Vince Vaughn knows how to throw a party. In conjunction with Outback Concerts, Vaughn produced the first annual Wild West Comedy Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 14th-18th, boasting some of the best comedy acts in the country.
Some of the highlights?
Marc Maron: WTF Podcast with Vince Vaughn at the Belcourt Theatre
Marc Maron sat down with Vince Vaughn on Thursday night at the intimate Belcourt Theatre to record his WTF Podcast in front of a live audience. The dialogue between the two was pure gold. The two comedians played off each other expertly, while discussing everything from Vaughn's breakout movie Swingers down to Maron's lack of athletic ability in school sports (except for, perhaps, a swim team).
Seth Meyers at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Seth Meyers may be best known for his hilarious Weekend Update skit on Saturday Night Live, but Meyers has a much more impressive extended resume as head writer of SNL and currently the host of his own show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. The key to Meyers may be his boyish charm in conjunction with his extremely intelligent wit. The nearly sold-out Jackson Hall roared with laughter for a solid 90 minutes, making it one of the best shows of the festival.
Aisha Tyler w/Ahmed Ahmed at Zanies
Born in Egypt and raised in California, Ahmed Ahmed kicked off the evening with a strong set about relationships and being an Arab in America. Ahmed's delivery and timing was flawless, making him the perfect opening act for the highly anticipated Aisha Tyler.
Aisha Tyler knocked it out of the park with every joke and story she told, captivating the audience from the moment she walked onto the stage. Tyler is an old pro with fresh material, and from the laughs she emitted, it was easy to see she knew her audience well.
Air Force Fun at Zanies
The last stop on both Friday and Saturday nights was Zanie's to catch Air Force Fun, a surprise set of comics (and athletes, at one point) hosted by Sullivan and Son's hilarious Steve Byrne and Owen Benjamin. Over the course of the two nights, they welcomed to the stage fellow co-stars Ahmed Ahmed, Roy Wood Jr., The Talk's Aisha Tyler, The Office co-executive producer, writer, and actor B.J. Novak, stand-up comedian Ralphie May, and truTV's popular cast of The Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins, among many others.
Zanie's hosted a packed house with a line out the door to get inside to see some of the country's best comedians delivers sets that were sometimes impromptu, as such in B.J. Novak's case, but consistently entertaining.
The Lonely Island with Vince Vaughn at the Belcourt Theatre
To close out the Festival, The Lonely Island and Vince Vaughn hosted a screening of their music videos chronologically following their career and took questions from the audience. The Lonely Island, consisting of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg, soared to popularity after working on SNL (which Samberg hosted the season finale of the night before).
Vince Vaughn did a great job of hosting not only this event, but producing a festival that brought A-list talent to Music City. A common comment overheard from attendees? "I already can't wait for Wild West Comedy Fest 2015."
Other acts that had great shows? Bill Burr, living legend, was phenomenal at a sold-out performance at the Ryman Auditorium. Chelsea Handler's show at TPAC's Jackson Hall drew a large crowd, and @midnight with Chris Hardwick had the crowd in stitches.