This year's festival, as always, included 20 so-called "New faces of stand-up comedy," culled from a nationwide pool of some 2,000. But the faces weren't exactly new to many in attendance, and with the networks heavily into pilot season, this isn't exactly a hot deal-making time. Indeed, stand-up comedy, which could use a lift out of the prestige gutter, took a back seat in Aspen to the aforementioned star showcases, though Jim Gaffigan and Louis Ramey were two bright spots. Ramey won the award for best new stand-up artist.
HBO, while committed to putting on a yearly comedy festival, will take a hard look at whether to hold the event in Aspen next year, said festival executive director Stu Smiley. While a help in drawing big name stars for a weekend in the mountains, Aspen lacks large venues, is expensive and poses travel difficulties, Smiley said.