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Pencil this In: Thursday

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COMEDY
Los Angeles is a funny place. No joke. To celebrate the laughter and mirth of LA LA land, tonight’s the kickoff of the Los Angeles Comedy Festival – with nearly three weeks of improv, sketch and standup comedy. Tonight there’s an 8 pm show with Scott Nery and a 9:30 show with the Queers of Comedy.

8 and 9:30 pm // McCadden Place Theatre // 1157 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles // $12.

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FILMS
CalArts is holding a three-day film/video showcase of student works at REDCAT. The juried selection features live-action works by students in the Film and Video and the Film Directing programs. Tonight focuses on long-form works.

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8 pm // REDCAT // 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles // Free.

LIVE TEEVEE
The Paley Center for Media plays host to Debra Messing, formerly Grace of Will and Grace. She’s the star of the USA Network miniseries The Starter Wife. This is a sure can’t- miss event for her fans. All five of you.

7 pm // Paley Center // 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills // $25 ($15 for Paley members).

FILM FESTIVAL*
The 24th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival kicks off tonight with Ping Pong Playa – about a wanna be hoop dreamer who takes over his mom’s family business of teaching a ping pong class. The film's tagline makes us laugh: "B-Ball Dreams...Ping Pong Genes."

7 pm // Director’s Guild of America // 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles // $24-$100.

WORDS
Journalist Cokie Roberts has written a new book Ladies of Liberty and she’s plugging it at a reading sponsored by the League of Women Voters. This is a ticketed event and to get in you need to buy the book at Vroman’s Bookstore first.

7 pm // All Saints Church // 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena // Cost of Cokie Roberts book @ Vroman’s.

FOOD TALK
The California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities presents the discussion, “Deserted: How to Solve the Crisis of Poor Access to Healthy Food” tonight. Panelists Duane Perry of The Food Trust; Theresa Hastert of UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research and Amanda Shaffer of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College will talk about the lack of produce vendors and grocery stores that turn many areas – especially low-income communities of color – into healthy food deserts.

7 pm // Center for Healthy Communities @ The California Endowment // 1000 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles // Free.

*Pencil pick of the day

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Photo from Ping Pong Playa.