Our number one concern at The Laughter Foundation is the mental and physical well-being of stand-up comedians. And, while the concept of Health Care for Comedians is one of our two long-term goals (the other being The Comedy Museum), our unique emergency grants program, The Heckler Fund, has already made a huge difference in comedians’ lives.
Professional stand-ups face a myriad of dangers intrinsic to their particular profession. The double lives of day jobs and working at comedy clubs at night, the disproportionate exposure to drugs and alcohol, and the penchant and predisposal for mental illnesses are merely the “extra health dangers” professional stand-up comedians continually find themselves dealing with. Making it in showbiz is tough; everyone knows that. Most of the day jobs comedians have are part-time and therefore do not provide health care. Comedians’ physical and mental health must be supported. The Laughter Foundation’s vision of Health Care for Comedians involves a combination of a group plan and direct donations in which the premiums are supplemented by Laughter Foundation live comedy concert benefits. The Laughter Foundation’s inexorable goal of Health Care for Comedians will happen one day. Or night. Stay tuned as we try and “right that joke”.
In the meantime, The Laughter Foundation will team up with local dentists, doctors and therapists, who will in turn receive reciprocal exposure to a whole new client-base. A full time psychiatric therapist will be on-call for comedians who are at personal crisis and need to simply talk with a professional ear. Emergency beds, meals and ancillary help and advice with their careers are all reachable goals for the foundation within the next 12 months. Ideas are always welcome. Contact us to see how you can help. You never know!