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Comedy pros to perform at benefit show

sland funny-man Rodney Sherwood and his stand-up friends will perform at the Young Life comedy night fundraiser at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Bainbridge High School Commons. - Photo courtesy of Rodney Sherwood
sland funny-man Rodney Sherwood and his stand-up friends will perform at the Young Life comedy night fundraiser at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Bainbridge High School Commons.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Rodney Sherwood

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Three comedians walk into a high school …

If this sounds familiar, you may have been in attendance at last year’s Young Life comedy night fundraiser event.

If you were, then you are already familiar with the comedic stylings of Bainbridge Island resident Rodney Sherwood and his stand-up friends.

If you were not lucky enough to be there, you have a chance to catch the show this year at the second Young Life Saturday Night Comedy show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Bainbridge High School Commons.

Sherwood, an actor and comedian with 20 years of stand-up experience, is hosting the event which features performances by nationally recognized comedians Gabriel Rutledge and Dwight Slade, who have appeared on Comedy Central, NBC, Fox and others.

“These are two of the funniest guys in the country,” Sherwood said. “Last year was incredible. This year is going to be even better.”

All the acts are family friendly, and parents are encouraged to bring their children.

“It’s absolutely PG,” said Sherwood. “Young Life is a great organization and I am thrilled to get their message out.”

Young Life is an international youth outreach program with activities and events specifically for kids from middle school through college. Their mission is to provide young people with experiences that are fun, adventurous and life-changing.

“Young Life is based on he idea of sharing life with kids and teaching them who Jesus can be in their lives,” said Sherri Gray, Young Life Bainbridge/North Kitsap Coordinator.

Youth activities include ice skating, rollerblading, movie nights and even an optional summer camp experience.

“Everything is open to any kid of any religion,” Gray said.

Even though stand-up comedy, a notoriously raunchy medium, and a religious youth charity might not seem to go together, Sherwood insists that the comedy night is the perfect fundraising event.

“Laughter brings people together,” he said. “People want to laugh, to be on the same page with a room full of other people. Comedians have to be versatile and able to play anywhere. There’s no fourth wall in stand-up, like in theatre. There’s an immediacy to the show and an ability to interact with the audience that is unique.”

Sherry Gray agreed that a comedy night is the perfect fundraiser for Young Life.

“Last year we wanted to do something different,” she said. “We decided to change it up, and the event was very successful.”

Sherwood cites his own comedic influences as the several great family friendly comedians who came before him, including Bill Cosby and Steve Martin.

“My style is very goofy,” Sherwood explained. “I’m very physical, I talk a lot about my wife and my daughter. Real-life stuff.”

Sherwood has appeared on HBO and at the Aspen Comedy Festival and is, by his own admission, the de facto funniest man in the state.

“I came in second in the Seattle International Comedy Competition,” he said. “The winner was from Kansas City and he went back, so now I guess I’m the funniest guy in the state.”

In discussing the fundraiser, Sherwood says that it’s not just a good cause, but a unique chance for the audience to see several great performers in one place.

“I’m as much a fan as I am a performer,” he said. “Tickets are only $20 and you’d pay that to see either one of these guys in a club in Seattle by themselves. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and this is a show that I would go see because I enjoy these guys so much.”

Rather than the usual nerves prior to performing, Sherwood said it is his duties as host that cause him to feel the most pressure.

“It’s an idyllic setting for a comedian,” he said. “The audience is there and wants to laugh and wants you to do well, the biggest pressure for me is making sure the crowd is there. I want to facilitate the show so the audience sees as much of these great comics as possible.”

Tickets are $20 each, with a limited VIP table for six offer for $350. All proceeds benefit Young Life of Bainbridge/North Kitsap. To purchase tickets or for more information about the performers visit wwww.bicomedynight.com.

For more information about Young Life and their activities or volunteer opportunities, visit www.younglife.org/us.

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