If you’re looking for something to laugh about amid pre-Thanksgiving break stress, let the Comedy Club be your inspiration. The club will be hosting the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival Wednesday night, offering an hour of comic hilarity and much-needed entertainment.

The festival, a national stand-up comedy competition, started last year in Atlanta. This year, the first-round shows are taking place in 29 different cities across the country, including Madison. The winner will advance to a semi-final round in Atlanta in April, with the opportunity to win cash and months of work from agents and clubs.

The night’s lineup will feature 10 comedians, not necessarily from Wisconsin or even the Midwest, as Comedy Club performers often are. “These comics are hand-selected from thousands of comics from around the country,” Comedy Club General Manager Eve Paras said.

Two of the 10, Nick Hart and Sean Moore, are Madison-based performers. Their off-color humor has already sent Comedy Club audiences into uncontrollable laughter with recent performances. At a recent show at the Comedy Club, Hart presented a range of topics from the feeling you did something “morally and ethically questionable” the morning after eating KFC to the word “clitoris” and how it sounds like a Greek god or a new car.

Moore, who was featured at Paul Tompkins’ show at the Majestic Theater in May, lamented about his coworkers comparing him to Larry the Cable Guy and discussed the awkwardness of calling his guy friends his “boyfriends.”

Keeping a fast-paced program to ensure an upbeat and energized night of comedy, the structure for the festival is as follows: The MC will perform a 10 minute introductory set, and then the 10 comedians will each perform a six-minute set, according to Paras. A guest comedian will also do a 10 minute set while judges are tallying the votes.

“I think it will be fun because the comics have a little different motive in mind – they’re there for a competition, the crowd’s going to really influence them,” Paras said.

Festival participants have a lot at stake – winning the Madison competition will give them a shot at a booming career, a rarity for the highly competitive field of being a comedian. Comedy industry members will attend many first-round performances to help expose and find work for performing comedians as well.

According to their website, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival’s goal is to “honor and reward the artists that most personify The Art of Comedy,” and performers at the Comedy Club will certainly bring comedy to life with a fun night for all who attend.

The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival is at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Comedy Club, 119 State St. The show is sold out, but some seats may be available for $10 at the door if ticket holders do not show up.