Second City alumni present comedy night for SPCA

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Alumni from the famous Second City comedy group are bringing their Paws for Laughter show to ArtSpring on Saturday, Feb. 16 to raise money for the Salt Spring Island SPCA.

Paws for Laughter is part sketch comedy and part improv, written by Second City’s Ron Harner. It has seen a successful four-year run in Los Angeles, selling out three of the last four years. Harner has recently relocated from Los Angeles to Salt Spring Island, and was approached to bring the successful show to ArtSpring for a one-time performance. Harner reached out to his colleagues in California, who all agreed to come up to Salt Spring for the show.

“It’s a really talented group of people coming up from LA,” he said. “It’s just a great night because the performers are there out of the goodness of their own hearts . . . Everybody is there for the right reasons and it sounds a little cheesy, but there’s a lot of warmth in the room.”

When it is performed in the states, all of the proceeds for the show go to the American Humane Society’s Red Star program. The program helps reunite people with their lost animals after a disaster. They find animals, treat any injuries or illnesses, and work at reconnecting people with their lost pets.

“I thought that was just the greatest thing for both the animals and the humans. If you lose your house in a disaster and then you also lose your dog, that’s just tough to take,” Harner said.

Part of the proceeds from the Salt Spring show will go towards the local SPCA, and some will go to the American Humane Society program.

Billed as “Good comedy. Good cause. Everybody wins,” the evening will incorporate Harner’s sketch comedy, performed by members of the Second City cast from LA. The other half of the evening will be an improv show, where anything could happen.

“There’s satire, some flat-out farce, there’s some improv where you never know what you’re going to get, that’s the nature of the business. It’s laughs first. The money goes to a good place, but it’s not like we’re doing dog sketches,” Harner said.

As a group of accomplished comedians who have been featured in both television and film, the cast brings a wealth of talent to the show. Cast members include Ithamar Enriquez, Jaime Moyer, Heather Horton, Frank Caeti, Joe DeBolt, Jay Pennick and Harner.

“These are just really funny people. Some of them have been on television and in movies, they’re just funny, funny people,” Harner said. “Everybody said yes when it was a lot easier to not travel the 1,000 miles to get here and perform for free.”

The show begins at 7:30. The program is one hour long with no intermission, and there will be a reception after the show. All ages are invited to attend.

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