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12th Annual Comedy Gala is something to laugh about

Comedians Maryellen Hooper and Daniel Humbarger to entertain at the Blue Goose in Loomis
By: Paul Cambra, Features Editor
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12th Annual Comedy Gala
Who: Maryellen Hooper and Daniel Humbarger
When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Where: Blue Goose Event Center, 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis
Cost: $30. Includes hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction, no-host bar, raffle, door prizes.
Info: (530) 823-3330, www.soropauburn.org.
Presented by Soroptimist International of Auburn.

With winter on the way out and the sun hanging around a little longer every day, you start to see a little spring in people’s step and more frequent smiles on their faces. But why stop there? The Soroptimist International of Auburn would like to hear a few giggles and snickers, maybe even a full-on guffaw or two.
That’s right, the 12th Annual Comedy Gala takes place on Saturday and the two comedians will do their best to double up the crowd.
“This will be my third time here,” said opener Daniel Humbarger, winner of the 2010 Laugh Auburn First Comedy Night Contest. “For whatever reason, I do well here. You can get away with a little more; the people are there to have fun and ready to laugh.”
Humbarger, who lives in midtown Sacramento, is an attorney by day. As a comedian who gets inspiration for jokes from everyday life and “the crazy recesses of my brain,” he strives to find the delicate balance that makes such a serious job funny.
“Anytime you deal with people in this position, there’s potential for humor,” he said. “You just have to wait a while to use it.”
In the meantime, he can fall back on the familiar foil: Fast food.
“The other day I was driving by McDonald’s and saw the advertisement for Fish McBites. Well, with the horse meat scandal in the news, I say they found traces of seahorse meat in them.”
And so a joke is born. And while observational humor is a staple of Humbarger’s act, his favorite comedians as a kid were more along the lines of Andrew Dice Clay.
“I had a cassette of Richard Pryor I would sneak into the basement and listen to at a low volume,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t have gotten into trouble but it made it more fun.”
Headlining the show will be Maryellen Hooper, whose credits include The Tonight Show, The Dennis Miller Show and the Martin Short Show, as well as a half-hour show “Lounge Lizards” that appeared on Comedy Central.
“We have such a wide variety in the audience that we look for somebody pretty general,” said Soroptimist Vice President Michele Tuggle. “The audience has everyone, from 18 years old to retired.”
This marks the 12th year the Soroptimists have employed “funny” for a fundraiser.
“It’s something a little different,” Tuggle said. “It fills a little niche here in the area.”
So bring you’re A-game when it comes to laughs. Get ready to cackle, chuckle and perhaps even chortle. Hoots and snorts will be accepted, if not outright encouraged. Besides, the money earned will go to community service projects, and that in itself is something to smile about.