24 Hour Stand-Up
Laughs in the Face of AIDS.
by Pat Thornton
My name is Pat Thornton and let me start by saying that I’m an ally.
My fiancée advised me on that term. She’s a much greater ally than I am. We’re getting married in the spring and three of her bridesmaids are gay dudes. She’s also a teacher who’s committed to educating about equality, diversity and empowerment.
I’m just a dumb comedian.
You may have seen me on TV in the shows Satisfaction, Hotbox or Comedy Bar, or maybe on the web series Space Janitors. Maybe you’ve seen me in a comedy room somewhere talking about spaghetti (I love it). It’s entirely possible you’ve never heard of me at all. That’s fine, too. I’m not here to push my comedy career - not exactly.
I’m doing this huge thing and I could really use your help.
On November 29th at 7 p.m., for the fifth year running, I’m getting on stage at Comedy Bar here in Toronto to do 24 consecutive hours of stand-up to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Last year I set a goal of $24,000 - one thousand for every hour I was onstage. I’m proud to say we surpassed the goal by over one thousand dollars.
Why do I do it?
Simply, it’s a great cause that doesn’t get enough attention. Look, AIDS is a big scary monster - one the gay community has been aware of far longer than most of us. In Africa, the pandemic is so overwhelmingly huge, and it’s so far away, it can seem hopeless and not very urgent.
Luckily for the people over there, Stephen Lewis doesn’t feel that way. To hear him talk is to want to help him. Watch this short video message from him and you’ll see what I mean: http://bit.ly/I0u6z3
Enough about the sad stuff.
This year, I’m throwing down the gauntlet! I’m going to raise two thousand dollars an hour for a total of $48,000. It’s a lofty goal, but with help from the community, we can get there. In fact we’vealready achieved 10 per cent of that goal!
Here’s where you come in.
This is a really, really fun event for all who participate. There are so many ways to get involved, like come write jokes for me! Filling a day with stand-up is hard, so I cheat big time. Hundreds of people write the jokes, both in person and Twitter.
If you can’t make it the show, you can still help. You could build awareness of the event by sharing our videos and jokes across Facebook, Twitter, Google +,Instagram and even Pinterest. You could start submitting jokes at #pats24hrstoday and keep it up until 7 p.m. on November 30th.
Of course, you can donate by PayPal or credit card at www.pats24hrs.com. You can also text DARE to 45678 to donate $10. (Canada only). You or your business could sponsor 10 minutes of jokes on almost any topic, and some of Toronto’s best comedy writers and I will create an original routine, which I’ll perform during the show.
Thank you all so much.