The Gay Mafia improv/sketch comedy group appeared on the LOGO series, “The Outlaugh Festival on Wisecrack” and in the movie, “Outlaugh!” They headlined across the country, notably at the Art Explosion Festival in Florida, the National Gay Mormons Convention, and with Margaret Cho. You can read about the Gay Mafia in the book, “Out on the Edge: America’s Rebel Comics” by Mike Player.
From 2002 through 2012, The Gay Mafia gave over 200 performances and performed sketch and improv comedy in venues across the U.S., including the LA Convention Center, Highways Performance Space, The Renberg Theater, The Hollywood Improv, The Ice House, The Second City Theater, The Broward Performing Arts Center, and many more.
The Mafia defied censorship at Club 66 by performing a banned sketch to huge audience support. They performed private gigs for queer organizations such as Great Outdoors Los Angeles, Women On A Roll, Transgender Unity, Affirmations, Sacramento State University Pride, and Out At Warner Brothers. They have appeared on Harrison On The Edge, IMRU, The John McMullen and Frank DeCarlo national radio talk shows (on Sirius Satellite Radio), QTV’s Morning Brunch Show, and Margaret Cho’s Sensuous Women Show.
Shows included: A Gay Mafia Christmas, Experimenting With The Gay Mafia, The Gay Mafia: Not The Marrying Kind, The Gay Mafia: Out of Wedlock, The Gay Mafia: Spring Fling, The Gay Mafia: Stripped Bare!, The Gay Mafia Brokeback Mountain Show, and The Gay Mafia: Nu-Queer Winter.
“Sergio’s Place,” a sketch serial of 27 episodes written by Mike Player was included in Gay Mafia shows over several years. (Click to see Episode List)
Beginning in 2005, The Gay Mafia began a successful affiliation with queer stand-up comics and hosted three Gay Mafia Comedy Competitions to sold-out audiences.
July 28-31 2005, The Gay Mafia hosted the First Queer Comedy Festival in America, Outlaugh! 2005. Featured Artist was Lea DeLaria. Outlaugh! 2005 and The Gay Mafia were chosen as LA Weekly’s Comedy Pick of the Week, The Advocate’s Hot Pick, and LA Alternative Press’ Featured Pick of the Week.
Outlaugh! (The Concert Film of Outlaugh! 2005) screened at LA’s Outfest in July 2006, Fresno’s Reel Pride in Sept. 06, and Austin’s Gay/Lesbian Film Festival in Oct. 06. Also, in Tampa FL, Hartford CT, New York, Montana, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel. Wolfe Video released Outlaugh! on DVD in 2007. Outlaugh aired on Netflix and on Here TV.
The Gay Mafia appeared frequently at The Grounds in West Hollywood. Margaret Cho and many other stand-up comics performed with us. Kurt Hall and Diana Yanez of the Gay Mafia toured with Margaret Cho, performing as “Lisp and Havana,” Margaret’s opening act. Diana and Kurt later were members of Margaret’s “Sensuous Woman Show” off-Broadway.
October 5-7, 2006, The Gay Mafia again hosted Outlaugh, America’s first and continuing Queer Comedy Festival. Portions of Outlaugh 2006 were broadcast on the MTV LOGO Network as “The Outlaugh Festival on Wisecrack.” The Gay Mafia appeared in episodes 3,5, and 8. “The Outlaugh Festival on Wisecrack” aired continuously for several years after the 2007 debut. All 8 episodes were available on iTunes and Netflix.
In late 2007, The Gay Mafia performed an all-sketch show, “The Gay Mafia: Nu-Queer Winter,” at the Lounge Theater in Hollywood.
The Gay Mafia appeared at Benvenuto in West Hollywood and Tangier in Los Feliz, and headlined the ArtExplosion Festival in Florida.
May 29, 2008, The Gay Mafia performed for the 20th Annual LAMBDA Literary Awards at the Silent Screen Theater in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.
Oct. 11, 2008, The Gay Mafia headlined the Affirmations (Gay Mormons) National Convention in San Pedro, CA.
In Dec. 2008, Alyson Books published a nonfiction anthology on comedy and comedians by Mike Player entitled, “Out on the Edge: America’s Rebel Comics.” The book features contributions by cast members of The Gay Mafia, as well as many great stand-up comedians.
March 4, 2009, The Gay Mafia performed at The Hollywood Improv as part of the Los Angeles presentation of Outlaugh 2009.
On June 24, 2009, The Gay Mafia shared the bill with Suzanne Westenhoever and Sandra Valls at the Macha Theater in West Hollywood in “Gaylarious!” as part of West Hollywood’s Gay Pride Month Cultural Celebration.
In Fall 2009, The Mafia performed four monthly shows at the Macha Theater in West Hollywood. Also a fundraiser in Long Beach for the Long Beach GLBT Center.
The Gay Mafia returned by popular demand on June 24, 2010 for the second “Gaylarious!” for the city of West Hollywood with standups Andre Kelley and Karen Ripley.
On November 18, 2010, The Gay Mafia headlined another fundraiser, this time at the Long Beach Hilton.
On April 19, 2012, The Gay Mafia performed for the Pride group at Sacramento State University.