Laugh-a-minute lineup at this year’s Northwest Comedy Fest in Vancouver

Maria Bamford is one of the performers at this year's Northwest Comedy Fest.

Maria Bamford is one of the performers at this year’s Northwest Comedy Fest.

Those creepy-looking owls are back. The smiling mascots are all over the website for this year’s Northwest Comedy Fest, which takes place Feb. 12-21 at various venues around town.

Though the grinning critters may be creepy, the fest’s roster is definitely (mostly) not. The 2015 NWCF boasts a stellar lineup, including former talk-show host Craig Ferguson, the controversial Hannibal Buress and the twisted Maria Bamford.

Of course, there are plenty of other guests too. Doug Benson, for instance, will be in town, probably to present a live version of one his podcasts, such as Doug Loves Movies. Other funny folks include Moshe Kasher (whose first comedy special is currently streaming on Netflix), Ali Wong (she appears in the upcoming movie Trainwreck), Brian Posehn (a regular on the now defunct Sarah Silverman Show and current Marvel Comics writer) and Todd Glass (a frequent guest on late-night talk shows). And fans of director/podcaster Kevin Smith will be lining up for his show Jay & Silent Bob Get Old at the Rio Theatre Feb. 20.

Comedian Ali Wong.

Comedian Ali Wong.

New to the festival, organizers have partnered with the Vancouver International Film Festival to present a series of films at Vancity Theatre, including A Tribute to Robin Williams. The tribute will include a panel of guests discussing mental illness and a screening of the Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam.

Other notable features at this year’s fest include a special edition of Paul Anthony’s Talent Time, Vancouver’s favourite local live variety show, at the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway) on Feb. 12, as well as Comedyfest Society events.

To stay up-to-date, or to buy tickets to one of the already-announced shows, keep your eye on the smiling owls at Note: as of this writing, at least one show, Stop Podcasting Yourself with special guest Paul F. Tompkins (Feb. 15), is sold-out.

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