Using laugh­ter to ben­e­fit the move­ment with Fools for Good

2 minute read
Lamar Todd sees value in comedy and its power to address problems head-on. (Photo by Wayne Shot It Visuals.)
Lamar Todd sees value in comedy and its power to address problems head-on. (Photo by Wayne Shot It Visuals.)

Laughter is important. When the world seems unbearable and every facet of the news is horrifying, laughter is the key to recoup after the rallies, petitions, and phone calls. Even when we’re apart from each other, we can laugh at the same well-executed joke or witty observation, and it makes us feel whole and healed.

But what if it could do more?

The benefits of laughter

People are passionately protesting in the streets of every major American city, but not everyone can protest, and those who can are deeply in need of a release. Enter Fools for Good, a comedy event produced by Christine Ann Olivas and Kara Mia, once again wading into the widely uncharted waters of virtual standup to combine the healing power of laughter with the material power of mutual aid.

Fools for Good has been consistently supporting the community during the COVID-19 crisis, and now they’re channeling their work to benefit supporters for Black Lives Matter, including the Philly Bail Fund and Philabundance. Fools for Good pulls from Philadelphia’s funniest voices and has crafted a lineup that veers through classic standup to searing storytelling.

Co-headliner Lamarr Todd believes comedy provides a valuable way to confront the problems head-on. “Racism ain’t funny,” he says, “but it’s funny to make fun of it.”

LaTice, hailing from South Jersey, has been doing standup comedy since 2009. (Photo by Brian Egland.)
LaTice, hailing from South Jersey, has been doing standup comedy since 2009. (Photo by Brian Egland.)

Telling it like it is

His fellow headliner LaTice expands on art’s and artists’ roles regarding Black Lives Matter, citing the responsibility of influential people in the arts scene in “…showing the true rawness and harsh reality of what it means, being a person of color in Philadelphia and in this country,” she says. LaTice hopes that the open and honest nature of comedy will cultivate the empathy that lies at the root of all social progress. Performance, not performativeness, moves us forward.

Entertainment is the best way to teach and engage the audience. The connection that comes from laughing at the absurdities of reality fosters the community-mindedness and prioritizes Black voices and Black artists. It’s one of the most important steps in making Black Lives Matter a cohesive social more that goes beyond headlines.

Black Lives Matter Philly will receive 50 percent of the ticket sales in real-time, and each performer has chosen a beneficiary close to their hearts to receive additional funding.

Dineable and Hungry have paired up with Fools for Good to offer drink and slider combos to viewers in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Every two meals purchased equals one meal donated to Philabundance.

What, When, Where:

Hosts Shanell Renee and Kara Mia present Fools for Good: Black Lives Matter, a comedy show benefiting Black Lives Matter Philly, Philly Bail Fund, Philabundence, and more. Tune in online on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

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