Laugh or Die Comedy Fest

July 9th, 2022


595 College Ave
Dekalb, IL 60115


Special Guest - Philo Barnhart!

Philo Barnhart is a world-famous animator known for his unforgettable images in Disney movies such as The Secret of NIMH, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and other timeless Disney films, toys and books.  Philo will be a special guest at the 2022 Laugh or Die Comedy Fest and will have some of his original art available for purchase!  Be sure to take home something amazing to display with pride by one of the worlds most adored animators! 

darren marlar - Official host!

Darren Marlar joins the 2022 Laugh or Die Comedy Fest as the Official Host!

Since 1990, Darren Marlar has been providing quality audio recordings to clients around the world. He has voiced thousands of audiobooks, radio commercials, TV spots, movie trailers, videos, podcasts, corporate presentations, phone prompts, and more! He does all this with his trademark humor, upbeat attitude, friendly customer service, and professional work. His years as an actor both onstage and onscreen allow him to bring a realism and genuineness to projects not often found in full-time voice artists. Darren Marlar is best known today as the creator and host of the immensely popular podcast and syndicated radio show, “Weird Darkness”.  Learn more at 

sam howard - Comedian

Sam Howard is an actress- comic-screenwriter-mom and the creator and host of The Sleep with Sam Howard Show, a talk show and podcast that raises awareness about sleep disorders like Narcolepsy and promotes good sleep health for all.


Ariel Julie - Comedian

From Chicago, Ariel Julie combines sass and crass in her brutally honest style of comedy and story telling. She’s been featured at Zanies and Laugh Factory, Chicago, headlined in IL, IN, OK, TN, TX, and WI, and opened for Steve Rannazzisi, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Sam Tallent. You can see her this summer featuring at the North Carolina Comedy Festival 2022, Madison Comedy Week 2022, Sixth City Comedy Fest 2022 in Cleveland, OH, and the Laugh or Die Comedy Festival in Dekalb, IL.

Mike Stricker - Comedian

Mike Stricker is a nationally touring stand up comedian from Chicago.  So far in 2022, he’s performed in New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and more.  He’s also worked with Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live and has been on tour with WWE’s Mick Foley.  Mikes comedy is a ball of silly energy.  If you are looking for politics or divisive comedy, go see someone else.


Brian Johnson - Comedian

Brian Johnson has been doing comedy on and off since 2006. He grew up in Antioch IL which unfortunately is the hometown of Kyle Rittenhouse, and yes its true everyone from Antioch is just as evil and racist as Kyle Rittenhouse...except him. He first realized he wanted to be a comedian freshman year in high school when for an English class assignment he did an impersonation of Boy George that everyone thought was funny and he realized "hey I could be a comedian someday."  His style of comedy "straight jacket comedy is a mix of one liners, improv Q and A, stories, and other jokes.  His career accomplishments include but are not limited to finalist in the 2009 Highland Park Comedy Festival, Comcast on Demand in 2009 at Lincoln Lodge, opened for Kool Bubba Ice, and is currently a cast member on the reality show 1ADEM comedians that airs in 13 countries.  He is known to be one of the nicest comics on the Chicago Comedy Scene and currently resides in Grayslake IL


Joseph christopher - Comedian

Joseph Christopher performs comedy all over the IL/WI brat belt; he takes mustard and saurkraut. He delights crowds with sharp, concise jokes and a lovable grin. He recently cried during an episode of Bar Rescue.



Incomparable. Unpredictable. Tour de force. Jayson Acevedo has opened for Tim Meadows (SNL), Chris Redd (SNL) & Jeff Ross (Comedy Central) among many others. Acevedo’s comedy has proven to translate well internationally, having told jokes in five countries & throughout comedy festivals from LA to NYC & beyond such as The NBCUniversal/Second City BreakOut Comedy Festival (Chicago), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Scotland) & this August at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, NY just to name a few! Acevedo continues to perform regularly throughout Chicago at venues like The World Famous Laugh Factory, Zanies, Second City, & more. Follow him home or everywhere @jaysonavocado or to view more photos of his hair!


We are seeking stand up comedians and/or comedy entertainment for our upcoming 2022 Laugh or Die Comedy Fest taking place on Saturday, July 9th at the Altgeld Hall Castle in Dekalb, IL!  Do you have something fun to offer to our event?  We would love to hear from you!

Please send us a message on Facebook by CLICKING HERE and include some info about you and your act.  Please include a promotional photo, a video sample of your routine (if available) and any other info you feel appropriate.  

We look forward to hearing from you!