Graham Elwood is a national touring headliner and co-host of the Comedy Film Nerds podcast. He has been in Last Comic Standing on NBC, "the Sarah Silverman Program" and "Nick Swarsdon's Pretend Time" on Comedy Central. Also co-star of "Doug Benson's The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled. Co-creator of the Los Angles Podcast Festival. Has done 7 USO tours to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. Director of feature film “Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary,” due out in fall of 2016.
Hailing from Chicago, IL, Bil Dwyer, like many hearty Midwesterners, is a very private person and likes to keep things to himself. Unlike many hearty Midwesterners, he is forced to compose bios of himself written in the third person. Bil’s career has covered many facets of show business, from performing to writing to commercial voiceover work.
Bil is an accomplished standup comic, who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and his very own half hour standup special, Comedy Central Presents: Bil Dwyer. His takes on marriage, kids and family are hip and sardonic, and yet beneath lies a certain odd sweetness.
Bil has hosted GSN’s I’ve Got a Secret, Comedy Central’s BattleBots, Fox Sports’ Ultimate Fan League, PAX-TV’s Dirty Rotten Cheaters, GSN’s Extreme Dodgeball and MTV’s The 70’s House (as mock game show host, Bert Van Styles).
Besides appearing on great television shows like The Larry Sanders Show and Ally McBeal, Bil has also been in such forgettable films as Ski School 2, The Bogus Witch Project, and What Planet are You From? Writing with sitcom star/television producer Christopher Titus, Bil co-created a show based on his stand-up comedy called Back After This for Sony Pictures Television.
A regular commentator on various cable shows, he is most often recognized for his work on VH1’s highly-rated I Love the… series. Bil was also seen as a finalist on Season 4 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and starred in Cartoon Network’s live action/animation hybrid series, Out of Jimmy’s Head. He currently recurs as Valerie Bertinelli’s ex-husband on the highly-rated TV Land sitcom, Hot in Cleveland.
Brian Swinehart has captivated audiences across the country and overseas with his wit and charm. In 2013 Brian performed for the troops in Europe, was in two sketches on the Tonight Show, landed a national commercial and had a role in the movie About Last Night with Kevin Hart. Brian brings a unique and likeable stage presence to his comedy. A star in the making Swinehart brings you a show you just can't afford to miss.
Melinda Hill is an award-winning comedian, writer and actress who performs all over the world. LA Weekly calls her “the female David Sedaris” and says her “bubbly, adorable persona belies outlandish funny” while Buzzine claims she puts “the fun back in funny and the smart back in smarty-pants.” She created, wrote, produced and starred in the hit web series ROMANTIC ENCOUNTERS WITH MELINDA HILL, ALL GROWZ UP and THE PROGRAM with Maria Bamford for Funny or Die. THE PROGRAM was named one of LA Weekly’s “10 best web series of 2014."
She voices multiple characters on the Emmy winning series Adventure Time and is the other half of the viral hit Confessions of a Tooth Fairy with Kristen Wiig. Other TV/ film appearances include Comedy Central's Pretend Time with Nick Swardson, Reno 911, Sarah Silverman Program, Important Things with Demetri Martin, Bill Maher's Bright Day, The Winner, Frank TV, Glory Daze, and Chris Kattan's Bollywood Hero. Her stand up has been featured on Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Bonnie Hunt Show, BBC's World Stands Up, NESN's Comedy All Stars, Comics Unleashed, Who Wants To Date a Comedian, Stand Up In Stilettos ABC and when she hosted the series Comedy TV.
Her monthly show "What's Up, Tiger Lily" at UCB was named "best stand up show" in LA Weekly & LAist and her critically acclaimed CD "The Accidental Bisexual" is available on iTunes. She's a regular contributor for Huffington Post Comedy, XOJane and Hellogiggles and her humorous essays have also been featured in LA Innuendo & Opium Magazine.
During the 1980s, Sobel toured the comedy circuit heavily. His routine centered around rapping in a Beastie Boys style.
In the 1987 film, Punchline, he had a small part, but played a more prominent off screen role as comedic advisor to Tom Hanks.According to Sobel, Hanks caught his act which stylistically was considered 'dangerous' as was the character Hanks was to play in Punchline.
Kira Soltanovich is an American comedian, writer, and actress best known for her work on prank-oriented reality shows such as Oxygen Network's Girls Behaving Badly TV Guide Network's Trapped by TV Guideand Tru TV's How To Be A Grown Up . She is also known as the voice of a talking photo booth in a sketch on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Jay Leno Show. She's also the voice of Carla on the animated series Iggy Cool. Soltanovich is part of the 90-minute comedy special Hot Tamales Live on the Showtime Network. She guest starred on Prank Stars, a Disney channel series. She currently hosts her own parenting podcast: thekirashow.com Her new one hour special “YOU DID THIS TO ME” (which she filmed 7 months pregnant) is out now.
Chris Valenti is often called a romantic comedy expert. He channels his relationship frustrations into jokes, songs, films, and advice that leave audiences giggling, singing along, and wiser.
His new album, Live Emotional Wreckage, released by New Wave Dynamics, includes funny insights like “Girls always think I’m trying to hit on them, no matter what I say… ‘Could you tell me where the nearest 7-11 is?’ ‘Sure, turn here, go past my boyfriend’s house…’ “ It also includes songs like First Wife, the song Chris wrote to propose to his girlfriend. She said no. If you can’t decide who you should date, Chris’s popular mail merge song Oh could be a helpful tune for you. You’re Turning 50 is a milestone birthday song celebrating your impending doom.
As well as working as an actor, recently seen in the comedy “17 Again”, Chris is also a filmmaker with two award winning feature length films to his credit, “Sensitive Johnson” and “800 CDs”. This past year, Chris completed a comedy short film for FunnyOrDie.com each month. Many of them, “Singletown”, “GRRRRR”, and “Tech Support” among others, have been festival award winners and FoD favorites.
Chris performs his live show at clubs, colleges, casinos, and military bases all over the country. A gifted songwriter and wry stand up comedian, Chris has the knack for using self-deprecation and vulnerability to joke about the hazards and frustrations of attempted relationships. He's become somewhat of a spokesperson for the unlucky in love.
Anti-Suicide Comedy Benefit at the Improv
Los Angeles, CA- Some of the top comics in the entertainment industry have volunteered to participate in a comedy benefit at the Hollywood Improv, Sunday Aug 10th, to help bring awareness to the horrible and too often overlooked problem of Depression and Suicide.
Marquee comedians Bil Dwyer, Kira Soltanovich, Barry Sobel, Alan Bursky, Jerry Corley, Bari Alyse, Melinda Hill, Brian Swinehart, Chris Valenti, and Graham Elwood will perform. Many of the performers will be available for interviews before or after their performances. Please email Chris@ChrisValentiMusic.com to schedule interviews.
The benefit starts at 7pm, August 10th at the Improv in Hollywood.
Tickets to the benefit can be purchased for $10 here: http://hollywood.improv.com/event.cfm?id=321091
A preshow event in the Improv bar starts at 6pm. No cover charge is required for the pre-show.
There will also be 6pm a pre-show event in the Improv's lounge with musical performances by The Conlons, Jannel Rap, and Steven Alan Green. The preshow event will include a silent auction, raffle, and more comedy. Many comics, musicians, authors, business owners, etc. have donated gifts to the raffle. More contributions are welcome.
Suicide and depression has touched too many of us.
Filmmaker Jennifer Scott, a suicide survivor, is bringing awareness to this issue through her film on the subject, Eyes Upon Waking, which will be going into full production this September in Tucson. With this movie, Jen hopes to open up society's eyes by "helping to change the stigma so we can finally move forward and talk about this disease openly and to start saving lives."
The script won recognition at Sundance last year, is inspired by a true story about a girl's struggle to come to terms with her own existence. Eyes Upon Waking has garnered a great deal of interest - not only those who identify with the main character’s search for understanding within herself, but also others who have lost people close to them and want to understand why. The story is told with a surprising amount of humor, which keeps it entertaining while giving the audience a break from the drama. The film explores psychological issues still mostly hidden throughout society, yet universally all too common. www.eyesuponwaking.com
Even if you can't make the benefit show, you can still help the cause by contributing to the fundraising campaign for Eyes Upon Waking. http://www.fanbacked.com/c/eyes-upon-waking-help-change-stigma-depression/