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‘Birthday Boys’ Bring Their Sketch Comedy to Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY — Their television show has been compared to “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” and they will be bringing at least a part of it to Ithaca College. Three members of the Birthday Boys sketch comedy troupe will hold a screening and discussion on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. in Park Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Airing Friday nights at 10:30 p.m. on the IFC (formerly Independent Film Channel) network, “The Birthday Boys” premiered in October to favorable reviews — the Los Angeles Times called it “very good…engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.”

While all but one of the seven Birthday Boys graduated from Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, it wasn’t until separately moving to L.A. that they began to embrace their comedic talent by joining the Upright Citizens Brigade improv group.

The Birthday Boys was official “born” as an ensemble in 2007, quickly finding a local fan base and drawing the attention of emerging comedy writer/producer/director Bob Odenkirk. He and Ben Stiller serve as executive producers of “The Birthday Boys.”

The Birthday Boys are Jefferson Dutton ’05, Dave Ferguson ’06, Mike Hanford ’05, Tim Kalpakis ’05, Mike Mitchell ’05, Chris Van Artsdalen ’05 and Matt Kowalick. Their collective comedy writing credits include such shows as “Conan,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “Portlandia” and “Funny or Die.”

In their return to the IC campus, Mitchell, Dutton and Van Artsdalen will screen two episodes of “The Birthday Boys,” followed by a Q&A with the audience.

You can read more about the birth of the Birthday Boys in the Ithaca College magazine ICView at

For more information, contact April Johanns, coordinator of student and external relations in the Park School, at or (607) 274-1789.