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Sunday, May 19, 2024

These comedians are using laughter to help heal the community

(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Comedians from all over the community are coming together at the Funny Bone Comedy Club here on Sunday to do what they know best — make people laugh in a 12-hour #VBStrong comedy marathon.

Organizer and comedienne Stephanie Cooke said she and the other organizers wanted to do “something” after tragedy struck close to home and “closer than we all could have thought.”

“You’re a comic and can make people laugh,” she said.

Cooke said they’re dedicating those 12-hours of comedy to the memory of the 12 people killed in the Municipal Center mass shooting on May 31, “to put smiles back where they were lost.”

“The purpose is to help us start to heal and to signal to the community it’s okay to laugh again,” she said.

Actors like Leonard Outzs who is a native of Chesapeake and Terry O’Quinn, who has ties here, are among the talent performing stand-up comedy, improv, and musical improv to contribute 100-percent of ticket sales to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund. 

Co-organizer, Brad McMurran is an instructor and owner of Push Comedy Theater in Norfolk and said everyone is excited about the event but the subject matter is tough.

“This is the answer to help us in our darkest hour,” he said.

McMurran said attendees can expect acts to “keep it clean during the day” with different styles of improv and sketch comedy performed by some of his very own students.

He noted contributors to this event weren’t only comics and actors, but also companies in the community who are donating their time and services allowing for raffle prizes and giveaways at the show.

“We’re giving away tickets to see Kevin James, classes at Push Comedy, and even free food from Chic-Fil-A,” Cooke said.

Cooke said sponsors have also contributed to cover the costs of tickets for first responders in appreciation for “what they did that day and what they do every day.”

And, don’t feel pressured to sit for 12 hours straight.

Cooke said ticket options range from $10 for a few hours to $50 for all-day reentry.

The ultimate message here, Cooke said, is to “just laugh with us…just laugh.”

For tickets and information about the #VBStrong Comedy Marathon, click here.

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