The biggest names in comedy are lending a hand to their fellow comedians who have lost income due to the coronavirus. They are hosting a virtual fundraiser through Comedy Gives Back, an organization that provides mental, medical and crisis support to standup comics.
The event is called Laugh Aid and will feature comedy from Whitney Cummings, Adam Sandler, Howie Mandel and dozens more. Comedian and producer Gina Yashere (“Bob Hearts Abishola”) is also participating. She says comedians are often overlooked in the entertainment industry when it comes to their medical and financial needs.
“Our bread and butter is live performances,” Yashere says. “Not many comics get the luxury of health care, physical or mental. So this virus basically wipes out the income of a very large number of comics. So Laugh Aid was set up as an initiative to get people to donate and help comedians get through this.”
Yashere also says comedians are a much-needed source of stress relief during challenging times. And the comedy community has always been ready to lend a hand when tragedy strikes. Now they are asking for help.
“Comics provide entertainment. We provide moments of levity in times of stress and anxiety,” Yashere says. “Even in the darkest of times, you don’t want to wallow too much in the darkness. Because we always know we’re going to come out the other side.”
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Organizers of the event say everyone participating agrees that the country could use an evening of laughter. They say the goal is to both entertain the world while also supporting the standup comedy community.
You can watch Laugh Aid as it streams on Twitch, Comedy Central’s YouTube and Facebook, AXS TV or Laugh Lounge. Viewing is donation based and all profits will be donated to Comedy Gives Back’s Laugh Aid Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Laugh Aid is produced in partnership with Laugh Lounge, Comedy Central,
Starburns Audio, All Things Comedy, and Earwolf.
The relief fund is now open, grants are being distributed and taking submissions for grants here.