Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } See Beyond

Waiting for the Punchline


Year: 2019
Country: USA
Run Time: 76 minutes

Waiting for the Punchline
Waiting for the Punchline
Waiting for the Punchline
Waiting for the Punchline
Waiting for the Punchline

Although nothing can seem more terrifying than comedy, Nick Scarpino, an established podcaster in San Francisco, is pursuing his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. His goal, like that of other aspiring comics, is to land a spot at the Punchline, San Francisco’s oldest and most prestigious comedy club. The road there winds over years of seedy open-mike clubs, humiliating failures, sacrifices, and self doubt. WAITING FOR THE PUNCHLINE is an endearing and honest documentary of Nick’s journey. Nick is an affable guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to earn his audience’s love. Along the way we meet Nick’s fellow comics and watch them in performance, sharing their successes and failures. WAITING FOR THE PUNCHLINE is a rare look behind the curtain at the people who want to make us laugh and the personal cost and pain they bear to make strangers smile. These are lovable folk you’ll root for, even if you won’t always laugh at them, as they take on the serious task of being funny. —C.R.

CIFF43 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Saturday, April 06, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Sunday, April 07, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition


Mat Hames

Mat Hames is an Austin, Texas-based director, writer, and producer, known for his successful documentaries. His films have screened at SXSW, HotDocs, and on SundanceTV. He is a co-founder of the Austin, Texas-based, non-fiction production company Alpheus Media, which produces nonfiction content for PBS, SundanceTV, Rooster Teeth, and The Atlantic.

Last Best Hope (2006), When I Rise (2010), What Was Ours (2016), Connected (2016), World's Greatest Head Massage, Part I and II (2016), The Meme Machine What Happens When the Internet Chooses You (2016), Never Conquered (2017), The Tattooist (2017), Haus of Pain (2017), Common Ground (2018) , WAITING FOR THE PUNCHLINE (2019)

Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns, Doreen Copeland, Hannah McCarthy, Beth Hames, Audrey Long

Brian Nelligan

Dan Hirons, Joe Ashe

Print Source

Community Partners

Cleveland Comedy Festival

Media Partners

iHeart Media

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