The Del Close Marathon, the world's most intense comedic endurance test, is set to unleash its 18th annual orgy of comedy across seven venues in NYC starting at 4 PM on Friday, June 24 at 4 PM and running continuously without interruption through Sunday, June 26 at 9:30 PM. And when I say "running continuously" I mean "running continuously". As in, all day, all night. Non-stop.

The Del Close Marathon is the largest improv festival in the world, and was founded by the Upright Citizens Brigade in 1999. The festival includes three days of continuous improv, panels, and parties in New York City. This year DCM will take place at 7 venues (9 stages and 1 podcast lounge), with over 600 shows by thousands of performers from around the world.

From writers to performers, members of the UCB curriculum represent a veritable greenhouse of talent where the entertainment industry snips up a lot of its key players. Year after year the Del Close Marathon not only showcases acres of current talent and up and coming talent, but they also bring back big name talent. DCM18 kicks off with a press conference featuring UCB founders Ian RobertsMatt BesserMatt Walsh, and Amy Poehler. From there, expect appearances by greats including Chris Gethard, Mike BirbigliaHoratio Sanz, Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Ben Schwartz, Nick Kroll, John Gemberling, Jason Mantzoukas, Scott Adsit, Bobby Moynihan, John Lutz, and many many more.

This year's venues include UCB Theater Chelsea, UCB Theater East, The Magnet Theater, Theater for the New City, SVA Theater, FIT Haft Auditorium, and a UCB Comedy Podcast Network Lounge. A $35 pass grants you access to all DCM18 theaters throughout the festival except the UCB Comedy Podcast Network Lounge and premium ticketed shows at SVA Theatre and FIT Haft Auditorium. Those premium ticket shows -- including events featuring Broad City, Nick Kroll, the Daily Show writers, screenings of documentary Thank You Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon and more -- are sold on a show by show basis.

Pour through the 2016 schedule and see if anything strikes your fancy.

On a much more somber note, on Sunday May 15 the NYC comedy community and the UCB community lost one of its most vibrant and supportive members with the unexpected and truly devastating passing of Timmy Wood. Timmy will be remembered for his unbridled passion and positivity, his support of his peers, his boundless ideas, and his openness that made everyone feel like family. Timmy was scheduled to perform at a whopping six showcases at this year's Del Close Marathon. Even in a showcase this massive, Timmy's absence will be felt throughout. A Timmy Wood Comedy Memorial Fund GoFundMe page was established yesterday, so if you have a few bucks kicking around maybe throw it over there. RIP, neighbor.

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