Hamptons residents are using comedy to help fund research for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes at the 2nd Annual Hamptons Comedy for a Cause Gala on Monday, August 6 at the Southampton Arts Center. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with cocktails in the gallery and a new exhibit Counterpoint: Selections from The Peter Marino Collection. Then, guests will enjoy a sit-down dinner at 8 p.m. sponsored by Lawrence Scott Events. The evening will conclude with a hysterical performance by Felicia Madison, creator of Laughing Affairs, Jessica Kirson, and Maureen Langan.
“This event, like most of my events, will have you leaving in a good mood and feeling good about life, not only because you had a great big belly laugh but also because you are helping children around the world deal with their diabetes and hopefully find a cure for this debilitating disease,” reflected Madison.
Comedy for a Cure was co-founded by Madison, along with fellow Bridgehampton resident Lauren Schor Geller. They are supported by Hamptons locals Bonnie Bergstein, Katama Eastman, Lauren Schor, Marty Geller, Holly and David Sherr, and Lauren and Larry Sorrel.
Kirson was named “Best Female Comic” by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Cblubs and recently accepted the Nightlife Award for “Best Stand-Up Comedian” in Manhattan. She is known for her YouTube channel The Jessy K Show and has more than 100 videos with a combined total of over 2.5 million views. She launched The Jessica Kirson Podcast in 2013.
Langan was named one of the “10 Standout Stand-Ups Worth Watching” by Backstage magazine. Jerry Stiller remarked, “Maureen is to comedy what James Brown is to soul.”
We caught up with Madison to hear more about this highly anticipated gala and her career as a comedian.
Can you talk a bit about the beginning of your comedy career?
FM: As a stay at home mother of three, I always struggled with what I would do when the kids grew up. I certainly tried many different things over the years that I just couldn’t really get passionate about. A friend of mine dabbles in stand up and I always thought it was something I wanted to try. When my eldest was off and settled in college I decided to reach out to him to find out how to get started. He put me in touch with Andy Engel who runs the Manhattan Comedy School. A friend and I took a class and I loved it and haven’t stopped. Tired of the late night clubs with comedy that wasn’t really appropriate for my friends, I decided to bring comedy to them when it was convenient for them… which was the launch of my first producing venture in my comedy career, Laughercise Come Laugh Your Ass Off. I produced about 20 lunches for 50 to 60 women at a time featuring four female comedians. The events were a huge hit with women as well as the comedians who enjoyed the all female camaraderie and audience.
Why is it important to you to be a part of Comedy for a Cause?
FM: My dear friend Lauren Geller has a daughter, Marin, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a child. I always wanted to help her raise money for JDRF and wanted to produce a comedy event for her in the Hamptons. This launched Comedy for a Cause a way to give back and raise money thru laughter.
Who are some of the comedians who inspired you?
FM: Of course Joan Rivers, she is my ultimate inspiration. Others include Lucille Ball, Ellen Degeneres and Jerry Seinfeld. More recently I am a big fan of Ali Wong.
Proceeds from Comedy for A Cure will benefit the JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and its research to find a cure and promote awareness of TD1. Tickets start at $250. To purchase tickets, visit feliciamadison.com.
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.