While increased security at local movie theaters and debate over gun control brought the Aurora, Colorado, shooting closer to home, a Queens comedy club came together to raise money for an aspiring comedian who was injured during the rampage.
On Monday, July 30, the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City hosted a fundraiser for Caleb Medley, a victim of the Colorado “Dark Knight Rises” shooting that left 12 dead and wounded nearly 60 others. Medley, an up-and-coming comic, was shot while protecting his then-pregnant wife who gave birth shortly after the massacre to the couple’s first child, Hugo.
Scott Sharp, Laughing Devil’s manager and a Colorado native who knew Medley from the Denver comedy circuit, described the wounded father as an “incredibly nice guy who loves comedy.”
The fundraiser formed quickly with the assistance of Laughing Devil manager Steve Hofstetter. The club runners decided that instead of hosting a comedy showcase, constricted by the venue’s limited seats, the event would instead be a laid-back evening of “hanging out at a bar with a lot of very funny people.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds generated from ticket sales and 50 percent of all drink sales were donated to help pay the uninsured Medley’s hospital bills, which could reach an estimated $2 million.
The event raised roughly $1,000. According to Sharp, many people donated even if they were unable to attend. He said they just wanted to help someone in need.
“It shows how the comedy community rallies for one of their own,” said Sharp. “It shows how people want to help someone in need, especially someone in their own field.”
According to Hofstetter, outcry from the comedian community has been insurmountable and thousands of dollars have been donated to help Medley and his family from comics across the country on the fundraising website, www.supportcaleb.com.
“When one of us suffers, we all do,” said Hofstetter.