Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce returning to Big Slick with Chiefs pals: The final lineup
Kansas City Chiefs fans would call this saving the best for last.
Super Bowl champions Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Creed Humphrey will join the largest-ever celebrity guest list at Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, organizers announced Friday. Mahomes and Kelce are return guests, but, for various reasons, including the pandemic, haven’t participated in person since 2019.
Their former Chiefs teammate, punter Dustin Colquitt, is coming back, too.
This will add some ringers for the softball game at Kauffman Stadium on June 2 and bring even more star power to the T-Mobile Center stage June 3 with nearly 40 Hollywood actors and actresses, musicians, comedians and sportscasters.
They will appear with Big Slick’s famous founders and hosts: Jason Sudeikis, Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet, David Koechner and, new this year, Heidi Gardner. The Kansas City-born “Saturday Night Live” cast member is the first woman to co-host.
The Children’s Mercy Hospital fundraiser is the largest annual gathering of celebrities in Kansas City.
Newcomers include folks who have ties to the hosts: Punkie Johnson, a castmate of Gardner’s on “Saturday Night Live,” and Finn Wolfhard of “Stranger Things” fame who starred with Rudd in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
The event crushed previous fundraising efforts last year with a record $3.5 million for the hospital’s Cancer Center after going online-only in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. Big Slick has raised more than $16 million since 2010.
Making bank on Mahomes? That’s a given.
When he and Kelce attended in 2019, the top money-making auction item was a Kansas City Chiefs dream package of a barbecue dinner with star players and a custom jacket Rudd wore when he announced Mahomes as MVP at that year’s NFL Honors ceremony.
Mahomes autographed the jacket, and the package sold for $55,000.
(Maybe this year’s Chiefs offering will include a replica Lombardi Trophy? Or Super Bowl ring?)
The event will reunite Gardner, Kelce and Humphrey. Fresh off the Super Bowl win, Kelce hosted “SNL” to widespread praise in early March, where he did several skits with Gardner. (She and Kelce briefly shared the Union Station stage at the NFL Draft last month, too.)
In an “SNL” video that didn’t air, the three starred in a mock commercial about muscular NFL players who give back to the community — by hosting women who want their boyfriends and spouses to lift them off the ground. The skit also starred Kelce’s brother, Jason Kelce of the Philadephia Eagles.
Could there be celebrity-tossing on the T-Mobile stage?
Kansas City is ‘easy to sell’
A fundraiser with this level of star power is rare, according to Gardner’s experience.
In February when Gardner was announced as a new host, she told The Star she assumed that her celebrity friends often get recruited to participate in events like this.
She thought “I’ll have to make this one sound really special, which it is. Then I started thinking about it and I was like, I’ve never really been approached about something like this. I don’t hear about weekends like this.
“The Big Slick we know is special. And when I started telling people about it they were … that’s really cool. Yeah, I’ll do that.
“And I’m like, do you need more info? And they’re like, no, sounds awesome. So I do think it’s one of a kind.”
Gardner noted how much celebrities enjoy coming to Kansas City.
“We love our city,” she said. “I think it’s been an easy pitch for all these guys all these years, because we come with such energy and gusto talking about Kansas City, so it’s easy to sell. And then it delivers every time.
“I can see these guests that have come the past two times I’ve been there that are like, ‘Oh I love Kansas City. I love the people. We were so well taken care of.’”
Big Slick began as a poker tournament in 2010 — Big Slick is the name of a poker hand — and grew into a weekend of events coordinated by the hosts’ sisters, mothers and other family members.
The celebrities take the fun to the hospital on the first day, spending time at Children’s Mercy with pediatric cancer patients and their parents and staff. Later, the stars play a softball game before a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium.
The game is just for fun. In 2017 Kelce, playing first base, scored a two-run home run by rounding the bases twice. (Just smacking the ball past the infield is a home run in this game.)
Last year’s Saturday night party at the T-Mobile Center ended well past 11:30 p.m. This time, Mahomes, Kelce and Humphrey are scheduled to follow up the event with a visit to the White House that Monday as Super Bowl champs.
The team didn’t get to make the traditional visit in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Big Slick events
▪ The Big Slick Celebrity Classic softball game will be played at 5 p.m. June 2 at Kauffman Stadium before the Royals play the Colorado Rockies. Anyone with a game ticket can watch.
▪ The Big Slick Party & Show is the weekend’s main event at 8 p.m. June 3. Tickets are $75-$125 for standard lower level and $375 for upgraded seats with Founders Club access including open bar. Tickets are at bigslickkc.org and T-MobileCenter.com.
The celebrity guest list
▪ Becky Ann Baker, actress, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Girls” (married to Dylan Baker)
▪ Dylan Baker, actor, Amazon’s “Hunters” and “Happiness” (married to Becky Ann Baker)
▪ Aisling Bea, actress, “Living With Yourself”
▪ Philip Bowen, musician, TikTok fiddler
▪ Sarah Chalke, actress, “Firefly Lane,” “Scrubs”
▪ Richard Christy, radio personality, musician/drummer
▪ David Cook, Blue Springs native, musician and “American Idol” winner
▪ Dustin Colquitt, former Kansas City Chiefs punter
▪ Baron Corbin, wrestler, WWE
▪ David Dastmalchian of Overland Park, actor, “Ant-Man,” “The Last Voyage of the Demeter”
▪ Chris Daughtry, musician
▪ Sean Evans, YouTuber, “Hot Ones” host
▪ Jonathan Fernandez, actor/comedian, “Gossip Girl,” “Lethal Weapon”
▪ Will Forte, actor, “MacGruber,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Great North”
▪ Ginger Gonzaga, CBS’ “True Lies,” “She-Hulk” and “Attorney at Law’”
▪ Tim Heidecker, comedian, Showtime’s “Moonbase 8”
▪ Seth Herzog, comedian
▪ Anthony Hill, actor, “Grey’s Anatomy”
▪ Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs center
▪ Bradley James, actor, BBC’s “Merlin” and Netflix’s “Vikings: Valhalla”
▪ Punkie Johnson, actress/comedian, “Saturday Night Live”
▪ Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end
▪ Samm Levine, “Raven’s Home” and “Freaks and Geeks”
▪ Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback
▪ Katherine McNamara of Lee’s Summit, actress, CW’s “Walker: Independence,” “Shadowhunters”
▪ Logan Mize, country singer from Clearwater, Kansas
▪ Rashida Olayiwola, actress, “Ironheart,” “Jury Duty”
▪ Kevin Pollak, actor, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
▪ The Potash Twins, musicians and TV personalities
▪ Kevin Rahm, actor, “Madam Secretary,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Mad Men”
▪ Al Roker, TV personality, NBC “Today” show
▪ Peter Schrager, Fox Sports
▪ Darius Rucker, musician
▪ Jake Tapper, CNN anchor
▪ Charissa Thompson, Fox Sports
▪ Sarah Tiana, comedian, “Lights Out With David Spade”
▪ Joe Lo Truglio, actor, “Reno 911!,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Directorial debut, “Outpost,” features the Bakers.)
▪ Blake Vogt, magician
▪ Taylor Williamson, comedian, “America’s Got Talent”
▪ Finn Wolfhard, actor, “Stranger Things,” “It,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”
▪ Al Yankovic, musician