‘Clean Comedy Fest’ premieres in Provo

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Jason Hewlett and his family pose in front of the Covey Center before Hewlett’s show. The Covey Center for the Arts held the first “Clean Comedy Weekend” and hopes to continue annually. (Tami Hewlett)

Provo’s very own Covey Center for the Arts debuted its first ever “Clean Comedy Weekend” Sept. 18-19.

Filled with entertainers and workshops, the festival was an entertaining family-friendly event. Performers included resident artists Rodney Norman and ImprovBroadway. Jason Hewlett, a publicly retired comedian, was the main performer.

Paul Duerden, the Covey’s general manager, said the event was an attempt to promote clean comedy.

“The event didn’t happen as originally planned,” Duerden said. “We wanted to have a comedy competition like ‘Last Comic Standing,’ but because of conflicts it didn’t work out.”

Some of the conflicts included a David Archuleta concert and a BYU vs UCLA football game.

This is the first “Clean Comedy” event at the Covey Center. The center hopes to continue the festival annually. (Covey Center)

Jason Hewlett’s performance was well attended despite the multiple conflicts.

Grace Lyn and Don Rich from American Fork, Utah heard about the event from a Daily Herald email. “I liked the humor and the talent,” Grace Lyn said about Hewlett’s performance. Her husband said he liked that the music Hewlett parodied was familiar.

Hewlett had been out of the public entertainment business for nearly six years and the Covey Center wanted to lure him back for this event.

After the birth of his youngest child, Hewlett moved from public events to strictly corporate events. His children attended the event and enjoyed laughing at their father’s jokes, half of which centered on his experiences with them.

Savannah Hawkins
Audience members wait for Jason Hewlett’s performance to begin. The Covey Center for the Arts held the first “Clean Comedy Weekend” and hopes to continue annually. (Savannah Hawkins)

Tami, Hewlett’s wife, said that the comedian has been doing comedy since they married 14 years ago. “People always ask if he’s the same at home, but he has a normal side too,” Tami Hewlett said.

Hewlett also shared some serious personal experiences during his comedy routine. “I was offered a contract in Las Vegas back in 2004,” Hewlett said. “They wanted my act to have ‘adult humor,’ so I took the highway route. I’m a ‘G-larious’ entertainer, and I’m not going to change that.”

According to Duerden, the Covey Center hopes to have a similar event in the future, but at a different time of year with a different structure.

The Covey Center for the Arts hosts comedy performances nearly every Friday night. For more information, visit www.coveycenter.org.