Laughter Foundation Benefit: Health Care for Comedians and a World-Class Comedy Museum
Ready to laugh for a good cause? A benefit will take place at The Comedy Store Main Room for The Laughter Foundation, Sunday November 13, 2011 starting at 8:00pm. The Laughter Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of comedians and the art of comedy. Inspired to provide health care to comedians, comedian/producer Steven Alan Green founded TLF in 2009. American born, Green, who started his career at The Comedy Store, moved to London, England twenty years ago because he found the audiences especially receptive to his brand of comedy. When Green came back to LA for family reasons, he found himself in need of urgent medical, dental, as well as mental health care; only he had no insurance, just the National Health Card given to him by the UK government, which had no value here. Long term plans for Health Care for Comedians, include setting up The Comedians Guild, an association which would allow all working stand-ups access to affordable health care. Says Green….
“I worry because unlike most professions, stand-up comedy requires a constant reality check of your sanity. Throw into the mix all the dangers and temptations you find in the working environment, and you have a potentially volatile scenario. Success alone doesn’t remove these dangers, as witnessed by the tragic death of Rich Jeni in 2007, and so many other comedy geniuses over the last five decades before him. The Laughter Foundation is there for comedians in trouble.”
The November 13th show (the third Laughter Foundation benefit in the LA area in the last twelve months) at The Comedy Store Main Room on Sunset will benefit COMEC, The Comedy Museum Exploratory Committee. Green’s vision is to build a world-class museum dedicated to the study and exhibition of the art, history and science of comedy. Says Green…..
“Comedy, just like any art form, has to be curated. I’d like to see an exhibit (for example) tracing the influences of Jack Benny through comedians of today, or an installation comparing British and American comedy. We know it’s a long way off, but I’m confident we can achieve the goal of a world-class comedy museum. The first step is forming COMEC, which will include experts in the fields of Comedy, Philanthropy and Museum Building. We already have a great architect!...though he’s not very funny. But, that's another story.”
Green will also make an announcement on the night of November 13th that he intends to do the improbable. He is going to peddle his bicycle 305 miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas next fall, culminating in a Laughter Foundation benefit at the 2,000 -seat Reynolds Hall at the beautiful new Smith Center. Living in LA without a car for over two years, Green is in shape with legs of steel. (A comedy documentary about this bike journey is in the works.)
Green’s production background includes creating and producing “High On Laughter,” an annual comedy gala in England, benefiting a drug and alcohol charity launched by Princess Diana. Comedians who have appeared on the High On Laughter shows so far, include: George Wendt, Zach Galifianakis, Jim Gaffigan, Paul Provenza, Rick Overton, Bobcat Goldthwait, and a host of well-known British comedians. The third High On Laughter took place at the London Palladium in 2002 and featured comedy legend Jerry Lewis, who collapsed backstage just as he was being introduced. There are plans afoot for Laughter Foundation benefits around the country and eventually The Hollywood Bowl. Says Steven…
“It’s very simple. We have to start looking at Comedy in this country as the art form it is. Just like they do in England, for example. And to protect and preserve the welfare of comedians, is really the American way. Sick Comedy OK! Sick Comedians NOT! See you on the 13th!”
More information can be found on Facebook and at http://thelaughterfoundation.org
The Comedy Store 8433 W Sunset Blvd Hollywood (323 )650-6268.
TICKETS $20.00 ADVANCE/25.00 AT THE DOOR/$30 VIP