I’m a little biased, but I think that Gilda’s LaughFest is the best comedy festival in the country.
Well, technically it’s not just a comedy festival, but a festival of laughter.
The festival aims to celebrate all things funny by including stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy performances, in addition to funny films, a FUNdearwear run, lip sync contests and more (seriously, there’s a ton of stuff. Go to LaughFest Events Page to see).
Gilda’s LaughFest is a big deal. It’s a 10-day festival in the heart of Grand Rapids, MI that has attracted an average of 50,000 people to West Michigan each year.
LaughFest has featured:
Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Lewis Black, Wayne Brady, Jim Breuer, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Rodney Carrington, Margaret Cho, David Cross, Mike Epps, Judah Friedlander, Jim Gaffigan, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Chris Hardwick, Kevin Hart, D.L.Hughley, Gabriel Iglesias, Anthony Jesselink, Jay Leno, Loni Love, Stephen Lynch, Marc Maron, Joel McHale, Kevin Nealon, Seth Meyers, Jim Norton, Brian Regan, Amy Schumer, Martin Short, Sinbad, Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker, Betty White, Justin Willman, and many more!
What makes Gilda’s LaughFest the best? Here are 4 things:
Benefits a good cause
Not all comedy festivals support a mission. The proceeds of some just go into the pockets of the organizers. With LaughFest, it’s different.
Proceeds from Gilda’s LaughFest go towards the programs offered by Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids. Whether someone is experiencing grief from the loss of a family member, a cancer diagnosis, or anything else, Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids offers free programs, classes, lectures and a lot of other things to help.
Showcases a wide variety of talent
Not many other festivals encapsulate such a wide variety of talent types and caliber of talent. LaughFest features comedians from every level – amateurs, first timers, feature acts, national headliners, and celebrity comedians.
And they don’t just feature stand-up comedians. You can see improv, sketch, educational sessions, and more. You can even run in a race, meet other people and their pets, do yoga and more.
Brings awareness to the importance of emotional health
In addition to funding the programs offered at Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, LaughFest accomplishes something else – it brings awareness to the importance of emotional health, well-being, and the avenues available to enjoy the lighter sides of life.
Other comedy festivals can bring awareness to comedians, but LaughFest goes one step further by spotlighting the importance of comedy and laughter and their proven health benefits.
An Awesome Core of Volunteers
Gilda’s LaughFest wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for their amazing core of volunteers that donate their time and energy to make sure that the festival is a success.
Every volunteer I’ve met has been kind, courteous and helpful. Without the volunteers, this festival simply wouldn’t be possible!