Thank you to all the audience members, volunteers, performers, and sponsors for an amazing inaugural festival. You helped make something special and we’ll see you in 2019!


Vanessa Pants

Vanessa (Pants) Tortolano has been slinging funnies since she was old enough to talk back. Involved with theatre and the stage since the age of 5, Vanessa has just begun the practice of stand-up comedy in the last few years. She has also been a regular performer with Madison’s Monkey Business Institute since 2011. Vanessa is a feisty mother of 4 teenagers and one of the Co-founding owners of NessAlla Kombucha.


Larry Garza

Larry Garza is a comedian based out of San Antonio, Texas and a founding member of the award winning sketch group Comedia A Go-Go. He will be returning to the stage in after a long break from fighting Stage IV Kidney Cancer.

Garza, is the 2016 Funniest in South Texas winner, plus a Funniest in Texas and World Series of Comedy finalist. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Cancer May of 2016 and has undergone multiple surgeries after the disease spread to his lung, then to his brain later that year.

He still managed to produce his comedy special, BIG MAMA GOD AND THE HAZEL EYED MONSTER before his surgeries fulfilling his dream of doing so.

His performance will feature bits from his special as well as new material pertaining to his battle with cancer, the misconceptions of the disease and its “cures,” as well as the sub-culture associated with it.

Whether drawing from his non-Spanish speaking Latino roots growing up on the South Side of San Antonio, his wife and children, his battle with cancer or expounding upon his love of pop Culture, religion and horror movies, Larry Garza is a fearless and versatile performer that will have you laughing at topics you never thought you would.


Katie McKelvie

Katie McKelvie uses comedy to work through her anxiety about various apocalyptic scenarios, death, and the challenges of parenting small, slightly feral children. She has performed at venues throughout the D.C. area, including the D.C. Improv Lounge, Cozzy’s Comedy Club and Tavern, the Big Hunt, and as part of the Charm City Comedy Festival.


Katherine Jessup

Katherine Jessup hopes you like her comedy, but it’s cool if you don’t. (You probably will though.) Commanding stages with the winsome charm of your slightly too honest best friend, her comedy’s been described as sublime, profoundly relatable, and also available for birthday parties. She performs around the country, hosts a dope podcast (Advice! with Dave & Kat), and runs one of the best storytelling shows in DC.


Josh Otusanya

Josh Otusanya is a Chicago comedian and writer originally from Seattle, Washington. He is a producer of a monthly comedy show called “The Young Hustle Show” Friday nights at the Laugh Factory in Chicago. As a writer, Josh has been published in magazines such as Inc and Huffington Post. He also has a YouTube channel called “ThisisJoshO” where he talks about life and his disdain for peanut butter. Josh is a graduate of Second City’s improv program and just finished performing stand up in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, as well as the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. He has opened for Felonious Munk from the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, Junior Stopka from Last Comic Standing, and Marcella Arguello from @midnight. Josh can be seen performing anywhere across the globe or at any of Chicago’s major venues such as Laugh Factory, Second City, The Comedy Bar, Annoyance Theater, Zanies Comedy Club, and more.