While comedian Jim Norton continues to tour the country packing large theatres, he hasn’t lost touch with his roots: Small comedy clubs.
The 47-year-old New York-based comic still hits the smaller rooms on a regular basis in his never-ending journey of honing his craft. “It’s the only way to get new material that feels good,” Norton said. “I go out almost every night.”
Two-time Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin is a celebrity chameleon. Some might know the 2016 LaughFest headliner from My Life on the D-List and other TV appearances, but Griffin’s diehard fans appreciate her most for her true calling: Stand-up comedy. Here’s what she had to say to Revue ahead of her March 14 performance at DeVos Hall.
Now in its fifth year of laughing for the health of it, LaughFest returns to Grand Rapids March 10-20. The annual event benefits Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a free, supportive community for families and others coping with cancer, grief and emotional health.
Like the saying goes: You can take a comedian out of Michigan, but you can’t take Michigan out of a comedian. Fifteen years after moving from the Great Lakes State to sunny Southern California, stand-up veteran John Heffron has a deep-seated appreciation for his childhood home and its unique seasonal challenges.
A couple months back Bill Burr brought his edgy stand-up comedy to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, this month his new half-hour animated series debuts via Netflix. The half-hour streaming show, F is for Family, is based on Burr’s own childhood and features voice work from Burr, Laura Dern and Justin Long.
Over the years, Bill Burr has become known for his edgy stand-up bits — he’ll rant about how stay-at-home moms are taking it easy and “living the dream” and then smoothly segue into the positive aspects of population control. Monday, Oct. 26, he brings some of that heat to DeVos Performance Hall.
Unlike many stand-up comedians, superstar Brian Regan doesn’t fear the infinite space of the great outdoors. “Most comedians I think are a little hesitant to play outdoors, but I don’t have a problem with it,” Regan told Revue. “I was doing a show one place outdoors and I was doing a joke about the moon. I looked up and I literally saw the moon up there and I was like, ‘Wow, I guess I’m a prop comedian. Take a look! It’s the biggest prop in comedy history.’”
In the ‘80s, stand-up comedy boomed. Clubs were packed, legends were born and anything was possible. For one glorious decade stand-up reigned. Decades later the Internet has introduced the new generation of stand-up comedians. A comedy renaissance is underway and it’s larger and more diverse than ever before. That’s where Taylor De La Ossa comes in.
Stu McCallister has hosted the Funniest Person in Grand Rapids competition for eight years now. At this point, he’s always frank with the newcomers taking the stage for the first time.
“I’m completely honest. I say, ‘You’re not going to win,’” McCallister said. “So many people have this thing where they come in like, ‘I’m gonna f*ckin’ win,’ and I tell them, ‘There are 90 people in this contest. One person wins. You’re not going to be that person.’”
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