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Jewish Journal

Comedy for a cause

by Dikla Kadosh

November 7, 2007 | 6:15 pm

Laughter is not only the best medicine, it’s also the best fundraiser.

Comedians + Hollywood venue + food + worthy cause + young Jewish professionals = a really successful benefit

The Jewish Federation’s Entertainment Division put this tried-but-true formula to work for Laugh Out Loud 2 on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Laugh Factory, and the result was predictably fabulous. They raised nearly $50,000 to send inner city kids to Camp Max Straus, which is operated by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters.

More than 250 professionals employed in the entertainment industry shelled out $150 a ticket for a night of schmoozing, noshing and chuckling.

The Federation managed to line up an impressive group of entertainers, though some of the big headliners turned out to be big duds.

Chris Kattan, who filled in for Jerry O’Connell as the night’s host, read jokes from a crumpled up paper and seemed completely out of his element. It was as if his agent dragged him out of bed twenty minutes before the event and said, “you’re the closest thing to a Jew I can find at the last minute, so here’s the list of comedians and a few suggestions for jokes. Have fun.”

Jeff Garlin was a rambling nut who went on way too long.

Chelsea Handler was hysterically inappropriate.

Bill Bellamy had a hard time connecting to the audience, except for the few “white guys love flip flops” jokes that elicited a few giggles.

David Spade was lackluster.

Elan Gold rocked the house. The up-and-coming cutie bounded onto the stage and blew everyone away with his energy, sharp wit, right-on Jewish humor and edgy but not vulgar material.

To top off the night with a little insanity, bad boy Dov Davidoff’s hyper routine had the crowd doubled over in their seats with laugher.

All in all, it was a fantastic event and the kicker was that the fun everyone had will be directly responsible for the fun 1,000 under privileged kids are going to have next summer at a camp geared specifically to their needs. To get involved, check out www.jewishla.org or www.jbbbsla.org.

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