I had such a wonderful time at LaughFest this weekend.  I had the opportunity to host two of the Clean Comedy shows at the BOB, Friday and Saturday nights.  What fun!  It was easy for me, I just say a few words, welcome the crowd, bet them riled up a bit, turn it over to the pros and sit back and laugh.  Boy, are those guys good.  Actually, laughing was the hard part because I hurt for an hour afterward.  Too funny.

In LaughFest there are a lot of professional headlining comedians. For instance, Whoopie Goldberg, Kathleen Madigan, Jim Gaffigan, Rodney Carrington and the lesser-name comics I saw this weekend.  All of these professionals have been doing comedy for years and are very successful.  They make it look so easy.

But it wasn’t always that way, and the great comics weren’t always great. They spent many years practicing their jokes by going to open mics and doing showcases. Open mics are places for comics to practice, try out new material and work off some rust. Comics often have to travel a distance and do these shows for free. It's just a part of the process of becoming a good comic.

That is a wonderful part of LaughFest.   It offers opportunities for comics with little experience to get involved.  These showcases are happening throughout the festival in various venues around the city.

Dr. Grins Comedy Club in The B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids is hosting showcases for amateurs and semi-pros.  One was yesterday, Sunday, but another chance to catch them is this coming Sunday, the 18th and the final day of LaughFest.

City Flats in Holland also has presented some showcases, and Flat River Grill in Lowell will have a show.

Check out www.laughfestgr.org to see a full schedule.

And by-the-way, if you're an aspiring comic, there are other opportunities for you.  LaughFest is full, but Dr. Grins runs an open mic on Thursday nights, and the Sunday Night Funnies happen at the Radisson hotel on Ann Street NW.

Good Luck!  Make 'um Laugh!