"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, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn.
1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.


(More History)