Entertainment

Living the dream: Kansas City’s homegrown ‘SNL’ star is coming to Big Slick

Six things to know about Heidi Gardner of “SNL”

Viewers have watched Heidi Gardner share the screen on SNL with hosts such as Ryan Gosling, James Franco, Gal Gadot and Charles Barkley during her first season. She completes her debut year on May 19 when “SNL” wraps its 43rd season.
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Viewers have watched Heidi Gardner share the screen on SNL with hosts such as Ryan Gosling, James Franco, Gal Gadot and Charles Barkley during her first season. She completes her debut year on May 19 when “SNL” wraps its 43rd season.

Before she made her debut on “Saturday Night Live” in 2017, Kansas City’s Heidi Gardner was an aspiring comedian watching stars like Paul Rudd make time to return to their hometown.

“It’s always been so cool to see performers like him representing Kansas City,” Gardner told The Star last year.

Next month, the actress will be one of them as a guest at the 10th annual Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, hosted by Rudd and other famous Kansas City entertainers.

Gardner, a 2001 Notre Dame de Sion graduate, will attend Big Slick for the first time, organizers announced Tuesday.

Other guest celebrities announced for the Children’s Mercy Hospital Cancer Center fundraiser: Richard Kind, who has appeared in “Mad About You” and “Spin City” and voiced several animated characters (Bing Bong in Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out”), and comedian Seth Herzog, known for his appearances on “The Tonight Show” as well as his antics at Big Slick auctions.

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“What a Feeling” indeed: Comedian Seth Herzog showed off his “Flashdance” moves at a Big Slick Celebrity Weekend auction. Reed Hoffmann Special to the Star

Organizers have already announced 20 famous guests for the annual charity event that has raised $8 million since it was started in 2010 by Rudd (of the Ant-Man/Avengers films, “This Is 40”), Jason Sudeikis (“Horrible Bosses,” “We’re the Millers”) and Rob Riggle (“21 Jump Street,” “Fox NFL Sunday”). The three grew up in Overland Park.

They now co-host with “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet of Kansas City, Kansas, and “Anchorman” star David Koechner from Tipton, Missouri.

Guests for the event, June 7-8, will continue to be revealed through Friday. Others announced so far:

Actress Sarah Chalke (“Scrubs,” “Roseanne,” “Speechless”)

Musician David Cook of Blue Springs (“American Idol”)

Actor David Dastmalchian of Overland Park (“Ant-Man,” “Blade Runner”)

Musician Chris Daughtry (“American Idol”)

Actor Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”)

Actor Zachary Levi (“Shazam,” “Chuck” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, a Big Slick first-timer

Actor Taran Killam (“Saturday Night Live,” “Single Parents”)

Actress Katherine McNamara of Lee’s Summit (“Shadowhunters,” “Arrow,” “The Maze Runner”)

Sports broadcaster Curt Menefee (“Fox NFL Sunday”)

Actor Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “Future Man”)

Actor Kevin Pollak (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Billions,” “The Usual Suspects”)

Actor Kevin Rahm (“Lethal Weapon,” “Madame Secretary,” “Mad Men”)

Actress Andrea Savage (“Veep,” “Step Brothers”)

Actor Adam Scott (“Big Little Lies,” “Parks and Recreation”)

Actress Cobie Smulders (the Avengers movies, “How I Met Your Mother”), a Big Slick first-timer

Actor Martin Starr (“Silicon Valley,” “Spider-Man”)

CNN journalist Jake Tapper

Actress Olivia Wilde (“Tron: Legacy,” “House,” director of “Booksmart,” which opens Friday)

Actress Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”), a Big Slick first-timer

Though originally conceived as a poker tournament, Big Slick has grown into a two-day event that includes a Friday night celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium; a Saturday morning red carpet arrival, bowling tournament and free block party at Pinstripes in Overland Park; and a Saturday night party and auction.

This year, the auction, which is really more of a big show, will be held at the Sprint Center instead of the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, allowing for 5,000 more seats.

Tickets for all events are available at bigslickkc.org.

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Richard Kind LIONEL HAHN KRT

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