TBS Presents A "Very Funny" Festival with Ellen Degeneres and more...

Comedy superstar Martin Short has signed on to host a showcase from TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just for Laughs, joining Ellen DeGeneres and David Alan Grier in presenting TBS televised specials from the premiere Chicago event.

The shows will be taped during the Festival, which takes place Wednesday, June 17 Sunday, June 2 and will air the following weekend on TBS, with Let Freedom Hum An Evening of Comedy Hosted by Martin Short premiering Friday, June 26; Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show, presented by DeGeneres, premiering Saturday, June 27; and Comedy You Can Believe In with David Alan Grier premiering Sunday, June 28.

"These three TBS television specials will allow us to extend the Festival's reach to the entire country," said Dennis Adamovich, senior VP and general manager of comedy festivals for TBS. "We're proud to have Martin Short, Ellen DeGeneres and David Alan Grier presenting these showcases and are looking forward to the amazing performances they bring to the stage."

Keep reading the rest of the press release....

Let Freedom Hum An Evening of Comedy Hosted by Martin Short will be taped at The Vic Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m. (CT). Short, who became a household name after successful runs on SCTV and Saturday Night Live, will perform his own comedy, as well as introduce an outstanding slate of comedians:

John Pinette, a Just For Laughs favorite, has played at Just For Laughs Festivals and toured with the company across Canada. He also scored acclaim for his Broadway run as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.

Kathleen Madigan, an American Comedy Award recipient for Best Female Stand-Up, has been featured on Last Comic Standing and is a regular guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Greg Giraldo is a former lawyer who turned to a life of comedy. He is best known as the top roaster on Comedy Central Roasts.

Tom Papa, a New Jersey native, is the star of Jerry Seinfeld's new reality show The Marriage Refs and regularly appears as an opening act on Seinfeld's live tours. He is also a field reporter for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Jeremy Hotz is a Canadian actor-comedian and Just For Laughs favorite with some of the largest-grossing tours across Canada. He's had numerous specials on Canadian television and The Comedy Network, as well as appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman.

Comedy You Can Believe In with David Alan Grier, which is scheduled to be taped Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. (CT) at The Vic, will feature Grier performing his own stand-up and introducing an all-star roster of comedians. The following are scheduled to perform:

Bruce Bruce is an Atlanta-born comedian and commercial spokesman who has appeared on Comedy Central Presents and BET's Comic View, as well as in the movies Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector and Cloud 9.

Jo Koy is one of a select few comedians to have received a standing ovation after a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was recently featured in his own Comedy Central special, Don't Make Him Angry.

Mark Curry, who is best known as a star of the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, has appeared in his own Comedy Central stand-up special and hosted Showtime at the Apollo for three years.

Aries Spears has been a regular cast member of the late-night series MADtv and counts among his other credits such shows as A Different World and movies like Malcolm X.

Marina Franklin is emerging as one of the hottest comedians in the comedy scene today, with such notable appearances as Chapelle's Show, Last Comic Standing and Girls Behaving Badly.

Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show, presented by Ellen DeGeneres, will blow the roof off The Chicago Theatre Wednesday, June 17, at 7 p.m. (CT) with a variety show featuring live music, dancers and unique specialty acts. The show, the third variety-style show DeGeneres has presented for TBS, will be produced by Telepictures Productions, with Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, whose credits include DeGeneres' Emmy-winning talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, serving as executive producers. Acts for the show will be announced at a later date.

TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS will bring together the biggest names in comedy, including George Lopez, Lisa Lampanelli, Russell Peters, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Engvall and Louis CK. Among the many events slated for the Festival are live performances by comedy headliners, a showcase of alternative comedy at the Lakeshore Theater, a series of performances by local Chicago talent and a film festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A special kickoff event on Tuesday, June 16, at the Music Box Theatre, will honor the Chicago-born filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a special screening of Ramis' eagerly anticipated comedy Year One, starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and Michael Cera (Juno).

Excitement for the Festival has kicked into high gear, with Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show, presented by Ellen DeGeneres, already sold out; a performance by Jimmy Fallon sold out; and three performances of George Lopez: Tall, Dark and Chicano sold out, with a fourth show added.

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