Every year for forty years, Jamie Masada, the philanthropic owner of Laugh Factory–-the famed comedy club that spawned the careers of comics from Richard Pryor to Tim Allen to Tiffany Haddish-–will once again host its heart-warming open house for Thanksgiving.
The event includes a free feast and show with two seatings: one at noon and the other at 2 p.m. Masada and team welcome anyone who happens to be far away from home–and yes, those who may be homeless.
In the past, Tim Allen’s been spotted handing out (no joke) hundred dollar bills to attendees until he runs out. Arsenio Hall, Dave Chappelle, Paul Mooney and other big names have turned up to serve food and entertain on Thanksgiving days–as well as Christmas days.
Of course, 2020 was the one year without the traditional Weho philanthropic event over all these years; it pained Masada and his crew of comics to be unable to host the event during COVID lockdown. It’s been a tradition of Masada’s to have major comics–and minor ones too–come in and serve up dinners to hungry diners.
This year marks its 41st annual outing with a comeback of sorts: Tiffany Haddish, Dane Cook, Craig Robinson and other big names have committed to donating their time so that others in Los Angeles will not be hungry–or lonely–this Thanksgiving Thursday.
“Spending the Thanksgiving holiday alone is no laughing matter,” said Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada. “Laugh Factory’s still very committed to creating a welcoming and joyous atmosphere for those who are unable to afford a Thanksgiving meal, or those who have nowhere to go for the holiday. We should be able to serve up to 1,000 people in need.”
The free feast includes glistening turkeys, fresh grapes, pomegranates and persimmons; toasted almonds, golden raisins, Lindt truffles, as well as plenty of stuffing and cranberry sauce to go around.
Proof of vaccination is required this year, but guess what? Laugh Factory will provide unvaccinated individuals with certificates to get free COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots at El Proyecto del Barrio, Inc. clinics in the Los Angeles area. They will also generously cover the cost of individuals’ transportation to the clinic. Anyone who’s unable to attend this Thursday can also pick up a free vaccination certificate at Laugh Factory Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard.
Participants who are unvaccinated can still receive a Thanksgiving meal to go and will also receive a free gift card to redeem their vaccination certificate at the clinic. Those who redeem their COVID-19 vaccinations at El Proyecto clinics will be invited back to Laugh Factory Hollywood on Christmas Day for another holiday meal and a cash reward to getting vaccinated.
Everyone attending the event will be required to observe Los Angeles County Public Health protocols by donning a mask. Laugh Factory will provide a mask to anyone who doesn’t have one.
Masada encourages everyone in town to spread the word about this event, with its added benefit of free vaccinations and cash rewards. “Please invite anyone you know who’s alone for the holiday to get a wonderful Thanksgiving meal and some comedy for their soul,” he said. “We know that laughter is healing, and we need laughter now more than ever after all we’ve been through.”
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