The following is a list of the twenty professional comedians invited to participate in this year’s festival:
Grant Lyon, San Francisco
Joe Zimmerman, New York City
Mark Pitta, San Francisco
Pitta is a national headliner coming from the fervent San Francisco comedy scene of the 1980s. His career flourished in Los Angeles first, fulfilling his dream of appearing on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and then subsequent appearances with Jay Leno.
He landed a job as host of “Totally Hidden Video” for the FOX network, playing different characters in hidden camera situations and then hosting “Friday Night Videos” for NBC.He has made guest appearances on “Mad About You” and “Third Rock From the Sun.”
Grayson Morris, Asheville, N.C.
Morris is a stand-up comedian and storyteller who captivates audiences with hilarious anecdotes and sassy social critique. She performed in the 2013 Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival and the 2014 Laughing Devil Comedy Festival in New York.
She has featured as a storyteller in Carrboro, N.C.’s The Monti; Athens, Georgia’s Rabbit Box; and Asheville’s Listen To This storytelling showcase.
Tracey Ashley, Minneapolis
Known for her seamless story-telling, sharp topical material and hilarious punchlines Ashley is a comedienne on the rise. She performs on college campuses and comedy clubs across the country.She was nominated by Campus Activities magazine as best female performerAshley was a semi-finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” season five, has appeared as a co-host on TVLAND’s Prime Movies and most recently was honored to appear on The OWN network’s comedy special “Wanda Sykes presents: Herlarious.
She entertains audiences with the ups and downs of her world from being born on the farm in Georgia to making a new life in the Midwest.
Phil Hanley, Vancouver, Canada
Hanley’s style can best be described as unpredictably reflective, delivered with sharp accuracy, and rooted in the grand tradition of joke-telling.Now spending part of his time in New York City, Hanley has appeared on “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” twice. In 2012, he was selected for the Comics-To-Watch Showcase as part of the New York Comedy Festival.
In 2013, he performed on “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show” for Comedy Central and, in 2014, he performed on “The Pete Holmes Show” on TBS.
Karen Morgan, Cumberland, Maine
Karen Morgan was born in Georgia but now calls Maine home. A former trial attorney, she began her comedy career as a finalist in “Nick at Nite’s” search for the funniest mom in America. Since then, she has worked full time as a professional comic appearing in comedy clubs and theatres across the country.
Morgan can be heard on Sirius XM Radio and nationally syndicated radio shows.She recently won the Improv Comedy Club’s national search in Las Vegas and was also featured as a character story on the USA Channel. Her latest CD is called “Hug My Neck.”
Chad Daniels, Minneapolis
Daniels began making a name for himself nationally in 2004 when he participated in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and appeared on the “Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn” on CBS.
Since then he’s performed his own Comedy Central special, was named the winner of the 2009 Aspen, Colo., Comedy Festival and has appeared several times on the “Conan O’Brien Show” on TBS. He also took place in 2012 at Gilda’s Laughfest Comedy Competition in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Gina Brillon, New York City
Actress, comedian and writer Gina Brillon was born and raised in Bronx, New York. She’s been doing comedy since she was 17 years old. Brillon’s rare mix of femininity and fearlessness has made her a breakout hit nationwide and she is headlining comedy clubs across the country
Brillon is also an accomplished singer who has opened for established artists including Ne-Yo. A published writer and poet, her pieces have appeared in the New York Post and New York Daily News among others. Recently, Gina has been featured on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” “The View” and was the winner of NBC’s “2012 Stand up for Diversity Showcase,” where she was deemed the first Latina ever to win.
Michael Somerville, New York City
Andy Huggins, Houston
A graduate of both The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and Houston’s legendary Comedy Workshop, Huggins has been performing stand-up for over three decades. He was a prominent member of the Texas Outlaw Comics with Bill Hicks and Ron Shock and has opened for acts as varied as Ray Charles and Billy Gardell.Huggins has played clubs, colleges, corporate gigs, biker bars, country clubs, military bases and AA groups.
The man has been busy.
Robby Slowik, New York City
After starting comedy in Tampa, Fla., Slowik spent four years in Los Angeles where he was named one of The Laugh Factory’s “Fresh Faces” and was a regular performer on “Comedy Juice” a show that Sirius/XM radio called “The best stand-up show in the country.” He was a finalist in the 2014 Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta.
Slowik currently resides in New York City where he can be seen nightly getting up in the clubs and and bars. He can also be seen eating 99¢ pizza more often than is probably OK.
Jenny Zigrino, Boston
Mitch Burrow, Seattle
Mitch Burrow grew up on a dirt road in Georgia, joined the Marine Corps at 18 and lived in Okinawa, Japan, for several years, and he was even deployed to Iraq in 2003. But over the past seven years, he has lived in Seattle and become one of that city’s favorite comedians.
As a semi-finalist in the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta, and a participant in the Charleston, S.C., Comedy Festival, the Rocky Mountain Comedy Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, and the Washington Comedy Festival, Burrow has been able to prove all over the country that he isn’t just a Seattle favorite but a favorite nationwide.
Mike Speirs, New York City
Mike Speirs is a comedian whose likeability allows him to instantly connect with any crowd. Now in his 30s, Speirs finds his youth to be more and more of a distant memory, as he comes to grips with being a full-fledged grown up. Using sharp punchlines and his highly engaging story telling skills, Speir’s act examines who he was, what he’s become, and who he hopes to be.
Whether he is discussing the joy and pain that was his career as a public school teacher, sharing his successes and (mostly) failures navigating the dating scene, or lamenting over his inability to regain the slender physique he never had, Speirs can entertain and energize any audience.
Jacob Williams, Chicago
Williams made his stand-up comedy television debut on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and advanced to the semifinals. He is a regular performer on the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the popular improv/sketch comedy show MTV’s “Wild ’N Out.”
The winner of many comedy contests, Williams was also the warm-up comedian for two stand-up specials on Showtime. He studied improv at the legendary Second City in Chicago. He is currently on tour at colleges, clubs and theaters across America with his clean-yet-devilishly-clever stand-up comedy act.
Alingon Mitra, Boston
Adam Newman, New York City
Adam Newman is a New Hampshire-born, Georgia-schooled, Brooklyn-based comedian who has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show” on Comedy Central. His recently taped his first Comedy Central special in Boston, which will air later this year.
Newman was among Comedy Central’s first class of “Comics to Watch” to perform at the New York Comedy Festival, and was invited to showcase as a “New Face” at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. His debut stand-up CD titled “Not For Horses” was released by Rooftop Comedy to critical acclaim.
Adrienne Iapalucci, New York City
Brian Kiley, New York City