf Tournament, Cartoon Classic Gala, The Mainstage Show, The Kids Komedy Club, and McCurdy’s Golf Classic.…