Cream of the comedy crop at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley |

Cream of the comedy crop at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley

Ellis Rodriguez is this year's winner of the San Francisco Comedy Competition.
Submitted photo to Prospector |


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: The Best of the San Francisco Comedy Competition

Starring 2017 SF Comedy Champion Ellis Rodriguez

With Krista Fatka & Chad Opitz

And special guest host Sammy Obeid

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $22 Member, $25 General Public

The Center Box Office — 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op Community Market — 530-272-5333

Tickets online at


On Saturday, The Center for the Arts presents a handpicked selection of the best Bay Area comedy talent who excelled in the San Francisco Comedy Competition.

Over 30 comedians, out of hundreds who apply, perform in shows held in comedy clubs, bars, restaurants, casinos and theaters in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. These comedians are a result of this years competition.

Featured at The Center will be this year’s winner, Ellis Rodriguez along with Krista Fatka, Chad Opitz and master of ceremonies, comedian Sammy Obeid.

Born in Boston, Ellis Rodriguez is by far the funniest of nine children raised by loving immigrant parents from Panama. Living in a multi-racial, uni-cultural family gave him a unique perspective on life. He grew up speaking Spanish at home, English at church, and Ebonics in school.

Rodriguez’s passion for stand-up comedy is evident whenever he performs, he is a favorite at comedy clubs across the West Coast including the Improv, Laugh’s Unlimited, Tommy T’s, PepperBelly’s, and the Laugh Factory.

He has also performed in filmed showcases including Shaq’s All Star Jam, Laugh’s On FOX, and Comedy Central & Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City.

He even gives his time to support the military with his national show Semper Funny, in addition to supporting cancer treatment, the homeless, and the arts. Rodriguez is also a charismatic actor and stellar writer. He has been the lead in commercials and the film Shrinkage.

Krista Fatka is an Oakland-based comic and writer. With over a decade of performance experience in circus and theater, she’s as comfortable on stage as she is in a room full of clowns.

She produces a regular show at The San Francisco Punch Line called The Charm Offensive. She has performed at festivals in the Bay Area like SF Sketchfest, Outside Lands, and is a semi-finalist in the 2017 San Francisco International Comedy Competition.

She won first place in The Sacramento Comedy Competition 2017.

Chad Opitz is a comic whose unique takes on odd subjects are making him an oft booked staple at Bay Area clubs and showcases.

Opitz was the winner of Bay Area legend Jimmy Gunn’s “Best Newcomer” award, second place finalist at the 2016 Sacramento Comedy and first place winner of the Walk the Plank comedy competition.

Veering between one-liners, short story jokes and sometimes even song, Opitz’ writing is as well-regarded as his character and performance work. He’s opened for Neil Hamburger, Gad Elmaleh, Scott Thompson and Michelle Wolf.

Sammy Obeid graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in Applied Mathematics, then turned down a job at Google to be a full time comedian.

He’s best known for setting a world record for performing stand up comedy 1,001 consecutive nights, and was featured in The New York Times and Time Magazine.

In the last few years, Sammy has performed at over 200 colleges across the US, and was voted Fastest Rising Star by Campus Magazine. He also tours internationally, including trips to the UAE, QATAR, and Russia. In 2016, Obeid was invited to headline Moscow’s first ever comedy festival, making him the first American comedian to ever headline a show in Russia.

He’s also made TV appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, America’s Got Talent, TBS’s Conan, and was the first comedian to ever tell jokes on the Food Network.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User