Thursday, Oct. 18 â€” Comedy Central and YouTube are where most folks get their daily dose of funny, but itâ€™s easy to forget about the homegrown humor in your own backyard.Â
There's something to be said about live and local comedy shows that offer live and local laughter â€” especially if itâ€™s for a good cause. This Friday at The Avenue Caf in Lansing, comedian Melik Brown has created just that: a night of comedy to benefit the Womenâ€™s Center of Greater Lansing.
For the past seven years, the Womenâ€™s Center has put on a fundraiser called â€śShe Laughs,â€ť which features female comedians. After making a connection with Brown, executive director Cindie Alwood asked him if he would like to put on an all-male version of the benefit.
A male version â€śShe Laughsâ€ť â€śwas something people had been asking for, but I donâ€™t have the time or the connections,â€ť Alwood said. â€śHaving Melik involved has been really great because he knows everybody.â€ť
Brown recently organized a series of comedy events at Sir Pizza Grand Caf in Old Town, so he knows the formula for what makes a good show. This time heâ€™s added a few tricks.
â€śI wanted it to be more than just a comedy show,â€ť Brown said. â€śWe have a DJ that is interactive to the show, so if the comedian references a subject or a song the DJ has the ability to play it like a call back.â€ť
But this isnâ€™t your average list of Lansing jokesters. Brown said that a few of the men donâ€™t do stand-up too often.
â€śI think the dichotomy of having people doing things outside their profession is going to make people interested in seeing this,â€ť Brown said. If that isnâ€™t enough to draw the crowd, the support it provides for the Womenâ€™s Center is sure to encourage a good turn out.
The Womenâ€™s Center offers workshops and support groups to help promote womenâ€™s wellness and physical, mental and emotional health. Events like this are one of centerâ€™s the largest sources of funding (100 percent of the donations from â€śHe Laughsâ€ť will go to the center).
Alwood says itâ€™s the best way to get funding because not only does it benefit the center but it is also a great way to get people together.
â€śFor two hours you get to hang out with some really funny people and have a nice time all for a great cause,â€ť she said. â€śWho doesnâ€™t want that?â€ť
Brown agrees, and says he believes that the feeling of a live comedy show is unbeatable.
â€śWhen youâ€™re watching (comedy) on TV, they are putting their best stuff forward,â€ť Brown said. â€śItâ€™s edited, theyâ€™ve added laugh tracks â€” theyâ€™ve enhanced the show. But when you are in the same room and are a part of that energy, you canâ€™t explain that to anyone else. You have to be there. You have to experience that energy. Itâ€™s like going to a rock concert.â€ť
The Avenue Caf
2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing
$20 (suggested donation; tickets can be purchased at the Women's Center of Greater Lansing or at womenscenterofgreaterlansing.org.)