Earlier this year, when word got around that Helen Crimmins, wife of Boston comedy founding father Barry Crimmins, was battling stage four ovarian and cervical cancer, support poured out from the community. A GoFundMe page was created for anyone wishing to help ease the struggle to cover treatment costs, and the campaign has raised nearly $45,000 since its launch. But now with the expenses becoming more and more insurmountable, comrades of the Crimmins have circled the wagons to assist the family.
Stand Up to Cancer: A Night for Helen Crimmins, a charity comedy show hosted by local comedy legend Tony V (his last name is Viveiros, for anyone curious) will feature a dais full of Crimmins’ friends of both local and national fame, and is set to take place on December 19 at 8 p.m. at The Center For the Arts at the Armory in Somerville.
Bobcat Goldthwait, a longtime friend of Barry and the best man at the Crimmins’ wedding, leads the show’s lineup, and will be joined by Lexington native and Bob’s Burgers star Eugene Mirman, Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Tingle, Mike McDonald, Jim McCue (who brought the idea for the show to Viveiros), Carolyn Plummer, Kenny Rogerson, Tawanda Gona, and Jack Gallagher, as well a few surprise guests slated to appear that are, well, surprises.
Those on the dais are no strangers to charity benefits, especially Viveiros and Clarke — but, jokingly, Viveiros participates in these events for more respectable reasons.
“The thing is, the others do it out of guilt, and I do it because I’m a great human being,” Viveiros jabs in a recent chat with Vanyaland. “We’ve done this countless times, and Lenny and I have done a fair amount of these gigs, so we always joke that we’ll be the only ones around to do our own benefits when it’s our turn.”
In all sincerity, however, Viveiros admits that a stand-up comedy show is the least he can do to show his support for not only Barry, who gave him his first break into stand-up comedy, but for Helen as well, of course, because, obviously, it’s what he and his friends do best.
“We heard that Barry’s wife was having trouble, and people started saying we needed to do something to help, and we’re all mostly nit-wits, we have no skills other than telling jokes, so when one of us gets in a jam, that’s what we do. We call in some favors, and we put on a show,” says Viveiros. “It’s coming from the heart. It’s a no-brainer. We all felt that instead of just talking about it incessantly, we should all get something done, and if in a few months, if someone else wants to do another thing, we’ll support that, as well.”
Viveiros says support from the comedy scene is crucial in times like these.
“It’s not a lot, but it feels like we’re rallying around a buddy,” he adds. “Barry is one of us, and like I said, we’re all nit-wits. All we have is each other.”
STAND UP TO CANCER/A NIGHT FOR HELEN CRIMMINS :: Tuesday, December 19 at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. in Somerville, MA :: 8 p.m., $20 :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page :: Featured image via GoFundMe