Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever, community-wide festival of laughter, has announced the return of The Blue Late Night Comedy Series and three returning showcases: Best of the Midwest, Stand-up Comedy Competition and the Clean Comedy Showcase for this year’s celebration designed for everyone.  Other major entertainers who will join the lineup for the festival, held March 7-17, 2013, include comedian W. Kamau Bell and the roundtable of comedians for Fortune & Friends.
Comedians performing during The Blue Late Night Comedy Series presented by Bud Light include: star of ABC’s Don’t Trust the B--- in Apt. 23, Eric Andre; co-creator of Chappelle’s Show and Emmy nominated comedian, Neal Brennan; one of Comedy Central’s Top Ten Comics to Watch, Loni Love; and writer, comedian, and voice-over actor, Pete Holmes.

The Best of the Midwest Showcase will feature Nate Abshire, Ryan Dalton, Emily Galati, Steve Gillespie, Tim Harmston, Scott Long, Fred Potter, Kris Shaw, Alex Stone, and Tommy Thompson, all competing for a $2,500 cash prize.

This year’s Stand-up Comedy Competition presented by Gun Lake Casino, will feature 10 comics vying for a $10,000 cash prize.

The Clean Comedy Showcase presented by Bissell, will include performances by Jackie Kashian, Pete Lee, Cash Levy, Jamie Lissow, Mark Normand, Andy Pitz, Erik Rivera, and Bengt Washburn. These eight comedians have been pre-selected for their unique ability to bring laughs without vulgarity.

W. Kamau Bell is coming to Laughfest 2013 in partnership with the Student Activities Office at Calvin College. He stars in the FX Network show, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, his own weekly half-hour series executive produced by Chris Rock. In 2010, Bell released his second stand-up album, Face Full of Flour, which was named one of the Top Ten Best Comedy Albums of the year by iTunes and Punchline Magazine. He is also a founding member of the stand-up comedy collective “Laughter Against the Machine.”

The 2013 festival will also include several child-friendly shows and events. Kid-hop artist, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will perform four upbeat musical shows for all ages to enjoy.  Additionally, the Meijer’s Family Friendly Super Saturday Kids Zone and Super Saturday Nite Teen Zone returns to offer kids, tweens and teens fun activities, games, and dancing.


Entertainers who have already been announced for this year’s LaughFest include: Wayne Brady, Lewis Black, Jim Breuer, Bill Burr, Joel McHale, Brian Regan, Garfunkel and Oates, Gary Valentine and Justin Willman.

LaughFest 2013 will include 200 plus free and ticketed shows that feature over 60 artists at 40-plus venues in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Holland during the 10 days of the festival. Ticketed shows will range in price from $7 to $55.50, excluding the Signature fundraising event. Festival ticket packages will be available to the public beginning Friday, Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. online at or by phone at (616) 735-HAHA (4242).


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