Count on laughs at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival |

Count on laughs at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival

Jim Carrey is headed to Aspen, and this time it won’t be in a dog-shaped van.Carrey and his comic colleagues will visit the valley for the 11th annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Feb. 9-13. The “Dumb and Dumber” star will receive the 2005 American Film Institute Star Award while in Aspen.”Jim Carrey is the rarest kind of actor,” said Jean Picker Firstenberg, American Film Institute chief operating officer. “Jim has proven he can do comedy or drama in films that are both creatively brilliant and reach audiences of all ages.” The festival’s mission is to discover, support and nurture new comedic talent, writers and filmmakers while paying tribute to comedy’s legends and innovators. On tap are comedians Dane Cook, Eddie Izzard, Judy Gold, Adam Hill, Patton Oswalt, Paula Poundstone, Colin Quinn and Sarah Silverman.Festival programming includes the Freedom of Speech Award honoring Garry Trudeau and Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong sharing the stage for the first time in 20 years. Performances range from a reading by comedian/authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo from their best-selling book, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” to Teri Garr appearing in “The Moth” and Christopher Lloyd starring in “Trumbo: Red White and Blacklisted.”The schedule also features a “Writers’ Room: The Harvard Lampoon” alumni reunion and “The Rise of The Graphic Novel” comic book evolution discussion led by author Dave Eggers of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.” A performance with the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s (“Family Guy”) new animated Fox series, “American Dad,” has replaced a live performance of “Arrested Development.”In the wake of CNN’s canceling “Crossfire” – partially credited to a comedian – the “Wag the Debate: What’s the Future of the Pundit?” forum will explore whether television “talking heads” should adhere to the same standards as journalists, and the role of comedy in delivering news and opinion. Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” and a former four-term Republican congressman, will moderate.Limited ticket packages are on sale by calling (800) 778-4633 or at Individual tickets are available from the Wheeler Opera House at 920-5770.

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