Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Go to Southpaw to laugh at cancer

By Elizabeth Dana

Cancer is hilarious. At least, it is at Southpaw this month.

On May 20, the Park Slope bar hosts “Comedy for Cancer,” a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that’s aimed at “people you don’t see at fundraisers,” said Garland Harwood (pictured at last year's event), a cancer survivor who’s organizing the night of comedy for the second year in a row. “It’s not a Bill Cosby crowd.”

This year’s benefit includes rising comedy star Sean Patton, who was recently featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Returning from last year’s show are Adam Newman, Trevor Williams and Nick Ross, a regular at Upright Citizen’s Brigade and on CollegeHumor.com.

Ross, a cancer survivor as well, doesn’t shy away from including his experiences in his routine; he even has a whole one-man show about going through cancer treatment called, “Highly Evolved Human” that’s toured the country.

“So, why do a show about cancer?” Ross shot out at the audience at last year’s benefit. “I don’t know. Maybe I just want to get it out of my system.”

Other bits of his routine explore what it’s like to tell your friends you have cancer when you’re in your mid-20s and the realities of dating when you’re about to go through eight months of chemotherapy.

“He doesn’t make light of cancer, but he makes light of all the hilarious things that happen to you when you have cancer,” said Harwood.

Maybe laughter really is the best medicine.

Comedy for Cancer at Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. at Sterling Place in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236], May 20 at 8 pm. Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For more, visit comedyforcancer.org.


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