LaughFest produces podcast


Gilda’s LaughFest has hit the airwaves.

The organization recently launched “LaughFest Podcast” in celebration of its 10-year anniversary. The podcast features conversations about past and future festival events. It also focuses on the festival’s impact on the comedy scene locally, regionally and nationally.

Joanne Roehm, director of strategic initiatives for LaughFest, hosts the show with guests ranging from volunteers and partners to artists who have performed over the last 10 years. 

The first two episodes already are available and feature original LaughFest chair Carroll Velie and current Gilda’s Club president and CEO Wendy Wigger, who spoke about the history of LaughFest and how the idea was born.

Mary Reagan and Marti O’Brien from Reagan Marketing also are special guests on the podcast. They discussed the formation of the famous LaughFest smile and “seriously funny” brand.

“We are excited to give listeners an in-depth look (at) everything LaughFest,” Roehm said. “We want listeners to be a part of all the laughs that have been made along the way.”

The next episode is scheduled to be released Dec. 20. The podcast is produced by Gilda’s LaughFest with support from the Grand Rapids Community Media Center.

To listen or download the podcast, visit

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Danielle Nelson is the staff researcher who compiles the weekly lists. She also was a Grand Rapids Business Journal/Grand Rapids Magazine staff reporter who covered real estate and construction, architecture, agriculture, sports, law, education, travel and tourism, energy and sustainability, and arts and entertainment. Email Danielle at dnelson at grbj dot com. Follow her on Twitter @Dan_Nels