Arts & Entertainment

What if they threw a fake comedy festival and everybody came?

Zach Broussard, founder of the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.
Zach Broussard, founder of the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.
Mindy Tucker
Zach Broussard, founder of the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.
A ticket stub from the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.
Courtesy of Zach Broussard
Zach Broussard, founder of the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.
A lineup for the fake SoCal Comedy Fest.


One comedy show is slated for deep in the Mojave Desert. Another will take place under the "Y" of the Hollywood sign. Still another already happened in Haley Joel Osment's backyard — and it killed. They're all "happening" this weekend as part of the SoCal Comedy Fest.

It may be the most inclusive comedy festival of all time. That's because it doesn't exist.

The entire festival is fake. Comedians and audience members invent shows and venues then Tweet, Instagram and Facebook about how the sets went.

Is it performance art or a social media stunt? Maybe both. Either way, it was dreamed up by Zach Broussard.

"I've done so many real festivals," the 33-year-old comedian says. "For the most part, they're not that well attended. The only proof it actually ever happened was social media posts. So I figured one easy way we can all get a really fun festival credit is if we just hosted a fake festival and pretended it happened."

Don't hold your breath for festival "headliners" Adam Conover (of "Adam Ruins Everything") and Adam Newman. They won't be appearing. And the rumor about Amy Schumer dropping in? Never happened.

"The fact that I don't have to pay for anything at all has allowed me to expand it quite a bit," Broussard deadpans.

He isn't looking to make money or pull the wool over anyone's eyes. Broussard tries to make it clear that the SoCal Comedy Fest is fake and that none of these shows are happening IRL.

"They only exist so people can brag about them online," Broussard says.

That's why all the events take place at hard-to-find or made-up venues. Sadly, Broussard has never met Haley Joel Osment. And no, the Chuckle Dumpster in Van Nuys isn't real.

It's also part of a long game. "I think the idea is that in a few years, people will forget that this is fake at all and hopefully a lot of the comics that are doing the festival will really use it on their resume," Broussard says.

Talk about commitment to a bit.

"If we can all pretend like this thing actually happened, if we can just get a handful of people to think we did something fun this weekend," Broussard says, "then our job was a success."