We have been waiting for the news, and the news is good. Gilda’s LaughFest is on for sure, March 11-14. It will be virtual, but, hey, you'll be able to get your laugh's out in the comfort of your own home with some serious headliners!

Some of the top names in comedy are on the LaughFest bill. Ron Funches, Tom Papa, Justin Willman, Michelle Wolf, The Comedy Project’s “3 Mics & a Movie!,” and the stage performance “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner” directed by Emmy award winning director Teresa Thome.

This year’s festival will feature a total of 30 events, plus social media content and contests. As always, much of LaughFest will continue to be free, with donations to Gilda’s Club welcome, while premium all-access content is $40.

Funches will bring his podcast “Gettin’ Better with Ron Funches” to LaughFest’s virtual stage on Saturday, March 13 at 7 p.m. In addition to his stand-up comedy credits, Funches has extensive acting credits, with roles on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Black•ish,” “New Girl,” “Transparent,” “Powerless,” and “Undateable.”

Courtesy LaughFestGR

Papa, with over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience will perform Friday, March 12 at 9 p.m. In 2020, Netflix premiered Papa’s fourth hour-long stand-up special “Tom Papa: You’re Doing Great,” which is a rebuttal to the current culture of feeling dread. Papa reminds viewers to “remember that you’re doing great, life isn’t perfect, it never will be, and that’s OK.”

Courtesy LaughFestGR

Willman, a magician, comedian and host of the hit show “Cupcake Wars” on Food Network, will perform on Thursday, March 11 at 9 p.m. In 2018, Willman premiered his six-episode magic series on Netflix entitled “Magic For Humans with Justin Willman.”

On Friday, March 12 at 10 p.m., Grand Rapids-based The Comedy Project will co-produce “3 Mics & a Movie!.” Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Riff Trax and, well, movies in general won’t want to miss this live roast of the movie “The Hitch-Hiker” will be shown while comedians add alternate dialogue and sound effects.

Courtesy LaughFestGR

“An Evening of Laughter and Conversation with Michelle Wolf,” will take place at 9 p.m., Saturday, March 13. On the heels of her recent Netflix special, “Michelle Wolf: Joke Show,” Wolf will be joining LaughFest with all new material.

Closing the festival on Sunday, March 14, the stage play “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner” will be performed live. The play chronicles the relationship between Alan Zweibel and Gilda Radner. Zweibel, a writer on SNL in the first five years wrote with Gilda many of her familiar characters – Roseanne Rosannadanna, Baba Wawa and Emily Litella.

Gilda’s LaughFest supports Gilda's Club with the mission of providing free emotional health support for those on a cancer or grief journey. Gilda’s Club is celebrating 20 years of operations, having first opened its doors to the public on February 15, 2001. Proceeds from the festival and donations raised will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.


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