Good guys telling jokes for charity

New Zealand comedians are once again putting their jokes on the line for charity.

The sixth-annual The Good Guys is a one-night comedic showcase in aid of children’s charity SpinningTop.

The comedians donate their time to the show so all the profits can go to the charity.

Wellington comedian James Nokise said the comedians looked forward to the show.

“I’m just a sucker for a good cause,” he said.

“Michelle A’Court said it the best: ‘It’s one of those moments when a bunch of dickheads actually get to feel like they are making a difference’.

“It is just after the first week of comedy festival. We have all done our first shows and it’s this one gig on Sunday where we all get to have fun.”

The Samoan-Welsh comedian said he enjoyed getting cards from the areas where the money went.

“We get little cards from the communities we help. I have them all up in my house,” Mr Nokise said.

“The one that broke me up was last year. One of the groups we helped was Samoan children who were victims of sexual abuse.

“The other comedians know what I’m like, so didn’t tell me that until after the show. I just broke down and started weeping back stage saying, ‘Thank God we are finally talking about it’.

“More than any card I get, knowing that you can help a situation going on in your back yard by getting up and telling jokes is great.”

This year the money raised will help build a six-classroom school for 140 children in the Htee Ther Leh village in Burma.

It will also go towards an agricultural project at the school.

SpinningTop manager Pat Shepherd said the agricultural project would help fund the school.

“With any project we do we look at how they could survive in future without any input from us,” he said.

“The cool thing about this one is we are also going to build a big agricultural project.

“Then the kids can learn about agriculture, grow food for themselves and, hopefully, in the next 12 months get the garden growing to a level where they have extra vegetables to sell to the village. The money raised would then pay the wages of the teachers.”

Last year’s show helped abused Samoan children who are forced to live in shelters because their homes are no longer safe.

The money raised provided a year’s worth of emergency food supplies and contributed to an extreme renovation on the shelters.

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The Wellington show, hosted by Ben Hurley, will include performances by Dai Henwood, Jeremy Elwood, Steve Wrigley, Michele A’Court, James Nokise and Vaughan King.

The show is part of the New Zealand Comedy Festival. The Good Guys, Sun 5 May, 7pm, Comedy Chamber, Auckland and Sun May 12, 7pm, Downstage Theatre, Wellington.

– The Wellingtonian