Haven Hills, one of LA’s oldest and largest domestic violence organizations, is kicking off its 40th Anniversary celebration with an extraordinary live comedy show, “Stand-Up Against Domestic Violence.” The show features seven nationally known comedians – Paul Reiser, Wendy Hammers, Suli McCullough, Jen Kober, Wayne Cotter, Zainab Johnson and a Special Surprise Guest – who are joining forces to raise awareness and donations for Haven Hills. The event is being produced by comedian/actress/writer Wendy Hammers and her Tasty Words ProductionsTM.
The show will take place at The Moss Theater, part of New Roads School at the Herb Alpert Educational Village, in Santa Monica – silent auction and snacks at 6:30pm, doors open at 7pm, curtain at 7:30pm. General admission is $100; VIP admission (preferred seating, post-show meet & greet with stars) is $125. Tickets are available now via at The Moss Theater at New Roads School in Santa Monica Haven Hills and Tasty WordsTM websites and on Eventbrite. All proceeds to benefit Haven Hills.
“We are so excited about this evening of comedy and grateful to Wendy for assembling this amazing group of talented comedians to support our organization and cause,” says Iliana Tavera, executive director of Haven Hills. “With government funding cuts looming, these types of special events are now more crucial to ensure that organizations like Haven Hills can keep the lights on, answer crisis calls, and provide essential services for victims fleeing violence.”
“We have some very funny people stepping up here to help stop and prevent a very serious problem,” says Hammers. “We’re all honored to be supporting and working with the entire Haven Hills team. This is going to be a hilarious show. Let’s bring some laughter into the house. Let’s drop the mic on Domestic Violence.”
The all-star lineup of comedians for “Stand-Up Against Domestic Violence” includes established stars and hot newcomers:
Paul Reiser is a beloved comedian, actor, TV writer, author, and musician. He has spent more than 30 years acting in Oscar and Emmy award-winning movies and TV shows and was voted Comedy Central’s “Top 100 Comedians of All Time.” He is most notable for co-creating and starring in the critically acclaimed NBC series, Mad About You, which earned him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award, and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Reiser has appeared in a number of films, including the iconic Aliens. This year, he has worked in the movie The Book of Love with Jessica Biel, and the award-wining Netflix original series Stranger Things.
Wendy Hammers is a well-known comedian, actress, writer and producer. She has been featured in movies (Muffin Top: A Love Story), TV (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Sopranos, Mad About You), theater (Ripe, Vagina Monologues), and of course stand-up comedy with appearances on Oprah and The Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Hammers is the creator, curator and host of Tasty WordsTM, a theme-based spoken- word salon, now in its 15th year. Tasty WordsTM has produced more than 100 hilarious and heart-warming shows in LA, often in support of women’s, social justice and health- related causes.
Special Surprise Guest is a comedian, actress, fashion designer, author, singer- songwriter, and activist. Best known for her stand-up routines critiquing social and political problems, especially regarding race and sexuality. Activist in human rights and is most notably recognized for supporting women’s and LGBT rights. She has won several awards for her efforts within these communities such as the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Suli McCullogh is a widely sought-after writer, actor and comedian and has written for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the ESPY Awards. He is best known for his role as “Mouse” on The Jamie Foxx Show and “Crazy Legs” in the Wayans Bros. spoof, Don’t be a Menace to South Central while Drinking your Juice in The Hood. McCullogh launched his career as a stand-up comedian, eventually opening for Jerry Seinfeld. On February 24, 2017, his documentary about comedy, Dying Laughing, launches in theaters and via iTunes.
Jen Kober is a comedian widely known for a blend of storytelling, stand-up, and “improvised rock-n-roll comedy.” She can be heard spinning her stories on NPR’s Snap Judgment. She has been featured on The Mindy Project, Anger Management, Curb Your Enthusiasm, American Reunion, and so much more.
Wayne Cotter is a talk show favorite and has frequently worked on David Letterman and Jay Leno. He has appeared regularly on TV, including Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and eventually hosted his own show on Fox. Cotter is a touring comedian and has hosted Fox TV Network’s series Comic Strip Live. For several years, he was nominated for “Best Stand-Up Comedian” at the American Comedy Awards. Cotter performs in clubs and theaters and is a highly regarded entertainer for corporate events.
Zainab Johnson is a stand-up comedian and actress rapidly building a reputation for being one of the most original and engaging performers in the business. Johnson’s comedy is based on her unique point-of-view, which was shaped growing up in Harlem as one of 13 siblings in a Muslim family. After getting a degree in math and taking a job as a teacher, she quickly learned that she had a different calling. Johnson can most recently be seen in her breakout appearance on HBO’s All Def Comedy and has performed on Arsenio, BET’s Comic View and NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
Since 1977, Haven Hills has provided shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and activities supporting increased economic opportunity to victims of domestic violence. Each year, the organization helps more than 3,500 women and men find strength within themselves to break the cycle of abuse and build new, productive and positive lives for themselves and their children. Haven Hills is staffed by trained counselors and volunteers 24/7 and operates a 24-Hour Crisis Line (818.887.6589). It offers a 30-Day Crisis Shelter and Haven Two, an 18-month transitional housing shelter, a children’s program, support groups and counseling. It also provides a CALWorks GAIN Program to help survivors move toward self-sufficiency and employment.
For more information and updates on “Stand-Up Against Domestic Violence” and the comedians, please visit TastyWords.com and HavenHills.org. Talent is subject to change due to artists’ schedules.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.