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David Goodman’s annual Humour Me show features Bay Street professionals doing five-minute stand-up routines for charity. (GEORGE PIMENTEL FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
David Goodman’s annual Humour Me show features Bay Street professionals doing five-minute stand-up routines for charity. (GEORGE PIMENTEL FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

GIVING BACK

No joke – Bay Street’s amateur comedians raise some serious cash Add to ...

The donor: David Goodman

The cause: Creating Humour Me

The reason: To raise money for charities focused on at-risk youth

When David Goodman gave a speech at his brother’s wedding several years ago, he got enough laughs to consider trying his hand at comedy.

Mr. Goodman, former chief executive officer at Dundee Wealth Inc., took a comedy course at Toronto’s Humber College and began performing in his spare time. He eventually decided to turn his talent toward charity.

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At first, he participated in fundraising performances with other comics. But he soon became intrigued with the idea of getting other amateurs from the financial world to take a stab at stand up. That led to the creation of Humour Me, an annual show that features Bay Street professionals doing a five-minute routine for charity. In three years, the event has raised more than $2-million for several organizations.

Getting volunteer jokesters hasn’t been easy. “Instead of calling their friends and saying, ‘Hey I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – will you sponsor me’?, they call their friends and say ‘I am climbing an obstacle more difficult than Kilimanjaro. I’m going to do five minutes of stand-up comedy in front of 1,000 people, will you sponsor me?,” he said. “Bay Street is like, there’s a chance we can see someone really high-profile and enormously successful fall flat on their face? I’m in.”

Mr. Goodman, 50, is already organizing next year’s event and he’s hoping to attract some female participants. “I need a high-profile woman who has got a decent Rolodex and who is prepared, at the risk of humiliation, to help raise money for youth at risk,” he said. Then he added with a laugh: “I’d love it if this was written in a way that enticed people to want to do it.”

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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