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The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival is a comedy festival held over the first weekend in June each year in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was founded in 1994 in response to the burgeoning wealth of Irish comic talent with no clear national outlet for expression. It is known as a more intimate and laid back festival as there is no competition between the comedians to win awards or sell tickets to shows.
The festival has grown from a small event comprising a handful of performances to an internationally acclaimed festival which showcases the very best in Irish and international comedy acts, attracting visitors to Kilkenny city and its surrounding regions through the unusual combination of professionally managed world class entertainment in the atmospheric setting of the charming medieval city.
The primary sponsor of the 2009 festival was Carlsberg, with Smithwick's and Murphy's Irish Stout sponsoring previous festivals. The world-class programme blends the top Irish and international talent in shows featuring globally renowned comic stars as well as newcomers and break-through acts. The festival features mainly stand-up comedy performances but has also played host to other forms of comedy including readings by comedy authors, exhibitions of cartoonists, film screenings followed by Q and A sessions with stars/directors, short films and also silent era films with live piano accompaniment.
There is also a traditional soccer match held on the Sunday afternoon between the Irish comedians and those from the Rest of the World. There is no charge to go and watch the game and Karl Spain usually provides humorous commentary over the loudspeaker system.
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