NORFOLK - The 2024 Great American Comedy Festival’s Saturday Night Gala will serve as the finale of a weekend of funny!

Four national comedians will grace the stage of the Johnny Carson Theatre on June 15th, headlined by the legendary Frank Caliendo!

Joining Frank in Norfolk will be Bennie Arthur, Karen Chee, Rosco Nash, and Lucia Whalen.

Bennie Arthur was born and raised in a small town in Virginia that no one has heard of called Rustburg. He moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue a career in acting and comedy.. Shortly after arriving in LA he started training at The Groundlings and performing stand-up around town. He was a regular cast member/re-enactor on Drunk History for all 6 seasons. You might also recognize him from The Ben Show with Ben Hoffman. Some of his other credits include Pickle & Peanut on Disney XD, The Mighty Ones on Hulu, and Hot Streets on Adult Swim.

Karen Chee is an Emmy and WGA award-nominated comedian and writer. She is currently a writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. Previously, she has written for Pachinko (Apple TV) and the Golden Globes (2019, 2021), acted in HBO’s High Maintenance, and contributed regularly to The New Yorker. She’s also been published in places like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and McSweeney’s. She’s can occasionally be heard on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! where she is a regular panelist and occasional guest host. She was recently featured as one of Vulture’s Comedians to Know and listed on Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood. She was also included on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2021.

Rosco Nash entertains audiences everywhere with his self-deprecation, sarcasm and quick wit. A former New York Sanitation worker/hot yoga instructor, Rosco shares his confusion with social norms as well what it's like to navigate relationships with his kids who seem like they might be smarter than he is and his beautiful Puerto Rican wife. His approachable style ensures that, whether you're a millennial or an octogenarian, white collar or blue collar, you will laugh ‘til it hurts and feel like you just met your new best friend.

Lucia Whalen is a Chicago-born and bred comedian, writer. Her clever, unique perspective paired with a shameless storytelling style makes her a favorite to audiences all over the country. She has opened for some of the biggest comics working today, including Dave Attell, Janeane Garofalo, and Stavros Halkias among others, and has performed at clubs and venues all over the Midwest, including Steppenwolf, Comedy on State, and Zanies. Lucia has been featured at Limestone Comedy Festival, Asheville Comedy Festival, 10,000 Laughs, Flyover Comedy Festival, and more. Lucia has contributed to The New Yorker and is a co-host of the environmental history podcast What a Waste.

"I absolutely love this list of feature performers,” says GACF Executive Director Pat Janssen. “The Great American Comedy Festival has a tremendous history of bringing in a fantastic mixture of people with already impressive credits and bright futures. So many of our past features have gone on to huge things, and it's a testament to the level of talent we're able to bring here. I think it's also a credit to all of the work out volunteer board members put in. It's almost like comedian summer camp for a lot of the performers, and they leave here yelling other comedians all about their experience in Norfolk, Nebraska. That's probably my favorite part of the festival."

Saturday’s featured performer, Frank Caliendo, is best known for his impeccable comedic timing and spot-on impressions that have been the center of fan-favorite viral video clips, TV shows, radio appearances and live shows for more than 20 years. Frank was a regular on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, and makes appearances on SportsCenter and other ESPN shows. He recently starred in the ad campaign for Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli. Prior to working with ESPN, Frank spent 10 years on Fox NFL Sunday Pregame.

The festival kicks off Thursday, June 13th, with the traditional family Comedy Magic Show, and continues Friday, with four other nationally-known comedians, and headliner Preacher Lawson. All three shows are at 7 p.m. at the Johnny Carson Theatre.

The Great American Comedy Festival is also made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The annual festival opened in 2008 to honor the legacy of Norfolk’s favorite son, Johnny Carson, who was host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” for over 25 years.


Tickets for the festival are on sale now! For tickets and information, visit