Having already named a long list of headlining and up-and-coming stand-up comedians last week, Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids, MI early today announced a second round of talent, including veteran comedian Sinbad. The second annual festival will run from March 8 – 18. Ticket packages starting at $55 will go on sale Nov. 18 at 9 a.m. Individual ticket sales will be announced at a later date.
Festival organizers also announced the return of The Bob & Tom Comedy All-Stars, to be hosted by Kristi Lee, a co-host on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Show, which — more than any other radio show — consistently features rising comedy stars every day. Jimmy Pardo, Tommy Johnagin and Drew Hastings are scheduled to appear as part of the show.
Like last year, LaughFest will also host a national stand-up comedy competition, wherein headlining comedians from across the country will compete to win $10,000. Comedians set to compete are: Nate Bargatze, Chad Daniels, Nikki Glaser, Phil Hanley, Moshe Kasher, Matt Kirshen, Vince Morris, Collin Moulton, Christina Pazsitzky and Reese Waters. Los Angeles-based comedian Michael Kosta won the contest last year.
The Best of the Midwest Showcase will also return. Comedians Mike Bobbitt, Mike Brody, Sean Flannery, Felicia Gillespie, Michael Malone, Floyd Phillips, Lyndel Pleasant, Amber Preston, Mike Stanley and Dan Telfer will compete for $2,500.
Finally, the festival announced that comedians Keith Alberstadt, Jeff Caldwell, Tim Cavanagh, Don Friesen, Rex Havens, Rocky LaPorte, Jan McInnis and Brad Upton will perform as part of the Clean Comedy Showcase.
Comedians announced last week include Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, Mike Epps, Bo Burnham, Rodney Carrington, Amy Schumer, Kevin Nealon, Anthony Jeselnik and Anjelah Johnson.
In addition to stand-up, the fest will host special events featuring original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel and Patch Adams (yes, the real Patch Adams), who will appear as part of the festival’s new Laughter Rx series, which will highlight the benefits of laughter to improve both physical and emotional health. Celebrated musical act, The Laurie Berkner Band will also be on hand as part of the festival’s family-friendly series.
The festival has a unique position within the country’s other comedy festivals, as it was created by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids to help raise money for its center — one of 52 nationwide — that offers support to cancer patients and their families.
You can get more info about Gilda’s LaughFest at laughfestgr.org.