Laughter knows no age, everyone loves to laugh. Show ‘em Comedy Festival was created after its founders, Jesse Arnold and Kim Watson realized that the options for experiencing live comedy in Columbia, Missouri was limited primarily to our college aged population. Jesse and Kim determined that all comedy lovers, young and old, deserved more. Thus, the Show ‘em Comedy Festival was born!

It is said that in the late 1890s, a Congressman named Willard Duncan Vandiver listened intently to a speaker at Philadelphia’s Five O’ Clock Club. He questioned this speaker, and at the end of his speech said: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. You have got to show me.”

Well Jesse and Kim say, “Let’s “Show ‘em”! You are never too old, or too young to laugh. Help us throw a comedy festival that reaches everyone!


In the heart of America, in the center of Missouri, is a small town with a big city attitude. Columbia is an eclectic place full of rich cultural experiences, creative cuisine, energetic entrepreneurs, a diverse population and unlimited opportunities.

Columbia attracts visitors world-wide on a regular basis with events focused around education and entertainment.

A strong community of locally owned businesses sustains continued economic growth. Guests are sure to find comfort with a choice of 37 hotels and over 200 restaurants.

Imaginations run wild amongst folks associated with this town. The attitude is all about possibilites and living life to it’s fullest. For years Columbian’s have proven that anything can happen here. You won’t want to miss any of the action!


“Laughter is the best medicine” has real meaning. There are so many reasons to bring more humor to Columbia.

Primarily, the instinctive behavior to laugh releases hormones that affects our brains chemically to reduce stress and make us feel happy.

Studies show we laugh 30% more when with another person. In fact, humor is something we all share. It is a universal social interaction that results in a genuine bonding experience for those involved. Laughter is a positive emotion that we could all use a little more of.

Columbia is an educated community open to learning opportunities. Laughing is actually a complex response of the brain that involves many of the same skills used in problem solving.

Improv is another form of comedy that teaches many life skills like increased confidence, focus and quick thinking.

The Show ‘em Comedy Festival is sure to bring the community closer together, inspire, educate and leave everyone feeling happier!