Skankfest, the annual comedy party that’s the brainchild of comedian Luis J Gomez and his GaS Digital crew. For the unaware, Gomez co-hosts the podcast Legion of Skanks with comics Dave Smith and Big Jay Oakerson. A few years back, the wildly popular podcast host decided to put on Skankfest at the podcast’s then home venue The Creek And The Cave in Long Island City with podcasts, stand-up, roasts, and special events happening on the two levels of the Creek. It’s punk rock for comedy fans, put on by the scene for those that support the scene. The festival was so successful that it spread to more days and a bigger venue down the street at Brooklyn Bazaar to accommodate the growing fans.
Billed as a “Comedy Party” rather than a festival because that’s just what it it, comedy fans who want to hang out and see some of the greatest comedians working today fill the lineup. The Laugh Button staff was on hand to witness the festival and we’ve compiled some of the wildest moments at comedy’s wildest party.
Ari Shaffir vs. Luis J Gomez
One of the funnest elements is Ari Shaffir attempting to ruin Luis J. Gomez’ fun. The two comedians are good friends but it doesn’t keep them from busting each other’s chops. In year one of Skankfest, Ari’s urine was thrown on Zak Amico, retaliation came when Luis threw his urine on Ari last year. Ari upped Luis last year by revealing the lineups before Luis could officially announce them dubbing last year’s show “Shaffirfest” infuriating Luis to no end. Merch was even made to commemorate. In the weeks leading up to 2019 Skankfest Ari threatened retaliation for the urine tossing and he enacted it this year in a few ways. On Friday, Shaffir wore a shirt with Luis’ head with the words “pedophile” in bold letters under it. To add insult to injury, Shaffir brought more shirts for the crowd and was walking around selling them to the fans, getting them in on the joke. On Friday’s taping of Legion of Skanks podcast Shaffir was a guest on the show and they all wondered what this year’s retaliation would be. Gomez going as far as offering to perform fellatio on Shaffir on stage in front of the Friday night Skankfest crowd to call a truce. When it looked like that actually might happen, Gomez pulled a turn and instead hit Shaffir in the genitals and spit water in his eye… classic wrestling turn. Shaffir was not out though as he waited until Sunday morning Luis’ big MMA match vs Mike Harrington, Shaffir jumped into the ring at the last minute wearing a referee’s shirt in an effort to help Harrington win the match. Gomez won the bought vs Harrington but it was Shaffir, who after some help from wrestler (more on that later) gave Gomez a literal mouthful of ass.
Would You Bang Him?
The live version of Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane’s show pulled no punches as four comics performed in front of four judges. Judging this time around were Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson from Guys We Fucked podcast, Kim Congdon, and Kerryn Feehan) would then break down if they would f*ck the performing comic based on their comedy. Those comedians were Michael Che, Josh Adam Meyers, Ari Shaffir, and Mike Cannon. During the course of the evening the judges were super-open to whether they’d have sex with the performing comedians… and what show wouldn’t be complete without Ari Shaffir trying to expose himself to people? He attempted to do that as the judges ran away in horror.
Bobby Don’t Surf
Before the taping of Saturday’s YKWD podcast guest comedian Joe List decided to crowd surf and jumped into the arms of a packed audience that lifted his small frame around the room. Feeling the energy of the room, Robert Kelly decided to do the same. Kelly jumped into the crowd and was met with cheers for his action. The podcast taping then went on to revive the BJ Contest that occurred at a live YKWD at NY Comedy Festival a few years back. But this time Luis J Gomez wore prosthetic dick and had people blow him for a chance to win tickets to Skankfest Houston. They also revived the tradition of lighting Rich Vos’ hat on fire.
Luis Fight Club
GaS Digital’s Mike Mike Harrington had fallen into some down times the last few weeks leading Luis and his co-owner Ralph Sutton having to take workplace disciplinary action on Harrington. Luis gave him the chance to literally fight for his job. First thing Sunday morning, Capital Wrestling set up a ring in the first floor ballroom and Luis and Harrington went at it. Luis J Gomez ultimately won (even with Ari Shaffir’s interference). The event was livestreamed as the Tuesday’s with Stories podcast taped upstairs on the second floor was set to tape. The thing was Tuesday’s hosts Mark Normand and Joe List were chilling in the audience to watch the fight. List later apologized with the declaration that there was just, “too much cool sh*t going on at same time.”
Luis Fight Club part 2
Shortly after dispatching Harrington, Luis J Gomez got into the Capital Wrestling game and ended up going through a door. Real ass dude doggie.
Louis C.K. drops In
Louis C.K. came by the festival, hanging out for a to see what was going on (who wouldn’t, the entire festival was loaded with the best comics in NYC). This led many of the diehard comedy fans in attendance to wonder if they’d see him on stage. Then it happened… during an already incredibly lineup of comedians – Justin Silver, Luis J Gomez, Ron Bennington, Michael Che, Bonnie McFarlane, and Nate Bargatze. C.K. took to the stage to thunderous… we mean thunderous applause, from the audience who knew they were getting a treat. Right now C.K. is a lightning rod for controversy and many who were not present in the room will chime in about this moment. However, for the comedy diehard fans in the room they knew they were witnessing something extremely special.
Almost right after the first festival, Luis J. Gomez mentioned wanting to take Skankfest on the road. Whether that be a tour or setting up shop in some other city but it wasn’t announced… until now. The dream of having the festival outside of NYC will happen next march as Skankfest sets up shop in Houston Texas for Skank by Skanksfest. March 28th and 29th at The Secret Group.
The Goddam Comedy Jam was Goddamn nuts
Saturday and Sunday were closed out by Josh Adam Meyers’ Goddamn Comedy Jam which is a pure celebration of entertainment. Comedians take the stage and tell a few jokes and stories about their favorite songs, then they take a stab at performing. As the show went on things just ended a big mosh pit of comics singing songs getting increasingly rowdier. Highlights include Weezer singalongs, System of a Down jumparounds, and a Bill Burr dropping in and performing drums as Joe DeRosa and the band ripped through “Kickstart My Heart” by Motle Crue. Josh Adam Meyers serving as the ringleader to the evening that would end each night with a sweaty singalong by as many comics they could get on stage.
— ED (@edjperezzz) June 25, 2019
The people that put the event together (shoutout to Luis J Gomez, Christine Evans, and Rebecca Trent in particular) for putting together a fan event that provided for one of the best times a comedy fan can have. The festival’s sole focus was for comedy fans to have fun, regardless of age, gender, or color. We witnessed fans bonding over comedy and their love of a good time, giving extra badges if they had them, and being generally cool to each other. People of color, straight, trans, gay, all there for comedy. Reddit fans compiled a list of comedians discussing Skankfest after the festival and the best praise you can have is from your peers.