Gilda's LaughFest, the nation's first-ever communitywide festival of laughter, will be held in 2016 from March 10 – 20. The event will include Seth Meyers, performing during Gilda's Club Grand Rapids Signature Event, and Kathy Griffin, Marlon Wayans, a diverse range of artists that are new to the festival and some returning past favorites.
This year's Signature Event features Seth Meyers, an Emmy Award-winning writer and former Saturday Night Live cast member. Meyers currently hosts NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers. The Signature Event will be held March 12 at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In addition to Meyers, other headliners include Griffin, a two-time Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian, writer, producer and television personality; and Wayans, an actor, producer, comedian, writer and film director, who will star in the upcoming comedy spoof Fifty Shades of Black. Returning LaughFest veterans include Anjelah Johnson, who has guest starred on shows such as The Shield, Ugly Betty and Curb Your Enthusiasm; and Roy Wood Jr., from the hit show Sullivan & Son.
"We're excited to bring the diverse talent from all genres," said Joanne Roehm, LaughFest festival director. "We've been blessed to feature many incredibly talented artists over the years and are excited to bring some of our seasoned veterans back as well as add some new fresh faces to the lineup in 2016."
Other acts announced for LaughFest 2016 include Chris D'Elia of NBC's hit comedy Undateable; Bert Kreischer, host of Travel Channel's Trip Flip; stand-up comedian, actress and accomplished writer Heather McDonald; Sebastian Maniscalco, host of 2014 American Comedy Award nominee Aren't You Embarrassed?; and Jim Norton, co-host of the Opie with Jim Norton Show on Sirius XM.
LaughFest 2016 will include more than 200 free and ticketed shows featuring over 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Michigan, during the 10 days of the festival. Ticket packages start at $32 and are available online at laughfestgr.org or by phone at 616.735.HAHA (4242). Tickets for Meyers' performance during the Signature Event are currently available for purchase. Table sponsorships are available for $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 for tables of 10. Individual tickets are available for $250. Of the individual ticket cost, $100 is tax-deductible.
Individual tickets are priced from $7 to $57.50, excluding the Signature Event. These will be available beginning Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Van Andel Arena Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets, LaughFest Central (when it opens in mid-February, through the closing day of LaughFest) and at ticketmaster.com.
Gilda's LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Designed to celebrate laughter for the health of it, LaughFest features free and ticketed events including stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases and a variety of seriously funny stuff. Past LaughFest headliners have included George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Billy Gardell, Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Rodney Carrington, Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Wayne Brady, Joel McHale, Lewis Black and Brian Regan.
Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids. Visit laughfestgr.org or call 616.735.HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda's LaughFest.
Photo courtesy of LaughFest.