TRAVERSE CITY — It's no longer a rumor: Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts festival co-founder and -host Jeff Garlin won't attend this year’s festival.
Michael Moore learned early today that Garlin would not be coming to Traverse City because of scheduling complications with his TV show, “The Goldbergs,” said Deb Lake, executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival, which puts on the Comedy Arts Festival with the National Cherry Festival.
Moore announced the cancellation this morning through Twitter, although he did not name the absent performer.
"One of the acts at my Comedy Fest can't make it to Michigan tonite," Moore said in the announcement.
Garlin was scheduled to perform two shows at this weekend's festival, including today’s 10:30 p.m. show with Kirk Fox at the State Theatre and Saturday’s sold-out 8:15 p.m. show with Fox and Sarah Tiana at InsideOut Gallery.
He also was one of several comedians scheduled to perform in the Saturday afternoon show, "Dealin' with Idiots."
“We will have other comedians filling in and Michael will be involved,” Lake said at about 3 p.m. She said the festival would announce the change before Friday's show and will offer a refund to anyone who wants one.
As of about 4 p.m., the festival's website, wintercomedy.org, still listed Garlin as a performer. The festival continued selling tickets through its website to Garlin's performances long after organizers were aware he would not appear. The festival posted a notice of Garlin's cancellation on its Facebook page at about 3:45 p.m.
Word that Garlin might not appear at the festival first emerged at Tuesday's Traverse City Rotary meeting, but Thursday both Lake and Moore told the Record-Eagle that Garlin would attend.
Moore introduced Thursday's night's opening act, Rosie O'Donnell, without Garlin.