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Pieces of Eight


ECU to Host First HumorFest

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

The East Carolina Humor Festival and Conference needs scholars, filmmakers and jokesters before Aug. 15.

The HumorFest will take place Nov. 1 - 3. The three-day inaugural event will feature joke contests and stand-up and improv comedy, a film festival, and an academic conference on humor. Featured presenters include North Carolina native and author Jill McCorkle, Texas songwriter and author Kinky Friedman, and poet and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu, said event chair Tom Douglass.

“Humor as an art form rarely attracts the serious attention it deserves,” said Douglass, an ECU professor of English. “The East Carolina HumorFest intends to correct this omission and provide performers, scholars, and students an opportunity to enjoy humor in all of its forms.”

HumorFest participants will also have an opportunity to record their laugh in the new National Registry of Laughter.

“The registry will be a human record of vocal joy,” Douglass said. “The best presence we have in the world is a good laugh. You know you’re present when you’re laughing.”

• The academic conference will include panels on humor and healing, Southern humor, ethnic humor, satire and social change, humor in film, and political cartoons.

• The Reel Funny Short-Film Fest will feature work from regional film-makers.

• The Joke Contest seeks out the funniest jokes about North Carolina and the South. Knock-knocks, riddles, puns, tall tales, spoonerisms and whatnots of no more than 150 words are welcome to win a cash prize. The winner and finalists will be considered for publication by the “North Carolina Literary Review.”

The deadline for abstract submissions, jokes and film entries is July 15. Direct inquiries and abstracts to Visit the ECU HumorFest web site: for more details. The HumorFest is co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the ECU English Department and the Office of Co-Curricular Programs and Cultural Outreach.


This page originally appeared in the April 27, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at