Ed Asner and ‘his prostate’ headline Gilda’s LaughFest 2019

Watch out, Michigan! Gilda’s LaughFest announced some of the big names performing at this year’s festival. The Grand Rapids-based festival has brought its signature brand of Midwestern hospitality and compassion to comedy stages for the last nine years.

Some of the headliners for this year’s festival include Brian Regan, Ed Asner, Ali Wong, Loni Love, Brad Upton, Jo Koy, Nate Bargatze, and Matt Bellassai. Others slated to perform at the fest include Emmy Blotnick, Rob Haze, John Novosad, Langston Kerman, Matteo Lane, Caitlin Peluffo, Jessa Reed and Ron Taylor. Wait, Ed Asner? Yes, that Ed Asner. The 89-year-old Emmy Award-winning actor will be doing a comedy stage play A Man and His Prostate.

The long list of nationally recognized talent will also be joined by the best of local Michigan and midwestern comedians. “We’re thrilled to bring such diverse talent to LaughFest 2019,” said Joanne Roehm, director of strategic initiatives at Gilda’s Club and LaughFest.

The festival will be held from March 7–17, 2019 and will bring back yearly favorites like the Best of the Midwest competition, the National Stand-up Comedy Showcase, and the Clean Comedy Showcase. The festival boasts 200 free and ticketed shows featuring over 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Wayland’s Gun Lake Casino. As always, Laughspin will be there covering the hottest moments for you.

The festival is one of the sweetest festivals in America. Apart from their commitment to showcasing clean comedy, the fest raises money for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a nonprofit that supplies free emotional health support to family, friends, and individuals who are affected by cancer or those grieving a death due to any cause. Named for comedian and nearby Detriot native Gilda Radner, who passed away in 1989, Gilda’s Club was founded by a group of cancer survivors who understood how hard the journey can be for patients and loved ones. This year, the festival is partnering with DTE Energy who will be matching up to $50,000 in “High Five” donations. Individuals interested in donating to the “High Five” campaign may do so by purchasing a button for a $5 donation at LaughFest events or through laughfestgr.org.

Rosa Escandon

I am a stand up comic and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. When I'm not on stage, I am Comedy Editor for The Tusk, sit on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival, and writing my next project. I am passionate about writing about feminism and comedy as well as how women, LBGTQ people, and minorities are changing the face of comedy and entertainment. You may have seen me on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, aplus, or maybe just on twitter.

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