The yearly Hollywood tradition of the Laugh Factory providing Thanksgiving dinner for those in need almost didn’t happen this year because of the pandemic.
A live comedy show with an audience is rare these days, but this Thanksgiving, the Laugh Factory wanted to make sure they could do this safely, outside with masks and face guards and a commitment to feed the hungry with the help from stars like Hollywood’s super couple Tiffany Haddish and Common.
“I know what it feels like not to have -- and when I didn’t have anywhere to go or anything to eat -- I would come here to the laugh factory,” said Haddish.
“It’s just a time where people need to know that they’re cared about and thought about, so I’m glad to be here for that,” said rapper and actor, Common. “It means a lot, it means a hot meal."
Haddish and Common say the need is so great, a virus wasn’t going to stop them. A virus, comedian Tom Dreesen is all too familiar with, as he suffered through and recovered from COVID-19.
“I never had anything like the COVID. It really hit me hard. I had headaches like I've never before,” said Dreesen. “I got the antibodies now. You’re safer with me than you are with your wife you know."
This was the 40th Thanksgiving dinner provided by the Laugh Factory and owner Jaime Masada said it almost didn’t happen because of the pandemic, but people pleaded with him to find a way.
“If I tell you I got over 500 phone calls -- I’m not exaggerating -- and emails and these people broke my heart,” said Masada.
Masada said he worked with the city on how to feed people safely with no dining this year, just grab and go and with lots of gratitude.
“It means the world to us. It means that somebody cares,” he said.