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Saturday Night Live star Heidi Gardner named 6th Big Slick host

KC native 'so excited' to participate in larger role
Heidi Gardner
Posted at 9:27 AM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 10:27:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saturday Night Live star Heidi Gardner will be in town this June for the 14th annual Big Slick Celebrity Weekend — this year as a host, not just a guest.

The Kansas City, Missouri, native joins other local comedic legends Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet as hosts of the annual Children’s Mercy Hospital benefit.

“The biggest honor of my life, really,” Gardner told KSHB 41. "I can’t believe they asked me to be a co-host with them."

Gardner attended the weekend as a guest in 2019 and 2022. During last year’s event, she was privately asked to take a larger role in 2023.

“Everything that Children’s Mercy Hospital does, the doctors and nurses that work there, they are going through a lot, as well as the families,” Gardner said. “To have a weekend where not only are we raising money for them but we’re entertaining these people, we’re bringing our gifts to them to give back, I think we all know the job at hand and we all come together really well. It makes us better; it makes us funnier.”

Growing up in the “best place in the world,” Gardner, a 2001 Notre Dame de Sion graduate, said she has always held Children’s Mercy in high regard. When Big Slick began in 2010, she quickly became a fan of what it stands for.

“The years that I’ve done it, just the energy around it is incredible,” she said. “Because everyone’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re here to be funny, give back, party, just make people smile.’”

This year’s Big Slick Celebrity Weekend is scheduled for June 2-3.

The Celebrity Classic Softball Game will be Friday, June 2, at Kauffman Stadium before the Kansas City Royals take on the Colorado Rockies.

Anyone who purchases a ticket to the regular game can attend the Big Slick event.

Gardner said after striking out her first year and hitting a double in 2022, she’s ready to hit a home run.

The main event of the weekend, the Big Slick Party and Show, will be held Saturday, June 3, at the T-Mobile Center.

Presale tickets will be made available to Big Slick insiders/email subscribers at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

Tickets will go on sale to general public can at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 10.

Lower-level tickets will cost $75 to $125, while upgraded seats and VIP tickets are available for $375 and up.

Celebrity guests who plan to attend the weekend will be announced on Big Slick’s social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram leading up to the event.

Since 2010, Big Slick has raised more than $17 million for Children’s Mercy.