Celebrating its ninth year, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’s LaughFest announced the first round of talent and shows for the March 7-17, 2019 festival!
Headliners announced include Brian Regan (doing the Signature Event at DeVos Place), Ed Asner, Ali Wong, Loni Love, Brad Upton, Jo Koy, Nate Bargatze and Matt Bellassai.
To learn more about the headliners and some of the other artists, check out their bios down below!
For specific times of each show, visit LaughFest’s website.
Matt Bellassai is a comedian, writer and social media personality. He is the current hostof the weekly show, To Be Honest, on Facebook boasting over half a million followers. Bellassai recently wrapped his sold-out, nationwide comedy tour, The Drunk and Alone Tour, which featured shows in 20 cities. The tour sold more than 7,500 tickets with most venues adding multiple shows due to increased demand. This past year, Bellassai win the fan-voted People’s Choice Award for “Social Media Star” and attended the American Music Awards as their official social media correspondent, covering both the carpet and live show.
Matt Bellassai will be at Pyramid Scheme on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. It’s Rated R Really!
Nate Bargatze followed in the showbiz footsteps of his dad, a former clown turned world class magician, whose influnce is seen on Nate’s 2015 debut special, Full Time Magic, and his debut album, Yelled at By a Clown. Nate’s half-hour Netflix special, The Standups, premiered on July 4, 2017 to rave reviews. In addition to touring the country as a headliner, Bargatze toured in arenas with Chris Rock on his 2017 Total Blackout Tour. He currently has a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop his own TV show. Bargatze’s comedy is both clean and relatable, evident in his six appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Nat Bargatze will be at Vander Mill on Saturday, March 9. It has Clean Adult Laughs.
Jo Koy has come a long way from his modest beginnings at a Las Vegas coffee house. He sells out clubs across the nation, is a weekly guest on The Adam Carolla Show podcast and recently started his own podcast, The Koy Pond with Jo Koy. Koy pulls inspiration from his family and specifically his son. He has had two Comedy Central specials, “Don’t Make Him Angry” and “Lights Out”. He has appeared on over 100 episodes of Chelsea Lately and has been seen on VH1, World’s Funniest Fails, The Joy Behar Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly and Jamie Foxx: Laffapalooza.
Jo Koy will be at DeVos Performance Hall on Sunday, March 10. It’s Rated R Really!
Edward Asner has been enduring presence in television, film and stage for 60 years. Developing his craft in Chicago and New York, Asner established himself as a solid and versatile performer, regularly being in feature roles on the big screen and in such landmark television roles as The Outer Limits, Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West, Ironside and Mission Impossible, totaling more than 100 television credits. “A Man and His Prostate” was created and written by award-winning Ed Weinberger and is based on his true life experience while vacationing in Italy and being rushed to a hospital for prostate cancer surgery. Media critics have referred to the stage-play as a “hilarious” evening of entertainment.
Ed Asner will be performing “A Man and His Prostate” on Sunday, March 10 at the Wealthy Theatre. It’s Rated R Really!
Critics, fans and fellow comedians agree: Brian Regan is one of the most respected comedians in the country, with Vanity Fair calling Brian, “the funniest stand-up alive,” and Entertainment Weekly callin him “your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.” Having built his 30-plus year career on the strength of his material alone, Regan’s non-stop theater tour continuously fills the most beautiful venues across North America, visiting close to 100 cities each year. He premiered his seventh hour of comedy, the Netflix special, Brian Regan: Nunchucks and Flamethrowers, in November 2017. His second Netflix special is planned for release in 2019. Regan made a scene-stealing cameo in Chris Rock’s film, Top Five and he is a guest on Jerry Seinfield’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Brian Regan will be at DeVos Place on Tuesday, March 12. His show is Clean Adult Laughs.
Brad Upton was a 4th grade teacher and high school track coach when he stepped on stage for the very first time in September of 1984 and he’s never looked back. He quickly rose through the stand-up ranks making numerous television appearances and headlining comedy clubs from coast-to-coast. He is a past winner of the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and appeared at Caesar’s Palace as part of the HBO Comedy Festival. Upton has spent the last 12 years as the opening act for the legendary Johnny Mathis and did multiple shows all over the country with the late, great Joan Rivers. His new CD titled, Brad Uptonogood is heard regularly on Sirius Satellite Radio and is available online wherever music is sold. Upton also just released his first DVD titled, Brad Upton, Live from the 509.
Brad Upton will be at Gun Lake Casino on Thursday, March 14 and at Larkin’s in Lowell on Friday, March 15. His show has Clean Adult Laughs!
Comedian and actor, Loni Love has been touted by the New York Post as “fun, funny, involved in life, outrageous by nature, warm and most of all, real.” Love can be seen co-starring alongside Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis in the film Mother’s Day and currently co-hosts the Cafe Mocha radio show with rapper MC Lyte, the only nationally syndicated show of its kind that was created exclusively BY and FOR women of color. In addition, Love is the subject of the documentary Being Loni Love, which traces her life story from her early days as a latchkey daughter, growing up in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglas housing projects to national stand-up comedienne and TV and movie star.
Loni Love will be at the Wealthy Theatre on Friday, March 15. Her show is Rated R Really!
Ali Wong is a stand-up comic from San Francisco, now living in Los Angeles. Her first Netflix stand-up special, Baby Cobra, was filmed when she was 7 months pregnant. Elle applauded it as a “comic genius gem,” while Vogue called it “the special that everyone is talking about.” Wong’s second stand-up special, Hard Knock Wife, premiered on Netflix on Mother’s Day 2018. Her feature film, Always Be My Maybe, which she co-wrote and co-stars in with Randall Park, will debut on Netflix in 2019. Tickets to see Wong headline live are now known to sell out in 2 minutes!
Ali Wong will be at DeVos Performance Hall on Sunday, March 17. Her show is Rated R Really!
A Latino showcase featuring Nick Guerra, Ramon Rivas and Aida Rodriguez that will definitely make you laugh!
Nick Guerra is a breakthrough comedian who recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He released his first comedy album, Love: The Nick’s Tape, and won NBC’s Stand Up Showcase back in 2015.
Ramon Rivas built up the Cleveland comedy scene through Accidental Comedy productions while traveling around the country. In 2016, he made his TV debut for The Half Hour with Comedy Central.
Aida Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina making history as the first Latina to appear in two specials in one month on both HBO and Showtime. She stared in “The Comedian” alongside Robert De Niro and has appeared on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show.