At this point in his career, veteran stand-up Nick Di Paolo doesn’t pull any punches. He’s made a name for himself as one of the most honest comics around, so if he upsets someone looking for political correctness in his comedy, he doesn’t care.

“I’ll have a table of people get up and leave,” Di Paolo told Revue. “It’s usually college-age kids who believe in safe spaces and they get offended by my act. They’re coming from a whole different world. It’s not their fault they’ve been brainwashed to think that life is a thing you go through without feeling uncomfortable. I don’t know how the f*** that idea came about. Sometimes I find myself just saying shit just to annoy those people. This country was built on freedom of speech and that’s all we have left.”

How Ron Funches Went From ‘Dead-End Jobs’ to Hollywood Stardom

Written by Eric Mitts | Friday, 04 March 2016 19:22 |

An unabashed nerd with a love for video games, cartoons and even cosplay, comedian Ron Funches is just a great big kid at heart.

So it’s striking to find out the reason why the LaughFest headliner first got into standup. It wasn’t so he could avoid growing up. It was actually because he had to – and fast – when his son was diagnosed with autism.

“I was just working at dead-end jobs, but once I had my son I was like, ‘I better figure out a career,’” Funches said. “And standup was the only thing that I was willing to start at the bottom at. It was the only thing I felt I could see myself working hard at and doing for the rest of my life. So it was really because of my son being born that helped push me to get this started.”

Comedian Jim Norton reflects on his early days and the late Patrice O’Neal

Written by Rich Tupica | Friday, 04 March 2016 19:05 |

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.” 

No Holds Barred: Kathy Griffin Returns to Grand Rapids with Fresh Celebrity Dirt

Written by Rich Tupica | Wednesday, 02 March 2016 18:28 |

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.

10 Can’t-Miss Moments of LaughFest 2016

Written by Eric Mitts | Saturday, 30 January 2016 23:03 |

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.

Smitten With the Mitten: John Heffron Heads Home

Written by Eric Mitts | Tuesday, 29 December 2015 13:10 |

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.

Q&A: Netflix Premieres Bill Burr’s ‘F is For Family’

Written by Rich Tupica | Monday, 30 November 2015 13:36 |

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.

Q&A: Bill Burr and The Art of Stand Up

Written by Rich Tupica | Wednesday, 30 September 2015 13:28 |

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.

Brian Regan: A ‘Comedian’s Comedian’

Written by Eric Mitts | Friday, 31 July 2015 15:05 |

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.

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