This is an archive page for what used to be nonprofitcomedy.com
Non-Profit Comedy is sadly coming to a close, with two last shows on Oct 18 and Dec 6, 2011.
Often political and always hilarious, Non-Profit Comedy was featured in the Seattle P-I and has raised almost $100,000 for local non-profits over the past 6 years. Thanks to the comics, our non-profit partners, and the Comedy Underground for a great run!
Next show! Tue Dec 6 8pm: Camp Ten Trees
Show details: Showtime 8:00-9:30pm at the Comedy Underground, 109 S. Washington St. in Occidental Park. Cover is usually $12 ($6 w/ student ID), at least half gets donated, buy tickets at the door. There is no drink minimum but food and beverages are available. The Comedy Underground is open to all ages except Fri/Sat, but it is always a free speech zone, so think twice if you’re easily offended or bringing impressionable youths. The club is down a flight of stairs but elevator access is available if arranged in advance. Free street parking is often available nearby, as are pay parking lots and most downtown buses.
* Potentially tight parking (Mariners game) if * in headline
Scroll down for behind-the-scenes details for non-profit partners and comics, for Is Non-PC right for me?, for Non-PC in the news, to sign up for email updates, and to read about shows in previous years.
Shows in 2011 (Total amount raised: No total yet…)
Recent shows (in reverse chronological order): Tue Oct 18 Rosalie Gale hosted a show that raised $140 for the great folks at Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project. Tue Sept 6 Will Seay guest-produced a show for Alzheimer’s Association. Tue Aug 9 we raised $273 for Vadis. Tue Aug 2 we raised $91 for New Beginnings. Tue July 12 Brian Boshes guest produced a show that raised $47 for Northwest Harvest. Tue July 5 Cory Michaelis gues produced a show that raised $115 for Cascade High School (AVID Program). Tue June 28 Rosalie hosted a fun show that raised $90 for Micah Nolin’s Climb for Himalayan Children, a fundraising climb for Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children. Tue June 21 was the most beautiful day of the year but some stalwarts still came out and raised $52 for Camp Ten Trees. Tue June 7 we had a small-but-fun show, with great sets from Heneghen, Brian Boshes, and Drew Barth; the show raised $109 for Mrs B’s Bunch, a Bike MS fundraising team for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Greater Northwest Chapter. Tue May 31 Rosalie Gale guest-produced a small but fun show that raised $27 for Team in Training, a fundraising event benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tue May 17 Ross Parsons guest produced a show that raised $225 for Boundless Arts Theater Company. *Tue May 10 Rosalie Gale hosted a show that raised $343 for Seattle Architecture Foundation. Tue Apr 26 we had a fun show that raised $1645 for Changes Parent Support Network. Tue Apr 5 guest producer Mike Baskett hosted a show that raised about $750 for Tilted Thunder Rail Birds. Tue Mar 29 we had a fabulous show that raised $178 for Amigos de las Americas, Seattle, with Jen O’Brien of Amigos doing a guest set and fabulous audience participation from a British guest and a woman named Lisa, who had the most intelligent heckle ever: “correlation is not causation”; also great sets from Mike Drucker, Douglas Gale, and (headlining the event) Rosalie Gale. Tue Mar 8 Pride Foundation had second thoughts because of Fat Tuesday. Tue Feb 22 Rosalie Gale hosted a terrific show that raised $760 for The Wild and Scenic Institute. Tue Feb 1 we had our usual fabulous show with Puget Sound Community School, starring Georgie Kunkel, Luke Burbank, David TV, Seth Lazear, Emmett Montgomery, Peter Greyy, and four PSCS students who took a stand-up comedy class (!) from Emmett and Peter; the show raised $6,800! Tue Jan 25 Rosalie Gale guest-produced a show that raised $116 for BABES Network. Tue Jan 18 Heneghen and Georgie Kunkel starred in a show that raised $72 for 911 Media Arts Center. Tue Jan 11 it was snowing but that didn’t stop Country Doctor Youth Clinic from bringing an awesome crowd down to the show, and the comics (Barbara Holm, John Gardner, Douglas Gale, Rosalie Gale, Seth Lazear, and Brian Boshes, plus yours truly) put on a fabulous show that raised $1250. A great way to start 2011!
Even more past shows here.
Shows in 2010 (Total amount raised: $14,744!!)
Recent shows (in reverse chronological order): Tue Dec 14 Alex Meyer guest-produced a show that raised $449 for Alzheimer’s Association. Tue Dec 7 Camp Ten Trees didn’t show up. Tue Nov 2 we did an election night show that raised $150 or so for the ACLU of Washington State. Tue Oct 26 Rosalie Gale hosted a fun show that raised $153 for Flash Volunteer. Tue Oct 19 we raised $85 for Puget SoundOff. Tue Sept 28 we had a mix-up with Pride Foundation. Tue Sept 7 we had a fun show for Passages Northwest. Tue Aug 24 we had a small but fun crowd and raised $94 for Sound Youth VISTA. Tue Aug 17 Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project raised $235 and reaffirmed my faith in humanity, with fabulous sets by Rosalie Gale, Brian Boshes, and Carol Maki. Tue Aug 3 the show for Jigsaw Renaissance was cancelled by the group last-minute. Tue July 27 we raised $288 for Centerpoint Institute. Tue July 20 Emily Meyer guest-produced a show that raised $617 for Alzheimer’s Association (Memory Walk, Team Betsy). Tue July 13 Heneghen did a great set and we raised $150 for BikeWorks. Tue June 29 we had a fabulous show with a packed house that raised $400 for Yoga Behind Bars. Tue June 22 Travis Simmons headlined a show that raised about $50 for Seattle Storytellers Guild. Tue June 15 we had an awesome show that raised $481 for Planned Parenthood Young Professionals/Education Dept.. Tue June 8 Kristen Kirkham starred in a show that raised about $80 for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. Tue May 25 guest producer Carol Maki put on a fun show that raised $201 for Fur Kidz 911 Connection. Tue May 18 Nicole Lucas headlined a show that raised $92 for Girls on the Run of Puget Sound. Tue May 11 Colleen Robertson did a great set and helped bring out a huge crowd that raised $1773 (!) for Urban ArtWorks. Tue Apr 6 Rosalie Gale hosted a show that raised $30 for Real Change. Tue Mar 30 Rosalie Gale guest produced a show that raised $98 for 911 Media Arts Center. Also Food Lifeline. Tue Mar 16 EtsyRAIN and guest producer Rosalie Gale had a great show (and silent auction!) that raised a total of $398. Tue Feb 2: Puget Sound Community School packed the house and brought in about $8000! Starring Gabriel Rutledge, with guest sets by Solomon Georgio, Kortney Shane Williams, Peter Greyy, Emmett Montgomery, Yoram Bauman and four PSCS students! Tue Feb 23 Amigos de las Americas, Seattle raised $920 and rocked the house with a great crowd, great sets from Georgie Kunkel, TK Kasnick, Seth Lazear, John Gardner, Rosalie Gale, Solomon Georgio, and Yoram Bauman, and extra kudos to fundraising chair Jennifer O’Brien for an amazing performance (sung to the tune of “Saving all my love for you”) of “Saving a spot on the board for you” :). Atlantic Street Center.
Shows in 2009 (Total amount raised: $16,941!!)
Tue Dec 1 we raised $100+ for UW Combined Fund Drive (for City Gate Ministries / Covenant Creatures). Tue Nov 3 James Parkinson hosted a terrific election-night show that raised $183 for ACLU of Washington State. Tue Oct 27 Rosalie Gale hosted a fun show that raised $634 for Homeward Pet. (They brought puppies! PS. I stayed home cleaning bugs out of the cupboards.) Tue Oct 20 we raised $127 in a fun show for Sightline Institute hosted by Georgie Kunkel! Tue Oct 13 Solomon Georgio rocked the house in a fun show that raised $291 for Country Doctor Youth Clinic. Tue Aug 18 we had a truly awesome show that raised $574 for the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, with great sets from Nicole Lucas, TK Kasnick, Ron Placone, Lizzy Pilcher, Rosalie Gale, Georgie Kunkel (oldest comic in Seattle!), Kelli Robson, and Solomon Georgio. Tue July 21: Rosalie Gale hosted the show for Children’s Home Society of WA that raised about $60. Tue July 14: Rosalie Gale hosted the show for YouthCare that raised $226. Tue June 30: Rosalie Gale hosted the show for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington that raised over $800. Tue June 23 Rosalie Gale hosted the show for Safe Schools Coalition that raised about $90. Tue June 9 James Parkinson guest-produced a great show that raised $160 for the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. Tue June 2 Rodger Lizaola was the highlight of a great night that raised $252 for a big crowd from Rebuilding Together Seattle. Tue May 26 our show for Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition was defeated by the good weather and Memorial Day weekend. Tue May 19 Brett Hamil emceed a show that raised $143 for Bangin Pavement for Boobies (Breast Cancer 3-day). Tue May 12 the Cascade People’s Center got dealt a tough hand by good weather &etc. Tue May 5 Andy Haynes and Vince Valenzuela headlined a show that raised $1814 for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Tue Apr 21 we had a small but enthusiastic crowd and great comedy from Rory Scovel, Andy Haynes, Scott Moran, and others that raised $60 for the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS). Tue Apr 7 Rosalie Gale guest-produced a show that raised $647 for Amigos de las Americas, Seattle. Tuesday Mar 31 a smallish but wonderful crowd came out and raised $95 for ACLU of Washington State, with stellar appearances from Seattle Comedy Competition winners Peggy Platt and Kermet Apio, plus Peter Greyy! Tuesday Mar 24 we had a rollicking good time laughing about sherpas and bald spots with Blaine Reeder, Lizzy Pilcher, Kevin Hyder, James Parkinson, Bryley Hull, Dan Moore, Brett Hamil turning in great sets; we raised $150 for Washington Trails Association Tuesday Mar 17 our show for Real Change was undermined by St Patrick’s Day. Tuesday Mar 10 Rosalie Gale produced and Dan Moore hosted a fun show that raised $201 for NOAH Puppy Mill Dogs. Tuesday Mar 3 we had a fun show that raised $100 for Feet First. Tuesday Feb 17 Dan Moore, Rosalie Gale, and Mr Mookie (!) helped put on a great show that raised about $200 for a new Tacoma-based non-profit called S.C.H.O.O.L.. Tuesday Feb 3 Peter Greyy headlined a fun show that raised $361 for YouthCare, with KCTS-9 in the house to film some jokes about the economic situation. Tuesday Jan 27 Puget Sound Community School put on an extravaganza that raised $8,908 with a silent auction, a live auction, and fabulous comics including Seattle Comedy Competition winners Kermet Apio and Elliott Maxx, plus Ty Barnett from the CBS Late Late Show and Peter Greyy! Tuesday Jan 20 Seattle Comedy Competition winner Peggy Platt and Peter Greyy starred in an Inauguration Night show that raised $765 for Eat the State!.
Shows in 2008 (Total amount raised: $16,733!!)
In reverse chronological order: Tuesday Dec. 9 newly crowned Seattle Comedy Competition winner Tommy Savitt did a guest set (joining Brian Boshes, Toby Brown, Jay Holzman, Simon Kaufman, Xung Lam, Seth Lazear, Jeff Reitman, and Brad Brake) on a fun show that raised $493 for Jewish Federation Young Leadership Division. Tuesday Dec. 2 guest producer Hari Kondabolu brought to town San Francisco comics Ali Wong and Chris Garcia for a show that raised $125 for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. Tuesday Nov. 18 Jake Merriman and James Parkinson put on a great show that raised $450 for Washington Public Campaigns. Tuesday Oct. 21 Bryley Hull guest-produced a show that raised $182 for PCC Farmland Trust. Tuesday Oct. 14 we entertained Julie “the quinoa girl” and raised $157 for the Literary Council of Seattle. Tuesday Oct. 7 we opened at the new location and raised $1,197 for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, with guest appearances from Andy Peters, Andy Haynes, and Rory Scovel! Wednesday May 21 Yoram did a “stand-up economics” show at Ingraham High School as part of a student fundraising effort in Ben Hazelwood’s econ class that raised $1,050 for Kiva. Tuesday May 13 Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest brought out a great crowd and raised $1,928! Sunday May 11 and Monday May 12 we put on special benefit shows that raised a total of $2,300 for Sightline Institute. Tuesday May 6 Jay Sierra featured and Vince Valenzuela headlined a show that raised $404 for CASA Latina. Tuesday Apr. 1 we battled the Mariners opening week and raised about $140 for Safe Schools Coalition. Tuesday Mar. 25 Barbara Sehr guest-produced a show that raised almost $250 for Ingersoll Gender Center. Tuesday Mar. 18 Amigos de las Americas, Seattle brought out a great crowd and raised $600+. Tuesday Feb. 26 we raised $178 for Compassion and Choices of Washington. Tuesday Feb. 19 our pack of dog-loving comics helped raise $200+ for Citizens for Off-Leash Areas. Wednesday Feb. 13 we raised about $150 for UW Young Democrats. Tuesday Feb. 12 Barbara Sehr guest produced a show that raised $180 for Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Tuesday Feb. 5 we battled Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday to raise $100 for the Tenants Union. Tuesday Jan. 29 Puget Sound Community School packed the house and brought to stage four Seattle Comedy Competition winners (David Crowe, Elliot Maxx, Peggy Platt, Rod Long), Las Vegas Comedy Festival winner Brad Upton, and more, raising $5,104 between ticket sales, raffles, and a live auction, plus an additional $1,200 in matching Comic Relief funds for First Place School. Tuesday Jan. 22 we started off the new year right with a great show that raised $345 for Cascade People’s Center.
Shows in 2007 (Total amount raised: $18,376!!)
In reverse chronological order: Tuesday Dec. 18 we ended the year with a great show that raised $300+ for Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. Tuesday Dec. 11 Beka Barry headlined and Craig Gass did a guest set on a show that raised $513 for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. Kortney Shane Williams was the chief bright spot in the show on Tuesday Nov. 27 that raised $39 for Shoreline Community College DECA Club. Tuesday Nov. 20 we raised $232 for Home Alive. Tuesday Nov. 13 we raised $219 for Ruby Room. Tuesday Oct. 30 Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest rocked the house with a laugh-loving crowd of 100 and raised $1,100. Tuesday Oct. 23 we raised $63 for Rise n’ Shine. Tuesday Oct. 16 Rosalie Gale told me to stay home, she’d take care of it, and she and other fine comics (Douglas Gale, Kevin Hyder, Aziza Diaz, Andy Haynes) put on a fine show that raised $150 for the North Kitsap Options Program. Tuesday Oct. 9 we had a great show that raised $500 for the Jewish Federation Young Leadership Division. Tuesday Oct. 2 Youth Tutoring Program did their usual stellar job of rocking the house, and we helped them raise $647. Tuesday Sept. 25 David Crowe did a guest set and we had a fabulous show, raising $295 for Safe Schools Coalition. Tuesday Sept. 18 Barbara Sehr produced a show that raised $414 for SEAMEC. Tuesday Sept. 11 our non-profit partner bailed at the last minute but we still raised $50 for Comic Relief. Tuesday Sept. 4 Last Comic Standing runner-up Ty Barnett did a guest set and we raised $400 for the Refugee and Immigrant Family Center; we also did a show at Jazzbones in Tacoma that raised $300 for Emergency Food Network. Tuesday Aug. 21 we raised $346 for Citizens for Off-Leash Areas. Tuesday Aug. 14 Barbara Sehr guest produced a show that raised $152 for the Ingersoll Gender Center. Tuesday Aug. 7 we raised $1,225 for Downtown Emergency Service Center in a star-studded show featuring Last Comic Standing runner-up Ty Barnett, Las Vegas Comedy Festival winner Brad Upton, Duane Goad, and Seattle Comedy Competition runner-up Heneghen! Tuesday July 24 we celebrated the last show of Hari Kondabolu with a great show that raised $430 for BABES Network! Tuesday July 17 we raised about $150 for the Backbone Campaign. Tuesday July 3 Douglas Gale MCed the show for Literary Council of Seattle, raising $201. Tuesday June 26 we raised $366 for Safe Schools Coalition, with special appearances from Jennifer Self, Jennifer Jasper, and Barbara Sehr. Tuesday June 19 Hari Kondabolu and Vince Valenzuela performed at a great show for Multifaith Works, who brought out 75 people, matched donations 3-to-1, and raised $2,376! Tuesday June 12 Hari Kondabolu and a million other comics put together an awesome show that raised $240 for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. Tuesday June 5 we raised about $250 for University District Service Providers Alliance. Tuesday May 29 Hari Kondabolu, and Brad Upton headlined a great show that raised $546 for CASA Latina. Wednesday May 23 Heneghen, Hari Kondabolu, Harrold Gomez et al. put on a great show that raised $84 for UW Young Democrats. Tuesday May 22 we put on a great show for John Spady and a small but dedicated crowd that raised $54 for the Municipal League of King County. Tuesday May 15 Brad Upton headlined a great show that raised $279+ for Washington Public Campaigns. Tuesday May 8 we raised $55 for Home Alive. Tuesday May 1 we raised $292 for Camp Ten Trees. Tuesday Apr. 24 we welcomed the return of Meghan Hounshell and raised about $100 for Family Support Network International, whose founder, Cheryl Honey, just won a Jefferson Award! Tuesday April 17 Beka Barry headlined the show for Planned Parenthood, raising $342. Tuesday April 10 Foolproof failed to show up, so we did a short show for Dennis/Jim/Ryan/Monti/etc and gave everyone refunds. Tuesday April 3 we went head-to-head with the Mariners opening series and raised $190 for Real Change; Ruben Rajah had a great set, and we all dealt with good-natured heckling from Jeff and Brittney. Mon-Wed March 26-28 we had an Environmental Comedy Festival, raising $567 for Sightline Institute, $491 for Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network, and $240 for 911 Media Arts Center. Tuesday March 20 we raised $75 for Puget Sound Productions. Tuesday March 13 Seattle Comedy Competition winners Peggy Platt and Kermet Apio and three Puget Sound Community School students starred in a fabulous show that raised $1,415 (a new record high!) for PSCS. Wednesday March 7 we had a wonderful show (surprise guest sets from Harrold Gomez, Last Comic Standing runner-up Ty Barnett, and Comedy Underground manager Ron Reid) and raised $216 for Anti-Defamation League. Tuesday March 6 we did two shows, raising $651 for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington at Jazzbones in Tacoma and $237 for Mae West Festival (starring Peggy Platt!) in Seattle. Tuesday February 27 we raised $213 for Futurewise. Tuesday February 13 we had a great show (with Seattle Comedy Competition winner Harrold Gomez, Peter Greyy, Hari Kondabolu, etc.) and raised $392 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tuesday February 6 Seattle Comedy Competition winner Harrold Gomez and runner-up Heneghen made guest appearances and we raised $196 for Seattle Tilth. Tuesday January 30 Brad Upton headlined the show for Washington Trails Association, raising $398. Tuesday January 23 Owen Straw guest-produced the show and raised $135 for Seattle Hempfest , starring Seattle Comedy Competition winner Harrold Gomez and runner-up Heneghen. Tuesday January 16 we overcame more lousy weather to put on a really fun show—thanks to Last Comic Standing runner-up Ty Barnett for putting in a surprise appearance!—and raised about $100 for Cascade People’s Center. Tuesday January 9 we overcame lousy weather and a loud group of hard-drinking young women and raised about $150 for UW Bothell’s Delta Epsilon Chi. (Jan-March total: $5,476)
Shows in 2006 (Total amount raised: $14,387!!)
In reverse chronological order: Tuesday December 19 featured guest producer Kelli Robson, a surprise appearance from Last Comic Standing runner-up Ty Barnett (!), and a packed house that brought in $966 for Safe Schools Coalition! Tuesday December 12 NARAL Pro-Choice Washington had their second show of the year, and it was worth it: they brought 109 people to the club, Hari Kondabolu headlined, and we raised a new record high: $1,211!! Tuesday December 5 Heneghen headlined and Cascade Land Conservancy raised $220. Tuesday November 28 Emmett Montgomery guest produced the show for Bad Fruit Foundation and raised $170. Tuesday November 21 we braved the rain and raised $190 for Stone Soup—buy holiday gifts from their non-profit rural marketplace shopthefrontier.org. Tuesday October 31 we raised $104 for Yes on I-937 (Clean Energy Initiative). Tuesday October 24 Kelli Robson guest produced (and Peggy Platt headlined!) a show for Lambert House, raising $353. Tuesday October 17 Vince Valenzuela headlined and we went head-to-head with the Rolling Stones, who were playing next door; we still raised $279 for Center for Social Justice! Tuesday October 10 UW CHID raised $157. Tuesday October 3 Youth Tutoring Program brought a crowd of 130 people and raised $1,145! (This is our new record high!) Tuesday September 26 Heneghen headlined a great show that raised $705 for University District Service Providers Alliance. Tuesday September 19 we raised $140 for Home Alive. Tuesday September 12 Hari Kondabolu guest produced and headlined the show for Hate Free Zone, which raised $713. Tuesday September 5 we raised $266 for Voters for Affordable Housing. Tuesday August 29 Heneghen, Brad Upton, and Vince Valenzuela starred in the show for Veterans of Modern Warfare, which raised $110. Tuesday August 22 Andy Peters guest produced (and David Crowe headlined) the show for Planned Parenthood, bringing in 126 people and $1,057. Tuesday August 15 Brad Upton headlined and we raised $276 for Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network. Tuesday August 8 Heneghen headlined and we raised $105 for Futurewise (formerly 1000 Friends of Washington). Tuesday August 1 Peggy Platt headlined (!), Harrold Gomez did a guest set (two winners of the Seattle Comedy Competition in one night!), and Aradia Women’s Health Center brought 100 people to the club and raised $951. Tuesday July 25 we raised $614 for Jobs with Justice. Tuesday July 18 we raised $130 for Conversation Cafe/New Roadmap Foundation and had a fabulous time, with guest sets from Seattle Comedy Competition winner Ron Osborne and Heneghen. Tuesday July 11 we raised $53 for Corporate Accountability International. Tuesday June 13 Travis Simmons guest produced the show for Downtown Emergency Service Center and raised $805. Tuesday June 6 NARAL Pro-Choice Washington brought 120 people to the club and raised $1,069; Meghan Hounshell headlined! Tuesday May 30 BABES Network-YWCA raised $56. Tuesday May 23′s show for El Centro de la Raza featured Latino comics Rodger Lizaola, Jay Sierra, and Vince Valenzuela and raised $122. Tuesday May 16 UW Young Democrats raised $150. Tuesday May 9 Poverty Action raised $208. Tuesday April 25 Kelli Robson guest-produced a show for the Pride Foundation and raised $500. Tuesday April 11 (the official inaugural Non-Profit Comedy show!) we had an audience of 100+ and raised $812 for Real Change, including a generous donation from comic Craig Gass, a Seattle native who’s made it big with Howard Stern in New York and plunked down some serious cash for extra stage time (and brought down the house with a set about King-5′s Jim Foreman being the sacrificial lamb of TV news). Tuesday March 14 (the unofficial inaugural Non-Profit Comedy show!) we packed the club with 158 people and raised $750 for Northwest Environment Watch (now called Sightline Institute) during the second-to-last High Contrast Comedy show in Seattle. Total amount raised in 2006: $14,387. Number of shows: 31. Average raised per show: $464.
Is Non-Profit Comedy right for me?
Probably, but take this self-test to make sure
Although the Comedy Underground is now smoke-free (!), comics can still be filthy and potentially offensive. If this is a matter of concern, please use the following self-test to determine if this benefit show is right for you: Consider the excerpt below from the New York Times. After reading the first few paragraphs, is your initial reaction closer to (a) “This is terribly wrong, and it is not at all funny” or (b) “This is terribly wrong, but it is absolutely f@$%ing hilarious”? If your initial reaction is closer to (a), you might consider finding another way to support your favorite nonprofits; if your initial reaction is closer to (b), we’ll see you on a Tuesday night in the near future!
“The Pitch: A Series About Wacky Terrorists” by David Halbfinger, New York Times, 9/1/05
Here are a few highlights from the hottest Hollywood script you will most likely never see produced on a television or movie screen:
Abu, Ahmed, Musab and Salar, a cell of Islamic terrorists sent to Chicago by a nefarious network resembling Al Qaeda, are getting chewed out by their murderous boss, just in from Afghanistan. (They have been spending the organization’s money like crazy but haven’t blown anything up.) Just then, two deliverymen knock on the apartment door, bearing a huge flat-screen TV.
Ahmed, whose cover is a job as a bike messenger, falls in love with a neighborhood florist — who turns out to be Jewish — but can’t get up the nerve to ask her out. ”You’re bright, you’re funny, you’re talented,” Musab says, urging his comrade on. ”Who made the best nail bomb in training camp? You did!”
Abu blends in by joining a bowling team, and becomes a fanatic: ”We will dance in the blood of the losers from Hal’s Body and Paint Shop!” he vows. But he is a hapless terrorist. A fertilizer bomb in his trunk accidentally goes off outside when he is bowling for the league championship — toppling his last two pins and clinching victory.
”The Cell,” as this exercise in envelope-pushing is titled, has been making its way through Hollywood for more than a year, cracking up development executives and their assistants, being passed from friend to friend like an underground newspaper behind the Iron Curtain, and winning its creators, Mark Jordan Legan and Mark F. Wilding, scores of meetings and three other writing assignments…
But the accolades invariably led nowhere. This, it seems, is a comedic concept too explosive to touch…
While the script’s heroes are ostensibly out to kill and paralyze Americans with fear, the running joke of ”The Cell” is that they quickly fall in love with Americans and Americana. They order Domino’s Pizza and heat up Hot Pockets, and get weak-kneed over super-sizes and double coupons and sexy college women. They become Chicago Cubs fans — these are hapless terrorists, after all — and derive their cultural literacy straight from television and the movies: their secret password is ”Kelly Ripa”…
Non-Profit Comedy in the news!
11/21/07: Seattle Weekly includes Non-Profit Comedy in their calendar of recommended events: “…[T]here are better jokes to be heard at the Comedy Underground’s weekly Non-Profit Comedy night–so do something good with your 12 bucks and your affluent guilt over the Thanksgiving feast.”
1/29/07: “Do-gooders and good humor mix well on Non-Profit Nights, and that’s no joke”, Athima Chansanchai’s Seattle P-I feature story on Non-Profit Comedy, took up the entire front page of the Arts section of the P-I. The article also has profiles of regular Non-PC performers Meghan Hounshell, Hari Kondabolu, Rosalie Gale, Douglas Gale (aka “Rosalie’s other half”), and Yoram Bauman.
11/22/06: “Laugh Riot”, Brian Miller’s Seattle Weekly cover story on the 2006 comedy competition, features Non-Profit Comedy regular Douglas Gale. See also the funny LTEs from Non-Profit Comedy regulars Yoram Bauman and Heneghen, featuring this quote: “After two years on the Seattle comedy scene, I was convinced that no other profession could match our collective fixation with blow jobs, hoary stereotypes, and cynicism. But silly me—I forgot journalism!”
Behind-the-scenes info for non-profits and comics
The two ideas underlying Non-Profit Comedy, a Tuesday night show at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, are (1) to do thoughtful, political-ish comedy, and (2) to make each show a benefit for a worthy non-profit. As a partnering non-profit, you’d get an easy opportunity for staff/board/major volunteer appreciation (they can get comp tickets), you’d get to go home with at least 50% of the door revenues (historically $100-$900, so we’re not talking big money, but it is easy money), and you’d get to have a fun time with some terrific comics on what would otherwise be a slow Tuesday night. All that we’d ask of you in return is for you to be excited about being part of the show and for you to translate that excitement into some relatively low-stress, low- time-and-energy promotional efforts, e.g., encouraging staff/board/volunteers to come and bring their friends. (You could of course do more promotional work if you wanted to, and just as a warning it’s not easy to bring people out to the club on a Tuesday night :)
You can read the information for participating non-profits to get a stronger sense of what we’d expect of you. If you’re interested in being involved in a future show, I’d love to chat more and/or put you in touch with previous non-profit partners and/or invite you to an upcoming show so you can check it out. (I can provide comp tickets if you need one or two.) And I’m open to any and all suggestions/comments/etc, so don’t hesitate to contact me at yoram AT standupeconomist.com or by phone at 206-351-5719.
Before proceeding, you should make sure that the decision-makers at your organization are comfortable participating in a non-PC event. Thoughtful, political-ish comedy can still be foul-mouthed and potentially offensive, so you might want to check out a show or talk with one of our previous non-profit partners before signing up.
Thanks for being a part of Non-Profit Comedy! These shows are intended to celebrate and showcase Seattle’s comic talents as well as bring in some cash for your non-profit and put on a fun appreciation event for your staff/board/volunteers (who can get comp tickets), so come prepared to have a good time! Here’s the deal:
Step 1: You pick a date. See the list of available dates. Before picking a date, though, you should do an internal gut check to make sure that everyone’s on board with a non-PC comedy show. If you want to check out a show first, let’s make that happen before picking a date. (I’m happy to provide up to four comp tickets: just tell whoever’s at the door that you’re thinking about doing a show and that they should bring me over for a minute so we can have an in-person introduction.)
Step 2: We decide on ticket prices. As a starting point toward the twin goals of raising money and getting a good crowd, we recommend $12 at the door, $10 for tickets you pre-sell (if you’re pre-selling tickets), and $6 for students with ID (either at the door or in advance). Please note (1) that we provide comp tickets to potential future non-profit partners and to friends of the comics; and (2) that you can provide comp or discounted tickets to staff/board/key volunteers. Remember, this is a decision for us to make jointly, so make sure to keep us in the loop. As of June 2011, you now get 100% of any ticket sales over $800 (after tax), plus of course 50% of the first $800 of ticket sales (after tax). (The other 50% of the first $800 is shared between the club and the comics, with the club getting the first $75 and the comics getting the rest.)
Step 3: You decide if you want to do a stage pitch. If you want 2-3 minutes of stage time to promote your organization, terrific. You should also consider bringing literature and donation envelopes to put on the tables. More on this in the section below called “At the Show”…
Step 4: You decide if you want to do a raffle. You can make some extra money by doing a raffle at the show. (As an added bonus, you get 100% of the raffle money as opposed to only 50+% of the ticket sales.) The club has raffle tickets and a bucket for the drawing. The club is also usually willing to chip in a couple of tickets to a future show, but other than that you’re on your own in terms of finding things to raffle off. Also, the raffle will cut into already-scarce stage time, so to make it happen fast please limit the number of items to 3-5. (Also note that once the show starts you won’t be able to sell tickets easily.) Finally, if you’re into legalese then you should read the state Gambling Commission’s rules on raffles. (See in particular the info on the first page and the section on “Unlicensed Auctions–Public Auctions” on the second page of their General Information PDF.) Compliance with these rules is your responsibility, not the responsibility of Non-Profit Comedy or the club, but the main ideas seem to be (1) you have to be a non-profit; (2) tickets have to be sold by an over-18 member of the organization; and (3) you can’t have more than two raffles in a year, and their combined revenue can’t exceed $5,000.
Step 5: You decide if you want to pre-sell tickets. Tickets will always be sold at the door but your organization can also pre-sell tickets if you want. This is 100% optional, so here are some things to know about this option:
- One advantage is that it’s easier to get someone to commit to going if you’re actually selling them a ticket ahead of time.
- Another advantage is that you might be able to get a (modest) financial benefit from no-shows: if you sell someone a $12 ticket and they don’t show up and you don’t say anything about it, is the club going to know that you sold that ticket? No, in which case you end up getting 100% of that money.
- The main disadvantage is that pre-selling tickets complicates your life: you need to keep track of how many tickets you sell at what prices, you actually need to sell the tickets, you become financially responsible for the ticket sales you do make, etc. (Read on for details.) So: the choice is yours. If you don’t want to pre-sell tickets, skip the rest of this section.
If you want to pre-sell tickets, here’s even more info (sorry, but this is serious business, and it can get tricky):
- The easiest way to pre-sell tickets is to do it electronically: just collect the money and bring a list to the club with the names of folks who have already paid you for tickets, e.g., “Mary Smith +2″. If you really want to sell physical tickets you can do that too, using tickets of your own design or you can use this template and ticket text that looks like this. (Email me for a version of this in Microsoft Word.)
- If you think you might sell out the 200-person capacity of the club, you should (1) tell ticket holders to show up 30 minutes before the show, and (2) keep an approximate count of how many tickets you sell. (If you’re selling physical tickets, one option is to hand-write numbers on your tickets: 1, 2, 3, etc.) Remember that tickets are also sold at the door, so we need to stay on top of this to avoid problems.
- In theory, the financial accounting works like this: the club collects your “tickets” at the door, either by actually collecting physical tickets or by checking names off a list you provide, and then you are responsible for handing over the ticket sales that correspond to those collected tickets. In practice, the financial accounting works like this: the club tallies up its ticket sales and your ticket sales and whoever has more pays the balance to the other. So if the club sells $500 in tickets and you sell $300, you get $400 of the $800 in total sales, so you keep your $300 and the club pays you an additional $100. If the situation is reversed—the club sells $300 and you sell $500—then you owe the club $100.
- If you’re selling tickets at different prices, make sure to keep close track of how many tickets you sell at what price so we don’t end up with a disaster when it’s time to do the accounting with the club management at the end of the night.
- Better safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to ask me questions by email or phone: 206-351-5719.
Step 6: Email us drafts of save-the-date emails, etc. Please keep us in the loop so we can help! (Sending us drafts also gives you a extra pair of knowledgeable eyes to proofread and help you avoid sending out incorrect information.)
Step 7: Send out a save-the-date email and do other advertising. There’s a sample below of an email you can send to your staff, board, key volunteers, and (if possible) your broader email list. Getting staff/board/key volunteers excited about the show is one of the keys to success, since (1) they’ll bring their friends, and (2) the show is a staff/board/volunteer appreciation event as well as a fundraiser, and it’s best to appreciate people when they’re in the room. Comp tickets are available for staff, board, and key volunteers. You should mention this to them, either in this email or (preferably) in a separate email PS/follow-up to this email. Also, please use this early email to check for internet problems like webpages not coming through in emails.
Sample email (modify as you see fit)
Subject: [Month date] comedy benefit show for [XYZ]!
Text: You and all your friends are invited to join the staff and board of [XYZ] for Non-Profit Comedy, a benefit show for [XYZ] with thoughtful, mostly political comedy from some of Seattle’s best comics!
Basics: Tuesday, [Month date], 8:00-9:30pm [or 8:30-10:00pm for summer shows]. Doors open at 7:30pm [or 8:00pm for summer shows], recommended arrival time 7:45pm [or 8:15pm for summer shows] to get a good seat and avoid waiting in line. The show is at the Comedy Underground, now at 109 S. Washington St. in Pioneer Square; here’s a map, and note that the entrance is around the corner. Tickets are $12 at the door, $6 with student ID.
Details: There is no drink minimum but food and beverages are available. The Comedy Underground is open to all ages except Fri/Sat, but it is always a free speech zone, so think twice if you’re easily offended or bringing impressionable youths. The club is down a flight of stairs but elevator access is available if arranged in advance. Free street parking is often available nearby, as are pay parking lots and most downtown buses. For more information please visit Non-Profit Comedy.
Have questions? [Phone or email contact for your organization]
If you want some logos, here’s a small Non-Profit Comedy logo and a large Non-Profit Comedy logo (both JPEG files, and thanks to Christopher Cox for designing the logo!) and here’s the Comedy Underground logo (a GIF file).
You can also hand out or post flyers, or follow these instructions to get a free 15-second PSA on KOMO4′s Northwest Afternoon show, but these should not be seen as a substitute for making personal invitations. (Even when groups flyer like crazy, most of the audience has a strong personal connection to board/staff/volunteers.) Here’s a generic quarter-sheet flyer in Microsoft Word for Windows for you to modify as you see fit. Please keep us in the loop by email so I can proofread, provide feedback, and otherwise help out.
Step 8: Two weeks before the show. Send an email (there’s a sample above) to your staff, board, and key volunteers, and to your broader email list. We are counting on you to be excited about the show and take advantage of low-cost opportunities to spread the word and bring a crowd!
Step 9: One week before the show. Confirm that staff, board, and key volunteers are coming to the show and have invited their friends. This may require some persistence and follow-up, but it’s crucial to the success of the show.
Step 10: The day before the show. If possible, send a reminder email to your broader email list. Also do a final confirmation with staff, board, and key volunteers. It can be extremely difficult to get a sense of how many people might come, but if you think there’s a chance of packing the house (200 people), you should emphasize that people can buy tickets online or should get there early to buy tickets and get good seats.
Step 11: The day of the show. Remind staff about the show; get prepared if you’re bringing literature, doing a brief pitch, or doing a raffle; and get excited! Please show up at least 30 minutes before the show, tell the bartender you’re with the non-profit, and then head down the stairs to the club. If you’re doing a raffle, you have until the show starts to sell tickets.
Step 12: Have fun at the show! Also…
- The entrance to the Comedy Underground is well suited for tabling, and you’re probably better off doing that before the show rather than after (when will be wanting to go home). You can also walk around with clipboards or leave them at the ticket desk or whatever, but the best thing to do (as pioneered by Real Change) is to leave a piece of literature and a donations envelope at each of the 75 or so tables in the club.
- The club has a large plastic container at the ticket desk that can be used to collect donations—please bring a bumper sticker or something else with your name in big bright letters that we can tape onto the container.
- If you’re doing a raffle or want to make a brief 2-3 minute pitch about your organization to start off the show, please come prepared for those activities. If you’re doing a raffle, you have until the show starts to sell tickets.
- We cut you a check (or just hand you cash) at the end of the show!
Step 13: After the show. If you’re a Miss Manners type, you can send a thank-you note to us (Yoram Bauman/Rosalie Gale) and the club managers (Ron Reid and Carl Warmenhoven) c/o the Comedy Underground, 109 S. Washington St., Seattle WA 98104. Finally: feedback and/or suggestions about the show are more than welcome, and hopefully we can do it again next year!
The best ways to get involved with the show are (1) to do material at open-mic night or elsewhere that impresses me and/or other comics and to let me know in person or by email that you’re interested in participating, or (2) to offer to put together a show for your favorite non-profit. Beyond that, you should read the material for participating comics to get the skinny on the show.
General: Thanks for being a part of Non-Profit Comedy! These shows are intended to celebrate and showcase your talents as well as bring in some cash for worthy non-profits, so come prepared to have a good time and (if possible) bring some friends! (I can probably arrange for half-price friend-of-the-comic tickets, so let me know in advance about that.)
Content: I’m looking for material that is kick-ass, thoughtful, and preferably political-ish, in that order of importance, and that will appeal to non-profit staffers and their friends and supporters. The general idea is to (mostly) avoid stupid dick jokes and instead do stuff that will appeal to 40-year-olds-with-kids as well as 20-somethings. Please note that non-stupid dick jokes are fine and that “40-year-olds-with-kids” is not a euphemism for “fuddy-duddy PC troglodytes”. And, BTW, the occasional stupid dick joke is fine too; ultimately I am placing no restrictions whatsoever on the material that you do, but I may not invite you back on the show if audiences repeatedly indicate that you’re boring, offensive, or just not that funny.
Producing a show: I would love to get other comics involved in doing shows! So if you know of a worthy non-profit—or can find one in the list of non-profits here—and want to put on a show for them, please let me know. You’d get fame and a modest amount of fortune (for the first $800 in after-tax door, the non-profit gets 50%, the club gets the next $75, and you get everything that’s left; the non-profit gets 100% of any after-tax door beyond $800) and essentially unlimited control in terms of designing and producing the show. It’s good experience, it’s not all that much work, and it’s for a good cause.
Last minute changes: If for some reason you won’t be able to make a show that you’ve agree to be in, please let me know ASAP by email yoram AT standupeconomist.com or phone 206-351-5719.