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Charity To Get Dose Of Comedy Aid

April 23, 1986|DUNCAN STRAUSS

Raising money for a charitable cause, the comedy show to be held Thursday morning at Fullerton College could well be subtitled "More Comic Relief," even "Laugh-Aid."

As it stands, though, the performance featuring three first-rate stand-up comics--Geri Jewell, Tom McGillen and Bob Worley--carries the name "Comedy Show 2," and will benefit United Cerebral Palsy.

For Jewell, the show will have special significance. Best known for her work on the NBC-TV series "Facts of Life," the comedienne-actress attended Fullerton College at one time--and has cerebral palsy.

Benefits have occupied a big portion of Jewell's performance schedule practically since she started her joke-telling career in 1978. She hopes that Thursday's show at 11 a.m. will help raise awareness about cerebral palsy, which attacks the nervous system and is characterized by spastic muscle movements.

"When I perform, I definitely educate (the audience) in that area," Jewell, 29, said in a telephone interview. "I think what I'm basically doing is sensitizing people, whether it's through humor or straight talk."

When she first entered the funny business--her initial performance was at the Comedy Store nearly eight years ago--much of her act was related to cerebral palsy. While she has since accumulated a sizable chunk of new material, she feels that the bulk of her act still addresses CP, at least indirectly.

"I do a lot of material based around cerebral palsy, although some of it's only that CP just happens to be part of the same story," she said. "(Cerebral palsy) has a little bit to do with whatever I do, whatever I say."

Recently Jewell, who spent her formative years in Garden Grove and Fullerton and now lives in Glendale, has been traveling extensively, performing at college campuses as well as comedy clubs.

For a few appearances, she has set aside her act to do motivational speaking, which seems appropriate given all the motivation and gumption it took for her to become a comedienne: CP has made her speech slurred, and just the walk to the stage can be an ordeal.

Ever enthusiastic, and modest about her accomplishments, Jewell said of the motivational speaking engagements: "It works both ways. It's not only motivational for other people, but it actually motivates me as well. It's a great experience."

Jewell, McGillen and Worley will appear at 11 a.m. at the Student Center at Fullerton College (321 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton).

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