Not just for laughs 

Comic night raises funds for disabled athletes

What: Comedy Nights

Who: Bethany Pagliolo, Charlie, Viracola, Paul Bae, Pete Crutchfield

Where: Garibaldi Lift Company

When: April 6 & 7

By Vivian Moreau

“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” says stand-up comedian Bethany Pagliolo.

She’s not talking about getting up on stage in front of an audience to talk about her breasts, which she will do this week as part of a fundraiser for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program April 6 and 7 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC). No, the Los Angeles actress who starred in a U.S. national tour of Mamma Mia and even had a select role in the Sopranos last season says the difficult task was falling down a lot on Whistler while learning to snowboard this week.

In town a few days early to check out the ski resort, Pagliolo, 28, and a Minnesota native, said stand-up comedy feels natural for her.

“I think I do feel more comfortable in the imaginary world, it’s the real world that’s a problem,” Pagliolo said. “A lot of people will say ‘isn’t it hard to be in front of all these people?’ but I say, as do a lot of performers I’ve met because we’re all a little crazy, that it’s the life part that’s the harder part.”

Pagliolo will use material she knows best, of being young and single, for the fundraiser that features four comics, one local and three from away, to raise almost $15,000 for the second annual Whistler’s Adaptive Sports Program comic night.

Director Chelsey Walker said the two nights of comedy hope to raise funds for summer and winter programs such as kayaking and canoeing, hand cycling and hiking, but also for winter programs like the adaptive race development programs and beginner to expert ski and snowboard lesson programs.

Walker said the organization will host its first recreational ski race on April 21 on Whistler mountain that local and regional athletes will take part in and which admission charges from the comic nights will help to fund.

In addition to Pagliolo, three other entertainers include local comic and disabled skier Pete Crutchfield, L.A.’s Charlie Viracola and rising star Vancouver comic Paul Bae. Tickets for the two-hour event are $25. Scotiabank will match funds to $5,000 raised from a 50/50 draw at the fundraiser.

Pagliolo said she’s comfortable with her material “about how everyone is trying to be all hip hop. And my boobs talk — I personify my boobs,” she said. “What else do you need after your boobs are talking?”

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