September 4, 2012 | Cambridge Footlights at Improv Boston

What do Monty Python’s John Cleese, late Hitchhiker’s Guide scribe Douglas Adams, House star Hugh Laurie, and Oscar winner Emma Thompson have in common (besides Britishness)? They’re all alums of the Cambridge Footlights. Cambridge University’s famed comedy troupe has been getting belly laughs since 1883, so we’re sure it’ll provide a killer kickoff to the Boston Comedy Arts Festival, a nearly week-long celebration of improv, sketch comedy, and standup. The Footlights will start things off with 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. shows at ImprovBoston (40 Prospect Street, Cambridge, 617.576.1253). Find tickets ($20–$25) and the full fest schedule at bostoncomedyarts.com.