"Clean Comedy Guy" performs church fundraiser


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Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2013, 4:00 am
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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com
ROCK ISLAND -- The ice cream man plays music when he's out of treats.

At least, that's what comedian David Graham remembers his father saying.

"My father was a creative genius," Mr. Graham said in a telephone interview. "He could take $5 and stretch it for two months," saying and doing such things.

Mr. Graham, from the St. Louis area, will be the featured performer at a Family Comedy Jam on Sunday, Nov. 10, at Comedy Sportz, 220 19th St., Rock Island, as a fundraiser for Trinity Community Baptist Church in Moline. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., followed by the show at 5 p.m. Davenport comedian Chris Schlicting will perform an opening act.

Money raised will go toward a spring youth retreat at the Benet House Retreat Center at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, church deacon Adrian Henry said. It's the first time the church has tried to hold a comedy jam fundraiser. The community youth retreat also will be a first-time event, Deacon Henry said.

"Depending on how well the comedy jam event goes, it will determine if the retreat will be an overnight or not," he said.

Based on past successes enjoyed by "Comedy for a Cause" events in St. Louis and Mr. Graham's reputation as the "Clean Comedy Guy," Deacon Henry said he and his church expect a successful event.

In August, the church hosted guest speaker, the Rev. Carla Campbell, from St. Louis, and learned how Mr. Graham had helped her ministry.

"I saw her flier, and it spurred me to organize one here, with the help of many others in the church and community," Deacon Henry said.

The church has rented Comedy Sportz for the night and will cover Mr. Graham's fees. Tickets, available at familycomedyjam.eventbrite.com, cost $21.49, including handling fees, for adults, and $11.24 for those 17 and younger. The website accepts most major credit cards and PayPal.

Tickets -- $20 for adults and $10 for youths- - also will be available at the door or at Images of You, 327 E. Locus St., Davenport; DaVarah Salon and Spa, 1616 5th Ave., Moline; and Jean's Platinum Stylez Beauty Supplies, 3786 11th St., Rock Island. For information, call 309-797-8793.

"Our goal is to fill the house, which means 185 people," Deacon Henry said. "And we're hoping to realize about $4,000 in profits for our youth-retreat plans."

Mr. Graham said he's inspired by "a type of event that's raising money for youth. It's worth every single effort, and, from my standpoint as a performer, it means I absolutely want to put my best foot forward to go the extra mile to benefit children."

Mr. Graham, also a practicing minister, has shared the stage with comedians Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Jimmy "JJ" Walker and Sinbad, among others, according to a press release. He's appeared on ComedyCentral, Last Comic Standing, America's Funniest People and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

"My show is straight-ahead and unpredictable," Mr. Graham said. "People attending are going to see a lot of audience participation, impressions, a little singing, including a Motown Review, with a tribute to The Temptations, in which I do all four parts a capella. I'm clean, but a little bit shy of sane."

Many not-so-clean comedians have had Mr. Graham open for them, "which forced me to up my game," he said. He has spent more than 11 years doing stand-up comedy, he said.

Being the "Clean Comedy Guy" also has opened many doors for him. For example, he has annually performed during the Heisman Trophy Association's spring presentation, "where I get to perform in front of my sports heroes, instead of being in front of guys drunk enough they can't stand up."

Mr. Graham said he felt called by God into the ministry when we was 13, and later "felt God tapping me on my shoulder to become a comedian, so I've always been clean."















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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