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Nucor Steel is new presenting sponsor of comedy festival; WOWT in Omaha on board, too

March 21, 2014
March 21, 2014

Norfolk company comes on board as key festival sponsor


Nucor Steel is the new presenting sponsor of the Great American Comedy Festival — and not just for this year.

Earlier this year, Nucor agreed to serve in that capacity in 2014 and for the next three years.

“We’re very pleased to have Nucor support the comedy festival in this way,” said Paula Pflueger, the festival’s vice chairwoman. “Nucor does so much for Norfolk and the surrounding area. To have them come on board as the festival’s presenting sponsor is just one more example of how much Nucor cares about the community.”

Nucor Steel has about 480 teammates at the steel mill located northeast of Norfolk. Other Nucor divisions in Norfolk are Vulcraft, Cold Finish and the Nucor Detailing Center. In all, the company employs about 1,000 Norfolkans and area residents.

WOWT in Omaha is a new media partner with the festival in 2014, and appropriately so since the late Johnny Carson – who serves as the inspiration for the comedy festival – worked at the Omaha NBC affiliate after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“This is a great fit for the festival,” said Kent Warneke, festival chairman. “We’ve very pleased to be working with WOWT this year.”

The comedy festival benefits greatly from a large number of sponsors each year. Their financial support helps keep ticket prices affordable and allows festival organizers to keep bringing to Norfolk world-class comedy talent.

But the presenting sponsor tops the list in terms of its importance to the festival, Pflueger said.

Viaero Wireless previously served for four years as the festival’s presenting sponsor.

“We can’t say enough about how much we appreciate all the support offered by the festival’s sponsors. We couldn’t keep doing this without their involvement,” she said.

Cory Kahaney returns to Norfolk as opening act

March 10, 2014
March 10, 2014

December 12, 2013

Great American Comedy FestivalCory Kahaney can’t help but crack a joke.

When asked about her upcoming gig as the opening act for Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood’s two-man improv show, she said she was so excited that she Googled them.

Her sense of humor is fitting for what she loves to do — comedy.

Kahaney will bring her stand-up routine to Norfolk on Saturday, Dec. 14, when she warms up the audience for “An Evening with Colin and Brad” at the Divots DeVent Center.

“Ordinarily I’d say (the audience could expect) juggling fire, but TSA makes it so complicated to bring my torches,” Kahaney said. “So I’d say mainly lots of laughs to get the energy going and setting the tone for a stellar evening of comedy.”

Since overcoming stage fright at the age of 29, Kahaney made it to the season one finale of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and also has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

At the 2013 Great American Comedy Festival in Norfolk, she was one of the finalists featured in the stand-up competition.

“It was such a fun festival,” Kahaney said. “Norfolk really rocks.”

The thought of returning to Johnny Carson’s childhood town to perform has had an impact on Kahaney.

“Well, it’s bittersweet because I am the generation of comics who grew up watching Carson, but by the time I was ready to even try out for the show, he was long gone from television,” she said. “So you have enormous respect, certainly, but you also feel sad that that ship sailed without you.”


Omaha comic first to advance to Amateur Finals in June

March 10, 2014
March 10, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kris Covi, an attorney from Omaha, was voted the winner of the Great American Comedy Festival’s preliminary amateur stand-up competition Saturday night here.

About 150 people were in attendance at the Majestic Theater to be entertained by 10 amateur comedians hoping to advance to the finals of the amateur competition in Norfolk when the comedy festival takes place in June. The finals are set for Saturday, June 14.

Covi topped the field of comedians at the performance hosted by Michael Issac of Chicago, one of the professional finalists at last year’s comedy festival in Norfolk. Issac recently appeared in an episode of “Chicago Fire.”

The next preliminary amateur competition is set for Saturday, Feb. 22, at Divots in Norfolk, where Eddie Brill, warm-up comic for David Letterman, will host.

The final one will be part of O’Neill’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration in March.

Large crowd watches Phoenix comic advance to Amateur Finals in June

March 10, 2014
March 10, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tom Sims of Phoenix proved to be the audience favorite Saturday night when the Great American Comedy Festival hosted a preliminary amateur competition at Divots in Norfolk.

Close to 250 people were in attendance when nine aspiring stand-up comics competed for the audience’s support at the show hosted by Eddie Brill, the festival’s artistic director from New York City.

Sims will now advance to the finals of the amateur competition set for Saturday, June 14, in Norfolk. He will compete against winners of earlier shows in Omaha and Wayne, along with separate competitions taking place in Denver and Chicago.

The next amateur competition is set for Saturday, March 22, in O’Neill as part of that community’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.