Ganja Palooza bringing comedians to Tri-Cities

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerApril 12, 2013 

Ganja Palooza, a comedy celebration featuring humor about everything from marijuana to religion, will visit the Tri-Cities later this month in celebration of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

Featured comics are Tere Joyce, Ngaio (pronounced unguyo) Bealum, Sgt. Det. Harry Palmer Jr., and Jay London.

Joyce is perhaps best known for her role on the Hollywood Hemptress Hour, a web series produced on the Atomic Comedy Network, as well as appearances on NBC's Last Comic Standing.

Bealum recently appeared on the Sarah Silverman show. He also was a runner-up in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition and has appeared on MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour, BET's Comic View, A&E's Evening at The Improv, Comedy Central's Comic Justice and Make Me Laugh.

Det. Palmer, aka Ron Osborne, is considered the undisputed king of comedy improvisation. He recently earned the top dog award at the Seattle International Comedy Competition and has shared the stage with such comics as Sam Kenison and Drew Carey.

London is another Last Comic Standing favorite. His stage style includes self-deprecating attire, a slouching posture, a totally unkempt appearance and self-proclaiming himself to be the fourth guy from the left on the evolutionary chart.

London has appeared on the sitcom King of Queens and the game show Street Smarts, as well as the reality TV shows Minding the Store on TBS and All-Star Reality Reunion on Bravo.

Promoter Michael Jenkins said none of the comics' routines is vulgar or profane, even though Ganja Palooza is celebrating the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado.

"These are very funny people who will keep the audience entertained," Jenkins said in a telephone interview.

"Come on, our forefathers grew the stuff and probably used it," Jenkins joked. "It's worth celebrating at least a couple states legalizing it, even if you still can't smoke it in public. This show is all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Ganja Palooza will be a two-night event. Two reggae bands will perform after the comedy shows. There will also be a Bong Pong contest at Jack Didley's Comedy Club in Kennewick, which pits people against each other as they try to toss a ping-pong ball across a table into a cup of beer. Anyone age 21 and older can enter, and the registration fee is $10.

Here's the schedule for Ganja Palooza:

-- April 19 at Jack Didley's, 109 W. Kennewick Ave. Bong Pong tournament starts at 6:30 p.m. Comedy show is at 8:30 p.m. featuring Joyce and London. Cover is $10.

-- April 20 at the M Hotel, 1515 George Washington Way in Richland. Two comedy shows at 6:30 and 9 p.m. featuring all four comics, followed by the bands White Glove Service, who play ska and reggae, and Amity Flow, who play reggae rock. Both are from California.

Admission is $12 for the early show or $18 for the late show, which also includes a dance party with the bands.

Tickets are available at the hotel or Jack Didley's.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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