A special comedy fundraiser event to benefit the Garwood PBA Local No. 117 is being held on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Crossroads in Garwood. The event will feature Michael Winslow, The Dumb Kids in the Back and Jerrold Benford.
Michael Winslow is an American actor and comedian best known for his ability to make realistic sound effects using only his voice and know as "the man with 10,000 voices," who first achieved prominence on the standup comedy circuit in the early '80s. Winslow went on to a few TV guest spots, including an impressive "straight" role as an emotionally disturbed student on "The White Shadow." Winslow is best known for his roles in all seven Police Academy films as sound effects master Larvelle Jones. He has also appeared in Spaceballs and a Cadbury commercial. He is a master of vocal gymnastics, and can imitate more than 1,000 sound effects using his voice alone. Winslow's done barking dogs, squishing soggy sneakers, jets roaring, spine tingling scratches from a chalkboard, radio noises, guitars screaming, cell phones, and much more. To learn more about Michael Winslow please visit www.michaelwinslow.net.
The event is being put together by comedians and friends Joe Carney and Rich McDonald, who have taken over scheduling the comedy lineup at Crossroads.
"Every Thursday night we'll be doing some sort of comedy, with national headliners the first Thursday every month," Carney, who is from Cranford and grew up in Garwood, told Patch. "We hope comedy at Crossroads will become a great newfound date night for people. We aren't charging more than $15 to $20 and we're working on booking national headliners coming in from TV and the big screen. From what we’ve heard, Winslow does an unbelievable show, an hour and a half, with people disappointed when show is over because they want so much more. He's a phenomenal act, and real crowd pleaser."
Carney and McDonald say when Winslow signed on, with his Police Academy background, it was a natural fit to do the night as a benefit for the Garwood PBA.
"The more people I talk to about Michael Winslow, when I say, 'you know, guy who did the sound effects for Police Academy,' it's like bringing up their childhood," says Carney. "People love the idea of being able to come out and see someone who was part of their childhood. And one thing we did just find out is that, Winslow basically only tours on the West Coast and in the Midwest. He rarely comes to the East Coast, so this is a rare opportunity to come see him live."
Carney and McDonald will also be performing Thursday night: the duo are the Dumb Kids In The Back (DKITB), "a dedicated comedy troupe looking to make the audience laugh using any medium possible."
The Dumb Kids have been performing short-form improv live in the NY/NJ area for years and are extremely proud of the following they have amassed. With a style similar to the well-known program Whose Line Is It Anyway, the duo utilize their quick-witted comedic skills to create an experience where the audience becomes part of the show. You may have seen one of the Dumb Kids on MTV's "Silent Library," ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly, Investigation Discovery's Stalked, various films and numerous stage productions. Their comedy experience includes performing at Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, the Stress Factory, and Pips at Sheephead's Bay. To learn more about DKITB, visit www.dumbkidsintheback.com.
"People love to not only come out and laugh and enjoy, but they also love to be a part of the show," says McDonald. "They find their inner hidden comic. Joe and I started four years ago, infusing standup and improv, and it's really been a lot of fun. The crowds are getting bigger and bigger, with friends coming and then bringing their friends out the next time."
Opening for Winslow and DKITB is Jerrold Benford, originally from Alexandria, VA, who now performs at such venues as Caroline's on Broadway, Stand Up NY, Broadway Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Rascals, the Stress Factory, the Metropolitan Room, the DC Improv, and a host of other clubs and events. Benfold's comedic style is slick and contemporary, and a little on the naughty side. He speaks a lot of his friends and family and brings his everyday home life to light. Benfold loves to interact with the crowd and he becomes virtually a one-man production with his impressions and character transformations.
"Benford is a New York headliner and a phenomenal comic," says Carney. "He's really well known, very funny – sort of an edgier version of Bill Cosby. He's great with storytelling."
There will also be live music at the end of the night.
"We have a band closing at the end of the show," says Carney. "The JJO’s, who are donating their time. So this is a night-long event and we hope everyone stays. We'll also have raffles and a 50-50. It’s a win win – for $20 bucks, you'll never see a better show."
Tickets to benefit the Garwood PBA Comedy Fundraiser event are $20 per person. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended and can be done by visiting www.ticketfly.com or by visiting Facebook.com/CrossroadsNJ. Tickets will also be available at the door. Food and beverages can be purchased separately throughout the evening.
"As a non-profit organization our most challenging task is fundraising," says Garwood PBA President John Wright. "Myself and the rest of the members of Local 117 applaud and commend the organizers and performers who are taking time out of their busy schedules to take part in this special night. This will definitely help Local 117 continue our mission of service to the Borough of Garwood along with helping others who are in need."