Palm Springs International Comedy Festival upcoming & virtual

We could all use a laugh right about now.

The Palm Springs International Comedy Festival (PSICF) which began in 2018 is once again another event that will be taking place virtually. It’s truly unfortunate, too, because if you go to their website, you’ll see how beautiful the prior events were.

Palm Springs, California, is gorgeous, and if you’ve ever had a chance to walk around the town, you are the likely to bump into well-known celebrities, comedians and even unknown comedians, writers and artists.

As for the show, itself, this year you’ll have to watch it on the Internet.

I recently had an opportunity to speak to my friend. Paul Cruz who is a producer, director and founding member of the Palm Springs International Comedy Festival. He has been working tremendously hard to pull this all together.

It is a week-long event.

What is the Palm Springs International Comedy Festival?

It is comedians from around the world who get a chance to showcase their talent, enabling all participants to obtain exposure, expand their fan base and social media engagement.

Unfortunately, submissions were only open to Sept. 15th, so sorry guys — if you’re an up-and-coming comedian, you missed the boat. But if you are an inspiring comedian comedy writer check out their website because  you may want to jump in on this event next year and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

They seek exceptional talent in all areas of comedy who look to breakout the possibilities from this festival. The possibilities are unlimited. They are passionately committed to discovering the most incredible talent and they’ve received submissions from all over the world.  I actually recommended a former guest that we had on the show reach out to Paul with his new pilot. A television cooking show.  And guess what?  Paul loved it and they are moving forward with the project. It is called “Something Smells Funny.” It will be well-known comedians on a cooking show.

The festival will have competitions in stand-up, improv, sketch feature film, short film, TV pilots,  web series, animation and music, all of which will be judged by a panel of accomplished industry influencers and creatives with the winners receiving awards and cash prizes.

The cash prize is $1,000 and the winner gets a free pilot produced for them to go on to bigger and better things.

Fans will be able to see all the winners and celebrities accept their awards online for free and vote for their favorite in film, TV, streaming and social media categories.

Tickets will range from $10 for an all-day pass to $40 for a VIP all-access pass good for the entire week. Visit the PSICF website and register to be notified about a limited amount of early bird discounted tickets that will be available and even a chance to win a VIP all access pass.

This year’s honoree is the stand-up comedian Judy Tenuta, another former guest of Applause Radio Show. The first year went to Kathy Griffin.

Usually during an award event there is stress and strife. There are so many moving parts and  people involved to make everything happen. Now doing it virtually, it is a new and bigger challenge. However, Paul has stepped up to the plate and risen to the challenge and I don’t anticipate it being anything but exceptionally good. So if you’re interested in laughing and having a great time, checking out new comedians, sitcoms and  shorts you definitely want to tune into this. Also, ticket sales are being donated to pandemic relief. For more information and to get tickets, visit

Another entertainment treat is blues singer/songwriter Kirk Fletcher. He just released a new CD,  “My Blues Pathway.”  It is a tribute to his life as a blues’ musician and the folks who influenced him in his career.


We played one of his new songs, “Heart So Heavy.” It was a great tune and all of the songs on the CD are heartfelt and inspirational.

We had a funny moment on the show because while speaking to Kirk, he sounded so soft spoken, quiet and shy. But when we played the song, his voice was the total opposite, belting out strong, delicious blues vocals.  I commented that I couldn’t believe I was speaking to the same guy.

We laughed of course but then he told me that it was 2 a.m. in Switzerland, from where he was calling. The poor guy should have been sleeping. I was so grateful for the opportunity to speak with him and that he would come on the show at such a crazy time. It made me appreciate him and his music even more. If you love the blues and great guitar playing, you will love Kirk’s new release.

You may find Kirk Fletcher’s new CD by going to or You may also find it on Amazon and Apple Music.

For more in-depth information about this article, please go to and listen back to our interview with Paul Cruz from the Palm Springs International Comedy Festival and singer/songwriter Kirk Fletcher.

Coming up on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m., please join us for our favorite psychic, Artie Hoffman, from Angels and Answers. He will be doing free readings for callers.  Call in to (646) 478-0999 for a free reading.

Learn more about the writer ...

JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer

Jo-Ann Barton is a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.