GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Headliners from across the country have come to West Michigan to take the stage and perform their comedy routines at LaughFest. Others, like Dwayne Gill of Lansing, didn't have to travel that far at all.
Gill, excited to be performing during Wednesday night's Best of the Midwest, says telling jokes on stage is where he feels most at home.
"Absolutely, a comedy club is the best place to be," he said earlier this month before an open mic performance at Dr. Grins Comedy Club downtown.
Almost as soon as Gill took the stage he had the crowd hanging onto, not to mention laughing at, his every word. Which makes it no surprise that his career is on an upward trajectory right now. Gill is landing well-paying gigs all over the country but he says performing for a West Michigan audience at LaughFest will be a highlight in his career.
"Oh man, it's fantastic. A lot of times comedians have to submit for different comedy festivals but to get a call or get an email telling you, you were invited and you didn't even ask about it. Oh man, it means you are doing something right." he said.
The funny-man is definitely doing something right. And something very unique. You see Dwayne Gill is not your average comedian.
"It has been fun doing comedy man. I am a police officer by day and comic by night," he told the crowd during one of his routines at Dr. Grins.
That's right. This comedian has a day job as a 18-year veteran officer with the Michigan State Police Department. Something he admits "you don't see everyday."
"Have you guys ever met a cop with a sense of humor. You know that is about as rare as a homeless Republican," he said as the audience erupted in laughter.
Gill started out as a trooper and worked his way up the ranks over the years. Currently, he is a sergeant and works as a legislative liaison for the department tracking bills and working with lawmakers and the governor's office on pending legislation.
"Things are good. Things are good," he said with a satisfied smile.
Gill describes his style as topical comedy. Telling jokes about his relationships, current events and personal experiences.
"And obviously I like to tell stories about crazy things that have happened to me on my day job," he said.
Gill says he told his first joke on stage in the early 1990's and says he's been hooked ever since.
"Oh man, it is like an adrenaline rush," he said. "When you are on stage and the lights are on you and everybody is waiting for you to drop that punch line and they hear it and it is something they never thought of before it hits just like an atomic bomb. It is awesome."
All eyes will be on Gill when he performs during LaughFest along with some of the funniest headliners in the business.
"Oh, I feel honored to even be on the same website with these folks. These are all people I see and look up to on television all day long and for to be a part of the same festival, first of all that is a feather in my cap," he said modestly, suggesting he plans to take his career to even bigger heights.
"I don't know if I've arrived yet, but I'm in the car. I'm on my way," said Gill.
The Best of the Midwest Show starts at 7pm at Dr. Grin's inside the B.O.B at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.