Atlanta comedian Jerry Farber says his comedy came out of necessity 45 years ago when he was in high school.
And next week Farber will use his comedy as a tool to do good, raising money for Hall County Habitat for Humanity.
“If you had a big nose and big ears you’d have to do something a little extra special,” said Farber, who has performed for Gainesville crowds many times. “I grew up in North Carolina and I was really skinny ... I found out in order not to get beat up but to compete with the football players to date cheerleaders, I really did develop a sense of humor. I had to work to make my presence felt.”
Farber added that he thinks people love his sense of humor because it’s “unadorned.”
“I don’t shout, I don’t scream. I do a show in a very natural voice,” he said about the hour-long performance. “I’m going to try and make everybody laugh. Lord knows we need it more than ever in my long life — never been quite this rugged. So it makes the job even more special because you hope people would at least be diverted for a while.”
The Night of Laughter will benefit Hall County Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat High. The event is organized by Hall County Habitat for Humanity.
Funds raised will give construction students the opportunity to get job experience in home building and teach them importance of community service.
“It is going to help fund Habitat High, which is a joint venture between the Hall County School System and Habitat for Humanity,” said Margaret Hart, resource development coordinator for Hall County Habitat for Humanity. “It incorporates between 12 and 18 high school students (who) are in advanced shop classes and they have to actually interview ... it’s a very stringent application process.
“The goal is for Habitat High to build two homes per year, one home per semester. The average cost of a Habitat High home is $60,000.”
Currently, Habitat High is working on a rehab project for a home that was burned.
And as an added benefit on Thursday, Farber is bringing along special guest Johnny Porrazzo.
The duo will take the stage at 8 p.m. and dinner will be at 7:30 p.m. with catering by Mexicali Joe’s.
Porrazzo is “a singer, piano-player comic; and it’s not like one act and then another act ... We sort of combine what we do, so it’s musical,” Farber said. “I play the piano too ... we do a lot of that together, but he’s the singer.”
The Night of Laughter will be at Grove Street Station, a new entertainment venue on the corner of Parker and Grove streets in Gainesville.
“There are two buildings; total it’s about 5,000 square feet,” said Dan Summer, venue owner and Gainesville resident. “It’s an old railroad warehouse that we’ve been restoring for the past 10 years, with original barrel-vault roof and the original trusses.
“We realize people really love the space and wanted to start using it ... It’s got a very retro and historic feel to it and lends itself perfectly to an entertainment or music venue.”