Show Dec 5 - 7

Michael Palascak

Michael Palascak

Michael Palascak (Pal-a-sack) grew up in the town of Wabash, Indiana—The First Electrically Lighted City in the World and childhood home of country music sensation Crystal Gayle.  Every night at the dinner table, Michael’s dad would ask if anyone had any good jokes and Michael, the attention-seeking middle child of three boys, would be so enthralled with telling jokes from his joke book, he would eventually have to be limited to 1 or 2.  From his graveyard weedwacker days to high school football woes, Michael’s childhood and high school years provided him with a grounded, relatable sense of himself and the world around him.  After graduating high school, Michael worked 50 hour weeks in a factory to help pay for college.  He operated a machine in cell 22a that manufactured the rear right hand window insulation on Ford Explorers.  If you own a Ford Explorer with messed up rear right hand insulation, Michael apologizes.  The long hot days of molding rubber made all the hardships of pursuing his comedy career a huge privilege. 

While Michael was in college, his parents moved to suburbs of Chicago and Michael began his comedy career at The Barrel of Laughs Comedy Club in Oak Lawn, IL.  The blue collar Southwest Chicago crowds forced Michael to craft funny jokes and deliver them with an authentic confidence and stage presence.  To survive he lived at home with his parents—which he talked about onstage to great success.  Night after night Michael would travel from bars to billiards halls to coffee houses to comedy clubs in and around Chicago performing his jokes.  Eventually, a very talented musician, Stolie, connected him with an agent that booked college shows. 

Around the same time, Michael won local contests—The Taste of Chicago Sierra Mist Zanies Comedy Challenge, the Chicago region of Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight, and The Lucky 21—which led to frequently headlining the iconic Chicago club—-Zanies—and also led to his TV debut on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham.  Fueled by comedic stories about living at home with his parents after college, Michael made appearances on both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno within six months of each other—a feat rarely achieved by a new comic.  Michael proceeded to move out of his parents’ house and onto the road touring the country performing in colleges and clubs in almost every state.  While his act changed with his new surroundings, it maintained it’s connection to humble beginnings.  Some of his funniest jokes were about taking discount flights and using cheap cell phone services.  While Michael’s comedy is mainstream, his delivery and joke writing have an edge which has proven very beneficial for his career.  Michael’s joke about terrorists and Catholicism was the deciding factor in advancing him to the finals of last year’s Last Comic Standing.  Michael finished in the Top 5 and went on a 75 city tour with the other Top 5 contestants cementing his place in the show’s storied history of talented comics.

Kevin McCaffrey

Kevin McCaffrey

Kevin McCaffrey is a comedian and writer based out of New York City. Originally from Chicago, he graduated from Ball State University despite the school’s general policy of taking attendance. Since then he has been a contributing monologue writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. Kevin has also appeared on The Late Show many times as an actor, once being hosed down by Dave with a fire extinguisher. To his knowledge, this is an honor Kevin shares only with Richard Simmons.

When asked to describe his exceedingly unique brand of comedy, Kevin says “What I do, is I try to say stuff that’s funny.” That’s how avant-garde he is! As a performer, he relies on content more than volume; he’s not the crazy fat guy, or the crazy angry guy, or the crazy gay guy. At least not yet.

Kevin currently appears as a commentator on TruTV's series "The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest" where he says snarky things, mostly about unsuccessful criminals. He has also written for VH1, National Lampoon, Fuse TV, and various celebrities who want something kind of funny to say at awards shows. He writes and performs sketches with Vicarious George, some of whose videos can be seen on

Simon Zais

Simon Zais

From child prodigy to homeless loser, Simon Zais has lived it all. But don’t let his boyish looks fool you—drawing life experiences from growing up in Minnesota, coming of age on both coasts, and becoming a man in the military—Simon is anything but the antiquated “modern day youth.” With his quick wit, original sense of humor and near sickening charm and charisma, he has managed to go from bottom the barrel to successful writer, radio personality and comedian. Simon’s ability to share his life experiences in a way that make audiences think twice and laugh even more, consistently makes him a crowd favorite.

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