By MADDY VITALE
The Humane Society of Ocean City is joining shelters from the Tri-State area for a night of zany animal and people fun with Stand Pup Comedy Night on Zoom.
The event on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. features comedians such as Fred Stroller of Seinfeld and a host of adoptable cats and dogs.
Tickets for the show are $20 and $10 of every ticket sale will go to the shelter of one’s choice, including HSOC.
“I’m very excited that we at HSOC are a part of this event,” said HSOC Operations Manager Phil Bellucci. “This Zoom show is a multi-rescue event. We all do the same thing. We all have the same mission to save cats and dogs however we can.”
Video courtesy of Richy Leis
Bellucci said the Zoom link is emailed to the attendees the day of the show. And while the show will be entertaining, he noted that the most important aspect of it is that donations will be raised to help shelter animals.
“It won’t just tickle your funny bone, it will saves lives,” he said. “We hope people enjoy it.”
All of the participating shelter links, including HSOC’s link, hsocnj.org, will be featured on the show. When people sign up for the program, they can choose the shelter of their choice from the list to donate to.
“The cool thing about this is I have relatives in Chicago and Texas and once I buy a ticket, I can send an invitation for them to join,” Bellucci pointed out.
He noted that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the HSOC at 1 Shelter Road in Ocean City, has been open by appointment only.
That is why, he said, events such as Stand Pup Comedy Night are so vital to showcase the animals available for adoption and also get needed donations for their care.
Bellucci said no matter if HSOC raises $50 or $500 by participating in the Zoom event, HSOC has specific plans for using the donations.
“We are hoping HSOC people sign up to join the show, because the more turnout we get, the more we are featured on the show,” Bellucci said. “We are going to use the proceeds for special needs cats and senior cats. We also want to do some work to our enrichment center in the back of the shelter.”
In addition to comedian Fred Stroller, some other comedians who will be on the show are Laurie Kilmartin and Brian Kiley, both from Conan, Taquita Love from Funny or Die, and Orlando Leyba from HBO.
The show is produced by Comic Cure, co-owned by brothers Richy and Benjamin Leis, to benefit rescue shelters and pet adoption centers.
Richy Leis, a comedian, hosts the Zoom event.
“One of our missions is to support our communities,” Richy Leis said.
Before COVID-19, Comic Cure held live shows at shelters.
“People could play and cuddle with the adoptable pets. As a comedian, it is the best show,” Leis explained.
But now, Zoom is an alternative that still allows people to see shelter animals from the comfort of their homes.
He noted that Comic Cure vetted the shelters that are participating in Stand Pup Comedy Night. The show is for mature audiences only.
“We list all of the non-profits. When someone purchases a ticket a portion goes to the shelter and people can donate on top of that,” Leis said. “At the beginning of the show, I introduce all of the shelters and we list the links. Any shelter that sells over 50 tickets is featured with either a pre-recorded message from them or a live feed from the shelter.”
Each comedian performs for seven minutes in the show.
“Then we do a kiss cam,” Leis said. “Everyone on the Zoom stays on to show their pets and they kiss them.”
He said there have been some hysterical animal antics on the kiss cam.
“Besides doing this, our goal is to do live tours again,” Leis said. “We are hoping to do them at the shelters and then really meet the adoptable animals.”
Zoom will still be offered as an option for people to join from anywhere.
“Really, out of anything we do, this is my favorite show. I love animals. People are so happy to be on the show. They are so supportive,” Leis said. “The response we have gotten has been unbelievable.”