© 2020 by the Paul Bunyan Comedy Festival

2018 Comedians

Ian Ager – Los Angeles, CA


An LA comedian who eats gluten and doesn't do yoga, Ian brings nerd humor to the masses. Whether it's observations on Harry Potter or just an intellectual poop joke, Ian has delighted audiences from Chicago to Las Vegas, and he's working on everywhere in between.

Matt Bach – Grand Blanc, MI


Matt Bach is a failed newspaper reporter (but aren’t they all, really) who at age 48 decided to try stand-up comedy. Focusing on his family, including a gay son who sidelines as a drag queen and a 19-year-old knocked-up daughter, the Grand Blanc native has a unique and hilarious perspective on life. He’s most recently performed at Laughfest in Grand Rapids, the Detroit to L.A. Comedy Competition at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak and the Laff Tracks Comedy Showdown in Novi.

Matt Benoit – Bellingham, WA


Matt Benoit hails from the wooded wonderland of the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in Bellingham, Washington, he took improv classes at Ryan Stiles' Upfront Theatre before attending college at Washington State University, where he began doing stand-up. With a comedic style blending the everyday with the absurd, Benoit has opened for the UCB Touring Company and other Western Washington notables. Benoit also hosts a local podcast and radio interview show called "Are You Serious?"


He once performed stand-up inside a barbershop, and it went better than expected.

Skyler Bolks – Sioux Falls, SD


Skyler has been selected as Sioux Falls funniest person three times and has won Boss Comedy Club's comedy competition twice.  He was recently voted the winner in the Argus Leader roast of South Dakota.  He has opened for Timmy Williams and has a comedy style his mom calls, "better than expected."

Tom Brown – St. Louis, MO


The Tom Brown was raised in Lewiston, MI and has been “doing comedy” in one shape or form since 2001. He was a forming member of the Northern Michigan University improv group, On the Spot. After wandering the country for a few years, he ended up moving to Chicago to study improv at the world famous iO Chicago! Tom is now a stand-up comedian and “proud” resident of St. Louis, MO, the second most dangerous city in America! You can see him at many of the local clubs and pop up shows through the Midwest.

Alex Caine – Tucson, AZ


Alex Caine is a standup from Texas, Missouri, and Arizona depending which one is more favorable in the news. He can be funny when he tries, so it’s in your best interest to give him a shot. He has performed all over the country and is a regular at clubs in Los Angeles.

Tom Chillstrom – Minneapolis, MN


Tom Chillstrom is a comedian worth seeing. With a bright smile and hair that is even brighter it is actually pretty hard to miss him. A rising star in the Twin Cities comedy scene and quickly becoming a favorite of the Upper Midwest, Tom has proven that a bit of wit, genuine stories, and sheer likeability can also be funny.

Victoria Day – Pittsburgh, PA


Victoria Day is an American Comedian and Actress. She is a tired momma to 9 high octane, homeschooled children. On a good day that is. She is a wife to one husband.


Though she was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Victoria grew up in the Pittsburgh PA area raised by her older Grandparents. From an early age, she has always enjoyed making others laugh; but it wasn’t until 2008 after performing at the Cleveland Improv that she truly considered comedy as a full time career.


Through her own experiences of raising a Special Need Child, Victoria has become an advocate for mental wellness. Speaking to a wide variety of groups and organizations across the country as well as performing stand-up. Victoria has made it her passion to always pass a laugh on when possible.

Sean Dengler – Des Moines, IA


Sean Dengler is a comedian from Des Moines, IA. He has performed at the Del Close Marathon in New York City, the Omaha Improv Festival, and Adult Pizza Party. When he gets his horse and buggy ready, Sean performs across the great state of Iowa. He also hosts Bottoms Up: A Happy Hour Comedy Show. Sean moved to the big city a couple years ago, but he still longs for his mom’s delicious kuchen. If you haven’t heard of this wonderful dessert, you are truly missing out.

Shane Dials – Westland, MI


Shane is an upstanding comedian with open and charismatic personality which he uses to win over audiences across the country. From marriage to technology Shane shares his honest and hilarious point of view which resonates with crowds of all ages. He has no problem laughing at himself or admitting his faults, establishing relatable connections with his audience.



Shane regularly performs all across the state of Michigan and produces his own showcases through his company, Seriously Funny Productions. He is also the host of “This is Funny, Right?,” a comedy based podcast on iTunes. Throughout his comedy career, Shane has performed at the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, California and at a resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Shane was the crowned winner of the Detroit Steam Vodka Comedy Contest and recently opened for Ian Bagg as seen on Comedy Central.

Melissa Douty – Salem, VA


Melissa Douty brings her unique, authentic comedy to every show; encompassing fans of all ages and quickly making a name for herself. Very personable with an almost ‘Aw, shucks’ delivery, Melissa‘s comedy is sort of like that really smooth liquor that is so easy to drink and then hits you like a sledgehammer out of nowhere. Melissa was the winner of the Ultimate Comic Challenge in Greensboro, NC in 2016 where she was the first woman to ever make the finals and take the title!  She also finished in the top 15 out of 101 at the World Series of Comedy Main Event in Las Vegas last year.

Aaron Farnsworth – Boise, ID


Aaron Farnsworth is a stand-up comic and tall, nerdy-type based in Boise, Idaho. His style of cerebral, absurd humor walks the line between light-hearted and dark. With introspective subject matter ranging from the nostalgic to the neurotic, his performances are always set to be honest, yet entertaining to a fun-loving crowd. He has toured across the Western US as a former member of the All Jacked Up comedy trio, and is currently a Producer for The Hahaffices comedy group.

Teena Green – Farmington, MI


Though she is a housewife, you'll soon learn there's nothing domesticated about comedian Teena Green. Teena's comedy is a cross between a house cat and a hell cat. She touches on topics such as family and everyday life with the sharpest wit. With the audience in her palms, Teena will say what everyone is thinking, even if some are too afraid to say it. Teena has been a favorite on stages at comedy venues across the country and Canada. She's participated in the Clean Comedy Challenge in Chicago and Gilda's Laugh Fest in her home state of Michigan. Teena Green is definitely a comedian you'll want to know.

Steve Hansen – Waterford, MI


Steve’s comedy style is sharp-tongued, often dark, and frequently self-deprecating.   He draws on his experiences growing up as a child of baby boomers in the 70s and living in Detroit, Chicago, Boston, and L.A.  He looks for the humor in life’s frustrations and traumas.  Steve’s ideal joke is one that makes you laugh . . . and then ashamed for laughing.  He performs regularly at venues throughout Michigan and has opened for Tom Papa, Tom Simmons, and Darrin Rose. Steve also recently featured for Sean Donelly at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle and has featured for Dave Landau, Bryan McCree, Dwayne Kennedy, Norm Stulz, and Dwayne Gill.  Steve served as the comedy writer and co-host of the 5ive Gears Internet Radio Show on the Podcastdetroit network Thursday evenings from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Calvin Kiple – Forest Hill, MD


Calvin Kiple spends his days enriching the lives of the students in his Special Education class and his nights cracking up Baltimore comedy crowds. Although a relative newcomer to stand up comedy, Calvin is a rising star in the Charm City.


The Paul Bunyan Comedy Festival is something of a homecoming for Calvin. As a young child he grew up in Oscoda on Lake Van Etten while his father served at Wurtsmith Air Force Base

Connor Larsen – Nashville, TN


Connor Larsen is a stand up comic from Nashville, TN, he has performed at various comedy clubs like Zanies Nashville, Comedy Bar (Toronto), Go Bananas (Cincinnati), and The Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta. Connor Larsen was a finalist in the Laughing with Lightning 100 Comedy Showcase at Zanies as well as the winner of the August 2017 Comedy out the Yazoo Showcase at Zanies. He will also be performing at the 2018 North Carolina Comedy Festival.

Erich Laux – Pinckney, MI


Beginning his comedy career in 2010 as president of the standup comedy group at University of Michigan, Erich Laux has become a well-known comic across the state; he has performed at Stoop Fest in Lansing and Detroit Comedy Underground. Nowadays, Erich travels all over North America performing at festivals — such as New South Comedy Fest in Greenville, South Carolina, Border City Comedy Fest in Windsor, Ontario, Park Slope Comedy Fest in Brooklyn, New York— and at any club, bar, or basement he can find with a microphone.

Brendon Lemon – Chicago, IL


Brendon Lemon is a comedian from Detroit, where he started performing regularly at the famous Comedy Castle at age 16. Two years in he was filmed for the documentary Be Funny which featured Christopher Titus and Mike Green. He moved to Paris in the summer of 2013 to both write and perform stand-up in both French and English. He returned to the US and lived between Boulder, Colorado and Chicago performing and writing plays, as well as being featured on the TV show Sex Sent Me to The ER, and the movie Do You Believe. In 2017 he headlined his own show Brendon Lemon, Prophet of Doom as well as produced the Official Chicago Comedy Showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He lives in New York currently.

Kyle Mara – New York City


Kyle Mara is a stand up comedian originally from Rockville Centre, NY who now lives and performs all over New York City. In addition to performing at comedy festivals across the country, you can catch Kyle on the New Talent Showcases at The Stand Comedy Club on Saturdays and Mondays.

Dennis Mello – Riverside, RI


If you didn’t know the name Dennis Mello before, you will now. Referred to by his peers as The Sherriff, Dennis has become an integral part of the Rhode Island comedy scene since he began slinging jokes back in 2013. A regular at The Comedy Connection in Providence, his biting comedy covers all things from his latch-key childhood to his divorce and navigating life in general. His accolades have taken him all over New England, including Comix, The Comedy Studio, The Rogue Island Comedy Festival, and The Hartford Funny Bone. Most notably, he has opened for comedy legend Dave Attell and has also been featured on Sirius XM Radio. As a member of the military, a father of two, and a really handsome guy, Dennis offers a unique perspective and engages the audience with familiar topics. The way he carefully crafts his stories leaves crowds laughing and coming back for more.

Louis Michael – Grosse Pointe, MI


Louis is a childish at heart and playfully wanders through life and reminds us how strange and absurd it really is.  Eclectic, with a unique goofy confidence, his edgy and not entirely well thought out jokes, and whimsical stories will have an audience's laughing perhaps to their surprise, cutting like a butter knife with an edge.

Hugo Nirio – New York, NY


Originally from Miami, FL, Hugo Nirio is one of New York City's comics on the rise. He currently hosts weekly shows at Eastville Comedy Club and can be found performing at some of New York's most popular venues. He also hosts his podcast, Front Street Podcast on iTunes and Google Play. Hugo can be found online at www.hugonirio.com or @hugonirio.

Sonny Pandit – Kalamazoo, MI


Sonny Pandit has been disappointing his parents by doing comedy for quite awhile now and began playing the role of “Don’t” in The Don’t We Boys! In 2016. They’re not particularly happy about that either.


He was in the finals for Funniest Person In Grand Rapids in 2012 and 2013, performed at Gilda’s LaughFest the past 7 years and was invited to Savage Henry fest in 2016 and 2017. He's also been invited and performed in Hell yes fest, Toronto Sketch Comedy festival, Sonoma Laughfest, Philadelphia sketchfest and North Carolina Comedy Festival. He performs at colleges and clubs all over the country and has branched into acting, working on video projects for JP Morgan Chase, Amway, Macy's and whomever else needs an ethnically diverse cast.

Sarah Perry – Chicago, IL


Sarah Perry is a Chicago-based comedian/writer whose fearless delivery and subject matter is highly relatable and resoundingly funny. She has produced multiple successful shows in Chicago including the Laugh Factory's Drink Date Laugh on Fridays and her very own creation: Boy/Girl Sleepover. She has also recently lent her writing and acting chops to WGN's Man Of The People, a late night show hosted by Pat Tomasulo.

Jeremy Plumb – Omaha, NE


Jeremy Plumb is an Omaha comedian who has been best described as "an 80's sitcom rolled up into one person."


Jeremy is the host of shows such as "Wrenches thrown," "Starting out with Jeremy and Matt," and "Three the Hard Way".

Abe Rabinowitz – Chicago, IL


Abe Rabinowitz has been navigating the Chicago comedy racket since 2003. He's done shows and standup showcases all over the city and world, from The Big Little Comedy Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, to a mom and pop cafe in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India (Dharamshala). He kicks around his two-man act, MAN1 MAN2, at local theaters, bars, and festivals and is currently writing and illustrating “Pepe and the Magic Skateboard”, a book for kids. Check out Abe’s drawings at abewitz.com, if you get a minute.

EmmaLeigh Rivera – Halifax, Nova Scotia


Bio Coming Soon.

Robert Schneider – Troy, MI


Robert Schneider started his comedy career a little over a year ago in the Kansas City scene, but recently moved to Detroit. Within a month of his arrival he won the Motor City Stand-up Comedy Championship at the Token Lounge. When not telling jokes he’s napping in front of the TV, doing Crossfit, or convincing friends to help him find Big Foot.

Larry Smith – Springfield, IL


Larry is a walking contradiction: a well-read, blue-collar, liberal arts college-educated, ranch-raised, erudite idiot. (The aforementioned may be where some of his self-loathing comes from…) The best compliment he’s received from a reputable source, and not a slurring drunkard (which is his demographic), is from the Illinois Times when they stated he was "a funny, normal white man," which really makes him uncomfortable. (Seriously, who says that about someone?) He seems to make friends with most folks, and usually regrets it (likely due to being morbidly hungover). Larry’s had the privilege of featuring, and co-headlining, throughout the Midwest and South. He carries on about the “wonders” of marriage, the “joys” of getting older, and even the ridiculousness of “marital aides.” (No, he doesn’t find the use of quotations extraneous, why?) Also, he has kids. He tends make fun of them.


When Larry isn’t traveling around making with the tee-hees, he can be heard on the podcast no one asked for, but they get anyway, Comedians With Day Jobs, with his co-host Jeremy Hughes. (Find it where all fine podcasts are sold.)

Eric Wielinski – Bay City, MI


Eric Wielinski has been doing comedy with The Future of Comedy Show in the Mid-Michigan area for the past year.  Having moved back to Bay City after 15 years in Florida where he once worked as a costumed character at Walt Disney World, Eric is excited to be part of the flourishing comedy scene in Michigan.  As a theater student from SVSU, the stage is Eric’s second home, and he’s ready to bring the funny to the Paul Bunyan Comedy Festival!

Kevin Zeoli – Southgate, MI


One of the most Dynamic Act’s to come out of the Midwest in quite some time. Hailing from Detroit, this comedian has been successfully entertaining audiences throughout the country for nearly 20 years strong.


With a touch of singing, solid material and some of the best improvised comedy on the circuit. Kevin is an act that everyone, from every race, color, culture and age can enjoy.

Sean Zorn – Clinton Township, MI


Sean Zorn is an up and coming comedian eager to make people laugh. A high energy story teller, Sean will talk to you about anything from drinking with his parents for the first time to diabolical cats with German accents. Sean is currently touring and performing material from his one hour show, "Flirting with Failure." He was also the first runner up in Jeanne Robertson's Comedy with Class Humor Competition.



Brandon Young is a family-friendly comedian based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan who's been able to use a wide variety of topics ranging from growing up in a small town with his weird family to drinking fountains at restaurants and why he despises people who dip french fries into milkshakes, to reach a vast array of people. His intelligently crafted material is a hit with all types of audiences.

Originally from a small town in Michigan called Oscoda, Brandon is middle-aged, middle-classed, married to a woman way out of his league, has no kids, and owns a dog. Basically, his life is that of every leading man in every sitcom from the 1960's. He brings his Midwest charm and likability to a world that truly needs it.

Web: www.brandonyoungcomedy.com


One of creators of the Paul Bunyan Comedy Festival, Dan is an American comedian/actor. He taped his first television appearance for the show "Laughs" on Fox. He's appeared on Comedy Time TV and in several short films. In 2011 Dan was invited to perform at the Laugh Track Comedy Festival in Denver, CO and in 2013 he was invited to perform at the Ventura Comedy Festival in Ventura, CA. He has hosted the San Diego Comedy Festival since 2014. Dan won the 2011 "On The Rocks Comedy Contest" and he was a finalist in the 2012 "Rockstar Comedy Throwdown".

Web: www.danbublitz.com