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Local comedian's show benefits charities

BY JORDAN MONTGOMERY | DECEMBER 02, 2011 7:20 AM

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For the past two years, local comedian Nathan Timmel has hosted a comedy show to raise money for various charities.

On Saturday, his third Comedy for Charity show will raise funds for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The show will take place at 8 p.m. in the Summit, 10 S. Clinton St. Admission is $5.

 

St. Baldrick's is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and to give survivors long and healthy lives, said Liz Jackson, a grant administrator for the foundation.

This year, St. Baldrick's has raised almost $28 millions to help children in need.

Timmel's yearly comedy for charity event began three years ago, when a friends asked him to perform.

"He asked me what I would charge to perform at charity event," he said. "And I said if it's for charity, nothing. It felt really good to do something like that, so I've done it since."

Though this event is in its third year, Timmel has been slinging jokes since he can remember.

"When I was a kid, I moved around a lot," he said. "I learned to use humor to meet other people or to keep them away from me if I didn't like them. It was both a weapon and a shield."

The 42-year-old remembers his first experience with professional comedy from when he was only 6 years old.

"Back in the day, there were no warning labels," he said. "One day, I was with my grandmother, and I saw a record with a man picking his nose on the cover, which as a 6-year-old was the funniest thing ever. I asked my grandma to buy me it, and she did."

His grandmother had bought him George Carlin's Class Clown, with Carlin's famous "Seven Dirty Words" shtick.

Timmel said Carlin's comedy heavily influences his own. His brand of comedy is not the standard "setups for punch lines" but rather a unique comical way of telling stories.

Though the Comedy for Charity event is only in its third year, Timmel has been telling jokes for a good cause for the majority of his professional career.

He has traveled to the Middle East to entertain U.S. troops nine times through the Moral, Welfare, Recreation organization.

Joining Timmel at his Comedy for Charity event are four other local comedians — Andre Theobold, Bobby Ray Bunch, Brian Huggins, and Yale Cohn.

Cohn is an Iowa City local and is recognizable from his show on PATV. But he says Saturday will be his first time performing standup comedy, and he wholeheartedly supports the cause.

"It's a better way to spend $5 than just getting a beer," he said. "Why not spend it on an event like this, especially this time of year."

Despite being new at standup comedy, Cohn promises a good time on Saturday.

"I guarantee at least one of us will be funny," he said. "I'll either fall flat on my face or wow the [crowd] with a talent I've been keeping to myself for years."


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