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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/The Globe and Mail

The donor: David Goodman

The cause: Creating Humour Me

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

Story continues below advertisement

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.

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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