Debi’s been a part of SF’s comedy scene for so long, she was probably there when the “chicken crossed the road joke” was invented. She currently holds the title of Board President and Executive Producer of Comedy Day, set to hit Golden Gate park this Sunday. The event is being touted as 1 stage, 5 hours, 40 comedians and a million laughs. We can’t 100% guarantee exactly a million laughs, but if the scheduled comics are anywhere near as funny as Debi, you’ll come pretty damn close:
SCOUT: 31 years the festival has been going on! When did you get involved?
DEBI: Day 1. I’ve been the Executive Producer for 15 years. My husband, Will Durst, is the only comedian to have performed every single year. The first Comedy Day was the idea of a popular comedian named Jose Simon. It was during a time when the city wasn’t the most fun place to live. Mayor Moscone had been shot, the Jonestown thing was going on; it just wasn’t a happy time. Jose was tired of everyone being depressed, so he said, why don’t we put on a show? We got permission to use the bandshell in Golden Gate park, and started handing out flyers and posting bills. It turned out to be rather successful, so we figured we should do it again the following year.
SCOUT: Have you heard any good jokes lately?
DEBI: Hahaha... I’ve heard a lot of bad jokes lately. There’s nothing funny about Comedy Day when it comes to how much work is required to put this thing on.
SCOUT: What are you most looking forward to on Comedy Day?
DEBI: When it’s over! No, really it’s just a fun day, and I know all the comedians that are coming; some I see all the time, some I haven’t seen in forever, so it’s kind of like a bog company picnic for all of us in a way. I’m looking forward to that one moment I have to myself backstage when I can look around and see everyone laughing. That’s when all this hard work is worth it for me. When people go home feeling better about themselves, that’s when I know I did my job.
SCOUT: Any insider tips on how to get the most out of Comedy Day?
DEBI: Come early, stay late, and laugh a lot. It all starts at noon with our newest comics during the rising star set. SF Sketch Fest has a set a little later in the afternoon, and mystery guests have been promised. I’ve already put in my order for sunshine, so it’s guaranteed to be a good show.
SCOUT: We’ll be laughing the loudest, no doubt, but is there anything else we can do to help out?
DEBI: We are a non-profit organization that exists solely on donations, which can be done on the on the site, and it’s 100% tax deductible.