Laughs will be pretty easy to come by around Portland this weekend.

That’s because the fifth Portland Maine Comedy Festival will bring some 150 comedy performers – about half of them locals – to 25 venues around the city between Thursday and Sunday. Most of the shows are free, but shows featuring the festival’s headlining acts are ticketed, with prices ranging from about $15 to $25.

The event started around seven years ago so that local comics could have a festival of their own, and some national attention, without having to travel, said Maine comic Ian Stuart, one of the organizers. The festival was not held during the pandemic.

“The goal is to celebrate local comedians. It’s not that easy to travel to some of these comedy festivals, so we wanted to bring one here, get more eyes on the comedians we have here,” Stuart said.

The first headliners’ show of the festival is Thursday at Portland House of Music at 7 p.m., featuring Maine-based comic Brendan Eyre and Floridian Kyle Ruse. Eyre has appeared on NBC’s “Late Night” with Seth Meyers and on Comedy Central.

Brendan Eyre will play Portland House of Music Thursday during the Portland Maine Comedy Festival. Photo courtesy of Portland Maine Comedy Festival

On Friday at Sun Tiki Studios on Forest Avenue, online video star Rodney Norman will perform at 7 p.m. On Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sun Tiki the headliner is Zac Amico, who has appeared on Comedy Central and Tru TV’s “Impractical Jokers.”

Dusty Slay, whose appearances range from Netflix and Comedy Central specials to “The Tonight Show” and The Grand Old Opry, will headline two shows Saturday at Aura nightclub. Those shows will also feature winners of the recent New England’s Funniest Comedian contest.

On Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there are several shows each day at various Portland bars, restaurants and other venues, including Three of Strong Spirits, Austin Street Brewery, Batson River Brewing and Distilling, Tandem Coffee Roasters, Urban Farm Fermentory, Definitive Brewing, Flask Lounge, Brickyard Hollow, RiRa, Coals Bayside, Bayside Bowl, Portland Lobster Company and many others. For times and locations of shows at specific venues, go to

Though the festival officially starts Thursday, there is a kick-off event and show Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Hill Arts on Congress Street. Performers and comedy groups include Hey Party People!, You Should Smile More, Timmy Elliott and Crystal Bernard. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.

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