On Tuesday night, October 4th, handicapped parking will be a little harder to find on the streets of Hollywood.
The Comedians with Disabilities Act, the all-disabled comedy troupe, will bringing their "special" brand of funny to the legendary Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard for an unforgettable night of hilarity to benefit Los Angeles City College's Office of Special Services. The fundraiser will provide funds for tutoring for LACC students with disabilities.
In their first performance since their highly successful and heralded Special Olympics fundraiser show at Napa's Uptown Theatre, the group - made up of Steve Danner (little person), Michael O'Connell (wheelchair) and Nina G (comedienne who stutters) - will be joined by special guests to provide a night of decidedly unconventional humor.
Eric Mee, the visually impaired regular on the tour, will not be performing in this particular show.
Formed in 2010, the cadre is comprised of working comedians who decided to combine their unique situations into a comedy show that fans hadn't seen before, one where they milk their individual challenges for hysterical storytelling, and at the same time take the chance to educate the public on disabled peoples and issues. Called "The most unconventional comics to pop up in 2011" by the San Francisco Examiner, the northern California-based team they are making their first appearance as a group in southern California.
Steve Danner’s comedy career began as an audience member at a club. The comedian on stage that night decided to have some fun at his expense, and Danner’s skills in heckling back at him led the comic to approach Danner after the show and suggest he give comedy a try. He did so, and soon began a career as a prolific comedian and producer, delighting crowds at clubs and comedy rooms all over the west coast with hysterical tales centered heavily on his dwarfism. His comic journey keeps him on the road much of the time, but as Danner is fond of saying, “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy!”.
Michael O’Connell was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at two years old and went into a wheelchair full time in 1995. But it wasn’t until years later that a friend dared him to try doing comedy at an open mic night at a Sacramento club, and after ending up winning the competition that first night on stage, he never looked back. He’s played comedy clubs from Seattle to San Diego, been featured in newspaper and on radio and television, and counts several Hollywood celebrities among his fans. His business card reads “100% Comedy, 0% Stand-Up”.
Touting herself as “the world’s only female comedian who stutters”, Nina G hails from the Bay Area and has spent a lifetime dealing with both speech and learning disability issues. A key note speaker and disability activist, Nina turned her talents to the stand-up stage to help raise disability awareness through comedy, and performs at some of the industry’s hottest clubs (the Hollywood Improv and the Purple Onion) and has shared the stage with some of its biggest names (Dave Chappelle).
Kathy Buckley and John Kevari
The regulars will be joined for the fundraiser by two special guest comedians, both Los Angeles locals. The headliner for the night will be America's first hearing-impaired comedienne, the award-winning actress, author and motivational speaker Kathy Buckley. Her list of televised appearances is overwhelming (The Tonight Show, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, just to name a few), her accolades are astounding (from such names as Colin Powell and Anthony Robbins), and she has touched hundreds of thousands of lives through her acting (shows such as Touched by an Angel and her critically acclaimed one woman Off-Broadway show), her writing, and her motivational speaking engagements all over the world.
Also performing is Los Angeles comedy veteran John Kevari. Born with two fingers on one hand, John grew up watching the giants of comedy on Johnny Carson and feeling drawn to stand-up "like a moth to a flame". After reading an article in People Magazine about the Comedy Store in 1986, the then-23-year-old caught a bus from his home in San Bernardino to Hollywood and did his first stage appearance there on a Monday night show. That first success has led to over 25 years of bringing laughter to LA's biggest comedy clubs, and to showing audiences how to turn adversity into hilarity.
The Comedians with Disabilities Act fundraiser show begins at 8:00 PM at:
The Laugh Factory
8001 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Tickets will be sold at the door. Valet parking is available.
An additional free comedy show featuring the Comedians with Disabilities Act will take place earlier in the day at 2:00 PM at the Camino Theater at Los Angeles City College, for students and faculty of LACC only.