Most comedians who've made it will tell you they all started their careers the same way: with a love for laughter and performances at many, many open mic nights. Josh Courtnay, local comic and creator of Comedy Tuesdays at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar, is no stranger to this concept. He has plenty of time under his belt in the Grand Rapids comedy scene and has spent countless hours curating and performing at open mic nights.
If you have a conversation with Dann Sytsma, one thing becomes apparent very quickly: the guy loves improv. Like, a lot. So much so he became the sole proprietor of Crawlspace Theatre Productions, a Kalamazoo-based production company focused on the art of improv.
Steve Byrne, Owen Benjamin, Roy Wood Jr. and Ahmed Ahmed have momentarily left the beer steins at the bar to embark on the "Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour."
Anyone familiar with the "Jackass" empire knows the professionals involved have one philosophy: the more outrageous the stunt, the better. This is a mantra Steve-O swears by, and one that got him noticed by members of the "Jackass"crew while they still worked with the skateboarding magazine, Big Brother.
Brace yourself for the tee-hees, har-de-hars, chuckles and snorts - once again the funniest festival around will be gracing the streets of Grand Rapids. This spring Gilda’s Laughfest celebrates its fifth anniversary March 5-15, 2015. Spectators can expect to see a variety of comedic acts ranging from stand-up and improv to film, music and much more.
Josh Sneed is living proof that you can make it big in comedy without having to leave your home and family behind. He grew up in Ohio, and currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area, near the border of Kentucky and Ohio. While life in the Midwest may sound less flashy than New York or L.A. to some, Sneed wouldn't have it any other way.
It would be an understatement to say Neil Hamburger is unlike any other comedian on the circuit today. From his claims of performing 400-plus shows per year to hoarding mixed drinks onstage while delivering obscenity-laced lectures to inattentive audience members, Hamburger has effectively carved out his own strange niche in the comedy world.
Nikki Glaser knew two things when she started performing stand up – she got a rush from being onstage, and she wanted to make people laugh. Beyond that, she didn't have many plans.
Most comedians will agree that when you're starting out at open mic nights, the crowds can seem intimidating. For Joey Coco Diaz, his first audience consisted of what many would view as an especially rough crowd – his fellow inmates. During the time Diaz served in prison, the inmates were treated to Thursday movie nights, but when the projector stopped working, Diaz followed his natural inclinations and started performing.
It's hard to be humble when you're the World Champion. For comedian Judah Friedlander, this is a status he has maintained for years during his stand-up sets, but he insists that it's all for the good of the American people.
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