A Night of Laughter and Fun with SalusCare

SalusCare held its annual “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” comedy night to raise money for youth mental health services.

BY July 27, 2017


The evening was indeed a night of laughs and unexpected surprises at the “Laughter is the Best Medicine” comedy night on July 22 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.

The annual event brings together amateur comedians to try their hand at stand-up, all for a good cause. The night serves as a fundraiser for SalusCare, helping to provide therapy to children and adolescents from low-income households.

It kicked off with the introduction of well-recognized comedian Michael Palascak, who broke the evening into laughter when he expressed the appreciation he felt toward his parents for trying to be the best at being his best friends—even when their attempts are a bit misguided.


Palascak's mother: Michael, I will give you a free ride to the airport.

Palascak: Sweet! Free ride to the airport.

[As they are driving to the airport]

Palascak's mother: Michael, marriage is a lot easier when you find someone that is of the same religion as you.

Palasak: Not free ride to the airport. Uber is way cheaper.

The night proceeded with the competition of who would win "Lee County’s Best Comic."

The lineup of comedians included News-Press Art/Entertainment reporter Charles Runnells, Expressions Magazine editor (and Gulfshore Life contributor) Dayna Harpster, owner of RC Peacock Consulting Cole Peacock, Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, Lee Health Board Member of Park Royal Hospital Chris Hansen, and owner of Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre Will Prather.

Among the other highlights of the night:

—Charles Runnells got the crowd laughing with a few jokes about his cat's bathroom habits. His girlfriend, Silvia Fernandez, wore a cat ring good luck charm. The two fist-bumped before he headed onstage—a little boost of confidence before his first stand-up appearance.

—Dayna Harpster brought her editorial A-game. Harpster focused on how some new-era slang has to go bye-bye. The popular millennial “Yassssss”’ has to return to the simplistic “Yes." Onstage, Harper says, “I’m an editor, so I like to delete things.”

—The night got serious when Commissioner Mann stepped on stage. All jokes aside, Mann expressed his gratitude for SalusCare for saving the life of one of his own family member. This was the most heart-felt part of the night.

He used the classic anecdotal form of telling a joke. One of his jokes was from an employee who helps run the airport. Here’s the summarized version:

On a long flight, a steward comes over the intercom saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying. We are about to serve dinner, except that we only have 40 meals for our 240 passengers." The passengers grumbled and booed. In response, the steward consulted the pilot and then announced free drinks for the remainder of the flight. Everybody cheered and clapped. Hour and a half later, the steward comes back on and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, for anybody that still may be hungry, we still have 40 dinners.”

—Chris Hansen, who thanked SalusCare for the opportunity to make a fool of himself, had a standout one-liner: He admitted he's not bald; it’s just a 6-inch part.

—The duo of the night was Will Prather and Cole Peacock. They surprised the audience by giving a Saturday Night Live-inspired bit: Weekend Update, Fort Myers edition.

They expressed their disapproval for the name of the newest hotel to the downtown area, the Luminary. Yet, they thanked it wasn't a Trump Hotel because their chocolate cake is horrible anyway.

—The night ended with the presentation of comedian Pat McGann, who of course made fun of all the contestants. His comedy focused on his family life, specifically life with kids:

McGann’s children: When is mom going to be home?

McGann: Don’t you think I am wondering the same thing?

In a wry tone, McGann then remarked how the contestants reminded him of how difficult it is to make people laugh.

The winner of the night was Chris Hansen (pictured below, middle, with SalusCare Board Chairman Marshall Bower and CEO Stacey Cook Hawk), who brought his business credit card with him. Votes were based on donation given to each candidate, so we guess it came in handy.


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