News: Raising Laughs and Money

It's nice to be reminded every now and again that stand-up comedians aren't a bunch of egocentric careerists intent on piling up small fortunes comparable to the GDP of a minor principality. It is also nice to see that they can pull their collective fingers out and act quickly when there is an emergency. This Sunday, November 24, Laughter After The Disaster, a benefit for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, takes place at the Bloomsbury Theatre and features a pretty impressive line-up including appearances from arena-sized stars Al Murray and John Bishop.

The gig was announced so late it may have missed some listings deadlines, but it still looks like it is about to sell out without any promotional help from the likes of me. It's an indication of the power of Twitter that a few Tweets can shift a theatre-load of seats at short notice. It is also nice to see that Twitter can do some real good and not just offer a platform for trolls and pictures of animals dressed as characters from Star Wars.

Also appearing on the bill are James Acaster, Chris Addison, Angela Barnes, Tony Cowards, Rob Deering, Simon Evans, Shappi Khorsandi, Stewart Lee, Romesh Ranganathan and Andy Zaltzman with more names still to be added. It's particular good to see that these acts come from a range of management companies – industry insiders have previously noticed how comedy benefits often cherry pick acts from particular agencies. 

I doubt if there has been a more eclectic bill this year – it is not often you see meta-comic Stewart Lee (presumably tempted by a generous offer of crsips) sharing a stage with superstar motormouth John Bishop. Simon Evans has also been on good form lately, having delivered a rather passionate take-down of Russell Brand's political philosophy recently. If you do bag a ticket make sure you catch grumpy dad Romesh Ranganathan, who picked up a Foster's Best Newcomer nomination this summer and is definitely a name to watch. Just make sure if you are recommending him you get the name right, unlike a recent club promoter who was mocked on Facebook for getting it wrong.

This gig now looks as if it is totally sold out, but you can still donate money here.


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