GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 18, 2023 – Gilda’s LaughFest, presented by Gun Lake Casino, today announced artists participating during the 2023 festival coming up March 8-12 including Tig Notaro, Pete Holmes, the Clean Comedy Showcase, D.J. Demers, Daphnique Springs, and Mike Vecchione. Charlie Berens will headline the annual Gilda’s Red Door Gala, which will be held on March 16. with Other events and shows announced include LaughFest: Night at the Museum, LaughFest Trivia Night of Stars, Karajokee, Pop Scholars, River City Improve and The Dirty Show. Other events will be announced in coming days. Proceeds from Gilda’s LaughFest and LaughFest’s High Five Campaign benefit the support program offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.
“Gilda’s Club is an organization near and dear to the Gun Lake Casino family, and we are proud to once again present this seriously-funny fundraising event,” said Carter Pavey, the casino’s assistant general manager. “The emotional healthcare Gilda’s provides in the West Michigan area is incredibly important, and can make the world of a difference for anyone who is on a cancer journey, whether it be their own or a loved one.”
Tickets for all events will go on sale Friday, January 20 at 10 a.m. at laughfestgr.org or by searching LaughFest at ticketmaster.com
“Each year we work to create a unique festival including partnering with community organizations like Gun Lake Casino and Disability Advocates of Kent County,” said Zack Berends, festival manager. “This year’s festival will feature nearly 50 events and seriously fun and funny events for all ages.”
In addition to ticketed shows, there will be free events such as Seriously Funny Adventure Challenge, Sunday Night Funnies, Kids Joke, Family Improv, the Cancer Survivors Showcase, All Y’All Showcase, Drums for All, and more.
Tig Notaro, one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time”, will be performing at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids on March 9. Notaro is an Emmy and Grammy-nominated comedian, writer, radio contributor and actor and currently appears in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and Star Trek: Discovery. She has appeared on numerous talk shows as well, including Ellen, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan. She also wrote and starred in the TV show One Mississippi and hosts an advice podcast, “Don’t Ask Tig”.
Comedian Pete Holmes
Pete Holmes, will perform March 9 at Fountain Street Church. Holmes is the creator and star of HBO’s Crashing (produced by Judd Apatow) and TBS’ The Pete Holmes Show (produced by Conan O’Brien). He’s also the star of CBS’ How We Roll as well as two HBO stand-up comedy specials. Pete’s also the voice of the e*trade baby and was a guest writer/star on multiple episodes of The Simpsons. He’s also proud to be the dumbest Batman on YouTube (Badman), the host of the wildly popular You Made It Weird podcast and the author of Comedy Sex God. He wrote this bio in third person. He napped shortly thereafter.
The Clean Comedy Showcase returns to The B.O.B. and Dr. Grins Comedy Club with dinner options and a new brunch show. The Clean Comedy showcase features six different, nationally touring comedians featuring adult content without profanity or vulgarity. The comedians will perform the showcase twice daily March 9 and 10 and three times on March 11, with one show including brunch at 11 a.m. The performers in this year’s showcase are Meghan Hanley, Mike Paramore, Laura Peek, Steven Rogers, Irene Tu and Jenny Zigrino.
Comedian DJ Demers
LaughFest and Disability Advocates of Kent County are partnering to bring D.J. Demers to the festival. Demers brings his unique style of stand-up to LaughFest on March 8 at the Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports & Inclusion Center, 160 68th St SW, Grand Rapids. Demers, who is hard of hearing, has performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, America’s Got Talent and has made three appearance on Conan. He also has three stand-up albums and has won numerous awards at comedy festivals in Canada. He makes his show accessible to all by using an ASL interpreter for the hearing-impaired.
Comedian Daphnique Springs
Daphnique Springs will perform two shows on both March 10 and 11 at Midtown (formerly The Listening Room) at 123 Ionia SW in Grand Rapids. Springs stars on Amazon’s Inside Jokes and recently made her stand-up debut on HBO’s All Def Comedy. She has also performed on Last Call with Carson Daily, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Comedy Get Brown on BET. Springs won the She-Devil Festival in New York in 2015 and the American Black Film Festival “Comedy Wings Competition in 2016. She has toured with comedian Katt Williams and had a variety of roles on shows such as How I Met Your Mother.
Portrait of comedian Mike Vecchione
Mike Vecchione is known for his “rapid-fire” comedic skills and has made numerous appearances on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, Netflix, Sirius XM and more. He will be performing two shows on March 9 at the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, and one show on March 10 at First United Congregational UCC in Lowell, Mich. Vecchione’s album, The Worst Kind of Thoughtful, was named comedy album of the year by Vulture and Sirius XM.
Capping off the Festival, Gilda’s Club will hold the Red Door Gala on March 16 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Charlie Berens, comedian, host and Emmy award-winning journalist will return to West Michigan to perform at the event. Berens is the creator of the viral comedic news series Manitowoc Minute and is a frequent collaborator on Funny or Die. He also hosts the Discovery + show, Dark Side Of.
Donations raised at the gala support the free emotional health services offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids for anyone on a cancer or grief journey. Ticket and sponsorship information on the Red Door Gala can be found at gildasclubgr.org/reddoor.