PLEASE NOTE: All shows at The BOB are 18+ after 9:00pm

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These eight comics hail from the Midwest and are some of the hottest “up-and-coming” comedians around! They will vie for the title “2018 Gilda’s LaughFest Best of the Midwest Comedian” and a $2,500 cash prize!

Geoffrey Asmus was a ‘New Face’ at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal in 2016 and was later seen on Fox TV’s Laughs and Kevin Hart’s LOL Network. He won 3rd place in Atlanta’s 2017 Laughing Skull festival.

Reena Calm is an East Coast Jew turned Chicago favorite, and one of the most respected and requested comedians in the Midwest. She has been a frequent guest on WGN and WBEZ radio and recently made her television debut on WCIU’s One Night Stand Up.

Mickey Housley won the Houston Knockout Competition after just three months of performing and soon after become runner up of the Funniest Person in Houston Competition. He can be seen featured on the upcoming season of Showtime at the Apollo.

Joe Kilgallon’s debut album, Pay Attention, opened #1 on the iTunes Comedy Charts and Top 10 on the Billboard Comedy Charts. Joe also produces Comedians You Should Know, a weekly stand-up showcase that is the gold standard for not only Chicago, but the nation!

Holly Lynnea has performed across the US and Canada. She has worked with many notables including: D.L. Hughley, Roy Wood Jr., Sasheer Zamata, and Jackie Kashian. She made her television debut on the FOX Network’s Laughs TV

Mary Santora is a fresh breath of femininity in the otherwise male dominated world of stand-up.  Her quick witted, observational style has landed her the opportunity to not only perform across the country, but to open for such comedic greats as Jen Kirkman, Dave Attel, and Tom Papa.

Ali Sultan was named in the 2017 Growler’s magazine list of top 5 comedians to watch. He also made history by becoming the first Yemeni American to make it on national television by being on Comedy Central’s Hart of The City show with Kevin Hart.

Brent Terhune is a writer for the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show.  He’s been featured on Fox’s Laughs, and his debut comedy album went all the way to #1 on the iTunes charts.  His comedy style is absurd and funny, but equally relevant and relatable at the same time.



Shows will take place in both Dr. Grin’s and the 3rd Floor at The BOB at 7pm.

We have a limited number of VIP Tickets available for the 3rd Floor Show which include:

  • Preferred Seating for 7pm Show in 3rd Floor
  • Entrance into Post-Show Reception in Eve (4th Floor) where you will enjoy refreshments & a prize presentation for the Best of the Midwest Competition winner


Meet the Best of the Midwest judges!

Julie Seabaugh:

Julie Seabaugh is the only full-time freelance comedy journalist in the country. She contributes to publications including Rolling Stone, Variety, GQ, The A.V. Club, The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, Playboy, Vulture, and more.


Brian Baldinger:

Brian books comedians for clubs, festivals, tv shows, and even the internet. Currently the Director of Talent and Development for Starburns Audio, some other of his current and former clients include Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, This Is Not Happening, Ricking Morty, The New York Comedy Festival and Just For Laughs Montreal.