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Rosie O'Donnell
"The Queen of Nice" will feel right at home here in Traverse City, bringing her bold wit and bravado storytelling live to the State Theatre. Coming up in the man's world of comedy, she broke out following a fateful turn on "Star Search" and her career skyrocketed from there. She has appeared on stage ("Grease"), the small ("The View") and big screen ("A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle"), and became a pop-culture icon when she changed the face of daytime television with her talk show "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," winning Emmys like they were going out of style. An outspoken and dedicated philanthropist, she returns to stand-up following a major heart attack that inspired her to share her new perspective on parenting, marriage, illness, and celebrity -- and we can't wait to hear what she has to say.
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Fred Willard
Four Emmy nominations, over a thousand television appearances (from "Get Smart" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" to most recently on "Modern Family"), and over 70 scene-stealing film roles ("Best in Show," "Anchorman," "Wall-E") -- to call Fred Willard anything less than a legend would be laughable. Synonymous with improvisational genius, he is one of the most gifted comic actors of his or any generation. An alumnus of Second City, he rose to fame as a founding member of the Ace Trucking Company comedy group and has been charming audiences ever since on stage, screen, and film -- notably as a member of Christopher Guest's agile troupe of mockumentarians. Showing no signs of slowing down, we can't help but think his best is yet come. We will present Mr. Willard with our TC Comedy Fest Legends Award. Past recipients include Roseanne Barr, John Waters, and Dick Gregory.
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Michael Ian Black
Master of irreverent observations, you probably know Michael Ian Black from "Ed" or as the guy with all the best jokes on VH1's "I Love the…" series, but he has truly done it all: sketch comedy ("Stella," "The State,"), movies ("Wet Hot American Summer"), podcasts, children's books, reviews for the NYT, and a new show with D.L. Hughley on TBS, "Trust Me, I'm a Gameshow Host."
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Tig Notaro
Hailed as one of the best comics working today, Tig Notaro is redefining comedy with her big-hearted and counterintuitive wit. Her "instantly legendary" set addressing her recent cancer treatments made vocal fans of the likes of Louis C.K and Sarah Silverman. She is a regular on "Conan" and "This American Life" with Ira Glass, has appeared on "Community" and "The Office," and made her feature film debut this summer with "In a World…"
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Stephen Lynch
Whether he’s singing an ode to “queer tattoos,” telling a potential paramour all the things he won’t be doing for her (he ain’t fightin’ no Lion), or lamenting his new vegan lifestyle (“Tofurkey? Tof**k yourself- I want some meat”), Michigan-born Tony-nominated Stephen Lynch’s unique blend of musical based comedy has earned him fiercely loyal fans around the world at his sold-out live shows, best-selling CDs, and top-rated Comedy Central Specials.
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Dave Foley
He's the creator of one the most beloved and influential sketch comedy shows "The Kids in the Hall," star of the beyond brilliant sitcom "Newsradio," and the voice of Flick in "A Bug's Life" and Wayne in "Prep & Landing." And you've recently seen him in a scene-stealing arc on "The Middle," so let's say we're confident this Canadian import will receive a very warm welcome in TC.
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Tim Meadows
One of the longest running cast members in SNL history, you know Tim Meadows for his improvisational prowess, flair for impersonating famous personalities, and of course…Leon Phelps, "The Ladies Man." With his courvoisier days behind him, the Michigan-native has continued taking his iconic brand of comedy live while also appearing in hit films ("Mean Girls," "Grown Ups") and on top-rated television ("Suburgatory," "The Bill Engvall Show").
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Sinbad
The man, the myth, the legendary Sinbad will join us live in TC. Named one of Comedy Central’s top 100 comedians, Sinbad’s larger-than-life persona and genuine good humor have made him one of the most beloved comics of all time. You know this Michigan-native from film (“Houseguest”), his TV show “The Sinbad Show,” as well as his recent appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Keeping it PG (he hasn’t sworn on stage in over 30 years), Sinbad tells jokes his dad “taught him back in the day,” combining one-of-a-kind showmanship with an optimistic enthusiasm for life that guarantees one heck of an entertaining show.
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Jeff Garlin
Our co-founder is a standup comedian, director, producer, writer, actor, and author. He’s made and starred in hit films (“WALL•E”) and hit shows (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), and performed on everything from Conan to “Arrested Development.” Currently he’s the star of ABC’s top rated “The Goldbergs,” performs in comedy clubs everywhere, and hosts the podcast “By the Way.”
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Matt Braunger
Named as one of Variety's Top 10 Comics to Watch, Matt Braunger will win you over with his affable charm and penchant for the random and absurd. He's been a series regular on "MADtv;" appeared on "Up All Night," "Conan," "The Michael J. Fox Show," and "Letterman;" had a best-selling comedy album; and hosts his own popular podcast on "The Nerdist," "Ding-Donger with Matt Braunger."
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Dan St.Germain
Variety calls him one of "10 Comics to Watch," Paste Magazine one of the "Top 10 Great Underrated Comedians," and Time Out New York labeled him the "Comedy Break Out" of 2013, but we just call him the comedian you better catch here before he's too big to come back. Currently developing his own show on Fox, you've seen him at top comedy festivals, on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," "Conan," and his own Comedy Central special.
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Kirk Fox
Starting out in the world of drama ("The Patriot," "The Postman"), Kirk Fox -- known to sport one heck of a mustache -- didn't quite understand why he was always cast as the killer. But proving even bad guys can have a heart of gold, he turned to stand-up where he has since found his true calling making people laugh with his very genuine brand of comedy on film ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), television ("Parks & Recreation," "The Tonight Show," “The Test”), and his own Comedy Central special.
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Sara Tiana
A Southern belle who can pack a punch, Sarah Tiana ("Reno 911") returns to the TC ComFest by popular demand, sharing her thoughts on everything from her love of sports to the sport of dating. She's traveled around the world doing over nine tours of comedy for the troops, and when she's not abroad she can be seen on "Chelsea Lately," Reelz TV, and NFL.com.
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TJ & Dave
Whether you’re a student of improvisation, a fan of live comedy, or simply interested in human imagination, TJ & Dave will leave you laughing and guessing. These Second City veterans are returning to the festival by popular demand and are widely acknowledged to be living legends in long form improv. TJ Jagodowski (the guy on the Sonic commercials) and David Pasquesi (“Veep”) walk out on stage without characters, dialog or plot, and the result is pure genius.
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Mike Toomey
The Chicago Tribune says he’s “one of the funniest and most talented performers ever to work in Chicago," but to us he is the festival favorite we couldn't be more excited to welcome back. Doing comedy that won't make your grandmother blush, his dead-on impersonations and PG-rated style are for anyone and everyone who could use a really good, hearty, pure, deep-rooted laugh.
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Late Night Combo Platter
Saturday at midnight, the lower level of Horizon Books will turn into a free, standing-room only performance space, and Jeff Garlin will host his late night talk show featuring lots of surprise guests. Not ticketed: we let the first 100 people who line up in, for FREE! Get a line number at the door at 11:00 pm to secure your place in line.
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Set List: Stand Up Without a Net
Paul Provenza and Troy Conrad’s critically-acclaimed show (a smash hit at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival and at last year’s Winter ComFest) puts a spin on traditional standup showcases: comics are handed never-before-seen topics (like “Detroit Tourism Slogan Planning Committee”) as they step up to the mic, promising an unpredictable show of improv standup, every time.
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Chicago Improv: Virgin Daiquiri
This all-Lady troupe has been delivering improvised hilarity to its loyal Chicago audiences since 2007 and counts current "SNL" cast members Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong among its talented alumni. Don't miss their sensational comedic chemistry that proves girls have more funny.
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The Local Scene: Good on Paper
TC’s Old Town Playhouse’s improv comedy troupe has built a loyal audience for their fast and furious, quick and witty, never the same performances. Check them out! Friday, 10:30 pm, $5
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The Local Scene: Open Mic
Combine the Gong Show and the Grumpy Old Men from The FOX FM, and what do you get? Comedians will vie to prove they’re the funniest. Hosted by 94.3 The FOX FM & Folgarelli’s Market. Friday, 8:15 pm and Saturday, 10:30 pm, $5.
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