Your Ultimate Guide to The Aloha Comedy Festival This Weekend

From February 27–29, catch performances by more than 60 comedians at six venues in Downtown Honolulu. Sound intense? Here’s the game plan.

Over the course of three days, Downtown Honolulu will play host to the first-ever Aloha Comedy Festival, organized by Comedy U. There’s never been anything quite like this in the city, featuring nationally renowned headliners who have appeared on Comedy Central, The Tonight Show, Conan and comedy clubs across the country and Canada. With 47 shows (yes, FORTY-SEVEN) the schedule can be a bit intimidating. Here’s how to tackle it.


Step One

Decide which comedians you want to see. Sam Tallent, Amy Miller, Mark Normand, Kermet Apio and Paul Ogata each headline a show on Saturday, plus at least one or two others during the festival. My top two are Normand, who has two hilarious albums on Spotify, and Apio, the ‘Iolani alum who kept me laughing through the entire show last time he performed in the Islands in 2017. Other performers include Andrew Joyce, Brandi Morgan, Ian Shippen, James Mane, Jasmine Bautista, Pepper, and Comedy U’s own Jose Dynamite and Patrick Tyrrell.



Step Two

Pick your showcases. There’s Thursday night’s Venus Envy show, headlined by Miller with other female comedians; the Veterans of Comedy show featuring retired military service members; and Southern Cooking with performers from the South. Friday night, PG sets will be performed by five comedians at the Clean Comedy show. There’s also a Neighbor Island Comedy Showcase, Homegrown Hawai‘i with local comedians (including those who have gone on to widespread fame such as Ogata and Apio), Veterans of Comedy, and Queer as Jokes with members of the LGBTQ+ community. Click here to see the festival program broken up by day.



Step Three

Decide which ticket is right. It costs $10 for a showcase, $35 for a show featuring any of the headliners, $50 for a one-day pass and $120 for the entire festival. Tickets are available at the door or online at


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2017: Fun & Fitness



Shows take place within walking distance of each other:

  • Downbeat Diner & Lounge, 42 N. Hotel St.

  • The Dragon Upstairs, 1038 Nu‘uanu Ave.

  • Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant St.

  • Nextdoor, 43 N. Hotel St.

  • O’Toole’s Irish Pub (Celtic Room), 902 Nu‘uanu Ave.

  • Square Barrels, 1001 Bishop St., Suite 108




There are many lots around Downtown, but the best deal is at Bishop Square after 5 p.m.: $2 with validation from Square Barrels.



  • Arrive early for the best seating. At a comedy show, that might not mean the front row.

  • Headliner shows will sell out first.

  • Saturday’s headliner shows overlap, so be strategic about scheduling.

  • The shows at O’Toole’s and Downbeat are 21 and older only. At the other venues, anyone under 21 must be with someone over 21.


Feb. 27–29,