By: Meghan O'Keefe
Jessi Klein, Joe Mande, Andrea Rosen, Jared Logan and Sara Schaefer are five of our favorite funny people in New York.
We might love them even more now that we know that this Sunday they'll be coming together for a great cause -- "We Love You: A Benefit For Planned Parenthood." We spoke with the show's producer and host, Rose Surnow, about the serious politics of bringing so many hilarious people together.
Why do a comedy show to benefit Planned Parenthood?
Well, as you probably know, the Republicans in Congress submit a budget proposal that bans all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. This means that at a time when 46.6 million Americans have no health insurance, they want to cut an organization that provides free check-ups, STD and AIDS tests, medication, health care and family planning. It doesn't make any sense. Now, more than ever, we need to protect Planned Parenthood so that the millions of women without health care can continue to take care of their bodies.
So the comics you asked were into supporting the cause?
It's funny, I've been trying to get Jessi Klein on a show for a while, and I think this issue must be dear to her because she immediately responded that she would be involved. I'm lucky enough that I've been able to get all the other incredible comics on my shows before, so we already had a relationship. But generally, I think people are more willing to do shows if they are into the cause. It definitely makes it easier.
You've organized shows to support other political causes in the past. What do you think the relationship between comedy and politics is?
Well, I'm very political and I'd like to use whatever skills and resources I have to support causes I'm passionate about. Also, I'd like to make politics fun and engaging. Let's go out and see New York's best comics, have a blast and support something awesome -- a win-win!
Stand-up comedy is often an entertaining medium to speak up about things that can be subversive and highly political. Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert are all hilarious comics who use their political beliefs to get laughs, but also to make people think more critically. That's the goal, you know?
- THE PLUG: Don't miss "We Love You: A Benefit to Support Planned Parenthood" (feat. Andrea Rosen, Jessi Klein, Joe Mande, Sara Schaefer and Jared Logan), happening SUN, MARCH 27 @ 8PM at The PIT | Tickets (All proceeds go to Planned Parenthood)