The Biggest Laugh: The Journey from Stand-Up to Screen

Fill 1
August 02, 2022

About The Event

The Television Academy cordially invites members and a guest to

The Biggest Laugh: The Journey from Stand-Up to Screen

Join host Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Fleabag) and a panel of stand-up comedians who have traveled from stage to sitcoms, and even dramatic series. Each comic will perform a short set, followed by a lively discussion about their unique and entertaining career journeys. Stick around for some food, fun, and more laughs. A few lucky members will have a chance to try out their comedy chops at our outdoor Television Academy Comedy Club.


  • Cristela Alonzo, Actress/Writer/Comedian/Producer/Activist, Middle Classy, Netflix
  • Ayo Edebiri, Actor/Writer/Comedian, The Bear, FX
  • Ron Funches, Actor/Comedian, Loot, Apple TV+
  • Reggie Watts, Comedian, The Late Late Show with James Corden, CBS

More to come!

Hosted by:

  • Brett Gelman, Stranger Things, Netflix and Fleabag, Amazon Prime

*subject to change

Click here to RSVP.

Seating is subject to availability; first come, first served. Admittance is not guaranteed.
Only Television Academy Active Members and their guests will be admitted.
Members must present photo identification, and valid membership card when required, upon check-in.


Cristela Alonzo

Cristela Alonzo made history when she became the first Latina to create, produce and star in her own network sitcom, Cristela, for ABC. During that year, she split her time between Los Angeles and New York City to serve as one of ABC's favorite guest hosts on their hit daytime talk show, The View. Cristela made history again when she became the first Latina lead in a Disney Pixar film when she voiced the character of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3.

Today, Cristela tours around the country performing to sold-out clubs and theatres. Her first stand-up special, Lower Classy, is currently streaming on Netflix, and her highly anticipated second stand-up special, Middle Classy, will release world-wide on Netflix June 28th, 2022. In the special, which is opened by labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, Cristela addresses the struggles of growing up in a lower-class minority household, and what it's like to experience the privileges of middle class as an adult (like navigating health insurance).

Alonzo also hosts the Netflix Is A Joke podcast, The Hall: Honoring The Greats of Stand-Up. This season, the podcast will take a look at the careers of 4 comedy legends including George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams and the impact they made on comedy.

In 2019, Cristela released her first memoir, Music to My Years, by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Alonzo shares personal stories of growing up as a first-generation Mexican-American in Texas and following her dreams to pursue a career in comedy.

Aside from comedy, Cristela focuses on advocacy work, fighting for issues such as immigration, universal healthcare and lower income communities. She works with numerous organizations including Special Olympics Texas and Planned Parenthood, and is a board member of LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero) and an advisory board member for Define American.

Ayo Edebiri

Ayo Edebiri is an actor, writer and standup who stars in the highly anticipated FX series The Bear. She's made a name for herself in the animation space, voicing roles on Big Mouth and Clone High among others. She also stars in the upcoming MGM/Orion feature Bottoms from director Emma Seligman, and has written on shows like What We Do In The Shadows, Big Mouth and Dickinson. Named one of Variety's 10 Comics to Watch in 2021, Ayo is currently developing an original half hour together with Goddard Textiles and FX.

Ron Funches

Ron Funches is a triple threat. He is an excellent stand up comedian, actor and writer.

You may know Ron from his many memorable television roles on The Goldbergs, black-ish, New Girl, Transparent, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Powerless, and Undateable or from films like Get Hard (alongside Will Ferrell), Lexi, Noelle and 6 Underground. You can see Ron now with Maya Rudolph on LOOT streaming on Apple TV.

Ron loves animated television and film and has leant his voice to many projects like Dreamworks Trolls, Disney's Ivan The Great, Bob's Burgers, The Great North, Adventure Time, Final Space, and so many more.

Some of his personal appearances include Conan, The Tonight Show, Match Game, To Tell The Truth, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Nailed It.

Ron is a great writer, too. His writing credits include The Eric Andre Show, Kroll Show, and several television pilots.

Ron is also a pretty solid dad, husband, and friend. He lives in Southern California with his wife and son.

Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned musician/comedian/writer/actor who currently stars as the bandleader on CBS's The Late Late Show with James Corden. Using his formidable voice, looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Watts blends and blurs the lines between music and comedy, wowing audiences with performances that are 100% improvised. He was recently seen as the DJ of the 2021 Emmy Awards, which saw a 15% ratings boost from 2020.

Watts' first Netflix special, Spatial, was released to massive critical acclaim, with The New York Times calling it "a giddy rush of escapist nonsense" and dubbing Watts "the most influential absurdist in comedy today." The A.V. Club described Spatial as "signature Watts, meaning it's alternately exhilarating, silly, exhausting and transcendent," and Exclaim! magazine called his performance "engaging, absurd, thoughtful and, most importantly, wholly unpredictable."

As a solo performer, Watts brand of musical/comedy fusion has led to sold out headlining tours in the U.S. and Europe, including festivals such as Bonnaroo, SXSW, Bumbershoot, Just For Laughs, Pemberton, and more.

This year, Watts released his own content app called WattsApp, a techno-savvy look into his life, work, and techno junk drawer. WattsApp has all original content including a show called Droneversations where he interviews guests while the show is being filmed by drones, along with other fun content.

In 2010, Watts released his debut comedy special, Why Shit So Crazy? on Comedy Central Records, which is available to stream on Netflix. Why Shit So Crazy? featured Watts in live performances at New York venues such as Galapagos, The Bellhouse, and Le Poisson Rouge, bookended with brief sketches and music videos. Later that year, at the invitation of Jack White, Watts recorded Reggie Watts: Live at Third Man Records which was released in limited edition vinyl. In 2012, Watts recorded his second comedy special, Reggie Watts: A Live At Central Park, which was released by Comedy Central.

Watts was born in Germany, raised in Montana, and currently resides in Los Angeles.


Brett Gelman

Since Variety named him one of its "10 Comics to Watch" in 2010, Brett Gelman has shown film, TV, web and live audiences how he "commits hard to the weirdness" of every role with a signature intensity and fearlessness that continues to earn praise from critics and peers alike.

Brett can most recently be seen on the third season of David E. Kelley's Audience Network show, Mr. Mercedes, opposite Brendan Gleeson and Holland Taylor. He reprised his role as Murray, an eclectic conspiracy theorist, in the third season of Netflix's hit series Stranger Things, which broke viewership records following its release. Gelman was upped to season regular for Stranger Things season 4 which premieres in May on Netflix. Also on Netflix, he co-stars in Metal Lords which was released last month from executive producer David Benioff.

He will soon be seen in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile from SONY opposite Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, and Scoot McNairy.

Brett also plays Martin, the deliciously loathsome brother-in-law to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's titular "Fleabag" in the critically acclaimed Amazon series that swept award season winning the Best Comedy Series category at the Emmys, Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Gelman played the villain in Without Remorse, Paramount's spy thriller starring Michael B. Jordan which was the most streamed film in April of 2021. Gelman can previously be seen on HBO's Camping opposite Jennifer Garner, David Tennant, and Juliette Lewis and as Dr. Greg in Judd Apatow's critically acclaimed series, Love, as well as series of Adult Swim specials. He can also be seen in the relaunch of David Lynch's hit show, Twin Peaks, on Showtime. In features, Brett most recently starred in Lemon, which he also co-wrote with director Janicza Bravo. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. He can previously be seen in the indie Wild Nights with Emily opposite Molly Shannon as well as studio comedies Like Father (Netflix), The Other Guys (Sony/Columbia), and 30 Minutes or Less (Sony/Columbia). Other notable credits include the FX comedy Married opposite Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, Comedy Central's Another Period, Starz's Blunt Talk opposite Patrick Stewart, and NBC's Go On opposite Matthew Perry. Brett is a long-time company member of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.


All attendees must provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of the event. The date of the last shot must be more than two weeks prior to the event. Digital or hard-copy proof of vaccinations will be accepted. The COVID test must be time and date stamped.

Event will take place inside the Television Academy's Saban Media Center. Guests are not required to wear masks; however, disposable masks will be available at registration should guests prefer masking. Catering staff will be masked.

The Television Academy is committed to making member events accessible to everyone. For information about accessibility at the Saban Media Center, please click here.


Produced By

This event is presented and hosted
by the Television Academy.

Fill 1
August 02, 2022
Fill 1
7:00 pm PDT



Wolf Theatre
at Saban Media Center
Television Academy
5210 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Google Maps

Complimentary self parking in the structure adjacent to the Saban Media Center.

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