The Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre was filled with glow sticks, glow in the dark juggling and the laughs of more than 300 community members at the comedy show and charity benefit “Laughter is the Cure,” hosted by Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity Tuesday.
“Laughter is the Cure” is a comedy tour group whose performances feature stand up comedy, video skits and juggling performances. Funds raised at the performances go toward the C.S. Mott Children’s hospital.
Michigan State University student Sam Silverstein, who created “Laughter is the Cure,” did much of the comedy alongside friend Nick Tenaglia, a Berkley resident. The two comedians said “Laughters is the Cure” performances allow the audience a night of laughter, while giving back to the children at Mott.
”It was a way to do something greater with comedy, a way to do something better for the world while getting our names out there,” Silverstein said.
The two are both relatively new to performing, and said they use the shows as a chance to gain some recognition while also benefitting a greater purpose.
“It’s a ‘you scratch our back, we scratch yours’ kind of deal,” Tangalia said.
The comedy duo has performed at Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and other comedy clubs in Michigan. This was their first show at the University of Michigan.
As a visiting Spartan, Silverstein opened with a few jokes to ease the tension between the two rival schools.
“You guys have a business school called Ross — I have a drug dealer named Ross who I do business with,” he said.
He also found common ground between the two schools when he had the whole audience scream an epithet against Ohio State University.
Along with stand-up comedy routines, the performers also used glow in the dark juggling, morphsuits and Neil Diamond sing-alongs to entertain the audience.
Education junior Sammy Dean, a longtime friend of Silverstein who attended Tuesday’s show, said he’s been impressed with the success of “Laughter is the Cure.”
“I remember when he first got started with everything — I didn’t know how it would turn out and it was unbelievable,” Dean said. “He is just so funny and so talented.”
Engineering sophomore Justin Rogers said he both enjoyed the show and appreciated that the funds would be going toward benefiting children in need.
“It was great to see (Silverstein) and the others doing things that they love and also doing it for a great cause,” Rogers said.
Silverstein said they raised a total of $4,500, not including tips and lobby donations, at the show to benefit the children’s hospital. The proceeds will go toward toys, games and other entertainment to make a patient’s hospital stay more comfortable.
Moving forward, the duo has a few more shows on schedule in the southeastern Michigan area, and said they’re looking to expand their tour in upcoming shows to other universities like OSU.
“We want to keep the focus on helping children, on bringing fun to the kids,” Silverstein said.
Correction appended: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Nick Tenaglia’s name.