You can read up on all of our performers and presenters below. A full schedule will be posted soon. Descriptions of all our classes can be found here.


(schedule subject to change)

Entertainment

Michael Ian Black will perform during our Friday night stand-up showcase at MaxFunCon East. Black began his career in comedy with the landmark sketch troupe and TV series The State which he co-founded in 1988. He went on to co-create the Comedy Central series Viva Variety. Black has been featured on several television shows including a recurring role on NBC's Ed. In 1997 along with David Wain and Michael Showalter, he created the the group STELLA which performed weekly sketches live and later a web-series. In 2005, STELLA was transformed into an unconventional sketch- based sitcom for a brief stint on Comedy Central. The series and their newest DVD, Live in Boston is available at StellaComedy.com. He has also recorded a solo stand-up comedy album entitled I Am a Wonderful Man as well as written two films, Wedding Daze and Run, Fatboy, Run.


Tony Camin will also perform during MaxFunCon East's stand-up showcase. Camin is a stand-up comedian and television writer based out of New York City. He has toured comedy clubs throughout the United States and performed at the The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival, Bumbershoot, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Camin is also the co-creator of the alternative Off-Broadway comedy revue, The Marijuana-Logues along with Arj Barker and Doug Benson.




Chicago native Dwayne Kennedy is a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer who has performed across the US and beyond. Dwayne’s social commentary, social consciousness and satirical diversions demonstrate his comedic genius with a unique prospective. His many television stand-up appearances include The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Apollo, Comedy Central Presents, as well as being featured in his own half hour comedy special for Showtime. In addition, Kennedy has also appeared on television such as Seinfeld, Martin, and The Orlando Jones Show. He also has several film credits including Desperation Boulevard, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, and How High.Winner of the 2002 US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Dwayne’s razor-sharp wit, biting satire and unflinching commentary continues to intrigue and entertain audiences everywhere. Attendees will get the chance to see Kennedy perform during the Friday night showcase.


Hari Kondabolu is a comedy writer and stand-up comedian from New York. He made his first noteworthy television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2007 and since has appeared in the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham and John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show as well as his own Comedy Central Presents in 2011. MANOJ, a short film created by Kondabolu that mocks comedians who exploit their ethnic backgrounds for material, plays in film festivals around the world. Currently, he writes for the FX series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Kondabolu will also perform as part of the Friday night stand-up showcase.
 
Stop Podcasting Yourself is a pair of Vancouver based comedians Dave Shumka and Graham Clark join weekly guests to discuss media, music, humor, pop culture, and just about anything else chatting about. Vancouver's top comedy podcast? Yup. New episodes available weekly at Stop Podcasting Yourself on MaximumFun.org. SPY will tape their podcast live at MaxFunCon East on Sunday morning. Graham will also lead a beard painting workshop on Saturday that is not to be missed.
 
Ten West is Stephen Simon and Jon Monastero under the direction of Bryan Coffee. Their signature blend of physical virtuosity and inventive comedy, joined with poignant writing, broad audience appeal, and a unique theatrical style inspired by vaudeville, commedia dell'Arte and clowning, has made them critical and audience favorites everywhere. The duo originated in the sketch comedy world and quickly became one of the top acts in the North American festival circuit. As they continued to create, they began experimenting with the parameters of the sketch medium, blurring the lines between sketch comedy, dance, and clown.  LA Weekly's Melinda Schupmann calls Ten West "Two agile and inventive clowns, as much Cirque du Soleil as it is Chaplin-esque, with a little commedia dell'arte thrown in. Their brand of cleverness should be seen firsthand."  Visit their website for more info. Ten West will perform at MaxFunCon East on Saturday night.
 
Two Fun Men is a sketch and improv group based out of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. They will also perform Saturday night at MaxFunCon East. From their website:
"John Haskell and Arthur Meyer are two men who like to have fun. Sometimes they sing songs and sometimes they talk loudly, but they always have fun. In this sketch comedy show, they don't just have regular boring fun, but they have FUN TIME BABY OH YES!!! Get ready to go 45 MPH in a Fun Rocket!"
Not sure if I could say it any better.


Education

Kevin Allison will host one of several workshops to be offered at MaxFunCon East. Allison began his career on MTV’s ground-breaking sketch series The State alongside several who would some of today's most known comedy writers and actors. In 2009, Kevin took a decidedly different path artistically. He and producer Michelle Walson created the live performance RISK! in the Lower East Side of Manhattan which featured himself along with guest comedians and actors dropping their usual act to tell true stories. The show was a near instant hit and later that year Kevin created the RISK! podcast. The show is now presented every month in both New York at The PIT and in Los Angeles at the Nerdist Theater. Allison will host a workshop on Saturday at MaxFunCon East.

 Jonathan Ames will speak Saturday morning at MaxFunCon East. Ames is most widely known as creator of HBO’s Bored to Death in which the protagonist, a fictionalized Jonathan Ames who is also a writer masquerades as freelance detective to escape his humdrum life. Ames is a writer and known raconteur himself having written three novels as well as a graphic novel and several essays utilizing his gritty and self-deprecating tone which defines his work as especially unique and intriguing. He also performs often with The Moth and has written and performed his own one-man show orating stories of his unusual experiences and misadventures through life. Ames will speak Saturday morning at MaxFunCon East.

Kurt Andersen (a.k.a. Explodo!) will host a workshop on Saturday. Andersen is the author of Heyday, a New York Times bestseller and Turn of the Century currently in development as a film. His new novel is called True Believers. He began his career writing for Time Magazine. Since, he has written for film, television, and the stage including screenplays for Walt Disney Pictures and Village Roadshow as well as columns for The New York Times, The New Yorker Magazine, and New York Magazine. Andersen also hosts the Peabody-award winning radio program, Studio 360 which airs weekly via Public Radio International.

Colin Anderson is a staff producer in the BBC's Radio Comedy Department. He’s won Radio Academy Awards in the UK for Mark Thomas: My Life in Serious Organised Crime and The Now Show, with a further nomination for cult music and comedy show The Milk Run. In 2009 Colin took a year out from the BBC to work for San Francisco local public radio station KALW, quickly establishing himself as one of the weaker links in the KALW softball team. On his evenings and weekends he produces the podcasts Pappy’s Bangers and Mash and International Waters. Colin will be presenting one of many workshops during the weekend.


On Saturday afternoon, Dick Cavett will appear at MaxFunCon East. Cavett is most famously know for for hosting the three-time Emmy awarded The Dick Cavett Show. Cavett studied drama at Yale before moving to New York where he held several jobs including copy editor at Time magazine. Later he began work as a comedy scriptwriter. Cavett wrote for both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson as hosts of The Tonight Show before hosting his own talk show in 1968. Many celebrities and political icons graced the stage and Cavett had a knack for pairing controversial people and those with opposing views to discuss topics which were considered taboo at the time. He also found success as a stand-up comedian appearing on a variety of talk shows, in commercials and, on occasion theatre as well as co-authored two books. Dick Cavett currently contributes to The New York Times blog. 

Eric Drysdale has written for both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central earning him several awards including five Emmy awards and two Peabodys. He also contributing to both "America (The Book)" and "I am America (And So Can You!)" and appeared as an actor in several sketches featured on both series. Drysdale was also wrote and performed with the band Tammy Faye Starlite and the Angels of Mercy. He has produced three live shows at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and performs solo stand-up and performs monologues at various venues and festivals. Drysdale will host one of several workshops at MaxFunCon East.


Dave Hill is a Jack of many trades. As comedian and actor, he hosts The Dave Hill Explosion at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and has been featured in TV's The King of Miami and as on-air talent for HBO and Cinemax. He has also worked with the comedy website Super Deluxe. As a musician, Hill was a member of the bands Sons of Elvis and Cobra Verde during the 90s and currently fronts the band Valley Lodge as well as playing with Walter Schreifels' band and Diamondsnake alongside Moby. As a writer, he has penned pieces for the New York Times and Huffington Post among others and contributes to the public radio program This American Life. Hill currently hosts and produces Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident.
 
John Hodgman will kick off MaxFunCon East with his traditional benediction. Hodgman is known to MaxFun fans as Judge John Hodgman and has appeared as a recurring correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and been featured on television's Attack of the Show, Flight of the Concords, Battlestar Galactica, the 2009 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner, and HBO's Bored to Death among others. He has acted in films and has written three books as well as contributed to several publications.

Julie Klausner will host one of the several workshops offered at MaxFunCon East. Klausner is a New York City-based author, podcaster, and comedy writer-performer. Her first book, I Don't Care About Your Band, was released in February 2010. In July 2010, it was announced that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Production Company optioned the book for HBO. Klausner has written for VH1's Best Week Ever and currently hosts and produces her own podcast, How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner.
 
David Krasnow began producing stories for Studio 360 in 2001. Currently the Senior Editor, he joined the staff in 2003 after many years in print media as an editor and writer covering music, design, American history, land use, science, and health care. Formerly the reviews editor of Artforum, he has written for the Village Voice, Jazz Times, Metropolis, The New York Observer, and The Wire, and remains a contributing editor for Bomb. He teaches radio writing to print journalists at Mediabistro and has discussed how to pitch features at the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Krasnow will lead a pitching workshop at MaxFunCon East.

Anne Kreamer is an author and journalist based in Brooklyn. During the 70s and 80s, she was part of a team that distributed and co-produced Sesame Street internationally. Later, she helped launch SPY magazine and during the 90s became the Worldwide Creative Director for Nickelodeon where she created Nickelodeon magazine. Kreamer has published two novels, Going Gray and It's Always Personal.
 
Carol Kolb is an American comedy writer. She is a former managing editor and, later, editor-in-chief of The Onion and the current head writer for the The Onion and IFC's Onion News Network which airs episodes daily. At MaxFunCon East, Kolb will teach a class about how to write effective satire.
  
 
Mary O’Hara is a journalist and writer. For over a decade she has written for The Guardian as a staffer, editor and contributor on areas ranging from general news and features to social affairs, human rights and public policy winning numerous awards for her work including Mind Journalist of the Year. A native of Northern Ireland she is a graduate of The University of Cambridge and was recently an Alistair Cooke Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley. O'Hara is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and is currently working on her second novel.


David Rees is a cartoonist and humorist whose best-known work combines bland clip art with outrageous "trash talk" for an absurdist effect. The comic strips have achieved wide popularity and generated some controversy. His best known and often most controversial comic is Get Your War On which satirizes and offers commentary on current political and social issues around the world. Rees also contributes to The Huffington Post as a blogger and has written a book called How to Sharpen Pencils and started an accompanying service called Artisanal Pencil Sharpening where, for a fee, fans and the general public can mail their unsharpened pencils and in turn receive a hand sharpened pencil along with the shavings and a 'certificate of sharpening' in the mail. At MaxFunCon East, Rees will SHARE HIS SECRETS.
 
John Roderick will be hosting a storytelling workshop at MaxFunCon East. Roderick is the songwriter and singer/guitarist of The Long Winters, forming the band back in 2001. He is frequently a guest musician on other artists' recordings including Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, and David Bazan. Roderick has also acted as correspondent covering Bonnaroo for CMJ magazine in 2006 and for MSNBC the following year. In 2009 he published his first book of short prose, Electric Aphorisms. Currently, Roderick is working on the project Mt. Desolation and touring with John Hodgman's book tour as a musical act.
 
Donna Vakalis, from her website:
"Stab connotes purposeful action, as by an assassin or murderer… Stabbing differs from slashing or cutting in that the motion of the object used in a stabbing generally moves perpendicular to and directly into the victim’s body, rather than being drawn across it."
That's Olympian pentathlete and Jordan, Jesse, Go! listener Donna Vakalis and if that's not a ringing endorsement for someone who knows how to use a sword, we're not sure what is. Vakalis was a guest on JJGo! and listeners, along with her family and friends, pitched in enough to buy her a brand new shiny laser gun! Now she's ready to take on the competition in London for the 2012 Olympics. Listen to her episode at MaximumFun.org and root for her this summer. She might even bring her latest acquisition to MaxFunCon East and show you what it takes to be a successful pentathlete. 
 
Benjamin Wagner is the writer, producer and co-director of Mister Rogers and Me.  Benjamin graduated Syracuse University in 1993 with dual degrees in creative writing and journalism. Following a brief stint at an Upstate New York newspaper, he moved to New York City where he began writing for Rolling Stone. He started his MTV News career in 1996, interviewing acts like REM, U2, and Neil Young. He is currently Senior Vice President there. Benjamin is also a performing singer/songwriter with twelve independent albums. At MaxFunCon East, Wagner will talk about how to get a creative project off the ground without having to quit your day-job.


Maxwell Britten is a beverage and spirits professional and Bar Director at internationally recognized absinthe and oyster house Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Britten moved to New York at the age of 18,  and by the age of 22 was recognized as a Star Chefs Rising Star for his bartending. A collector of obscurities and odd knowledge, Maxwell is recognized as a leading authority on all things absinthe, and has led Maison Premiere to develop the largest selection of absinthe in the United States. He has been covered by The New York Times, Time Out New York, Wall Street Journal,  New York Magazine, GQ and Esquire.


Sadly, Mike Pesca will no longer be able to attend MaxFunCon East. He's been summoned by NPR to cover a sporting event known as The World Series. He sincerely promises he will make it up to you. Somehow. Those signed up for his afternoon session should have received an email. If you did not, please contact us. 

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