As in comedy, in life, everything is timing. A struggling stand-up comedian, who works every night making them laugh, but not making enough money to pay his or her rent, may find themself trapped with an important bill they simply cannot pay. That comedian may even be one week away from making a debut on national television, an act of the comedy gods that would literally send their comedy stock soaring on the open showbiz market. But, they are about to have their electricity turned off or they may need to get their teeth cleaned so they can look good on television or, worse of all, their phone may be cut-off due to lack of payment, and they need that phone, like a cowboy in the old west needs his horse. That’s where The Heckler Fund comes in.

Emergency grants for things such as rent, child support, dental maintenance and medical emergencies and “Special Comedy Circumstances,” whatever they may be. This is “emergency help,” not to be confused with enabling socialism. Emergency help is just that: For emergencies. Everyone knows that ShowBiz is a fickle mistress. One minute you’re about to be signed to star in a sit-com opposite Morgan Freeman and Carrot Top, then next, your car breaks down on the way to the big audition. Well, light up the sky and The Laughter Foundation will scream its laughter sirens over with funds, advice and hands-on assistance to help you get your car back, reminding you that you are not a loser, but in fact an undiscovered comedy genius.

We want to help comedians at all levels of success. The Heckler Fund is already a proven success. In 2012, in less than 24-hours, through an online campaign, The Laughter Foundation raised enough money to pay for the legal fees to help stand-up comedian and single mom Aubrey Kapree and her little boy Skyler avoid imminent eviction from their apartment. That is just one victory. The Laughter Foundation’s Heckler Fund has also provided money for cancer meds for another comedian/TV personality and provided emergency beds and hot meals to several other comedians. The one thing we at The Laughter Foundation will always have in plenty supply is support.

The Laughter Foundation always encourages comedians to get and keep a good day job, but we know that sometimes good economic planning is not our particular specialty. That’s where The Heckler Fund comes in. If you can prove to us that A) You are a professional comedian, and that B) You are in imminent financial danger, then maybe we can help. No promises. But, we will try.



In order for any professional stand-up comedian to receive emergency help and benefits from The Laughter Foundation, they/you first must qualify.

1) QUALIFIED VETTING Anybody can claim to be a comedian. In order to weed out those trying to take advantage of the system (without inadvertently excluding those who do qualify), The Laughter Foundation provides a simple questionnaire and interview process, set up to ensure there’s no abuse in the system. Questions such as “How long have you been performing?” and “What are your credits?” are just a small part of it and will have to be answered before we can consider helping you out of your jam. An initial in-person meeting will be required with the perspective beneficiary and then an evaluation report will be issued by a committee of non-partisan experts. If the comedian-in-need qualifies as a true professional comedian and the emergency need can be established, the Laughter Foundation will do its best to help out. Whether you’re an established veteran comedian or a comedy newbie (and everyone in between), nobody will be excluded from consideration on the basis of current fame or status. It’s about the comedian’s contribution to the world and commitment to being a professional stand-up comedian, as well as the nature of their financial emergency.

2) WHAT IS THE NATURE OF YOUR IMMEDIATE NEED? All applicants for The Heckler Fund help will be required to explain in precise detail the nature of their financial emergency, as well as provide proof through paperwork of the bills they need paid. Emergency funds are never dispersed directly to the comedians themselves, but rather to their creditors. (underline previous sentence) Phone bills, medical bills, back rent, car repair will be paid directly by the foundation to the payee. This not only streamlines the process, but discourages scamming and profiteering.

3) HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE HECKLER FUND? Depends on the urgency. We generally say to give us at least 30 days to evaluate the situation, set up online fund-drives and/or produce a live benefit. Don’t count on us for instant help, but count on us to be there to help you the best way you can.

4) WHAT ABOUT EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE? If you have an immediate need for a bed or a meal, or even to speak with a therapist, contact us immediately and we’ll see what we can do without the wait time of our normal vetting process.

5) WHERE DO I START TO APPLY FOR HELP? Send us a short and concise email explaining who you are and what your emergency need is.

Email us:

6) IF IT IS A TRUE MEDICAL EMERGENCY DIAL 911, and call a friend immediately. Then, when things calm down a bit, contact us to set up an appointment. Don’t be embarrassed. We understand.



Welcome to The Heckler Fund. If you are a professional comedian and can meet certain criteria, you may qualify for emergency bill-paying, known as “The Heckler Fund”. That is, if approved by our independent review board, The Laughter Foundation will directly pay your bills, within a certain monetary limitation and time period.

Let’s say you’ve put in your time on the comedy boards. You’ve worked as a professionally paid comedian for a certain period of time {at least two years}, which can be documented either by written proof and/or anecdotal third-party “witnesses” (other comedians, comedy club owners, etc.). If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in a position where you’re suddenly not able to pay “vital bills” (i.e. rent, medical bills, phone bill, etc.), unrelatable to Showbiz expenses, you may qualify for an emergency grant from The Laughter Foundation, simply known as “The Heckler Fund.” At the Laughter Foundation we believe that nothing heckles comedians more than annoying monetary problems. Hang in there. We’re here to help you. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. We believe in you. You’re not only worth “saving”, you’re worth investing in.

And, that’s no joke!
Thank you for approaching The Laughter Foundation.

Do the best you can. Do not worry about exact numbers. This survey is to basically assess the overall situation you temporarily find yourself in and how we can help. Please try and keep each answer to a short paragraph (or less) for each.

Enter your full first and last name, please.
What is the best email to reach you at?
In just a few sentences, please tell us what month and year you started “doing stand-up comedy,” where you started (what city, which comedy club) and a few of the highlights of your stand-up career (where’s you’ve toured, television appearances) since you began. Please include any websites, links and press-clippings.
Please describe your current monthly income. Where do you get your monthly money from? Please include any government subsidies, including SSI Disability, Social Security, retirement checks, as well as Showbiz related residual checks, royalty checks, etc. Please include any “family money” and what your savings and investments are. Give us an average per month for the last six months if you can.
Please describe your monthly expenses. These are “survival expenses”, nothing related to your stand-up career (promotion, web-sites, etc.) Please include things like rent, utilities, but also include any out-of-pocket medical expenses, costs your insurance doesn't cover.
If you are ill, please describe what you have, how long you’ve been ill, as well as what treatments you are on.
Please tell us if you have health insurance and what kind, including deductible limits.
6. Please tell us the approximate “financial gap” between #2 (monthly income) and #3 (your monthly expenses). In other words, if you are taking in $1,500/month, but after insurance and everything, your unpaid urgent monthly expenses (medical or not) bring the total of monthly expenditure to $2,200, then the “financial gap” would be $700/month.
Please tell us who else you’ve reached out to for financial help, whether they are relatives, friends,colleagues, or government or other organizations.
Please let us know what are your deadlines for most urgent needs. We cannot promise to help you by that time, due to a number of factors including current funding of the Heckler Fund and the number of applications being processed, but this information will help us determine what we can do, and when.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about?

Please give us up to three weeks to get back with you. Please understand we get a lot of requests and each one must be reviewed on a case by case basis. Also, please be aware, in all cases, we may ask for backup documentation on all your information. The personal information you provide is protected under the laws of privacy, as well as The Laughter Foundation’s policy of anonymity. However; we may ask you to “return the favor” in the future, by participating in our Community Outreach programs such as bringing comedy to shut-ins, as well as allowing us to use your case as an example of our success. It’s entirely up to you if you want to participate in such an invitation. We will try and help you either way. After all, you’re a comedian.

Thank you,
The Laughter Foundation