Gilda’s LaughFest introduced The LaughFest Podcast in 2019 to celebrate the festival’s upcoming tenth anniversary in 2020. The podcast explores the festival’s impact in the comedy scene locally, regionally and nationally while featuring volunteers, partners, local celebrities and artists from previous years.
Take a trip down memory lane and join Director of Strategic Initiatives & LaughFest, Joanne Roehm and LaughFest friends for an inside look at what goes into the logistics or the festival!
The LaughFest Podcast is produced by Gilda’s LaughFest with the support of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center.
Episode 9: Friday, March 6, 2020
This week Joanne talks with Matt Lauria and Allen Trieu two local comics. Join us as we reminisce about 10 years of LaughFest, highlight the second half of festival programming.
Episode 8: Friday, February 28, 2020
This week Joanne talks with with Joe Anderson and Ben Wilke two of the founders of The Comedy Project. Join us as we reminisce about 10 years of LaughFest, highlight the first half of festival programming, and discuss all things Comedy Project!
Episode 7: February 14, 2020
What makes LaughFest viable as a festival? Join us as Joanne interviews former and current LaughFest Cabinet co-chair Carter Pavey and current Tara Hernandez.
Could LaughFest work elsewhere? SPOILER: Joanne, Carter, and Tara don’t think so and discuss why “freaky friendly” West Michigan is at the heart of why LaughFest works. They also discuss what kind of impact LaughFest has had on the West Michigan community and within Carter and Tara’s organizations.
Episode 6: Friday, January 31, 2020
Joanne interviews Festival Photographer Brian Kelly and Jamison Yoder from Funny Business Agency.
In this second part of a two part episode (Go back and listen to episode 5 if you have’t yet!) Joanne, Brian, and Jamison share some seriously funny behind the scenes stories featuring some major names in the comedy industry!
Episode 5: Friday, January 17, 2020
Joanne interviews Festival Photographer Brain Kelly and Jamison Yoder from Funny Business Agency. How has LaughFest effected Jamison and Brian’s respective businesses? How does LaughFest book it’s artists? Whats going on with the content boom in the comedy industry? All these questions and more are answered in this – the first of a two part episode – featuring Jamison and Brian.
Episode 4 – Friday, January 3, 2020
Joanne interviews Brad Laackman and Twayne Howard two of the three co-chairs of the LaughFest Cabinet. What is the LaughFest Cabinet? What kind of impact has LaughFest had on the West Michigan community and within Brad and Twayne’s companies? Who is the Godfather? What ever happened with those World Records? These are just some of the questions answered in this episode of the LaughFest Podcast!
Episode 3 – Friday, December 20, 2019
In today’s episode Joanne talks with Stu McCallister and Dave Dyer two local comedians about how LaughFest has changed the comedy scene in West Michigan. Breaking into being a professional comic. And how they remember the early days of LaughFest.
Episode 2 – Friday, December 6, 2019
In this second episode (If you haven’t listened to the first episode go back and listen now!) Joanne Roehm, Director of Strategic Initiatives and LaughFest for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and Wendy Wigger, President of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest talk with Carroll Velie, one of the LaughFest co-chairs in year one of the festival about keeping the LaughFest secret.
Episode 1 – Friday, December 6, 2019
In this first episode (part one of two!) Joanne Roehm, Director of Strategic Initiatives and LaughFest for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids interviews Wendy Wigger, President of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest about the very beginnings of LaughFest and why LaughFest matters. Joanne and Wendy then have a conversation with Marti O’Brien and Mary Reagan Shapton of Reagan Marketing + Design about the early days of LaughFest and the creation of the iconic LaughFest smile and the tag line Seriously Funny.