Second annual LaughFest in Troy this weekend

The second annual LaughFest to benefit the Antioch Shriners will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hobart Arena in Troy.

Three national acts will perform: Craig “The Love Master” Shoemaker; Jimmy Shubert from the “Outlaws of Comedy” and “Last Comic Standing”; and Mary Lynn Rajskub from the TV series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “24.”

The host and emcee for the show will be Amy Dolph, a Dayton comedian for well over a decade who used to run Rocky’s Pizza Ring with her family for 30 years. She also ran the open mic comedy night that started in 2011 at Rocky’s, which closed in 2018.

“I miss it like crazy,” she said. “Then every once in a while, I don’t. There are certain aspects I miss that I’ll always miss, and then there are parts I’ll never miss.”

Dolph now works for the non-profit Workforce Opportunity Services which helps veterans find jobs in underserviced areas. Her husband is a Mason and part of the Shriners motorcycle group that does a lot of charity work. Dolph said she couldn’t say “no” when she was asked to perform.

The Shriners have notably opened numerous hospitals to help children with burns or cleft palates. Bryan Ogletree, a Divan representative from the Antioch Shrine, said this event will benefit the partnership they have at Dayton Children’s Hospital. He also put the event together the past two years and believes humor is far-reaching.

“It’s a different avenue,” Ogletree said. “Comedy is a universal language. It’s something everyone can get behind. Everybody enjoys a good laugh.”

Ogletree said he hasn’t seen Dolph perform but has heard her quips during motorcycle rides. Dolph, who was on hiatus during COVID like many comedians, has done one open mic show in the last month but said she is practicing every day.

“I’ve been writing my set and getting my routine back down to where I feel comfortable,” she said.

Ogletree wants the turnout to be better this year. Last year, the show was held in June. Attendance for comedy shows is notoriously low during the summer months, so he moved the date for this show to November. He wants everyone to laugh and make money to benefit the Antioch Shriners.

“We want everyone to have a good time.” he said. “After COVID, it’s been hard to get people re-engaged. (Hobart Arena) is a great venue and we’d love to fill the house.”

“I hope it’s a huge success,” Dolph echoed. “I want to write more in the future. It will be good even if I bomb because I can say that I hosted for these national acts. I’m blessed to get this opportunity, and I’m amazed I get the chance to do this.”


What: LaughFest

Where: Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $25-$55

More info:

About the Author