Comedy for a cause 

Comedians rally funny bones together for a WASP fundraiser Feb. 23 and 24

Comedy for a cause

Local and internationally acclaimed comedians rally funny bones together for a WASP fundraiser Feb. 23 and 24

Before Paralympian Pete Crutchfield heads over to the 2006 Torino Winter Paralympic Games in March, he is exercising other talents, more specifically his funny bone, along with three internationally-acclaimed comedians for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program fundraiser Comedy Night Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).

Crutchfield was left a quadriplegic after a skiing accident on Whistler Mountain. After becoming involved with WASP, an organization dedicated to introducing adaptive sports to the physically and mentally impaired, he realized his Paralympic dream and set out to achieve it. Last year’s comedy fundraiser funded the purchase of Crutchfield’s sit-ski, which will head to Italy next month.

Crutchfield is no stranger to stand up; he opened for The Trailer Park Boys last year in Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre.

"Pete is a great and funny guy," said Charlie Viracola, comedian extraordinaire and event host.

"We had a great time last year. For Pete to have gone what he has gone through and still be a comedian – he calls himself the ‘Quadfather of Comedy’ – you can’t get anymore positive than that."

Viracola is a familiar laugh around town, visiting Whistler over the past ten years. Old time locals might better recognize Viracola as one of the Raging Ice Weasels while newcomers might remember his high-energy, offbeat comedic antics from his shows aired on A&E, NBC, HBO, MTV, Comedy Central and BBC. His talents also extend to writing credits for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Carrot Top. He’s also shared stages with Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen.

Viracola’s latest adventure takes advantage of the video iPod craze with 12 two-minute episodes entitled Planet Charlie Versus Earth.

"People want short video content for the iPod that is funny and entertaining," Viracola said. "You wouldn’t want to watch The Godfather on those tiny little screens. iPods are going to change how people look at video media. What it is really doing is eliminating advertisers and allowing artists to bring the art form directly to consumers."

Check out Planet Charlie at vcoolvideos.com next month.

Viracola will be joined by Bobby Badfingers – the fastest snapper in town.

"He’s a very unusual act," Viracola said. "He is one of the most popular acts to perform at the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy fest... he’s a regular on Howard Sterns’ show. You are guaranteed to fall in love with him. He’s not necessarily a stand up comic, but what he does is so interesting and funny."

Mike Black Jack Wilson will headline the show, drawing on more than 700 impressions, music and character alike, for his set. The vocal gymnast has performed all over the world: one of his most notable shows was performing at the Final Episode Cast Party for Seinfeld.

Tickets are $20. Doors 7:30 p.m.

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