Monday, 19 November 2012 14:37

Michael Kosta Comes Home to Michigan

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Michael Kosta
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Dec. 13-15, show times at 8, 9 10:30 p.m.
$10-$15, (616) 356-2000

Michael Kosta may currently reside in L.A., but Michigan will always hold a special place in his heart. He grew up in Ann Arbor, served as the assistant men's Tennis coach at University of Michiagn and flaunts his Michigan Emmy on the cover of his live comedy album, Champion. He even got Michigan love at Grand Rapids' first Laughfest: Kosta won $10,000 in a stand-up comedy competition at Dr. Grins.

Before Kosta made a name for himself in the comedy world he played professional tennis, won four Big Ten championships and published a book, 101 Tips for Winning More Tennis Matches. While he was the assistant coach at University of Michigan he would perform at comedy clubs on the side, often for only twenty or thirty dollars a night. Eventually, when he had to turn down an invitation to perform at a comedy festival in Washington D.C. because of his coaching schedule, he realized he had to make a choice.

"I kind of just had this thought in my head, 'You know, I think I'd rather be pursuing comedy.' Even though it wasn't something that was going to make me money, it was just something that I felt more passion toward than coaching tennis."

It was time for him to say goodbye to his tennis career and hello to the world of comedy.

Once he made his move, Kosta quickly made a name for himself in the comedy circuit by performing at clubs and festivals. While he built up his reputation as a comedian he acquired gigs as a TV host as well. His first hosting job was for the Fox Sports Detroit show, "CCHA: All Access," which he recalls as being a bit surreal.

"It was kind of like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing? How am I in Alaska hosting a hockey show on television?'"

It was for this particular show that Kosta won his aforementioned Emmy, and it also opened the door to other TV appearances. He went on to guest host "Attack of the Show," provided commentary for Tru TV's "World's Dumbest" series, and hosts "Sports. Kosta. Basement." for Funny or Die.

"I love hosting," Kosta said. "I want to be a comedic host, that's always driven me more than being a comedic actor ... It's not scripted, you get to use your personality, you get to interview people and try to make them be the star of that moment and I find it really challenging."

Luckily for us, Kosta's main job is still performing stand-up, and Michigan continues to be a frequent stop, as he says, "Michigan is my home."

"It's by far the state that I play the most. I always look forward to coming back, and every time I do come back I always have great fans that are there."

Other Comedy Events

Moshe Kasher
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Dec. 27-31, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
$10-$15, (616) 356-2000

Moshe Kasher is a well-groomed comedian and author of the 2012 memoir Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16. He also recently released his hour-long comedy special Moshe Kasher: Live in Oakland exclusively on Netflix. Kasher brings his irreverent, self-deprecating, black sense of humor to Dr. Grins at the end of the month.


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