Stargazing

Big Slick announces first wave of celebrity guests, and they’re quite a mix

The first wave of Big Slick celebrity guests to be announced (from left): Weird Al Yankovic, Johnny Knoxville and Jake Tapper.
The first wave of Big Slick celebrity guests to be announced (from left): Weird Al Yankovic, Johnny Knoxville and Jake Tapper.

Parodist Weird Al Yankovic, stunt entertainer Johnny Knoxville and journalist Jake Tapper are the first wave of big-name guests to be announced for Big Slick Celebrity Weekend 2017.

The trio will join hometown hosts Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner on June 23-24 to raise money for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy hospital. Since its beginnings in 2010 as a charity poker tournament hosted by Riggle, Rudd and Sudeikis, Big Slick has raised over $4.5 million toward research, hospital amenities and medical equipment.

Yankovic, Knoxville and Tapper are the first batch of celebrity guests to be thrown into the 2017 Big Slick pot. Each weekday Big Slick will announce three additional guests through June 16, for a total of 27.

They will join in on the celebrity softball game at 5 p.m. that Friday at Kauffman Stadium; the block party, red carpet arrival and bowling tournament in the Prairiefire shopping center in Overland Park at 8:30 a.m. that Saturday; and the party and charity auction at 7 that night at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

The auction is sold out, and only a limited number of tickets remain for the bowling tournament.

Anyone with a ticket to the Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays game at 7:15 p.m. June 23 can watch the celebrity softball game beforehand. If you purchase through royals.com/bigslick, $5 goes to the charity.

If you want to be in the thick of the action, you can enter Big Slick’s national online fundraising raffle for as little as $10. Everyone who enters gets Big Slick merchandise, but the big prize is the chance to play in the celebrity softball game and receive VIP tickets to the other events. Go to omaze.com/bigslick.

The block party outside Pinstripes in Prairiefire is free.

Big Slick hosts Jason Sudeikis, Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner entertained the crowd at Kauffman Stadium with a celebrity softball game before the Royals took on the Detroit Tigers.

Yankovic, 57, is a four-time Grammy Award-winning jack-of-all-trades entertainer best known for his comical songs and parodies that mock pop culture. He has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. This is his second Big Slick tournament, after attending in 2014.

Knoxville, 46, is a stunt man and actor/comedian who created the MTV show and film series “Jackass,” featuring Knoxville and friends performing outrageous, crude and often self-harming pranks and stunts. Knoxville attended Big Slick from 2012 to 2015. Instead of attending last year, he donated a big auction item: a chance to be an extra in one of his movies.

Tapper, 48, is the Emmy Award-winning chief Washington correspondent for CNN and anchors the weekday news show “The Lead With Jake Tapper.” If you’re thinking Tapper, next to goofballs Knoxville and Yankovic, seems out of place, think again. He’s a Big Slick alum as well, having attended in 2014.

In the past, other celebrities have included Will Ferrell, Tom Arnold, Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde (Sudeikis’ fiancee), George Wendt (Sudeikis’ uncle), Jon Hamm, Damon Wayans Jr. and J.K. Simmons.

Learn more at bigslickkc.org.

Aaron Randle: 816-234-4060, @aaronronel

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