THEATRE TO FILL WITH SOUND OF LAUGHTER AT 11 TH COMEDY FESTIVAL
(NORFOLK, Neb.) - Laughter, lots of laughter, is on the agenda at the 11 th annual Great American Comedy Festival June 14 th -16 th at the Johnny Carson Theatre in Norfolk. The festival begins Thursday, June 14 th , with the Comedy Magic Show featuring Ben Seidman, Curt Miller and Greg Dow. Friday’s schedule includes the Comedy Showcase with master mimic/comedian Rich Little as headliner at the theatre. An adults-only Late Night Show at 10 at Divots follows the Friday Showcase. Activities return to the Johnny Carson Theatre Saturday at 7 for the Comedy Festival Gala featuring Joel McHale as headliner.
Rich Little has been described as the master mimic of more than 200 voices, including U.S. presidents like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama and others like Dr. Phil, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson. The Comedy Festival is a tribute to the legacy of Norfolk’s favorite son, Johnny Carson, and Little guest- hosted “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” 12 times. McHale starred in the comedy series,“Community,”which aired for five years on NBC and one season on Yahoo. He also starred for 12 years in E!s “The Soup,” a satirical look at pop culture and current events. He currently stars in a weekly Netflix show, “The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale.”
Friday night host and opener Jeff Caldwell will introduce Little on the Johnny Carson stage. The late comedy legend George Carlin described Caldwell as both smart and funny after seeing him at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York. Caldwell has hosted ESPN’s “Sports Figures.” He has also performed his standup routines on “Conan,” ESPN’s “The Lighter Side of Sports” and A & E’s, “An Evening at the Improv.”
Caldwell has also made three appearances on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and appeared six times on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” where he was described as one of Dave’s favorite acts. He is also in demand on the college circuit and has toured nationally with Jon Stewart.
He is known nationwide as a clean, clever comedian and has been a keynote speaker at
Fortune-500 events around the country. A former civil and environmental engineer, he also blogs at
the “Huffington Post,” commenting humorously on scientific topics affecting the world today.
Andy Erikson returns to the Great American Comedy Festival after being a finalist at the 2013 festival. She says her love for cats and unicorns is only surpassed by her love of performing standup comedy. In 2015, she placed third in season nine of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and, in 2016, she played Chanel #7 on Ryan Murphy’s television series, “Scream Queens,” on Fox. She has been a semi-finalist for an Andy Kaufman Award and won several comedy competitions. She has also appeared on “The Guest List: Live from the Barrel House,” on Seeso,
the NBC/Universal online enterprise.
Francisco Ramos will also appear at Friday’s Comedy Showcase. Ramos is the 2016 winner of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, N.Y., and performed in the 2015 Cabo Comedy Festival in Cabo, Mexico, and the New York Comedy Festival, in New York, N.Y.
He has also been a Top Ten finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and performed featured sketches on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He has performed his standup sketches on the Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) Comedy Tour in Afghanistan and Kyrgyztan, at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Cal., The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and San Diego, and at The Improv at venues across the country.
Saturday’s Comedy Festival Gala will also include standup sketches by Kellen Erskine and Taylor Tomlinson.
Erskine was featured on season seven of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” He, too, has been a finalist at the Great American Comedy Festival and the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He has also performed at the prestigious Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He opens regularly for comedian Frank Caliendo on FOX’s “NFL Sunday.” In February of this year, he made his late night TV standup debut on TBS’ “Conan.” His jokes have also appeared in many publications, including the “Reader’s Digest.”
At just 23 years of age, Tomlinson can currently be seen as a series regular on MTV’s “Safe Word.” She was recently featured on the Comedy Central series, “Adam Devine’s House Party.” She was also a Top Ten finalist on season nine of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and was
recently honored as a New Face at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival, where her performance was described as “undoubtedly the set of the night.”
Tomlinson is a popular performer at comedy clubs, colleges and corporate events across the country because of her self-deprecating charm and conversational wit. Her stage presence is said to be matched by her surprisingly honed and authentic point-of- view, one that emphasizes how wildly normal she can be in a wildly bizarre world.
The 11 th annual Great American Comedy Festival is presented by Nucor Vulcraft Nebraska, Cold Finish Nebraska, Nucor Steel Nebraska, and Nucor Detailing Center.
Lisa Wattier is festival chairperson. For more information and tickets, visit www.greatamericancomedy festival.com or call