Laughter never goes out of style. That was proven at the 21st Annual Fritz Coleman Comedy Show, which played to a full house at the Glendale Centre Theatre on Nov. 11, 2012.
Fritz Coleman, who has spearheaded this hilarious event on behalf of the Red Cross Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter for 21 years, received a standing ovation when he started the show. In his opening monologue, he claimed that his longevity hosting the comedy show revealed just how old he is. However, his enthusiasm and humor were as youthful as you can get.
Next up were the Bornsteins, Jeff and Kim, a husband and wife team who left the audience breathless when Kim performed inexplicable acts of mind-reading. The Bornsteins have performed at the celebrated Magic Castle, among other places, and have taken their Operation Magic comedy and variety show overseas to entertain the U.S. Armed Forces.
Jimmy Brogan followed the Bornsteins. A former head writer on the Jay Leno show, Jimmy engaged the audience in hilarious banter, often punctuated by his observation, “Good for you!” At one point, he confided, “You may have noticed, I have no act.” His improvisations, however, were so fluid and amusing that the laughter never stopped. It’s no wonder he’s been such a success on the stand-up comedy circuit, playing the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. He has earned the Jay Leno “seal of approval.”
Next came James P. Connolly, who hosts radio and television programs in addition to his stand-up comedy work. A former Marine, James also has a history of performing for the U.S. Armed Forces overseas. He brought his own unique perspective to the Comedy Show, interacting with the audience on diverse subjects. You can catch more of James on the Sirius XM Comedy Channels or at venues such as the Ice House.
In her second appearance at the Comedy Show, Wendy Liebman was the last of the evening’s performers. She shared hilarious anecdotes about a recent visit to Alaska and then tackled the subjects of marriage and family, including the complexities of being a stepmother. A regular on The Late Show with David Letterman, Wendy has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
On a serious note, Red Cross Los Angeles Region CEO Paul Schulz gave the audience an update on the magnitude of Red Cross assistance to victims of Hurricane Sandy. And it was not lost on the audience that all of the proceeds from the Fritz Coleman Comedy Show went straight to the Red Cross, enabling the Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter to continue serving its constituents.
For those who purchased VIP tickets, a reception and dinner followed the Comedy Show at nearby Phoenicia Restaurant, where guests were treated Lebanese cuisine. The chapter gratefully acknowledges Phoenicia owner Ara Kalfayan for providing the space and the food for our VIP event – and another thank-you to our Youth Group for staffing the buffet tables and making sure everyone got to sample the delicacies being served. And finally, the Chapter sends its sincere thanks to Fritz Coleman and the talented performers who participated in this year’s comedy show, as well as the volunteers and Board members who helped make the event a success.
-by Bonnie Schroeder