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Comedians set to raise funds for Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
Submitted Comedian David Michael, who grew up in Monongahela, perform at the 'Funny Fundraiser' sponsored by Friends of Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission.
Submitted Comedian David Michael, who grew up in Monongahela, perform at the 'Funny Fundraiser' sponsored by Friends of Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission.

Though comedians can say just about anything they want on cable or the Internet these days, David Michael said he still thinks some of the funniest comics are those who have the cleanest material.

Michael, 48, of the South Hills is one of three comedians scheduled to perform at the Friends of Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission's “Funny Fundraiser” on April 13 at Pluma restaurant in Irwin. Erie native Mike Stankiewicz, who bills himself as the “The Rust Belt Comedian,” and WDVE contributor Mike Wysocki also will take the stage.

In his nearly 30-year comedy career, Michael has traveled the club circuit, working with stars such as Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Dennis Miller and Howie Mandel. Even as a married father, Michael continues to perform three or four days a week in addition to his work as a corporate speaker teaching people how to use humor to improve their sales pitches.

“I got to do everything I wanted to do in this business,” Michael said. “It just stuns me.”

“One night, you're the star working in a small town in West Virginia or Pennsylvania, and the next night, you're in Chicago, and you're working with Leno and not the star,” he added. “It's an interesting business, humbling.”

Michael frequently does stand-up at the Latitude 40 entertainment complex in Robinson Township and focuses his act on marriage, children and everyday life. But many of his appearances are at fundraisers, he said.

“I'm at the point in my life now where I want to give back, and that's the way to do it,” Michael said.

The comedy night takes the place of the traditional spring gala on Friends of PTARC's schedule of events. Last year, the nonprofit group tried an oldies dance instead of the gala.

Linda Iams, the group's chairwoman, said the Friends group developed this fundraiser after she attended a similar one for the Rotary Club of Norwin. The same organizer, Slapsticks! Productions, is involved in the Friends fundraiser, which will raise money to renovate recreational facilities in the Penn-Trafford community.

“It's a lot of fun,” Iams said. “The comedians have always done a really good job. It's just an enjoyable evening out. It's dinner, a couple of drinks and listening to the comedians, which I think will be appealing to a lot of people.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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